One thing I know about time is that it is unlikely that I will come across my mother walking across the room dressed in her hideous corset. This is because my mother has been dead for nearly twenty years. It indicates that time is linear and what is past has gone. But Terence McKenna is stirring up some seeds of doubt. He talks about volatility being the feedback from some future event. When I think about this, it does my head in. I know how the past affects my present. I will not ,for example, EVER wear an undergarment like my mother’s. But I can still hear her voice saying, “You wait my girl, you’ll need one of these one day,” while patting her ample but caged belly. So how do I know that she is not somewhere ahead, around a bend in the road, waiting to wrestle me to the ground and force an apricot satin straightjacket onto my thrashing limbs? Death is non- negotiable I know. But what about time? Could it not play tricks and bring both the past and the future back within reach of the present? Could time be like an old-fashioned skein of toffee, thrown and pulled by forces as yet invisible and unknown, so that parts come back and mingle and after being reordered are then thrown again? What if it’s all only a construct of consciousness, belonging in a world unaware of the Second Law of thermo-dynamics, which expressly forbids any repetition of a past state of the material world? What is time anyway? The definition I like is:- Time is what prevents a piece of music being one cacophonous crash. Or A.N. Whitehead’s,” the advance from disjunction to conjunction.” A flow that sounds rather like the Tao.
Certainly time isn’t just what the clock says. It has an ontological meaning as well and it is this latter aspect that is in the process of being transformed. Being is in the process of drawing into ever deeper reflection of itself. Eventually consciousness will reach the point of being transparent and at that point we will see what is meant by the word eternity. Then Time and Eternity will be one.
But meanwhile we tackle the three dimensional difficulties of understanding the meaning of time. Why do the same ideas brew in minds at the same point in history? Darwinism could so easily have been Wallace-ism( but for the fact that it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue in the same way?) Was it a coincidence that aliens started to appear in the human psyche at the same time as the sub- atomic anarchy show hit the road?Even with complete information about a sub atomic particle, no one can predict what it will do next. Anything can happen. Our journey into the sub atomic world has enormous philosophical implications concerning consciousness and the role of the observer. The micro world is not a scaled down version of the macro, but rather a melee(sorry still havent learned how to type accents!) where the individual loses identity and timelessness rules. This is scary. Are we living through a split second of cosmic spacetime, with the borderlands growing ever thinner and more likely to leech past present and future into one another? It’s all very exciting as well as scary- just so long as I don’t get any corset flashbacks or flash forwards for that matter. But hey- here’s a thought to blow corsets out of the water. Whatever it all means, all I need to do is remember that the collapse of the cosmic panorama from potential to actual is me (and you). If you can get your head around that, you are on the way to next dimension living. Bye bye three, welcome four. We now live in a world of fractal geometry, complex systems and feedback loops. The computer is increasingly opening up to us a universe that appears to be a limited 3 dimensional hyper surface of a 4 dimensional hyperspere floating in unlimited, infinite space. The plane of consciousness surfs this like a wave. How on earth can we pin a concept like time to such complexity?
My mother had no worries on this score. She had time on her hands. Life depressed her. I was never going to be a woman like my mother. No high heels clopping down the garden path to hang out the washing on the line. The accoutrements of her womanliness became for me a closet of fetish. I had the stockings , the suspenders, the heels, to be brought out and played with on my terms. My mother drove my sexuality underground. In my family time tells two corset stories; one apricot silk and hideous, the other red satin and very, very expensive. I’ve promised myself the latter for my 70th birthday from www.corsets-uk.com “Tailors of world classbody shaping corsets.” Until then I’ll keep myself amused pondering time.