Platos stepchild wrote:Qualiam wrote:I like this point (Greta, post 668 above). I know people who have had near death experiences and they say that while they are "dead," they are in a place of no time. They may describe it differently, because it is hard to describe to the rest of us who are so embedded in the medium of time that we have a hard time imagining no time. But this is why some of them say their entire life flashed before their eyes.
But your point that the passing of time is an observer effect rather than an objective reality is well taken. I think many scientists, especially those familiar with Special Relativity, would agree. This is another reason why I think that ultimate reality is composed of a timeless, infinite sea of ideas, with our awareness sailing over it, choosing which ideas to believe in. And one of those ideas was space, and one was time.
I'm of a different opinion, regarding time. I don't know whether it's fundamental to reality, or if time is how consciousness unfolds. But, at the very least, I believe that time is fundamental to how we experience reality. As such, a timeless reality is beyond our experience. In my youth, I dreamt of a Platonic realm, ethereal and beyond corruption. Despite my best efforts, though I could never imagine how a bridge might span between corruption and incorruption. How might the abutments of such a bridge be rooted in both sides? Surely they would be of this world or the other; but, time cannot blend seamlessly into eternity.
Time does seem to be fundamental to how we experience reality, but perhaps time is truly necessary only when dealing with physical reality. I have experienced moments of "suspended" time, when in a meditative state. During that time, with my eyes closed and not having to deal with physical matter, I am not aware of the passing of time. I am not experiencing time, but seem to be aware of very pure and abstract ideas.
One way to imagine a timeless realm is to think of mathematics. It is an abstract universe of mathematical and geometrical objects that have eternal being. Infinite equations, formulas, theorems etc are there, autonomous and changeless. Minds can discover these objects and use them in the world of space and time, but they themselves are timeless and completely independent of minds thinking about them.
Regarding the Platonic realm, I am very interested in Plato's Theory of Forms. Here is a quote I found from a woman who, in her teens, had an experience which led her to study molecular biology, neural networks and quantum computing to try and understand her experience. She wrote the following at the age of 26 :
"I was aware of having found an original world that we once knew but have forgotten. It always stands on our side, but we do not see it. But sometimes a glimmer opens, revealing a vision of unthinkable perfection and beauty, of superhuman harmony. The unfathomable mystery of life instantly reveals itself, of life we are the beneficiaries."
She later compared her vision with Plato's Theory of Forms. I believe, like Plato, that the transcendental realm of Forms, or Ideas, is our true and ultimate reality. This world, with its space and time and "corruption" is my ego's attempt to separate from that realm and experience individuality, within a dualistic world. But in truth, only perfection is meaningful. It requires vision to know that realm of "unthinkable perfection and beauty, of superhuman harmony." I think that would be at least part of the bridge from this world to that realm.