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NOW, 2021

Now adverb /naʊ/

  • At the present time, not in the past or future. we ‘She used to be a teacher, but now she works in publishing.’

  • Immediately. ‘I don't want to wait until tomorrow, I want it now!’

  • Used to express how long something has been happening, from when it began to the present time. ‘She's been a vegetarian for ten years now.’

  • Used in stories or reports of past events to describe a new situation or event. ‘It was getting dark now, and we were tired.’

  • Used when describing a situation that is the result of what someone just said or did. ‘Oh yes, now I know who you mean.’

  • Very soon. ‘The guests are coming any minute now, and the house is still a mess.’

  • Used to introduce a new subject. ‘And now for what we're going to do tomorrow.’

 

Time has been a theme of human thinking for centuries, since Aristotle, Saint Augustine, and even before. The nature of time has always been a source of dispute amongst artists, mathematicians, and philosophers. If we consider the basic five senses or even the eight extended ones (adding vestibular, proprioception, and interoceptive), we cannot hear the time, we cannot see it, we cannot touch it, we cannot smell it, and we cannot taste it. Then how do we know it is out there? Is there a beginning, or will there be an end? If so, what was before the beginning or what will be after the end of time?

Time is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “a finite extent or stretch of continued existence, as the interval separating two successive events or actions, or the period during which an action, condition, or state continues; a finite portion of time (in its infinite sense: see sense A. 34a); a period.”

Wikipedia explains time as being “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in an apparently irreversible succession from the past, through the present, into the future. It is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience. Time is often referred to as a fourth dimension, along with three spatial dimensions.”

Speaking about spatial dimensions, it might be perhaps noteworthy to observe that while for the length we have many measurement units such as metre, inch, foot, yard, furlong, horse length, terrestrial mile, nautical mile, fathom, earth radius, light year, parsec, astronomical unit, and so on and so forth, we only have one international unit of time, the second, currently defined as about 9 billion oscillations of the caesium atom.

Although time is one of the most used words and notions, if we only think about how many “times” we use it during a day, are the above definitions or any other of the dozens of existing scientific ones clarifying without doubt for every human being the concept of time?

Time is defined as a continued progress or a continued existence, but have we all not had situations when time stood still and everything around us seemed to stop? On the other side, are there not moments in our lives when time flies by? Furthermore, doesn't time “pass” differently from one person to another, or even for the same person during a day, mainly in consonance with the action performed at that particular time? 

Wikipedia has encompassed in its definition the notion of “apparently irreversible” (where in the reversible theories its direction is not uniquely defined so that the future and the past are treated symmetrically), while other, even more recent, theories are still discussing the concept of irreversibility in the study of time.

In the past, most cultures used to think of time as a line. The present was thought to be the midpoint, the past extends in one direction, and the future spreads out in the other direction. Isaac Newton introduced the concept of global time, according to which time is the same throughout the universe. He considered that time exists independently of any perceiver and progresses at a consistent pace, it is imperceptible and can only be understood mathematically. Other philosophers thought of time as a non-linear entity that has numerous variations depending on the state of physicality one stays in.

Saint Augustine suggested that time is present in, and measured by, the mind. The past and future are only in our minds, in our consciousness, the past is remembered while the future is foreseen. The past is not real in itself, the past is only real in as far as it is present in our mind, since the past lives on only as far as we remember it. He also affirmed that the present is but cannot last because if the present would last, then it would be eternity and therefore not the present.

Nearly 1700 years after Augustine's concepts, Einstein has presented the theory of relativity, showing that time is not linear and universal but rather relative and varies depending on other physical quantities like speed, gravity, mass, etc. In his theory, time is seen together with the three dimensions of space, forming a flexible, four-dimensional space-time continuum, a Block Universe encompassing the entire past, present, and future. Relativity allows time and space to fold and twist into structures that were thought to be close-time-like curves, and these time tunnels and loops could allow time travel.

Throughout our linear reality, we always see ourselves in the present moment, we recall an approximate past (not necessarily known or remembered in every detail) and look into the future, where even if we have a sense of what is to come, we are wondering many times what it will bring. We understand that the statuses of the past and the future are different, and this difference originates from the fact that the past has already happened and is fairly known, while the future is yet to happen; hence, from many perspectives, it is unknown.

 

From a perhaps more philosophical perspective, the past and future involve the existence of non-existence. Since the past is no longer there, it does not exist into the now, it does not have any dimensions, hence, time cannot be measured in the past. The future is yet to happen, but it does not exist now either, thus we cannot measure the time in the future. As a consequence, if neither the past nor the future exist, the only time that exists is now, and the only existence is in the present Now.

Seemingly, using different tools, we can measure time and compare segments of time with one another, having no fundamental difficulty with saying whether they are shorter, longer, or equally in comparison to one another. However, what we are really measuring is not the time per se but rather its passage through the present moment. We measure how the future is transformed into the past through each and every now moment, we measure a continuum, a succession of present moments now and now and now and now.

 

Seeing ourselves in terms of time comes more or less naturally, for time is relative to the human mind, it is created by the human mind. The past and future exist only in our minds in the present moment, and they are unique to each individual human mind. None of them occur outside of the human mind. If I were to alter Augustine’s affirmation, I would say not only does the present exist, but it also lasts, it is the only time we have ever lived and will ever live in, composed of an eternity of now, for now is the only time that is truly, truly real.

 

From a metaphysical perspective, we are creating what we refer to as our ‘physical lives', where we can experience what we call ‘linear reality’. Linear reality contains the idea that we call space and, therefore, the idea of time to seemingly move through that space and experience that space.

 

In the world of time, the creation of ‘before, during, and after’ is one of the sub-characteristics of our linear reality and, in fact, allows us to experience ourselves in such a way that it makes it seem as though we are not completely aware that we are indeed multidimensional, infinite, and eternal beings.

 

We create time where we have before, during, and after. Although we have a sense of what has come before and what is to come, we always ever actually exist or experience the moment we call it Now. So, what it means is that in the now moment, we recreate a past, we project a future, and maintain a relationship and an invested interest in our relationship to the past and the future while many times neglecting what is happening in the present right now.

 

Although things or events sequentially from a set of steps from the past may lead to a present or now moment, that is where the relationship ends. There is no causal relationship between the present and the past; there is no effect that the past can have on the present until we say so or we determine that it does, for in that now moment we then create the effect from a seeming past, but we create it right here, right NOW. Consequently, we feel the effect seemingly of a past but it is not from the past itself having a hold on us, it is from our interpretation in the moment, our attitude in the moment, and ultimately our actions in the moment, for if those actions reflect a high degree of belief that the past does affect the present, then we create an effect that seems to provide the evidence that it does, that seems to continuously provide a rational that the past does affect the present.

However, this is merely something that we do in the Now moment; therefore, the Now moment is always our point of power and our point of decision, for since we always ever exist in the Now, it is always eternally right Now we can always change our reality right now, for there is no other time. When we are willing to look at that, we are not remembering a past that is 'still there’ but recreating the past from the present right now we will understand that right NOW is all that matters. Right Now, is the point at which we make, we create any determination or relationship to a past or a future. Right NOW, is the time when we can change this idea.

 

In the world of dreams, time is just another phase that does nothing; it is as neutral as the body is; it can neither take away nor restore anything. The purpose of time is solely to “give us time”, to enable, us to learn how to use time constructively. It is thus a teaching device for happiness and peace, a means to an end. Time will cease when it is no longer useful in facilitating learning.

Time waits upon forgiveness so that the things of time may disappear because they are of no use. How much do we want peace instead of endless strife, misery, and pain? How willing are we to forgive our brothers? Forgiveness is our peace, for herein lies the end of separation and the dream of danger and destruction, sin and death, of madness and of murder, grief and loss.

Let us accept our rightful place as co-creators of the world. Let us accept that we are no more slaves to time than to the world we made. Let us accept ourselves as Sons of God, not weak but strong, not helpless but all-powerful, not doubtful but certain, and eternally safe in everlasting love. Let us be truly humble and accept that we are what our Father’s Will created us to be: perfect sinlessness, infinite, and eternal. Just for an instant, let us be willing to see no past or future, for always has no direction. This lesson takes no time. For what is time without a past and a future? It has taken time to misguide us so completely, but it takes no time at all to be what we are. Can you even begin to comprehend what it would be like to be completely peaceful and serene all the time, without any concerns, worries, or anxieties? This is what time is for—to learn just that and nothing more.

NOTES

The series comprises 13 artworks.

Hand Printed on B&W Ilford Baryta Paper

Matt Coating · Double Weight · 255 gsm · Fibre Base

Cotton Museum Board (Rising)

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