Time Is an Illusion: Past, Present, and Future All Exist Now [MUST SEE VIDEO]

Written by on February 2, 2014 in Science with 21 Comments

People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” – Albert Einstein

Brian Greene, Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Columbia University, presents interesting information about the nature of space-time, including an explanation of how past, present, and future all exist in the now.

Brian Greene's website – https://www.briangreene.org/

Complete show here: The Illusion of Time

Video Source: Willow Star YouTube Channel

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  1. Pc77User@aol.com' TheHolyCrow says:

    This TRUTH, that the past present and future all exist in the same moment, is written in the ancient sacred texts of the Tibetan Buddhists. Books such as the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, and others, propound this fact. To them it is a fact, and NOT a theory. They also knew for a fact that all matter is vacuous, way before the theories of molecular structure were devised in the West. I do believe that I once read that both Einstein and Hitler never went anywhere without their copies of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. I highly recommend it for some light reading. (That’s a joke).

  2. oliver02517@gmail.com' Jack H. says:

    i wouldnt mind reading the book of the dead

  3. This beautiful, rational presentation is unfortunately a well designed propaganda message for the physicalist, reductionist view of reality. Except for the recent interpretation of new data that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, there is nothing new here that wasn’t known and discussed many decades ago.

    This narrative starts with a human created model that all of reality can be represented by MOMENTARY EVENTS. This works for most of the phenomena that physics studies, but is only a model for only part of the reported phenomena. Unstated is the implication of strict determinism and reductionism to physics from this model.

    With PhDs in both physics and psychology and a deep interest in the history, philosophy, and sociology of science, I also appreciate the beauty and elegance of mathematical physics. Physics is the dominant science because the phenomenon studied are the simplest, abstracted from a more chaotic and mysterious experienced reality. It is said that physics is the HARD science – hard as in “material”; other sciences (biology, psychology, philosophy, etc.) are the DIFFICULT sciences (not the soft sciences).

    What disturbs me is that this perspective has become dogma and used to discredit research that uses scientific methods as carefully as does physics, but which question the assumptions of this model. Even as to this topic, the “reality of past, present, and future”, the speculations of Rupert Sheldrake’s “Presence of the Past” provides an exciting scientific alternative for discussion. But the physicalist establishment pressured TED to censor Sheldrake’s presentation.

    What is missing is, within the momentary event model, speculation on an interaction between momentary states separated by space and time. Even the quantum physics of entanglement opens the gate. I speculate that the “unit” for living systems are processes of finite duration (where momentary states in the future-end of the duration can influence the momentary states in the past-beginning of the duration – or a dynamic flow). This info-leakage in living systems may not be present in non living systems.

    Many modern scientists and their supporters demonstrate the same arrogance of religious prophets with claims of universal knowledge – in the face of human history and its relative brevity in the cosmological and evolutionary models. This habit contributes to human inability to adequately face the challenges of our Crisis-of-Crises. Too many are already educated to the relevant truths. Our assumptions about who we humans are and how we function may be as incomplete and erroneous as the physicalist’s.

    FYI, six recent books (of many others) present empirical cracks in our consensus reality about “human nature” awaiting needed synergy:

    Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much, Sendhil Mullainathan & Elda Shafir (economist and psychologist)

    Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect, Matthew Lieberman

    Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril, Margaret Heffernan

    The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, Jonathan Haidt

    Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman

    Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking, Doug Hofstadter & Emmanuel Sander

    Once we change the patterns of interaction between humankind and Gaia (and patterns of interaction within humankind) we can properly address these issues about time.

  4. Cheryl.Jay@icloud.com' Cheryl says:

    Agree! Fact that time is an illusion. Is possible for human being to let go of illusional time and letting Nature . Is possible for human being becoming a flowering being in presence. Cheryl

  5. d.ashwanden@gmail.com' David Ashwanden says:

    Laurence J. Victor, thank you!!! You’ve put into words what I could not, and without recourse to the confrontational language which was brewing in me.

    I felt slightly frustrated, having watched this video. I love physics and I am excited by the continuing exploration of our universe in the true spirit of scientific discovery. I guess this video felt like the expounding of old ideas, in a simplistic format.

    You’ve given me hope again!!!

  6. maxim.mxmlo@gmail.com' Maxim Garber says:

    Those were my thoughts when I was 20, first time trying LSD.
    Pretty entertaining!

  7. maxim.mxmlo@gmail.com' Maxim Garber says:

    By the way, “Big Bang” sound lovely!

  8. There happens to be certain inconsistencies in the discussion; while, past – present – future is presented as taking place at once (or not different) but an illusion, the narrator seems to then show that decay, or entropy, in move forward in time with order unraveling from past to present to the future- end of time. Some theory, but what happens may be a whole lot simpler than presented. Nothing in the narration depicts gravity and geomagnetic forces- guided by the surrounding planets and movement of earth clockwise or counter clockwise. If the earth would move counterclockwise, everything would move backwards in time, just as a video played backwards- may be perhaps with little variation of dust particles settling or rising. If I had jumped and rotated forward while earth was moving backwards, everything in my mind and body would be stuck in time; I would recall the future since I would be in it while those who moved backwards may also forget where they where in the future. That may in fact may had happened.
    If one would accept the past – present – future sameness theory, for example, an identity thief could argue that because he / she is now he/she, they were thus he/she in the past and would be he/she in the future. It is illogical and may be used as scheme to justify too many identity theft crimes too!

  9. nyro@neomail.com' anonymous says:

    I do not think that you have Phds in both physics and psychology.

  10. larryvictor8275@aol.com' Larry Victor says:

    Anonymous – why should I reply? Why do you question? I assume you adress to brief message to me. But, yes, in physics from Yale in 1965 and in educational psychology at the University of Minnesota in 1970. An MS from U of Chicago in 1958 and a BS from RPI in 1956. All, today are like merit badges from a past life compared to what I have learned since.

  11. notestovar@gmail.com' Jennifer says:

    Please… I don’t mean to show up here uninvited.
    I only have some questions that one of the few of you might answer for me. Or maybe even help me answer myself…
    I have been noting my highest years and months that I find my truest love.
    I seem to have the highest attraction
    For March 01.
    I wonder why that is…
    Does it have anything to do with my genealogy?
    Or would it be more of my own future coming forward and showing me who I will truly love until I pass? Where does my love go when I am gone?
    Please… I am only asking for advice on where to look.
    I have seen the books that are posted on your screen and am willing to read into as many as I can this year.

    I am looking forward to life again.

  12. notestovar@gmail.com' Jennifer says:

    Is there a certain connection with march 01
    And December 12?

    I am looking forward to life again.

  13. mikeellert@gmail.com' ViaChicago says:

    If you are reading this right now it is 1492 and it is 2078. It is also yesterday and next week. It is 3 minutes ago and 5 hours from now. You are just born and also on your death bed 87 years from your birth in imaginary time. I can see it all so here’s a tip. Bet your house on the Chicago Bulls winning the NBA championship in 2015. Trust me.

  14. barbstclair@mail.com' Barb says:

    You so very sweetly try to explain time in this video, but as far as I am concerned, you just describe past, present and future over and over and say that we can go there, and never really EXPLAIN the eternal NOW at all.

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