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Friday, June 5, 2015

Where Is NOW Now?

                               
                            [image cred. HP Image Editor and rocket from my toybox]

One wouldn't ordinarily anticipate difficulty studying something that is everywhere all the time,  but NOW is always in the process of disappearing, so we are confronted with a singular paucity of material. This essay must make do with pivotal moments in a fictional epic --which fortunately I have not thought up beyond the following three sentences:

1. NOW is suggested in opening lines: Deirdre inhaled air charged with salt and sunshine, felt the sea wind in her hair and realized, somewhat sadly, that she would never be this happy again.

2. And in meanwhiles: Meanwhile, Colonel Arsepaddler closed the portfolio and said, "You understand, don't you Frebbish, that if the missing diagrams are not in this folder by Swithin's Day there'll be ructions, I tell you, ructions!"

3. And continuations: Deirdre and Frebbish exchanged solicitous glances while the colonel  gazed out the space-ship porthole as though something about the universe rather disgusted him.

Examples above describe moments of NOW as interstices wedged in an astragal of things that have happened and things that will happen because of them. We understand this because we were told stories --which all exploit this temporal enigma of sequence-- then went to school and learned to read them for ourselves.

School itself is simple enough but its systems of tuition and funding are too complicated to be understood except by a handful of eccentric mathematicians and most pirates. Both are pictured above in an illustration of a school board meeting in 2015.

I should also mention the universe. The universe is not stable. In fact it is higgledy-piggledy. Were it merely higgledy or  piggledy there would be little point in mentioning it but it is both, so I should. In physics, mind and matter are simply two ways of organizing events. The universe is made of events. In it, all possible events are assembled. Interaction between what has happened and what might possibly happen will, for our purposes, adequately define NOW. You may also recognize it as a definition of LIFE, but that is another discussion.

16 comments:

  1. Now is one of the most slippery and elusive critters I know. Fast moving too. It puts greased lightening to shame.

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    1. True! I doubt anything skips town faster.

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  2. I started to reply, but that moment is gone. Let's see what the new moment brings, if it's connected to the previous one.
    Buddhism is an odd duck, eh? Live in the here and now....I've read some teachings, never felt I was any 'forrader'....
    I've read there are some who feel that one moment is not connected to the ones past, I've had parking tickets that seem to put a damper on that idea.
    Um, I'm not sure that the future, what will happen, is comprehensible by studying the 'then'. Were that true, wouldn't it have occurred by now? Would WW1 have happened? WW2?
    The rocket racer is a nice touch....particularly the exhaust manifolds.....let's not get into internal combustion and the vacuum of space...

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    1. You remind me of a conversation I had with my brother when we were kids. He said it was getting late. I asked, how late. He said, "I don't know; it's never been this late before."

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  3. When we were kids rockets were the promise of a great escape from Now, which would launch us into the enthralling prospect of an unknown future.

    After having passed an untold myriad of Nows, I suddenly see a sobering multitude of futures far behind me.........and the Now has assumed a much more cherished place in my list of priorities.

    Now - - ever elusive - - is a great treasure.

    Who needs rockets?

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    1. Jon, this is why I kept my toys. You may notice the large planet Rocket Racer is passing is really my head.

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  4. I think you will find NOW a little LATER.

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  5. I don't think NOW exists, any more than does INFINITY. They are only concepts towards which events are moving. Thus NOW is a purely theoretical interface (which isn't an interface really!) between the past and the future. Of course even the past and future are only concepts of 'gone-nows' and 'coming-nows', but as 'nows' do not exist neither do pasts and futures.

    Now then, (that's a nice combination of temporal words) do you have any idea what I'm talking about? I'm not sure that I do, even if once I did!

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    1. I like your idea of "concepts". Certainly past and future furnish coordinates and a frame of reference as matter and motion divide space. Anything divided by itself equals one, even infinity, and my math stops at long division --but suspect we and our concept of NOW are part of the quotient.

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  6. As frequently happens when I read your posts, my eyeballs are spinning slightly in their sockets and the one brain cell left in my poor head is gasping for breath and turning blue. Hence my inadequate comment: "now" is "won" in reverse.

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    1. Oh, Jenny, your triumphant inversion of now has lifted my spirit --and more importantly, my mortal remains-- from this 100 degree weather we're having. Sometimes you win won, I mean ONE.

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  7. Now is what I think of when I think of continual flux. Not expecting things to make sense is how I got my children educated: but we do live in a pirate dense populace. We don't own a rocket but we've got some empty bottles and duct tape :-)

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    1. Let's see, pirates, bottles, duct tape --you're all set!

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  8. And I bow to YOU, dude, for another thought-provoking post.

    As for the physics of mind and matter, if we don't mind, it doesn't matter. All we can do is enjoy the moment, no matter what our mind chooses to call it to tame the uncertainty of it all.

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    1. Dude returns bow and hopes wishes you enjoyable moments.

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