Time and Choice: A Look through Science
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Time and Choice: A Look through Science

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We carry the past with us; time is immutable. Human history is written and unfolds in much the same way through all eras of existence. Indeed sentient beings should learn from the mistakes of the past and together forge a better future. Sadly, if history teaches us anything, though the places and names may change, we humans remain much as we always have been. We don’t carry the lessons of history with us in any meaningful way, perhaps thinking we might succeed where countless others have failed. Hubris then seems to be the downfall of humanity and its undertakings.
The ego then pushes us to commit the same follies as our predecessors. Life is very much like existing within a temporal causality loop; we forge ahead believing we are making independent choices. If all of history is similar, are we destined to make the same mistakes and the same choices as all those that came before? Are we making choices at all, or is our entire existence predetermined within a finite set of variables? Is life simply binary, each decision coming down to a one or zero? Life is reduced to equations, and science, of course, tells us that it can be to a great degree, then choice is an illusion.
Everything we see is an illusion. What we think of as solid matter is a collection of atoms. Perhaps due to centuries of adapting survival characteristics, our minds have learned to create patterns out of all that we see. The brain attempts to make sense out of the whirl of atoms that constitute the reality we inhabit. What is real? Consciousness is the only thing we can know is true, our ability to think and engage with this mysterious world. Time could also be an illusion our mind creates to make sense of the world. We prefer everything in a linear form. If something has a beginning and an end, then any deviation from that straight line will enable us to establish a pattern of behavior, and as stated, our brains love patterns.
It could be that everything we do has already played out in some multiverse version of ourselves. The uniqueness of each individual is undoubtedly finite, and indeed, everyone is only capable due to the psychological constraints of their minds of making a limited number of decisions. Therefore, mathematics can represent everything we will or can do and reduce existence to an equation. The simulation hypothesis doesn’t seem that far-fetched when you imagine the ramifications of choice or the illusion that is choice. Information at the quantum level can never be created or destroyed, so everything that we are or will ever be we have always been.
History repeats itself because while the universe is vast and filled with so many wonders, we are limited creatures in comparison. Everything we can or ever will do has played out before, and the variables we “choose” are finite. I would say a limited set of equations predetermines that choice. We exist as a collection of particles. Particles are only particles when observed and exist as waves in their natural state. Everything is a wave, and it’s amazing that we see any coherence at all in the things and people we observe. While indeed virtue and evil exist within us as beings, it has always been that way. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The equations balance themselves out, creating an illusion of choice and the illusion of reality. That isn’t to say people aren’t culpable for the actions they take; whether it’s predetermined or not, the equations must balance out, and punishment or reward must definitely be rendered.
Reality is complex and not at all what it seems. Lifting the veil upon existence brings up more questions than answers, but someone must ask the questions and dare to look beneath the shroud of reality. If deeper meaning exists, we will find it where most won’t dare to look. Living life as an automaton, accepting the status quo ensures we live out our life in darkness. We can’t grow peering from beneath the covers, fearing the monster under the bed. We must dare to ask the questions and face the monster. The real villainy in our reality is ignorance and blind adherence to tradition and authority. Life is infinitely more wonderous than the humbug pursuits of our dreary everyday lives, and we must strive for great things despite all the unknowns. The first step to enlightenment is to question why.

About Post Author

James Borden

I'm a veteran of the U.S Army, with one deployment to Afghanistan. I will not pull punches in my articles and what you see is what you get.
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