Is Time An Illusion?

I’m getting REALLY tired of reading and hearing about COVID-19. It isn’t that I deny it’s fearsome existence … or the effect it’s having on our psyches … or the political unrest it’s creating in our nation. It’s more that I simply want to be able to think about and discuss OTHER things.

Thus, when I recently came across a blog comment that mentioned the B-theory –which I’d never heard of before– I became intrigued and decided to find out more.

In brief, this is what Wikipedia says:

The B-theory of time is the name given to one of two positions regarding philosophy of time. B-theorists argue that the flow of time is an illusion, that the past, present, and future are equally real, and that time is tenseless. This would mean that temporal becoming is not an objective feature of reality.

Oh, O.K. Now I understand. Sorta’.

Actually, I have often considered the idea that time is an illusion and is primarily a factor to help us humans move through our existence.

Doing a bit of research, I discovered that St. Augustine was puzzled about time as well — especially the nature of distinction between the past, present and future. He also wondered about the apparent flow of time. While his work is somewhat tainted by religiosity, I found his perspective offers considerable food for thought.

I also came across a gentleman named James McTaggart, who published an article in 1908 entitled ‘The Unreality of Time.’ In it, as the title implies, he argued there is, in reality, no such thing as time.

McTaggart also wrote The Nature of Existence (Books One and Two). According to the Amazon synopsis, he concluded the world was composed of nothing but souls, each soul related to one or more of the others by love. He argued against belief in God since he denied the absolute of any single personality.

Now, I admit this “time or no time” theory is a bit “heavy” for me and would require many, many hours of study to grasp the full substance of it all. Yet from the little I’ve read thus far, I tend to lean towards the idea that we humans are trapped in a web of Time — and because of this, we’re prevented from experiencing our existence in a much more eclectic and multi-faceted way.


Image by annca from Pixabay