what comes around

The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol for the concept of the eternal returnWhat if you shot the Arrow of Time at the Eternal Return?

We take time for granted. It's so basic it seems impervious to thought. Or so basic it's not even there?

"What's the speed of time? One second per second? Minute per minute? Hour per hour?

Whatever its speed, Time seems to have a direction, an orientation, a pointiness that runs from the past, toward the future. This "arrow" of Time makes it possible for such things as "direction", "end-point" and "purpose" to exist and have meaning.

And yet the Laws of Physics apply unchanged whether time runs "forwards" or "backwards"; there's nothing in principle prohibiting the reversibility of physical processes. It's entirely lawful (though extremely unlikely) for spilled milk to "unspill" back into the glass from which it spills (spilled? (!)).

Very important point. Warrants repeating. The Laws of Physics don't prohibit things flowing from future to past.

The idea that the universe will be created in the past by something in/from the future is not inconceivable --- there are many science fiction novels and short stories based on the idea.

Some schools of thought hold that Reality is cyclical --- eternally recurring –-- and that time moves in a circle, with no origin, no culmination, no direction.

An opposing view is that time travels in a direction, towards a culmination, from an origin, with or without purpose.

In the "Big Bang" model of the origin of the universe, there's a start, a direction, and an end.

In the Steady State model, the Universe has always been and will always be: no start, no direction, no end.

Today, the Big Bang model, as amended, is endorsed by most physicists. There remain few if any steady state adherents.

Some physicists believe that if and when a thing called the "Big Crunch" gets underway, the arrow of time will run in the opposite direction --- opposite to the direction it appears to be running right now, in the Big Bang phase of the cycle.

But no-one will ever know: You can't tell if you're going backwards if your clocks are going backwards too.

So, what do you get when you shoot the Arrow of Time at the Eternal Return?

The Eternal Spiral of course!


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Tempest Nightingale LeTrope said...

I don't think we truly understand the nature of time. Not that I'm going to be of very much help here, mind. The only thing that I know about time is that the older I get, the less I know.

masterymistery said...

Hi Tempest, The realisation of how little one knows is perhaps the most important piece of learning in anyone's life. Thanks for your comment.