Friday, November 16, 2007

The problem with time

As a continuation and second part to my post “Beginningless” I wish to explore a few different angles without siding with any of them in particular. I only believe what has been revealed and nothing more.

1. If Spirits or intelligences are without beginning, and God has always been God, and Time is Infinite, within time there has already been an infinite amount of time passed and yet we are only now going through the plan of Salvation. Wouldn’t we have already gone through it if an infinite amount of time has passed? What cannot be accomplished in an infinite amount of time?

2. God via self-effort question: If Spirits are without beginning, Time is Infinite, and God Developed himself to be God via self-effort and obedience, it took him forever(an infinite amount of time) to do this. How can God ever reach the time where he is who he is, if it takes forever to get there? If it takes something forever to reach it, do we really ever reach it?

3. The infinite process of Gods question: If spirits are without beginning and God became God by going through a process just like we are now, even down to the fact that he had a God like we do, and his God had a God, etc etc. God had to wait forever for his God to make him God, so how can God now be God if it takes him forever to become such?

4. If God’s existence has no beginning and no end within time and is compared as Joseph Smith taught compared with a ring, as one eternal round, would we not at some point come full circle and start progression all over again? Yet, if it takes forever to come full circle do we ever get there?

Time is really the problematic factor!

Therefore for our beliefs to really work out and be true the way we know it, time cannot exist for God at all the way we understand it. Past, present and future must always be before him. In reality Time is not infinite. Perhaps a theory of a series of infinite periods of finite time can extinguish some frustration. Who knows?

As far as mathematics go, could we be living over and over at a state of zero, where all is behind us and all is ahead of us. Zero isn’t a beginning, just a point at the present. All negative numbers leave an infinite amount of time before and there’s an infinite amount of positive numbers ahead. The present is like forever being at point zero numerically. If we are constantly at point zero time is not linear but in a sense circular like the example of Joseph’s ring. We move with time. I tend to be in favor of this. Time may exist but we are not bound by it. We are a point on the ring and the ring moves with us. It has no beginning and no end. We still move, live, progress but “all” will always be behind us and in front of us making both sides endless.

Saying something is beginningless is not the same thing as saying time has always existed. Also there could be an infinite number of finite segments. I think I’ve heard that used as an excuse/explanation for why the Bible says “In the beginning” (ignoring of course Joseph’s re-translation). It also fits in perfectly with the idea of causality. Another option is that time for God (and spirits, etc) is defined in relative terms of causality. That is, there doesn’t need to be any concept of hours/days/years etc. but rather indefinite periods of time between notable events. That also links back to the creation story (and doesn’t ignore Joseph’s retranslation).

At point zero we still exist, and to exist, some form of time must be passing. “I think, therefore I am”

The answer to all of this is of course in what lies behind all revealed understanding. What lies behind space and time? Are there unknowns for all life and existence even in what we know as heaven and eternity?

One simple outrageous theory I made up and pondered upon is in the following diagram:

What is the Matrix? It’s the question that drives us. We are looking for it. Most of us have seen the movie “The Matrix” and it is not what I’m suggesting at all. I’m suggesting a type of Matrix may be possible, though I really don’t believe it. Matrix, an originally latin word now taken into numerous languages, is derived from "mater" (mother). The Mother of everything, feeding all things flowing from her source. The Matrix. Of course this is a crazy idea founded on absolutley nothing, but my mind loves to ponder upon the unknowns and great possibilties. Also I love the complexity of it all, I love the movie too.

I’m confused enough by the idea of infinity as to say it may not exist as we think it does. (refer to a previous post “beginningless”) You can come up with all kinds of mysteries and paradoxes pondering it. While I am perhaps completely wrong in saying this, I think the possibility of a finite mind beginning to comprehend infinity is about equal to a finite number divided by infinity. Therefore I believe as mortals we are not equipped to define infinity, only God can define it. What I am saying is, that if it is possible for God to define it, it could be in a sense finite to him, since it is knowable to him.

I have a headache now!

Any ideas or insights?

How could agency, laws, and sin affect the whole spectrum?


Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the outer curtains on your diagram have no outward boundary?

Gunner said...

I'm suggesting some sort of different realm or dimension of sorts, connected but not limiting one or the other.

Butch Tiger said...

In my thinking I don't consider time as being infinite. I believe time was created by God for man to progress. Gods continue to progress not in being perfect but in glory or accomplishments. God isn't getting smarter or more perfect but he progresses through the glory brought to him through his creations-us. If we take time out if the equation things are really different. For example: families are forever right? How can they be forever if their beginning is in the temple here on earth? Anyway just some thoughts. Great blog. Thanks

Gunner said...

Yes, this whole time thing is really the problem that messes us up over and over again. We need to throw it away and then take a look at how things may be. Did our universe in fact have a beginning? I believe it may have. But what was the source behind all that creation? If we consider "the big bang theory" at all, what yet lies behind it's singularity?

I am of the belief that there is more than just our universe that exists. You can not create something out of nothing. So even if the big bang is plausible (God being the power behind it), where did it's singularity come from? I also think that somehow somewhere it's possible that there was an actual beginning to all things. A being or intelligence superior to all else discovered and laid the building blocks of life and matter. Yet even with such a theory there still leaves an unanswered singularity problem of how even that being came to be! It seems as those something must have always been present on a self existing principle. This however is impossible to comprehend at this time. Can something truly come from nothing after all? Or, behind all creation, beyond all we know does there exist something that exists on a self existing principle? We are taught by Joseph Smith that "Intelligences" fall into this category. I still don't understand how agency, laws and sin play such a large role? Do these originate with our Heavenly Father or are these laws self existing somehow as well or controlled by another force beyond all revealed religion?

This needs to be a new post in and of it's self, however, if we say that God created everything from nothing then we say he created the very problems that plague us and required the sending of his only begotten to pay a horrible price for sin and death. Why if he has all knowledge and wisdom and power and love would he do that? That doesn't make sense, therefore, this is why I believe he did not create it from nothing but in fact works with and overcomes the problems within the knowledge and wisdom of governing or self existing laws and principles. The Saviour was a response to problems that naturally occur based on self existing laws. Based on these laws and principles it leads me to believe there is more beyond what we know and there is more beyond the singularity. Behind the singularity we maybe able find out if there is truly a beginning or not, where time does not exist and is not a problem. Not to mention there we can understand, than look past the complexity of the whole "one eternal round" belief. We may never understand it, even in the next life either, but I'm sure we will. I believe Our Father knows all there is to know, beginning and end!

Anonymous said...

I think part of the problem is that our mortal brains find it hard to conceptualize the idea of Eternity , God's time , Earth time , and make it work some how . My thoughts are that creation is eternal. Physical creations are an Eternal process that have no beginning and are never ending.. Earths created , populated , spirit progression , resurrection, purification of Earth and resurrected heirs to the kingdom. And so forth and so on..Our Heavenly Father has told us as man is , God was once as well. Meaning flesh and bone , free agency etc,. and why would it be any different? We are explicitly told through Moses by Heavenly Father after he shows Moses eternity creations , that "only with this Earth shalt thou be concerned" after Moses gets worried about the vastness of endless Earths and inhabitants that God is revealing to him.. That puts the awesome factor up for me , because we see that Moses cannot handle the idea , even as it is revealed unto him , of endless Earths and inhabitants. However Heavenly Father makes His claim, they are all His , he knows every single one of them by name , and for His own purpose He has created them... basically Moses is told , you would not comprehend it all in your present understanding , and I get the feeling we as mortals won't be able to understand the concept of Eternity whilst in our mortal frame fully. Suffice it to say , Heavenly Father knows all , sees all , has a perfect understanding and power to work this level of Godhood , only a God would be able to do. He abides the order perfectly and it does as it has always done. Anything that has been created has been done so perfectly first. Meaning , the plan doesn't vary. Habitable Earths, human kind , animals plants ,etc, that become mortal weren't corruptible until they became mortal which is when free will was chosen and the clock started ticking in a sense for the lifespan of our Earth in her present condition. In a sense , I think that what we know and are shown and taught of truth and God , is the perfect map of how it has always been done. Wrap your head around no begining and no ending. It's hard to because we aren't governed by that in this estate of flesh and blood , life and death . I picture a vastness expanding moving forward , always opening to the next creator and his universe of earth's for the eternal life of man. Part of the plan. time is perplexing. You must have mass and time, together , without one , the other doesn't work.time is matter moving through space and the distance is time .Movement = time. = gravity .. a mysterious thing indeed. . As it stands for me , I just trust that if I'm worthy more will be revealed. The Lord talks about universes within universes from the smallest to the most vast , and how would He describe it to us any other way we could understand? It's late and I'm rambling , that's my take on it.

Anonymous said...

Really there is no such thing as time. This is a human concept used for perception. A tool we use to perceive things. Actually we only live in the now. The now is always. Always in a vicissitudes, meaning consistent change. This change is not time but change. We use time as a measuring tool, as a mile marker. The Past, Present and the Future. Now is the Present, The Past has happened and the Future is going to happen or not. No that's not how it really works. The past is a Now that changed, the Present is Now that is Changing and the Future is a dream. We always live in the now. Everting exists in the Now. When something changes from the existence to nonexistence it has changed not gone and is still in the now.