Thursday, September 06, 2007

the collector ~ what is time?

Thursday, September 06, 2007
I am working on another Dante post ~ the 7th Shelf of Hell. This, however, seemed worthy of sharing. The Collector seems quite philosophically related to Dante. The attraction of this show lies, not in its characters, but in the situations, conflicts and temptations placed before these characters.

Time. What, exactly, does it represent? Who, or what is time? I think of it as nature's forth dimension ~ a manifestation of the universe striving to attain balance. The cosmic expansion occurs unceasingly ~ the result of energy's constant transformation of itself. And so time forges on, as the universe reaches for a balance it shall never achieve. until ...? That's the mystery which we shall never unravel. And, why should we concern ourselves with when or whether time shall cease? Because our rationality demands this of us. Or how to thwart or accelerate its passage? Each time we attempt such folly, we only succeed in disturbing an unbalanced universe even further.

[Haven't we done enough damage? Why can't we just LIVE, already ... until we die?] Nonetheless, we fools spend our lives attempting to bring heaven down to earth, rather than working our way up to heaven. That's the wisdom I gleaned from the latest episode of only fictional TV show I ever watch ~ The Collector. I'm not one for speaking about fictional characters like they're real ... but the attraction of this show lies not in its personalities ... but in its innate, underlying wisdom, in the conflicts which it presents said personalities.

Morgan Pym's assignment for this week involved collecting the soul of a man who's 10 year deal long expired in the temporal realm, but who extended his deal (in corporeal time) unilaterally, by manipulating his own temporality with the use of a chronometer. What's a chronometer? It's a time manipulation device that looks like a pocket watch. Our man attained his chronometer through his deal with the devil. How foolish ~ to think one can fool a being (i.e. the devil) who resides outside of the realm of time! Nonetheless, the show made for an interesting portrayal of time and what it represents to our existence.

Chronometer man thinks he's so clever, zapping in and out of the present. He spends his life using the time tool as an escape hatch from confrontation and responsibility. Imagine the convenience ~ just zap oneself from the present, when when met with one of life's unpleasant challenges! At what cost? What does chronometer man discover, when he turns the dial of his new time tool all the way to the future ~ as far as it will turn? The void: a place in which time does not exist. In the void, the universe ceases to expand. Rather, the individual, himself, expands. Unceasingly. In the void, what feels like mere seconds actually equates to the passage of several years. Of course, chronometer man wastes his life trying to cheat the supernal, trying to cheat the devil, through his distortion of time ... and fails to apply himself to life ~ fails to use his intelligence and gifts for worthy, as opposed to conceited, causes.

In a truly Dante-esque fashion (the show's creator and writing team have filled it with plot threads that remind me of Dante's Inferno) chronometer man meets a fitting fate. As he spent his life distorting time, and thereby distorting the existence of so many other individuals, so will he spend his eternity. Chronometer man meets his eternal damnation by spending it in the void, where his soul will become eternally and unceasingly stretched and distorted. Balance ... its all about striving for balance.

Is that it? Of course not. Indulge me, dear reader. Let me reflect on the passage of time, and how we perceive it.

Does time continue passing, even when one make oneself absent to said passage? I suppose for that one individual it does not, in his experiential present, but for the remainder of the universe, it does. And what happens when the future has turned as far as it will turn? Do we reach the void: that place in which time does not exist? I think the void should feel like a painful place in which to exist, for temporally-bounded beings such as us. Why? Remember my consideration of time as a manifestation of the universe's expansion? Absence of time means the expansion of the universe ceases.

Still, an immutable law exists in the universe which demands balance, doesn't it? If so, something must expand, in an attempt to achieve balance. That's the individual who finds himself in the void ~ his matter, his essence must expand. But ... what if time ceased to exist because the universe had achieved balance? Then ... would anything need to expand? So ... what would this void feel like? Nothing, I suppose. I would think, even, that one could not possibly have experiential knowledge of existing in the void, by sheer definition of the void ~ how can one experience nothingness? Does our consciousness cease when time ceases? I mean, does consciousness exist as a direct function of time? Good question. Okay ~ now imagine existing in nothingness without having the experience of doing so ... would one even exist in nothingness?

Good question.


Behind Blue Eyes said...

Yikes, this one is hard to answer. When I began taking science courses, I didn't expect that it would cause me to have some of the philisophical insights that I had and metaphysics is the acme, isn't it? Learning about science changed my spiritual beliefs so much, as a matter of fact, has probably become the biggest influence.

As I said before, I am a relativist. I think that there has to be something to be a point of reference for thought to exist. And I think that he wouldn't exist in nothingness, or be aware of his existence. That would be hell to me as we spoke of before, to lose my identity.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God. The 'Word' was the first point of reference provided for all of existence to relate to so that it could exist. The Word was God. So God is the only absolute but we relate to God by relativism. Without 'God' we don't exist.

*Itkupilli* said...

Iv been too busy for blogging last two months, but now i had sometime...your blog suprises me always, but wow, now here has happened so much, looks good...i'll be back. :)

K9 said...

it's a half past sour. grrherhaha. just rangin by to say hi to the dante DOE. have a good weekend. dont hate me for not giving good comment on your thoughtful post.

X. Dell said...

Very interesting notion of time, one that seems to include several competing thoughts about where it is.

We've always been taught that tricking the supernal is folly, and always bites us on the tail in the end. Sometimes, I wonder if that's not always true. After all, doesn't one trick Satan by shunning him in the first place?

Secondly, we see balance in all of our natural laws (e.g. conservation of energy, conservation of mass, E=MC(2), etc.). Still, I wonder sometimes if balance represents a limitation of human understanding or perception.

I suspect that you're right, because my experience suggests the same. But sometimes, I do wonder.

As for time, I perceive of it as a pocket of sorts. Maybe Einstein's correct, and that every moment is eternal. It's only the limitation of human consciousness that orders time as a sequence of events, a trick of perception. said...

forgive my slow response on the comments ~ i will be back later this evening address them more fully ... for now, thx! :) said...

BBE ~ interesting. I get what you're saying. I see the logic in that ... which is why I asked the question about nothingness.

itkupilli ~ nice to see you back!

she ~ ptosh! its whatever. people do what they do because it suits them ... they read and comment the things that interest them. not everyone likes reading this stuff. its no longer skin off my nose. its a free continent (relatively speaking). i know there are those who appreciate what i write ... and others who just aren't into it. its cool.

have a grrrrrrrr8 weekend, pup. a kiss on the nose for trout and for you, too.

x-dell ~ tricking Satan by ignoring him. indeed. but ... once you've engaged him ... there ain't no way of tricking him, is there? but deal makers don't see that far, i suppose. still, abstinence ...

einstein's notion seem interesting ~ this moment contains all moments, sort of thing ...

good point about balance as a sort of consequence of limited human perception. one wonders. i suppose we are balance freaks because we can't focus on 2 things at once. y'know?

foam said...

interesting post. i enjoy reading posts like this although i may not always comment.
x. mentioned the limitations of perceiving time as it relates to our human brain. you mention existing in a void, in nothingness.
brings to mind folks who are alive but braindead...
existing in nothingness with no concept of time..
as far as we know.
time to me is so wrapped up with memories. the loosing of memories, fragmented memories, false memories, real memories. if i lost my memories, all of them, would time cease to exist for me? for me but not for others?
just a rambling here.
i was hoping to sleep in on a saturday morning.

Aunty Belle said...

Hey pumpkin! Another homerun...what time is this TV show on (hee hee)--what day of the week? Need to see it, I think.

Come to the FRONT Porch ter see whar' I'se set mah heart on goin'....

HAve a fine weekend.

X. Dell said...

If you got an hour, you might find this interesting. said...

foam ~ you mention something interesting. it makes me think of people with dementia ~ alzheimer's ... they forget. or, more often, they get stuck in a particular era of their past. and ... it does seem as if their perception of time has changed. they get their days and nights mixed up, that whole "sundowners' thing ... i suppose time ceases to exist for these people, in the way it once did.

AB ~ they are working on distributing the show in the US, it was supposed to happen for the 2007 year, but i think its been pushed back until 2008. i will try to "record" a show on my iSight webcam, next time the show appears. it seems that places such as the UK and i think some places in latin america are getting it.

x-dell ~ when i get a change i will check the link ... hope you're keeping your head above water ... with all your work.

*whew* i'se tired today.