It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

A weird look at what time could be

page: 1
1

log in

join
share:

posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 10:03 PM
link   
Here's a thought about the nature of time. If time's the fourth dimension - space time that is - then can one, if allowed into the fifth dimension see an overview of time? As though looking down on it from above?

To illustrate my quandry, I'll digress to lower dimensions. If you were a point (with no dimensions) the only way to understand the first dimension (length) would be to move through it. If you, a point, moved in a line - thus moving through the first dimension, you could then get a rough idea of what it was like to experience one dimension. Those watching from the second dimension, that encompassed length and width though, would understand the first in a different way. I refer here to flatlanders - people living in two dimensions like drawings on paper. They understand the length AND width of their papery ecosystem - but getting a handle on the third dimension of height would also require them to move through it.

By moving their paper upwards (somehow) they could have a kind of understand of the third dimension - whilst those of us actually living in the third, don't need any movement through it to conceptualise it as a static entity.

So what I'm saying is that perhaps time is just like another dimension that those in the fifth dimension can see as a static entity - where the past, present and future is all laid out in the same place so that everything happens at once. And the reason we perceive it as something transitory is because we're moving through it.

Like the point, the line and the flatlanders - I believe we do actually exist in the fifth dimension as well. You know like a drinking straw who, despite having length, a thickness AND a height - just sees itself as a one dimensional line. But perhaps our brains are only equipped to cope with three or four dimensions and this creates the illusion of time being an experiential movement when in fact it all exists at once.

What do you reckon?




posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 10:35 PM
link   
So you state that time cannot exist (be percieved) within x, y, and z? But in order for time to exist you must be in the 4th dimension? This is what I am getting from your statement. Because you state that those in the first dimension x cannot perceive the second or the third and that someone only in the second can perceive two and only someone in the third three, etc.

Time is the third dimension, z. Say you have a vertical (x) and a horizontal (y), what do you need to pass through these two? Answer: a slope. This would be the equivalent of time since it is capable of passing between two points (intervals).



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 10:45 PM
link   
Here's the thread:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Interesting read.



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 11:37 PM
link   
kerry, I think you're onto something, and there is a prominent physicist working on a concept similar, which essentially means time does not exist, but every possible moment is still and always existing.

I think what he is talking about, and forget his name, is similar to your idea.

I also do think there are dimensions or places where time can be seen a mere dimension, and all points in time can be seen at once.



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 02:09 AM
link   
>Here's a thought about the nature of time.

Short answer: yes.

>If time's the fourth dimension

This phrasing implies certain ideas which may be limiting. Saying that time is "the" fourth dimension...what exactly do you mean by that? Just as in relativity it is understood that there is no absolute point of reference, might I suggest that is no absolute referent for "the" dimensions, either?
All the same, I think it's reasonable to describe "time" as a dimension, just remember that that's all we're doing. Describing it. I'm not aware of much reason to think of it as being any more fundamental than saying that "left and right is the first dimension." Why left and right? Why first? Wouldn't the universe and its inhabitants function equally well if you were to say that any of pair of directions were a dimension? It doesn't matter. It's completely arbitrary.

I try to think of time the same way.

>space time that is - then can one, if allowed into the fifth dimension
>see an overview of time? As though looking down on it from above?

An observer able to perceive five dimensions should be able to see along that axis, sure. Again: "short answer: yes."

But, the phrasing...saying "allowed into the fifth dimension" only makes sense from our limited perspective. Someone observing five dimensions wouldn't think of themselves as being "in the fifth dimension" any more than we think of ourselves as being "in the third dimension." Further, we might be occupying any number of dimensions over four right now, and we would never know. It's not enough to be "in" that extra dimensional space, you still have to be able to observe it.

>perhaps time is just like another dimension that those in
>the fifth dimension can see as a static entity

Yep.

>I refer here to flatlanders
>They understand the length AND width of their papery ecosystem
>- but getting a handle on the third dimension of height would also
>require them to move through it.

No. They could be moving through a third dimension and they would be totally unable to observe it.

>By moving their paper upwards (somehow) they could have
>a kind of understand of the third dimension

If they were to move a two dimensional object in their world into that third dimension, it would be in space they could not perceive. It would "disappear." If their "universe" were to move, or fold into a third dimension, nothing would dissappear from their perspective. They probably wouldn't even notice that anything was going on.

>where the past, present and future is all laid out in the same
>place so that everything happens at once.

Again, this sort of phrasing only makes sense from the perspective of someone observing only three dimensions. Things do not "happen."

They are.

>the reason we perceive it as something transitory is
>because we're moving through it.

No. There is no motion. No thing "moves." As you said yourself, everything is already "laid out." It is your observation which "moves" in the sense that you as consciousness are observing a sequence of three dimensional spaces.

>in fact it all exists at once.

Exactly. But because it is this way, even saying "at once" is meaningless.

>I believe we do actually exist in the fifth dimension as well.
>What do you reckon?

Me personally?

We observe three dimensions.

We infer a fourth.

We theorize a fifth.

Why stop there?

I propose n-dimensional space.

...but more importantly...

I think that the entire concept of "space" (in however many dimensions) is entirely in our head. Space is just a convenient way of describing things. I don't believe there is any "physical" basis for "dimensions" at all. Your flatlanders are capable of perceiving two dimensions. We're capable of perceiving three. I see no reason not to think there could be creatures capable of observing any number of dimensions, but beyond that, I suspect that the entire FACT of perceiving dimensions comes down to the same thing: ability to perceive. We can see three, but the right observer might be able to observe ALL and might consider arbitrarily thinking of things as being "over here" vs. "over there" as kind of silly.



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 02:35 AM
link   

Originally posted by LordBucket
An observer able to perceive five dimensions should be able to see along that axis, sure.


But this would require that the time dimension somehow be perceived by this 5-D being as another spatial dimension. So for this 5-D being, what replaces time? I believe cause-and-effect are universal, meaning that you need time to flow for processes to happen ( perception is a process ).


Originally posted by LordBucket
If their "universe" were to move, or fold into a third dimension, nothing would dissappear from their perspective. They probably wouldn't even notice that anything was going on.


( no point in the following, just a visual I had that helps to explain your point )

This made me visualize 2-D beings living on a piece of paper, and then one of us 3-D beings crumpling it up into a ball (and tossing it in the bin). In 2-D the paper hasn't changed shape, because if you remove the third dimension the paper is still flat.



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 03:43 AM
link   
~TIME~ is just something that keeps everything from happening all at once.



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 05:59 AM
link   
Sadly, I don't have all the answers. If i did, I probably wouldn't be here.
But since I am here, I'll try to answer as best as i can.

Try to read all of the following with this idea in mind: "Everything is perspective."

>this would require that the time dimension somehow be
>perceived by this 5-D being as another spatial dimension.

Yes. By definition.

>So for this 5-D being, what replaces time?

First off, let's clarify something. It's not a function of the number of dimensions perceived. Just like we spoke of "flatlanders" earlier, and presumed that they experienced a sequential time as we do, there's no reason why there couldn't be yet another creature who took up, perceived, and functioned in four, five, or however many dimensions you'd like.

Now, that aside, the question is still the same. A five (or however many) dimensional creature which perceives "what we perceive as time" spatially.

>what replaces time?

Why does anything need to replace it? Remember, time and space are not fundamental. They're simply ways of describing things. Let's reverse the question: What about a creature which perceives one of our spatial dimensions, as time?

Well...is that really so odd?

Let's work with a crude example. Let's take a mountain. And, let's say that there is a race of creatures for which the base of the mountain is the begining of time, and the peak of the mountain is the end of time. And, over the course of their lifetimes, they "experience" each two-dimensinal-slice up the mountain, in sequence.

Is there not a "relationship" between each frame and the next? Is there not continuity? In one "moment" of mountain, the base is so wide, in the next it is slightly less so. In one "moment" there is a tree root, and in the next there is where root attaches to trunk.

Does this not resemble your "cause and effect?"

Now let's throw something interesting in to the picture. Let's say one of us humans comes along and digs a hole and pulls out a great big rock. The hole causes an avalanche and all of the dirt above comes crashing down and settles to fill the hole, amidst much chaos and destruction and noise.

How do our little mountain people experience this change?

They don't. At least, they probably don't. No more than you or I would notice if someone were to go back in time and remove something and cause a ripple effect throughout our lifetime. We would experience it as one contiguous lifetime, with no observed changes. As would the mountain people. If you would like to suggest that a vague awareness of this sort of change accounts for deja vue, and the like, well, ok. Could be.

But, that does bring up an interesting idea. the "time" that the mountain people experience is not totally static, is it? It changed. They had no awareness of it, but we did. and similarly, the five-dimensional creature mentioned above could change, and observe the changes in our "time." But, it probably wouldn't describe "that" in the same way. Because, what we're describing is a "change" occuring over the course of a fourth dimension, which a fifth-dimensional creature would not be perceiving as time, but rather as a static, stationary length.

Now...are there six-dimensional creatures out there watching the fifth dimensional cretures, seeing them as stationary objects just as they see us, and as we see trees? Well, maybe. I don't know. Perhaps it does continue on, in an ever ongoing spiral. or perhaps not. Again, I'm proposing that the fact of space and dimensions at all isn't fundamental in any way, but merely a manner in which our "mind" represents all that is to us. A way of experiencing / observing / "being aware" of "God," if you will.

Hopefully this is intuitive. Language is not well suited for describing relationships between things which occupy more than four dimensions.

>you need time to flow for processes to happen

Remember, time and space are just ways of describing things. "Time" does not "flow."

You do.

So, yes. You're absolutely right. You do need "time" for processes to "happen." But, processes don't happen. We merely perceive that they do. The reality is that "Things are."

What if there is absolutely no connection between the "you" of "now" and the "you" of five seconds ago?

Can you perceive five seconsd ago? Can you observe it in any way? What if the two "you's" are merely separate, distinct, and unique beings, one of which happens to have a "memory" of everything the other one does, plus a little bit...sort of like the base of the mountain is everything that "the base of the mountain minus five inches" is, but plus a little bit?

Kind of creepy, huh?

Now, it may not be as bad as all that. I would suggest that yes, the you of five seconds ago and the you of now are in fact, the "same" in one sense, but not in the manner you are probably accustomed to thinking in. I would suggest that all those instances of "you" do in fact, constitute a four-dimensional creature.

We're simply not sufficiently aware of ourselves to perceive all of that..."at once" any more than an ant on a table is able to perceive the entire length of that table all "at once."

In fact, I would even go one step further and say that we do probably have, to some extent, the ability to "change" our selves in four dimensions. Not via some crude form of "time travel" but rather, genuinely, the four dimensional creature that we are, probably can, and does "move" and change itself, albeit poorly and slowly. (Though to be fair, even if it did it extremely well and quickly, us individual instances that are talking to one another on this board wouldn't neccesarily be aware of it. I'm speculating here.) Think of plants. They seem stationary and static, but they do in fact move around...lean towards the sun, and so forth. Are they aware that they're doing it? Probably not. Plants may very well be two-dimensional consciousnesses occupying three-dimensinoal space.

Much to their detriment, I might add.

>( perception is a process ).

Is it? How so? If you want to say that, in one moment something is not perceived, and in the next it is, then sure...there is process there. But i would say that the fact of awareness (or perception) is not a process at all. It is simply something that is. In any "frame" of existence, it may or may not be present, but there is no change involved.


[edit on 3-10-2005 by LordBucket]



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 09:18 AM
link   

Originally posted by kerrymac
Here's a thought about the nature of time. If time's the fourth dimension - space time that is - then can one, if allowed into the fifth dimension see an overview of time? As though looking down on it from above?


Time isn't a spatial dimension.

You're trying to theorize about space and time but you're using a "folk model" of knowledge and are about. The "folk knowledge" of space and time is equivalent to what we knew in the 1600's.

The pages you've been reading about space and time are loosely accurate for three dimensions, but in order to work space and time models, you need to learn all the things we've learned about space and time since the year 1600.



To illustrate my quandry, I'll digress to lower dimensions.

...
By moving their paper upwards (somehow) they could have a kind of understand of the third dimension - whilst those of us actually living in the third, don't need any movement through it to conceptualise it as a static entity.


Yes, I loved the Flatland books. Excellent work on Geometry... but not on time and spacetime dimensions. Using the Flatland books to theorize about time is like constructing theories about Organic Chemistry based on things that you found in your mother's kitchen cookbook.


Here's some things you might like to read that will help you see how we model space and time today:

An introduction to spacetime:
www.phy.syr.edu...

The basic math you need to understand what we already know about spacetime:
www.mrao.cam.ac.uk...

Book review of The Elegant Universe:
www.nytimes.com...


If you want to compare your understaneding of spacetime, here are some published papers about some fairly basic and unarguable concepts. Anyone capable of reading and discussing these has a good basic grasp of what we know today:

(no, this isn't a trick and they're not impossible to understand. I can work my way through them and I'm no physicist)
www.research.ibm.com...

A very popular paper on extra space-time dimensions:
arxiv.org...

prola.aps.org...

arxiv.org...



posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 10:57 PM
link   
Time is most DEFINITELY something that the conscious mind alone can perceive. In this sense I also believe it is an illusion granted to us by our existence, every single moment is as one moment to the Universe and physical matter because these things are not conscious of time. The only thing that can observe time is a living and conscious entity, and what dimension do living and conscious entities originate from? The 4th.

Certainly, to theorize a consciousness shift from 4th for 5th and above we would have to supercede our idea of time and mortality and recognize ourself as ONLY the consciousness which perceived physical reality and time, even our own bodies etc. How are we going to, as a species, evolve ourself into that direction? Certainly not by living our life by the clock and stressing over the future and past - our perception of time is a prison in more than one way.

Great thread



new topics

top topics



 
1

log in

join