Originally posted by DCLXVI
Our premise is that God created the Universe starting with the Big Bang and then followed cosmological evolution that eventually lead to biological
evolution and to humans.
We assume that the universe began
because our mortal lives have a beginning. We assume that time is linear because we percieve time in a linear
order. We assume the universe will eventually end because we are aware of our mortality.
What if I told you that there was no beginning and there will be no end, and that our universe has been expanding and contracting for eternity? This
would imply that there was a beginning to our current cycle of the universe, the Nth iteration which "currently" exists, and that this cycle will
eventually end, but also that before and after this cycle there have been an infinite number of other cycles of expansion and contraction...
But that falls outside of the scope of your question
God being eternal WAS for an eternity before the creation of the Universe. This means that at the moment of Creation he had BEEN for an eternity. Why
wait an eternity? what was he doing?
Its hard for me to go back to this way of thinking; the idea that there was an eternity of "nothingness" before the universe was created. However it
makes sense to me that "before" the universe existed that space and time did not exist, at least not as we know it...both are properties of this
universe. I find it plausible that, if the universe hasn't existed in an eternal cycle, then the universe may have been created within a higher
universe, or by interactions of other universes, and that time and space existed before, outside of this universe...but this is purely speculative
stuff. In any case, no matter how many levels of existence there are I'm quite certain that it's all contained within a higher mind.
Anyway, I want to talk about time...
Here is a graphical representation using ASCII characters to show how we percieve the flow of time:
Fairly simple. From an objective linear standpoint all things can be seen to have a beginning and an end and all events in between. The present moment
progresses from the beginning to the end of the event, one moment at a time:
Moment 1, 2, 3... Final moment
But what if we remove time from the equation? Try to imagine all the moments within an event happening at once.
For example, imagine yourself swatting a mosquito.
The initial moment would be the moment at which you notice the mosquito.
Then you bring your hand to a raised position to initiate the swatting motion.
Then you bring your hand down.
Your hand makes contact and crushes the mosquito.
In this event there are an innumerable amount of instantaneous moments, each one differing almost immeasurably from the last.
Try to imagine what it would look like if you superimpose each moment in this event into the space of one moment.
Your arm would be like a blur beginning at its original position and ending on top of the mosquito.
Now take this principle and imagine the entire universe, from beginning to end, superimposed as one moment.
This is what I imagine:
But that is only because my perception is limited to the mortal senses. We see only light through our eyes. Try to imagine being able to see the
universe as one moment with perfect piercing clarity, down to each individual particle and its motion and being able to differentiate between
particles and their motions...truly mind blowing stuff.
Understanding this is one of the keys to understanding the nature of God. Without time there is no before and no after, no beginning and no end.