Is time linear?

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Is time linear?

Postby AnthonyR » Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:40 pm

What, if anything, does Buddhism say about the linearity of time? In other words, is it possible to be reborn in a time prior to your current life?
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Re: Is time linear?

Postby KeithBC » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:12 pm

Buddhism teaches cause and effect. Non-linear time messes up cause and effect. WHile Buddhism doesn't directly discuss what is a science-fiction concept, it does imply that you can't go back in time.

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Re: Is time linear?

Postby AnthonyR » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:36 am

That's what I figured. I was curious because the topic is discussed seriously in some scientific circles, and I wondered, if some day it is proven that time is not linear, how that would affect our understanding of cause and effect.
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Re: Is time linear?

Postby LastLegend » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:37 am

Time is a mental event. It's neither linear or non linear.

Just my opinion
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Re: Is time linear?

Postby Sönam » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:38 am

it can be vertical ... simultaneous

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Re: Is time linear?

Postby Monsoon » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:01 am

Without an observer there is no time of which to speak.
Let peace reign!

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Re: Is time linear?

Postby kirtu » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:03 am

AnthonyR wrote:What, if anything, does Buddhism say about the linearity of time? In other words, is it possible to be reborn in a time prior to your current life?
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Different schools have different views about time. The Sravaka schools basically posit time as truly existent and linear. The higher Mahayana schools view is that time basically doesn't exist. My main Zen teacher actually said (but I was not there to hear it) that karma moves backward and forward in time.

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Re: Is time linear?

Postby phaseolus » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:40 am

AnthonyR wrote:That's what I figured. I was curious because the topic is discussed seriously in some scientific circles...



Really? I thought they all agreed that the arrow of time only points one way, and concepts like entropy would be meaningless if it didn't.

I suppose a related question would be: To what extent do we insist that our spiritual path jibe with current scientific thinking, and vice versa? I don't know how productive this question is, though. Thinking about it for a little bit's only leading to my own personal preferences and prejudices and feelings, for whatever that's worth, but it keeps me entertained for a little while...
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Re: Is time linear?

Postby rachmiel » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:28 am

Monsoon wrote:Without an observer there is no time of which to speak.

Nice. +1.

Sans observer, is there anything at all of which to speak?
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Re: Is time linear?

Postby Sönam » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:53 am

I never heard in my nevertheless limited reading any story or experience of time going backward ...

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Re: Is time linear?

Postby AnthonyR » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:12 pm

Really? I thought they all agreed that the arrow of time only points one way, and concepts like entropy would be meaningless if it didn't.


I never heard in my nevertheless limited reading any story or experience of time going backward


It has been proven that time slows down as speed increases. It is predicted that time comes to a complete stop as one crosses the event horizon of a black hole. Once one enters a black hole, the laws of physics as we know them break down. Some have carried this farther to predict that time actually goes backward as one goes deeper into a black hole. In this case, it may be that effect can precede cause. Of course, all of this is pure theory at this point. Another theory is that there are multiple universes, each with its own laws of physics. It could be that in some of those universes, time flows backward. Again, this is pure theory.
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Re: Is time linear?

Postby Sönam » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:22 pm

AnthonyR wrote:
I never heard in my nevertheless limited reading any story or experience of time going backward


It has been proven that time slows down as speed increases. It is predicted that time comes to a complete stop as one crosses the event horizon of a black hole. Once one enters a black hole, the laws of physics as we know them break down. Some have carried this farther to predict that time actually goes backward as one goes deeper into a black hole. In this case, it may be that effect can precede cause. Of course, all of this is pure theory at this point. Another theory is that there are multiple universes, each with its own laws of physics. It could be that in some of those universes, time flows backward. Again, this is pure theory.
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I was of course speaking of Buddhist readings ...
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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