Saturday, October 20, 2012

Oh Platonia! On the Eternal and Timeless Land of Philosophy and Quantum Mechanics

An Underwater shot with colorful plants

The following post is a (hopefully) poetical and playful but by no means claiming to be an accurate portrayal of Julian Barbour's concept of Platonia. I have stumbled upon this stunning idea of the possible nonexistence of the time dimension while reading Adam Frank's book About Time (review of which is upcoming).

Oh Platonia,

I wish to apply for acceptance and citizenship in your beautiful and expansive country at the crossroads of philosophy and quantum mechanics where time is not relative but immaterial and pointless.

I want to bathe and immerse myself in your endless stream of Now and to enjoy the many individual and encapsulated moments that give our minds the persistent and pervasive illusion of time.

Our current way of life needs to finally embrace the eternal present, the uniqueness of each current state of our lives. We need to throw away our electronic gadgets that continuously mock and enslave us with their digital counter-face.

No better time than Now! In your eyes, dear Platonia, the cat that jumps is different from the one that lands. Our brain fools us into seeing an imaginary and arbitrary relationship between causes and effects, when in reality there is neither. The “me” of the past is not the “me” of the present.

Thank you, dear Platonia, for making me see the errors of my entrenched ways and for removing the shackles of my past with the burden of my old but completely unreal selves. Now you have made me truly free to roam wherever I please.

Why worry about the future when it will never come? Tomorrow is a vacant idea; it is an abstract lie we try to convince ourselves of despite its many global features of make-believe and fantasy. In fact, whatever is necessary needs to happen now, both joy and suffering make their impact and presence known only in the moments of the eternal and paradoxically timeless present. No other moment for change and realization than the fumes of the here and now since in your eyes, tomorrow is a thing of the past and yesterday will never come!

Remember, Platonia that you owe your name to the great and illustrious philosopher-poet Plato who saw and wrote about your beautiful eternal face from the caves of human consciousness.

You are perfectly aware of the fact that we are created anew each moment, that the mystics have always been right since we need to live right here and right now. Incidentally, we may think we are aging but that is only the perception of our fragile shell. How could we age and die if time is nothing but an illusion and does not exist?

Platonia, do you agree with Heraclitus that no one ever enters the same river twice? I believe both yes and no. Certainly, the river has changed, and so has the person. But after all, is change not another illusion, the supposed comparison between now and then?

The notion of a previous river is part of our common human-fold delusion because neither the river nor the person can have possibly existed in the past. Every now is a new creation, an unrelated and gratuitous moment-to-moment mystery, a blessing and the miracle of existence!

No two moments can ever be the same, nor can they ever be compared to each other because they do not exist separately. This is all there is to it, and Descartes needs an amendment. He ought to be rephrased as I am thinking, therefore I am and exist right now. Nonetheless, there is no positive correlation between the previous and the current voice of this mysterious “I” in my head.

So there you have it. I am shedding this time-conscious and time-bound illusion, or rather delusion, of my so-called unified personality as imagined on the time-spectrum. I shall exist fully, completely and wholeheartedly in this very moment, the ever-present magical act of creation, the beauty and wonder that exists, that has ever existed and will never perish nor decay.

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