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Change Is Prior To Time

Updated: Mar 7, 2022

Just thinking out loud, a journal entry from last summer

When people say that without time there can be no change, they already assume that time is required for change. They are making the tail wag the dog (inspired by Alan Watts). Change is not predicated on time but time is on change. In fact, it is the occurrence of change that is measured with time. Time is not causally prior to change. Time stops when change stops, not the other way round. Time is simply a measure or a scale of change. The relationship is that of mass and gram. Mass is real. Gram is simply a scale to measure it. You can get rid of gram. Mass would still exist. You can get rid of time. Change would still exist.

If things change more, perception of time fastens ups. The opposite happens when things change less. For an indeterminate piece of rock in deep space, time would appear to have stopped. Generations may pass on Earth but the rock would think that nothing has changed. All it ever saw was an infinite nothingness. The universe always looked the same in all directions.

Consider if we lived forever and never changed. We would look the same and feel the same every day. We wouldn't feel time because there would be no change to peg it to. Some may adventure to create days and nights, but there's always both day and night on Earth. The difference is simply your point of view. Because we change and hold memories of change, we perceive time with respect to our own memories. It is the awareness that we are changing that we measure in age. If you want to perceive time less, don’t hold on to anything. Don’t take pictures you don’t need. Don’t keep possessions you don’t need. The less you know of the past, the less you would perceive time.

Change here is things changing forms. It is funny when the Universe becomes a man, we call it birth. We say that time moved forward. When the same man gets buried back inside the planet/becomes the Universe, we don’t say that time moves backward. When a civilization develops we say that time moved forward, but when it collapses to become primitive, we don’t say time moved backward. When Rome ended and Europe entered the dark ages, we didn't say that time went backward. The universe keeps changing its form, but we always perceive time as moving forward because we retain the changes of the past (memories). If we didn't, we wouldn't feel the passage of time.

Another related entry dated Aug 3, 2020

Imagine traveling on a train from Memphis to Chicago. You pass Kentucky. Does it mean Kentucky is prior to Chicago on the dimension of time? Does it mean Chicago is after Kentucky? When we travel back, Memphis comes after Kentucky. Does Memphis lie in the future from Kentucky? All three places are physical coordinates not temporal. But the perception of before and after resulted from our point of view.

From a cosmic perspective, we are everywhere simultaneously. Riding on a train, we are merely moving our point of view. We are playing the gaming of time by localizing ourselves to physical (not temporal) coordinates and describing our experience from that point of view as past, present, and future. Aren't we playful?

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