Time and Change

Stop. Stop every single thing. Freeze. Freeze Time itself.

For us, as humans, we wouldn’t be able to see anything because the photons have stopped and therefore aren’t reaching our retinas, but even more, our own neurons have stopped.

That doesn’t mean nothing exists absolutely – Everything still is, just frozen – but it does mean that nothing ‘intelligibly’ exists – i.e. we can’t say that anything exists.

This illustrates the distinction between static difference (existence) and dynamic difference. The latter I playfully renamed ‘persistence’ to “per-existence”, intending to load the word with two meanings: ‘per’ as in ‘miles per gallon’, here meaning ‘change per change’; and ‘per’ as shortened ‘persistence’, thus meaning ‘persistent existence’.

But let’s stay in this static existence for just a bit. We’ve only been here for one ten-umptillionths of a microsecond. Oh, wait, my mistake. We’ve actually been frozen like this for seventy-eight gazillion millennia!

This illustrates the following: Without ‘change-per-change’ our reality ceases.

But what about ‘Real’ reality – the one that exists regardless of consciousness? Surely there must be something that remains, no?

Well, boundaries still exist, just as the boundaries between colours in a static painting, and those boundaries are still transformations. Or are they?

“Static” functions – one-shot transformations are absolutely meaningless! f(x)=x2, for example, has an input, ‘x’, and an output ‘f(x)’.  f is absolutely meaningless in an absolutely static state because it’s truly either-or: either we have the input, (‘before’ the transformation, in which case there is no transformation because it has not yet ‘been’) or we have the output (‘after’ the transformation – a concept that is only relevant because we have memory of ‘before’, which is clearly impossible in the absolute static instant – so again there is no transformation because it has already ‘been’).

But, and I don’t want to seem glib here, it is a simple fact that stasis means no-change, and change means transformation, and so, stasis – absolute and total stasis – means absolute and objective (i.e. independent of whether there is a conscious ‘observer’ or not) non-existence. Nothing exists Statically (in both senses: “Nothingness” is Static, and “No Thing exists in stasis”).

Since we exist, and since there is change, then there is no absolute stasis. This means that the only stasis possible is relative stasis: i.e. either repetitive change or self-cancelling change -> a dynamic ‘not-not’.

Strangely, this also means there is no static, one-shot difference – only continuous difference. Something is different only ‘so long as’ it is – and then it is not, unless it is ‘differently different’ – different in another way.

As an aside:

This ties back to my thoughts on the Real Projected Line (I hate that name!):

A is ‘not’ nothing. B is ‘not’ A and ‘not’ nothing. Here, B is ‘differently different’ to A because if it was simply ‘not different’ to A, then it would be A.

Also, this means that there was no ‘static’ before-big-bang, and there will be no static ‘heat-death’ at the end.

This means that a state of absolute annihilation (the Dynamic not-not of the entire Universe) will have the lowest possible entropy (i.e. the entire system has only one configuration where it can be considered the same) and yet will also have the highest possible entropy because every configuration of the Universe leads to the same state.

This mind-blowing ‘truth’ is HUGE: “Energy is neither created nor destroyed”

This states that energy is eternal (has no beginning and no end) – it always has been and always will be – which means that Absolute Static Non-Existence has never been nor ever will be. Non-Existence is absolutely impossible! Absolute Stasis is impossible.

Transformations exist because they always have and always will – Energy is(are) transformation(s).


So let us consider Total Continuous Annihilation -> the only (the Truest Possible) True Zero. This, if all transformations were vectors, could be a state where all vectors were paired-off with their opposite, resulting in continuous no-change.

We have a conflict here: how can continuous no-change be considered in any way different from Absolute Static (that thing we’ve just established is impossible)? No Change is the definition of Absolute Static.

If the ‘output’ of a function is the same as the ‘input’, can we really consider there to have been a function at all? I think not. There neither ‘was’ nor ‘will be’ since the input and the output are the same.

Let us now investigate the Dynamic: Let us consider a transformation so absolute that no matter how fast you ‘query’ it, the result will always be wrong – it will always be ‘not’ what you think it is, it is immeasurable. Absolute Dynamic change is Absolutely ‘Not’ itself. This transformation’s output is Absolutely Undeterminable, which means its input is also Absolutely Undeterminable.

Here again we seem to be faced with no-change where the input and the output are the same – (except that it’s not).

Well, I will leave you with this thought: What if the entirety of Reality is the self-Reflection, “Not”, whereby locally everything is continuously changing so that at no ‘point’ can Reality-as-a-whole be ‘frozen’ and ‘said to be x or y or z‘ – i.e. that it is immeasurably different at every instant? And what if, at its smallest core, Reality was composed of “Not-Not”s -> the ‘atoms’ of Reality. To split one of these (i.e. all of existence stretched-out and ‘exhausted’ at the end of the Universe) would re-start a new Big Bang (or two?). Chew on that, and I’ll continue to work on this new topic of scale – how to distinguish between Reality-as-a-whole and Reality-as-an-atom. Leave me your thoughts!

7 thoughts on “Time and Change

  1. But wouldn’t you say that change can also only be in a relative context in the same way that stasis can only be in a relative context?

    I.e. if everything stopped – we’re in absolute unchanging – then there isn’t a changing to which the unchanging could be ‘unchanging’.. I.e. the quality of/name of ‘unchanging’ has no meaning because it cannot be related to anything if there isn’t a changing aspect to call it unchanging.

    Likewise if everything was always absolutely changing, then there would be nothing to contrast it to which it could qualitatively be called absolute change..

    Absolute change is absolute unchanging, and absolute unchanging is absolute changing. (and yet they are separate concepts in our relative languages)..

    So it’s not that nothing is absolutely not changing.. things can certainly be ‘unchanging’ because unchanging is a concept only relative to the changing…

    Rather than nonexistence/nothing being absolutely changing/unchanging… Absolute zero is beyond both changing and unchanging.. beyond nothing and everything.. being and nonbeing.

    1. Hi Michael, and thanks for taking the time to comment!
      I see what you’re saying – the fair treatment of ‘absolute change’ relative to ‘unchange’ – sure, you have to consider it, but, and this is off-the-cuff here: I agree with everything you say and do see that when I use the word Absolute (in the sense of Total), it results in lumping Change and No-Change together, because Absolutely, they become incomparable and therefore ‘the same’ in that respect. But that is exactly my point: I do say that there can be no Absolute (Total) Change just as much as there can be no Absolute No-Change. I see the dangerous wording I chose when I talked of Absolute Dynamic Change – because there by ‘Absolute’ I mean Change pushed to its maximum limit – Change so fast that it is always different to itself at any instant. And so that kind of ‘Absolute’ Change can exist, but only inside a context that isn’t Total Change/No-Change.

  2. What I get from this article is that you have effectively defined Reality as a Total Continuous Annihilation where observable reality is confined/contained in a sort of soap bubble constantly being challenged by its opposite. The conflict you state IS existence in its component form which can and does wink out of persistence. Our current soap bubble appears to be an unstable autopoietic transformation. Unstable due to the effects of continuous annihilation. By definition we can’t measure this only infer the effects based on the contents and surface of the bubble. And to be honest I am not even sure there’s anything inside the bubble – it could all be happening on the surfaces. Does a bubble have two surfaces?

  3. Hi Gervais, and thanks for coming back! I don’t think I’ve -defined- Reality as anything yet, but the ‘constant challenge’ you refer to sounds a lot like Heraclitus’ “strife”. I feel that for there to be any kind of temporality, there must be some kind of ‘clock’ against which all change can be perceived (though comparison, relativity, etc.). If that clock is the self-reflection/inversion, which I’m presently leaning towards, then it is the Absolute Change to which I refer above. But extremes are troublesome, and we most probably live in between them – in strife – or inside the bubble maybe.

  4. As the Head First gang would say, “Be the Spoon!”
    Are you the skin cells you shed last week?

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