The Pull of Time
by Guy Dauncey
First Published in Common Ground Magazine, July 2004
We live in her. We co-exist with her. We cannot breathe, think, love, or do anything without her. And yet for someone so familiar, so ever present, why do we understand her so little?
I’m talking about time; the lake along which all consciousness skates; the sky within which all spirits fly.
We know that time was. We know that many years ago, a huge explosion sent gazillions of thinglings and thoughtlings soaring through space, when God became pregnant and gave birth to the Universe. We know that once there were dinosaurs. We know that yesterday we had scones and butter for tea, and that somewhere in the field of memories we once had a lover who opened all our senses, turning ordinary touch into the very music of God.
But what of tomorrow? Does tomorrow’s time already exist, waiting for us to enter it? Is it empty, like a bowl, until existence comes along and fills it? Is the emptiness of tomorrow’s time on Earth the same as the emptiness of tomorrow’s time on the other side of some far distant galaxy, where desolate moons await some touch? For surely, there is only one time, here and throughout the Universe.
Let us enter a thought experiment, and lift for a moment the veil that hide’s time’s face. Let us imagine that far from being a silent presence, time is in fact the greatest power in the Universe; not just a measure of the past, or an eternal present, but a love that comes from the future.
Let us imagine that the whole universe is governed not by the present, but by the future. If you think about your daily life, leaving aside the things you do purely from habit, is it not true that everything you do is guided by the future, by the outcomes you seek to achieve? The tiniest egg, released into the womb, welcomes its lover. Through its cell-division, the becoming child moves towards the moment of birth.
So now let us turn to the bigger stage, on which our world unfolds. When we discovered how to read the stars, to plant the seeds, to print the spoken word, were we not in some sense teasing out of the future a truth which already existed, and was just awaiting our touch?
When we dream of a world powered by solar energy, of sewage that through solar aquatic treatment becomes the food and song of a myriad plants and creatures, of schools where children of all races explore their inner potentials in harmony with nature, are we not drawing out a reality which already exists?
Yes, when two tribal leaders dream of the same piece of land and reach to pluck it out of the future at the same time, the result has often been war. And when men in suits sit in the tallest buildings and reach into the future to pull the very rainforests out of the Earth, the result is often dust, death, and misery. But behind these selfishnesses, does not time sing a more constant note, calling us to reach into the future and draw out a world in which hope, love, and beauty become the daily foundation from which we live?
In 1942, the Italian mathematician Luigi Fantappie proposed a unified theory, linking the physical and biological worlds. He suggested that while entropy follows the laws of a mechanical world, causing the components of reality to diverge and fall apart, pushing the past into the future, there is a balancing principle called syntropy which works from the future, drawing the present towards wholeness. Information comes from the future, inspiring consciousness and thought to reach towards it.
Throughout the universe, the future pulls the present towards it. We feel it in our hopes and dreams, and assign it space in our poetry, but here I am suggesting this is not a whim, but the most powerful force in the Universe. The chaos of the present moment on Earth is just a mirror of the confusion that exists in our minds, as we are overwhelmed by the power of the technologies we have created.
The future is calling to us; time is her song. If we listen, we can create harmony. If we listen together, we can create harmony on Earth.
Guy Dauncey is an author and futurist who lives in Victoria. His website is www.earthfuture.com. He is also President of the BC Sustainable Energy Association. (www.bcsea.org)