Thinking about time just kind of blows my mind a little bit; which is why I think about it all the time. This semester in my class, my students and I read One Hundred Years of Solitude and Siddhartha. Both of these books center around the idea of time and so I’ve talked about it quite a bit lately.
Here’s basically what these two books say about time:
It’s an illusion. It’s something we’ve made up as human beings to keep track of life. But it’s not actually real. Time isn’t a thing. Life isn’t set up on some linear line where this happens, then this happens, and then this happens.
No. It’s all happening at once.
Yeah, you read that right. Everything that is happening, that has happened and that will happen is actually all just happening at the.same.time.
Time is a never-ending circle.
It’s not an easy concept to wrap your brain around, no. I mean, how can time not be...a thing? It’s impossible for everything to be happening at once.
If everything’s happening at once, why isn’t there a T-Rex standing in my backyard? Huh? Huh?
But actually...it does make sense. Think about it.
We’re living in the present and what we do right now is going to affect the future, which means that we’re also living in the past because our past actions have influenced the future and our current present which will influence the coming future.
It’s an endless cycle and circle of existence.
Here’s something else to blow your mind; it blows my mind every day: space, the final frontier. Yes, we know space is big. Duh. But, it’s not just “big.”
We’re just one little planet in the Milky Way Galaxy. We know that. And a galaxy is pretty big. And then you have the rest of the planets. BUUUT, did you know that within our galaxy, astronomers guess that there could be up to 40 billion earth-sized planets? 40 BILLION!!! And we know of 9! And that’s just one galaxy in space. How many galaxies are there? The Hubble Space Telescope estimates that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies in space!
*brain hurts again*
So...there you have it. These are the things I sit and ponder when I sit around too long looking at the sky. But how does this change the way we view our lives?
Most people would say that all of this talk of time and space mostly just means that we’re worthless; that we’re just one tiny little speck in a gargantuan space.
But that doesn’t mean that we can’t do anything; that we shouldn’t do anything. Please. It’s not like you can call in sick to work because you’ve decided to give up because life is worthless because the universe is so big and time isn’t real anyways.
I don’t think that’ll go over too well.
I think the fact that the universe is so big and that time is just a circle gives us more power and more reason to “reach for the stars”. Har har. The pun had to be made, okay?
The fact that what we do affects the past, present and future means that we will always exist. We will always be a part of the world and the universe. So, let’s not waste any of it. Let’s be awesome Universe Citizens.
Gaze at these gorgeous Hubble photos