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The View from Puncheon Creek: TIME

As time of my existence here on earth marches steadily onward toward its inevitable conclusion it occurs to me that I have little grasp on the subject of time.

Most people assume time to be a simple concept to grasp, after all a simple clock will keep track of it. In reality time is so complex that no human has ever fully understood its true nature. But the great thinker Einstein might have come close. He said in a letter to deceased friend Besso's family, saying that although Besso had preceded him in death it was of no consequence, "...for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one." To him time was a tool invented by the mind so that we can make sense of our temporal existence. If you will, a way to track our life. As I think about it I find time to more resemble a direction comparable to a one-way street, you go down it but you can’t come back up it. The simplest and most appealing theory of time I know of was put forward by Stephen Hawkins, in his co-work, the No Boundary Proposal, put forth by Hawking and Jim Hartle. Hawking, writes of the no boundary proposal, "The universe would be completely self-contained and not affected by anything outside itself. It would neither be created nor destroyed. It would just BE."

Time is not simple if it even exists at all. I think it must exist if only to keep everything from happening at once to us. Can you imagine being born, living your life, growing old and dying at the same instant? Einstein could, but he understood many things I cannot. I do understand that what I perceive as the passing of time has left me older and shorted the list of those who still travel life’s highway with me.



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