29. We all live in an "apparent" reality ---------------------------------------- Previous - Next - Contents

As a young boy I was always very scared of thunder storms. I used to count the seconds between seeing the light of the lightning strike and the sound of the thunder. Every second delay means that you are about 400 metres farther away from where the lightning strikes.
We are all familiar with this of course. On the land you may see a farmer hammering a fence pole into the ground across a paddock 200 metres away, and there is a distinct time delay between you actually seeing him hitting the post and hearing the sound of his hammer blow.

John Le Carré But of course light too takes time to reach our eyes. It is very very fast. Nothing in fact travels faster than it, but there is always an ever so small time laps between something happening and you actually seeing it. When you look at a tree with its twigs and leaves swaying in the breeze, what you see actually happened a fraction of a millisecond ago. The time laps is of course irrelevant for the things we observe around us on earth itself, but farther afield it becomes an entirely different matter, although we are not conscious of it.
Looking at the moon for example we see its image as it was about 2 seconds ago. The image we have of the sun is a full 8 minutes back into the past, and some of the galaxies and stars are millions of light years away and may actually have ceased to exists altogether without us knowing it.

So what am I trying to convey to you here ?
The reality we live in is an apparent reality only. Most of what we think of as our "NOW moment" at any point in time predominantly consists of events that have already happened. The farther we look away from us the deeper we look into our (relative) past.
We are conditioned throughout our lives to believe that things are as we see them and accept that as the true reality. This however is not correct. It is acceptable and fine as a practical guide for running our lives. But I strongly believe that when considering ourselves within the larger scheme of the development and evolution of the universe, our present naive flawed conception of "reality" prevents us from gleaming the real truth.

I don't believe that the human race will ever be able to fully grasp the true reality of life and the universe, but I personally feel it important to at least be aware of our flawed image of it.
This is why I for example reject concepts like predestination or determinism, reincarnation, a life hereafter, etc. They are all based on a flawed human perception of time and space. They are fussy "feel good" ideas which may make us feel safe, provide us with an illusionary deeper meaning of our life, but they are (as I see it) simply not compatible with the (present scientific) notion we now have of the concept of spacetime.
Searching for the deeper reality of life means stepping out off our comfort zone, letting go of old perceptions generated from our past ignorance, and entering new unknown territory. A little scary perhaps, but very exciting and liberating too.

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Copyright © 2010 Michael Furstner