Chapter 5 – Time
October 16, 2014
What is time? Time is a linear progression. The very concept of time implies movement from a place of beginning or some point of reference. We in fact can only measure time by the change of relative positions of one body to another. If there was no movement; if everything was static and remained in its place relative to everything else around it, time as we understand it would not exist. Time measures change. In order for there to be time, there must be change and it must be constant.
The fundamental constant change that we use to measure time is the diurnal flux between night and day: the movement of the earth around the sun. We have subdivided that movement into smaller increments called hours, minutes and seconds to measure the micro changes evident in our daily lives as we move through the macro changes we call days and years.
God has constructed an environment where there is constant change. But the change is not random or purely relative. Change is progressive from the undifferentiated to the complex. Change is directional. This is a system too in which structure has limited life spans. Structure has cycles, like night and day. Stars are born of undifferentiated matter, move through a life cycle and progress to an end in which the matter of which they are composed deconstructs and returns back to the dark matter of which the universe is fundamentally composed. It is then recycled again into new forms; stars and planets through the same process outlined earlier.
Everything in the universe works in this way, from the smallest to the largest structure.
So too is the relationship between God and Man. It is a directional progression.
It is intended that the relationship between God and Man be progressive. First, like Man himself; the relationship will be in its infancy. Man will need a lot of training and education in order for him to grow and process towards maturity. First there is darkness then there is light. The object of the progression is growth: intellectual; moral; spiritual. In order to understand and evaluate this process; and it is very much intended that it be carefully analyzed, there has to be some kind of metric. God creates time. Time is an ordered linear progression in which we can measure and evaluate the progress of the relationship with our Creator and allow for learning and growth. The progress of time creates data points that the highest organism, Man, will use to make decisions. But not just positioning decisions. Man, unlike the rest of creation will have the ability to make moral distinctions. Time creates data points that will allow Man to make freewill moral decisions about his moral position viz-a-viz His creator. What decisions will Man make and where will he stand in relation to his maker? Will he makes decisions to position himself close to or away from God? Only time will tell.
Unless you can make moral distinctions, time has no meaning. The physical universe works like a Swiss Watch but the atoms of which it is composed are not sentient. The universe functions on a kind of auto-pilot governed by Newtonian Law. Matter makes no decisions and therefore, needs no metric on which to evaluate its progress. It simply functions according to an established pattern. Its functionality is mature and while it can be understood it is not necessary to make evaluative decisions about its nature for the purpose of growth because it has progressed in its function and state of being to perfection and change is not needed. Time, therefore, is irrelevant.
Plants make no decisions. They simply react to stimulus. It does not matter how the stimulus is applied. They will react to a light bulb as well as the sun. Like a star, they have no consciousness and therefore, time has no meaning. Plats are perfected in their relationship with their Creator.
The higher Animals, as well, need not consider time. They fundamentally function on instinct, a preprogramed array of reactions to various stimuli in the environment aided by the reference points provided by the celestial bodies and the Earth’s magnetic field. Since animals cannot make moral distinctions or change their patterns of behavior, no metric is necessary to measure their progress. They are already progressed to completion and do not need to evaluate their state of being. They simply live in the here and now and have no concept of past or future.
Man will be different.
Unlike the animals, Humanity will be challenged to evaluate their pattern of living collectively and individually on and on-going basis. This is because Humanity is not progressed to completion. Each individual Man, unlike insentient life, has the ability (and further is tasked by their Creator) with making some determinate decisions about their attitude, actions and state of being; now and in the future. Time will provide a context (matrix) for decision making in the present that will affect important future outcomes for the individual.
The matrix or context of time is the residue of past events left behind in the physical composition of the universe. Rock strata, electromagnetic radiation emanating from distant parts of the universe, historical accounts and the like all allow for sentient beings in the present to evaluate the outcomes of decisions, patterns of behavior and biological or morphological events in times remote from the present. This assists with and facilitates decision making in the here and now and can be used as reference point to evaluate change.
How can we look back far into time to gain understanding of our Creator and our relationship with Him?
The Speed of Light
The speed of light is constant in order to provide a uniform reference point at any given place in the universe to evaluate the residue of time. If light was not constant no matter from what angle or what speed or relative motion of the point of observation it was viewed then it would not be possible to evaluate anything chronologically and the value of the lesson of incrementality in the process would be lost.
Amazingly the speed of light is constant – no matter what. Light can be absorbed and deflected but it cannot be speeded up or slowed down. God has made it so. Why? It enables an absolutely ordered and systematic look back into past events so that the observer can extrapolate future outcomes based upon past patterns. We draw conclusions. We gain understanding. We make decisions.
If light could be absolutely speeded up or slowed down by natural forces at work in the cosmos, over great distances the relative age and position of the heavens would be skewed to the observer and the perception of order and incremental progression would be lost. Our perception of the heavens would be warped. It would be impossible to tell with certainty where anything was in relation to anything else. It would be impossible to calculate mathematically relative positions if our observations of motion in the universe were not absolutely predictable because of the constancy of the speed of light.
By observing the cosmos you can look back billions of years in time and come to understand the eternity and constancy of God. You can see Him working; constantly, consistently, progressively, powerfully and wisely. You learn that is His way and extrapolate that He is doing the same thing with Humanity.
Time is also a boundary. Since time can be measured by the number of cycles of movement that form its basis, it can be limited by segmenting, distorting, altering or eliminating the cycles that define it. Time is a perceptual abstraction based upon an arbitrary interpretation of cyclical patterns that exist within an eternal system. Since time is a linear progression, it can be said to begin or end based upon a subjective interpretation of the qualitative nature of the progress. Since God is the determiner of the qualitative nature of the relationship between Himself and Humanity and is the arbiter of its completeness; God can begin or end time whenever he chooses. Time, in its essence is the metric and matrix, which is used to measure the qualitative state of completeness of the relationship between God and Man. When the relationship is brought to maturity and completeness, time ends since there is no longer a progressive process necessary to evaluate.
Time makes decision making possible and its sole purpose in the life of every Man is to facilitate the life and death decision we must all make.