Headline July 29, 2014

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The unreality of time is a cardinal doctrine of many metaphysical systems, often nominally based, as already by Parmenides,  upon logical arguments, but originally derived, at any rate:

In the founders of new systems, from the certainty which is born in the moment of mystic insight.

As a Sufi Persian poet so beautifully puts it:
"Past and Future are what veil God from our sight." 

The belief that what is ultimate real must be immutable is a very common one: it gives rise to to the metaphysical notion of substance, and finds, even now, a wholly erroneous satisfaction in such scientific doctrines as the conservation of energy and mass.

It is very very difficult to disentangle the truth and error in this view.

The arguments for the contention that time is unreal and that the world of sense is illusory must, I think, be regarded as fallacious. Nevertheless there is some sense  -easier to feel than to state-

In which time is an unimportant and superficial characteristic of reality. Past and future must be acknowledged to be as real as the present, and a certain emancipation from slavery to time is essential to philosophic thought.

The importance of time is rather practical than theoretical, rather in relation to our desires than in relation to the truth.

A truer image of the world, I think,  -says the philosopher-  is obtained by picturing things as entering into the stream of time from an eternal world outside-

Than from a view which regards time as as the devouring tyrant of all that is. Both in thought and in feeling, even though time be real, to realise the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom

That this is the case may be seen at once by asking ourselves why our feelings towards the past are so different from our feelings towards the future.

The reason for this difference is wholly practical: wishes can affect the future but not the past:

The future is to some extent subject to our power, while the past unalterably fixed. But every future will someday be past: If we see the past truly now-

 It must, when it was still future, have been just what now see it to be, and what is now future must be just what we shall see it to be when it has become past.

The felt difference of quality between past and future, therefore, is not an intrinsic difference, but only a difference in relation to us: to impartial contemplation, it ceases to exist.

And impartiality of contemplation is, in the intellectual sphere, that very same virtue of disinterestedness which, in the sphere of action, appears as justice and unselfishness.

Whoever wishes to see the world truly, to rise in thought above the tyranny of practical desires, must learn to overcome the difference of attitude towards past and future, and to survey the whole stream of time in one comprehensive vision.

The kind of way in which, as it seems to me, time ought not to enter into our theoretic philosophical thought, may be illustrated by the philosophy which as become associated with the idea of evolution-

 And which is examplified by Nietzsche, pragmatism, and Bergson.

This philosophy, on the basis of the development which has led from the lowest forms of life up to man,  sees in progress the fundamental law of the universe, and thus admits the difference between earlier and later into the very citadel of its contemplative outlook.

With its past and future history of the world, conjectural as it is, I do not wish to quarrel, [states the author]  - But I think that, in the intoxication of a quick success, much time is required for a true understanding of the universe has been forgotten.

Something of Hellenism, something, too of Oriental resignation, must be combined with its hurrying Western self-assertion before it can emerge from the ardour of youth into the mature wisdom of manhood.

In spite of its appeals to science, the true scientific philosophy, I think, is something more arduous and more aloof, appealing to less mundane hopes, and requiring a severer discipline for its successful practice.

Darwin's   Origin of Species  persuaded the world that the difference between different species of animals and plants is not the fixed immutable difference that it appears to be.

The doctrine of natural kinds, which had rendered classification easy and definite, which was enshrined in the Aristotelian tradition, and protected by its supposed necessity for the orthodox dogma, was suddenly swept for ever out of the biological world.

The Honour and Serving of this subject Post will continue in the future. Thank you for reading. And see Ya on the next serving.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world, studying advance sciences. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

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Good night and God bless!

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