I have just finished reading a book about time travel. It was not a typical time travel story, it included topics like dark matter, dark energy, and duplication; not only of objects but people. Anyway, it got me to thinking about one of the most fascinating ideas of all, time. Time travel is the foundation of many a science fiction story, with good reason. Time is a bizarre concept, hard to wrap your mind around. Yet even more hard to understand would be life without time. Without time, how would life move forward? But the fact that time does move forward is the ultimate cause of death, decay, and entropy.
The past, present, and future are all manifestations of time. Without time there would be no past nor future, only the present. Without a past or future, life would consist of a single instance, frozen forever. It is so weird to consider that our entire life is but a moment, which passes into the past and is no more. So we truly do only live in the moment. The future is an unknown, the past mere incomplete memories of previous instances of our lives.
The advances of time lead ultimately to the decay and eventual death of our human bodies. Imagine a world where time advanced yet there was no decay. Is that even possible? As time advances it leads to growth from infant to adult, but what if at a certain point our bodies developed to a final stage after which there was no more development nor decay. No old age, the slow loss of our hearing, eyesight, our very faculties. We could still die from disease, illness, or accident, but not from “old age” itself. Would that be a form of immortality?
Without time there would be no life as we know it but the side effects of time are devastating. Yet how does one wrap his mind around the concept of eternal life. How does that work? Would you live the same day over and over again like in the movie Ground Hog Day? Would time advance endlessly without aging, sickness, or death. Could the human mind deal with eternity? The whole concept of infinity and eternity is beyond human comprehension.
I think the reason I have given so much thought to time is that I am finally getting to feel old. It is starting to sink in that there are only so many years to this life, that time will finally run out for all of us. I see people that were once young, vibrate, and alive, suddenly no more. I am a Christian and so believe that I will live eternally but as a human I can’t and probably never will grasp that concept fully.
Time and life as we know it as captives of time, will always be a mystery. If there is anything to be learned from time it is to live the “moment” to the fullest and hope that our memories will be beautiful and our future filled with more memories to come. Time marches on. Tick, Tick, Tick.