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The Flow of Time (Part I ) (1 Viewer)


Staff member

I’ve always been intrigued with all aspects of “Time”, the mechanical, philosophical, spiritual and mundane. Last year I attempted to write a series of essays dealing mainly with my metaphysical speculations concerning the ebbs and flows of time. Unfortunately
while I was in the process of completing the third part of my series , my computer caught a bad virus which corrupted, destroyed and mutilated half of part two and all of part three. ( I did not backup my work , I’m a computer idiot.) Writing does not come easy to me, as a matter of fact I find it quite painful to translate my thoughts to coherency and reinterpret them to written form. The thought of rewriting them and trying to recapture my effusive and fleeting thought s on the ebbs and flows of time filled me with dread. But knowing that it lies unfinished due to my own fears of it not being what is was is simply foolish. It will never be as it was but hopefully the flavor will have a sameness to it or maybe not. What is, is and What was, was or is it really that way?


Are we in control of our destiny? Is there such a thing as our destiny?Are we the Writers, Directors and Producers of our lives, our thoughts,actions and dreams or are we just actors following a script that is written,directed and produced by someone or something other then ourselves? Do we think up our own thoughts or do we just hijack those that are receptive to our unconscious needs and desires? Are we even capable of independent thought? Are we in control of our Will or is our Will in control of us? Can we direct our will to choose our choices or are our choices already predetermined and fixed, leaving us with just the illusion of autonomy and independence? Are their any definitive answers to these basic fundamental questions or are the answers irrelevant but it's how one approaches and attempts to understand the questions that determine the answers?

My answer would be to all these questions that I posed, IT DEPENDS! It depends if one thinks that their are fixed and UN refutable governing principles (which set our reality) that cannot be altered or changed, then one tends to view the questions in a certain context. Or one can also view the same questions in a different context if one views that the governing principles, (which set our reality) are not fixed but changeable and refutable. And if one is like me one tiptoes through both views and tries to
incorporate the truth (or what I perceive that truth to be) that resides in each.


what is/ is- what was/ was- what will be /will be- what is/was -what was/ is- what will be /was and is- what is/ will be- what was/ will be and what will be /is now! How's that for a mind numbing exercise. Here’s another one: The past influences the present; as the present determines the future; as the future is a byproduct of the past; as the past becomes the present; as the present becomes the futures past. The point being; time is a relative thing, it moves in all directions not just in forward sequential linear movement. Everything is changeable and yet remains changeless. How's that for a paradox, or is it really not a paradox at all?

The chair doesn't dream

As I sit in my favorite chair thinking on how I can make my thoughts more clear concerning how I view time (the past, present and future) as a simultaneous and concurrent event which makes the universal laws flexible, changeable and fluid while paradoxically these same laws remain fixed, somewhat static and unchangeable, I am also sipping a cup of coffee as my cigarette burns in the ashtray, while with my eyes admiring my wall sculpture (that hangs on my wall opposite of where I'm sitting) while also staring out the window watching a bird hanging on a windy branch of a tree. As I write this, those few moments sitting in my chair woolgathering, is clearly a past event, which has influenced what, I'm writing presently and what I will be writing in the future. Past acts produce present acts, which dictate future, acts. And if one reflects further on the few moments spent in contemplation in my chair, in those few NOW moments I was conscious of the seamless ness, fluidity and the unbroken flow of what we call time. When we are in the present when does the past end and the future begin? If one thinks on this question in the context that I'm presenting it, one can then see/grasp/intuit that the past, present and future is a simultaneous, concurrent and an interchangeable event. I'll explore this theme in greater depth later on in
this essay.

The chair becomes a tree

It was windy outside as I sat in my chair looking through my window watching a bird hanging on a branch of a tree. I've been wondering lately what ever happened to that bird? What drove that bird to that particular branch and what drove him away? It's only now in retrospect that I ask these questions for I was thinking about time and other things. While in those moments when I was in my isolated world staring at wall hangings and windy trees, sipping coffee and inhaling noxious fumes, thinking about time and what I would write that day, my moments were just one among trillion upon trillions of moments that were experienced concurrently with mine. What momentous and non-momentous events occurred on may 12th between 2:32pm -- 2:36pm as I sat and pondered on my chair. One can only speculate and imagine how those moments will produce present and dictate future moments that will have a direct and indirect impact on mine, yours, the dog, the cat, the trees, all of our lives and all that lives and does not live.

Lets Imagine, as the chair expands (between 2:32-2:36PM)

As I sat in my chair and think my thoughts, young Jane Lush was cutting school and on a dare from her friend had her first drink. It tasted swell and made her feel real good. Would this moment turn out to be one of the defining moments in her life?
Joe Do-Gooder decided not to cut school that day with Jane and while in school gave CPR to a fellow student choking and saved that students life. This made him feel good about himself. Would this moment turn out to be one of the defining moments in his life? What will those moments produce? Will Jane now take another drink then another till drinking consumes her life and all her decisions and choices that she has made and will make concerning her life is to be tainted and colored by her addiction. With her
addiction guiding her actions will her choices be free ones or forced ones? Was she fated to be a drunk? Was is due to her genes? Was it her environment? Was it her friends fault who dared her to take her first drink? If she went to school that day would she now be something other then a drunk? Will that moment become a defining moment that will lead her to the road of addiction or just a moment that had no lasting effects? Will Joe's life saving act effect and dictate his future choices? Would
it impel him to explore, consider and prepare for vocations that emphasized rescue and save methods as their modus operandi. And by considering and pursuing these options is he not then limiting and narrowing what choices that he does have? Does this leave him more open or closed to other options beside those of the rescue and save kind? Is this a defining moment for him that would change and alter his future choices or be just a moment that had no lasting or attributable effects in any of his present or future movements?

Is this fated to be? Is this Jane's or Joe' destiny? Or is this just one of the countless possibilities that these moments present to us? Do these moments produce fixed results or changeable ones? Do defining moments produce definable outcomes?

The chair shrinks as the script remains the same. Or does it?

As I sit in my chair thinking about time and other things, I am also puffing away on a cigarette and drinking a cup of coffee while staring out the window looking at the tree swaying in the light breeze and admiring Loki my wall sculpture. The only thing that makes this moment significantly different from the moment I experienced on may 12th is that the moment I'm writing about now has happened five minutes ago, on may 22nd at 4:01PM. The SAMENESS of the moment has me wondering if my later and former moments are part of the same moment. The only real difference between those moments, (aside from the differences in time) is that instead of being windy outside it was only slightly breezy, and my feathery little friend was nowhere to be seen. All other aspects of that moment were essentially the same; the chair was the same, how I was sitting on the chair was the same; the room was the same, the cigarette and coffee that I was drinking and smoking although not the same cigarette or the same batch of coffee for all intents and purposes they were the same in a contextual sense; and lastly and most interestingly my thoughts had a sameness to it. I was as before thinking on time and other things, and how I can articulate my thoughts more clearly when putting it to writing. The only thing that has changed is that my thinking on the subject has deepened from when I first started this essay, by sitting in that chair and thinking about time and other things on may 12th at 2:32 PM. Can these moments all be acting simultaneously as a series of now moments that connect into one moment concerning my thinking and writing about what I'm now writing?

Moments in time

Our lives are a series of now moments that we differentiate and compartmentalize into separate moments. The now moments of our job, our marriage, our playing, our child-rearing, our relationships with friends and lovers, our hobbies, our passions. Their are scripts that we follow and ad lib's that we enact in each of these differentiated moments. They present us with a sameness that ties each moment together and as it expands the moment either becomes deeper, richer and more meaningful or more shallow, less real and meaningless.


Due to this essays length I best stop at this point. At this point I've mainly asked questions and reached no conclusions. Theirs much that I intend to further elaborate and expand on and I realize that I stopped at an awkward point. But I had to stop somewhere or I would have kept on going like that pink bunny rabbit. Believe me their is a particular point that I do intend to make and I hope you tune in for the ride.
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Senior Member
part 2 please rcallaci

I really liked the past present future meld idea made me think but then your writing usually does.
Thank you.


Senior Member
As I was reading, I was drawn more into the ideas and notions. What really compelled me was the concepts of :

Do we think up our own thoughts or do we just hijack those that are receptive to our unconscious needs and desires?

And this quote:

If one thinks on this question in the context that I'm presenting it, one can then see/grasp/intuit that the past, present and future is a simultaneous, concurrent and an interchangeable event.

I must comment on these two statements. I think they are very remarkable. You said it so simply, but the concepts behind it made me really think. I too have always wondered about the movements in time and how the mind actually works. This just reawakened my senses, and I began to understand the reasoning behind your thoughts.

Even the thoughts about the two individual people, in simultaneous motion, were profound. Everything is so awe-inspiring, and so compelling. I did not have a hard time understanding everything. It just reminds me of one of those delightful pieces I read once while taking SAT, and it was an essay about how an eye works (the differences from a child to an adult). I love to read essays about these topics, and I do hope you continue.

Thank you for sharing your work. You are indeed a talented weaver of words and ideas. :)


Staff member
I thank you both for your kind words. I'm glad that you find this piece interesting. In a few days I'll have the second part ready. Time is a funny thing, it makes your head hurt.

Warm Regards,

Kimberly Bird

Senior Member
Bob, I just felt like a found a treasure.

I have always believed that our lives, my life anyhow has been directed, too many signs for it not to be otherwise. But I also believe with every step we take, there are at least 3 more different ways that we can go.

I was told this at an early age, 'Depending on where you are starting from, you can go the four winds of time'.

There is no such thing as coincidence, it is all an illusion to teach us.



Senior Member
I believe it's a combination of several unrelated complex idiosyncrisies.

Our ancestors and immediate relatives


Senior Member
My head hurts.
Not because I wasn't able to understand what you wrote, but the other way.
It made me think. Hard.

Thank you for sharing this!
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WF Veterans
this was totally different from your usual stuff..where the world is often a place of fantasy and imagination....this was you expressing yourself on a more personal level and trying to find answers that seemed to leave you unsure,lost even in the big question you ponder....kind of threw me a bit..i think because i often feel your writing has a confidence and clarity about it and here you seem to be unsure,worried about the topic in hand and i think that is the feeling i got from it...interesting write but more interesting is finding out more about what makes you tick...no pun intended dude...and time has moved on quite abit since you wrote this...


Staff member
escorial and Reichlina

I thank you both for reading this old piece of mine. Time is a elusive, mercurial, ever changing, static, with beginnings, endings and non-endings. One big, huge paradox.

Time or the thought of time makes my head hurt, it makes me realize that I'm just a tiny, tiny, spec in the countless little specs that make up the universe. I much prefer to write about fantasy and things magical because I can make up the rules and know the answers to them. With Time and other universal laws there are no definitive answers only conjecture. For years I pondered those questions, but now that I'm an old man;) I make up my own rules.



Senior Member

I am intrigued by your ideas and your observations. Many questions are posed in this and I would love to see your follow ups to them. You've really got me edging for a good satisfying intellectual read. Your investigation, if you will be so kind to let me call it that, is enormously stimulating.

Do you have the other parts done? I see that this was begun a while ago...


Staff member
Do you have the other parts done? I see that this was begun a while ago...


Thanks for the interest. I did this essay in three parts around 12 years ago. Two years ago I integrated it with my fiction work (trinity dreamscape- WIP which I've been writing for the past tens years or so)

You can find the Merged essay (called the Flow of Time) all three parts- in the non- fiction section page seven- I hope you get a kick out of it. I've based parts of my book on this essay-Mainly the lucifer cycle.

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WF Veterans
Well, this thread does seem to have warped the time dimension by itself, jumping over more than a decade. It's an interesting read but as far as it goes it just expresses a need to comprehend and the confusion arising from that lack of comprehension. My writing is centred on our perception of time of course and my website, appropriately named Mens Temporum, contains my own lengthy speculation on the subject.

One of the chapter titles in my novel happens to echo a statement made in your piece. It is called "Now is future past", which can be read two different ways, being either a statement about now or one about the future. I think that a fundamental mistake that humanity makes when trying to understand time is in assuming that causes always precede effects chronologically. I think we do this just because the alternative would be too confusing to understand even if it were true. I personally suspect that "now" is simply the optimum solution to what comes between the past and the future and that therefore it is equally dependent on both. If this were not true then the future might become impossible and where would we be then?

Those who believe in strict unidirectional causality combine their belief in that with the idea of determinism, concluding that every event could be determined from earlier ones if they were known fully enough, which never happens in practice, so this belief can never be challenged. They also apply this idea to thoughts within the human brain, which unfortunately makes the whole concept of free will impossible, or at best an illusion. When I started to suspect that my mind was retrieving memories from the future I worried about the implications regarding free will and destiny, but then realised that that was probably the nature of free will, that our apparently free thoughts seem free with regard to what has gone before because they are determined by what will come in the future. Hence by discarding the concept of unidirectional causality determinism and free will can be reconciled. Throw in the fact that there are many possible futures and one has free will in effect.

This approach also resolves a problem faced by psychologists. Both research and experience have established that our brains often appear to make decisions without our conscious involvement, especially in times of danger when we have to react very quickly. They say that this is why time appears to slow down at such times, as the conscious mind is catching up with the thoughts that the brain has already processed beforehand. They then wonder what purpose consciousness actually serves if that is the case. In fact nobody appears to know what it actually is, let alone why it exists. If we abandon the idea of unidirectional causality then there is no problem with our doing things before we have thought them out. The rapid action in the face of danger followed by the conscious thoughts at the regular pace afterwards then make sense. The brain is simply spreading its workload across time in a way that science doesn't comprehend yet and there is no longer any issue about consciousness not being relevant.

If a simple change in our perception of the rules of time can resolve mysteries about free will and consciousness like these so easily, then perhaps there is something to it. My website goes into the practical aspects such as how quantum effects could make such things possible and how far scientists have got in understanding the processes involved. Of course, as a free thinker I may be a bit ahead of my time on this at present but according to my novel, which has appeared to be right about other things, another year or so may be sufficient for science to catch up.

You really have to sit back in that chair and relax for your mind to begin to accept what may be the genuine reality and I suspect that it is truly weird. Good luck with that.