Date: July, 2017
Source: Quanta Magazine
The nature of time and its flow remains a mystery from the point of view of modern physics. Many physicists argue that Einstein’s masterpiece, the general theory of relativity, and the Standard Model of particle physics, describe a timeless cosmos, sometimes called a “block universe” — a static block of space-time in which the totality of time already exists. In this view, all points in time equally “real,” which means that the future and past are no less real than the present. The flow of time, or passage of the future into the past, must presumably be a mental construct.
Although this idea remains controversial, it bears a very interesting resemblance with how H. P. Blavatsky explained the nature of time in The Secret Doctrine:
“Time is only an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration . . . . The present is only a mathematical line which divides that part of eternal duration which we call the future, from that part which we call the past. . . . The real person or thing does not consist solely of what is seen at any particular moment, but is composed of the sum of all its various and changing conditions from its appearance in the material form to its disappearance from the earth. It is these “sum-totals” that exist from eternity in the “future,” and pass by degrees through matter, to exist for eternity in the “past.” No one could say that a bar of metal dropped into the sea came into existence as it left the air, and ceased to exist as it entered the water, and that the bar itself consisted only of that cross-section thereof which at any given moment coincided with the mathematical plane that separates, and, at the same time, joins, the atmosphere and the ocean. Even so of persons and things, which, dropping out of the to-be into the has-been, out of the future into the past — present momentarily to our senses a cross-section, as it were, of their total selves, as they pass through time and space (as matter) on their way from one eternity to another.” (SD I, 37)