Time in a Quantum and Relativistic Universe


Physics in the twentieth century has taught us that the world often works in a way which is counter-intuitive. Common sense, therefore, is not to be regarded a reliable means of discovering truth. To date, we have not formulated a truly satisfying theory explaining time's "flux" (or "passage") and its relationship to consciousness; but this stems from a mistaken assumption on our part regarding the relationship between the concepts "existence" and "persistence."

Clearly, a thing (e.g., a material entity) cannot exist if it does not remain in existence. After all, a thing which exists, but does not persist, exists for a total duration of only one moment. One moment, however, is by definition only zero seconds long--no length of time at all. We must realize that if we say a material object (or anything else for that matter) has existed for no length of time, we are stating, in effect, that it has never been in existence. All things which exist necessarily exist for some length of time, however short this may be.

This argument applies to the present moment. If the present moment is to exist, it must remain in existence: it must endure. We often picture the present moment as moving up through time, into the future; this, in fact, is our way of visualizing the idea that the present moment maintains its existence, as time passes.

Clearly, the mystery of time's passage is solved. Given that:

  1. the present must endure in order to exist, it follows that
  2. time must pass if the present exists.
Time passes, therefore, for the simple reason that the present exists.(1)

In my articles, the consequences of this new view of the time flux are explained. In particular, it is demonstrated that time travel to the geometric past is possible as suggested by Einstein's general theory of relativity. Also, the articles answer the question of why the physical world must be observed by a conscious mind to exist.

Finally, a geometrical analysis of the motion of the present moment is given. This analysis proves the following assumptions to be true:

  1. If the present exists now, it must have existed before now (for either a finite or infinite length of time).
  2. If the present exists now, it must continue to exist after now (for either a finite or infinite length of time).

It is shown that there is a fundamental connection between consciousness and subjective time (i.e., the passage of time or the motion of the present moment). The analysis mentioned above therefore has profound implications for the nature of consciousness. These implications are explained in detail.


1. Time passes because our non-physical, subjective mental states persist for brief durations. The duration of each state can, in principle, be arbitrarily short; but it cannot logically be zero. Each mental state constitutes a very briefly persisting "present" of time.

Subjective Time Versus Physical Time
Temporal Passage, Causality, and the Mind/Body Problem
Solipsism and the Existence of "Other" Minds
Subjective Time
Temporal Order and Time Travel
Geometric Time Travel and Temporal Paradox
Temporal History Versus Physical/Geometric History
The Theory of Persistence: Part One