The Now

“What is time? If no one asks me, I know; if I wish to explain, I do not know. … My soul yearns to know this most entangled enigma.”

I hear you, Augustine.

Writing science fiction that involves thinking about now, the past and present, and the various theories attempting to unify and explain everything, I ended up standing my thoughts on their head: instead of believing the past exists and the future is the potential outgrowth of the past, only now exists. We create now as it happens; without us to establish order to existence and reality, there isn’t any existence and reality, except that which we know now.

Yet, in creating now, we begin creating echoes of now that drift toward the past, creating a past. We believe, therefore, it was, ha-ha. As we conceive of structure to explain what’s going on, we’re creating what’s going on, establishing it as something more substantial, as it were with the laws and rules that we believe to be immutable. As others theorize, it’s our limitations and practices that actually establishes our expectation of how time flows, and causality paradoxes.

Yes, I know, this smacks of Sartre’s POV regarding essence and existence and others’ existentialist thinking. I get a kick out of running it through my mind’s treadmills, taking it back to its ultimate point: in the beginning, there was one. The one thought of others, and the others came to be in the moment called now, and that first one was called God.

God never liked the name God, and used multiple other names as he, she, and it did the same thing with other races, species, places, times and realities, becoming the first each time, and then creating a new now from which others created a past. It was natural he/she/it would become associated with the Trickster and the Mischief Maker.

Of course, just like the Big Bang Theory of how our Universe came to be leaves us wondering, what was there before the Big Bang, we always ask, what was there before the one called God?

He/she/it always answered, “I was always energy. Then, I thought, I think, therefore I am.” Others claimed they thought of it first, and phrased it a little differently. God knew better but wasn’t worried about gaining credit. He/she/it knew that fame was as fleeting as now, as certain as the past, and as secure as the future. And yet, he/she/it knew it was a fragile response, because if he/she/it was energy back then, that’s still something, and if he/she/it is right about being the first, then where did that energy originate from which he/she/it came to be?

Ah, there’s the rub. He/she/it likes to think of themself as a nested existence, beginning with nothing, and conceiving of themself as the first particle and then doubling up until he/she/it achieved sufficient energy to perceive themself, but he/she/it stews over such an answer as much as Augustine stewed over defining time.

All this thinking about physics and now isn’t new; others have come up with various structures of a Now Hypothesis, and are attempting to prove their hypothesis. For me, it’s all just a nice little fun diversion from the serious business of novel writing.

That’s all, for now.

 

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