Time is an Illusion

By Anthony Gold

Fraternal twins are born and grow up into adults. At the age of 30, one of those twins boards a rocket ship where she travels at a very high rate of speed (670,583,098 mph) for a two-year trip. Upon returning to Earth at the age of 32, she learns that her twin brother long-ago died of old age. Had he lived, he would be 230 years old.

This is known as the twin paradox, a scientific thought experiment that demonstrates the peculiar nature of time in that it slows down for objects in motion. The female twin moving at that high velocity only aged two years while her brother aged two-hundred years.

Science fiction, right?

Wrong. Proven fact.

In 1971 researches took two atomic clocks that were perfectly synchronized. Had those two clocks sat side-by-side, they would have displayed identical times for billions of years. But one of those clocks was loaded onto a jet and flown around the world. Upon returning, sure enough the two clocks were off. The one that traveled on the jet had an earlier time.

This strangely bizarre nature of time “slowing down” was the brilliant insight of a Swiss patent clerk by the name of Albert Einstein. Besides his mind-blowing theory of relativity, Einstein realized the dividing line between past, present, and future – in fact, all of time – is an illusion.

Time is nothing more than an extended aspect of multiple spatial dimensions, not an independent metronome-like entity that relentless ticks toward some finality.

But that’s not how we see it. The past is behind us while the future awaits our experiential senses. And thus we spend our lives contemplating what has gone and anticipating what’s to come – all the while completely oblivious of the eternal “now”.

In truth, there is no time, just the immortal existence of an infinite oneness.

Time is a trick, a sleight of hand, a vast illusion in which figures come and go as if by magic. The script is written. For we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by. (W-pI.158.4)

I see nothing as it is now. (W-pI.9)

Instead of regretting the past and rueing choices we made (or didn’t make), and rather than anxiously striving toward or hoping for some improved state – we can recognize the present moment in which any sense of me, myself, and I dissolves – leaving only our shared connection of love with everyone and everything.

Eternity is an idea of God. Time is a belief of the ego. The only aspect of time that is eternal is now. (T-5.III.6)

This course will teach you only what is now. (T-26.V.10)

The next time we find ourselves sad, anxious, angry, jealous, or discontented in any way, we can remember that we’ve bought into time and are using the past as a means for justifying our emotions. From this point, we can recall the wise counsel of sages:

The past is over. It can touch me not. (W-pII.289)

As we let go of time and see it for the illusion that it truly is – then we can experience the incomparable joy that comes from the eternal is-ness of now. Join us in Monday’s class where we will explore this curious nature of time and how we can transcend its addictive grip. I look forward to seeing you then.

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