Caution. Ideas under construction. Participation encouraged.
The pace of time is not a constant, but a variable. The pace of time does not carry the universe along at a constant cadence heard the same way by all living things. I have argued elsewhere at this website that the pace of time, like all things, is relative. Relative to what, you might ask.
The Theory of Special Relativity, developed by Einstein, Poincare, and Lorentz among others, holds that time is related to speed. The faster an object travels through the universe, the theory says, the slower its pace of time. As one’s speed approaches the speed of light, time slows considerably. And at the speed of light, time stands still.
I am not in a position to dispute that time slows down for something as it speeds up. And that is not my intention here. But I do have a different idea.
Perhaps the pace of time is related to size. A thing’s rate of time is relative to a thing’s physical size. Yes. Physical size is directly proportional to chronological size. I hypothesize that the larger a thing is physically, relative to me, the slower it’s time passes, relative to me. And likewise if a thing is much smaller than me, time passes for it much quicker than for me.
This does not mean that a flea sees it’s life as a super-sped-up movie, or that a mountain sees it’s life as in super slow motion. Each thing experiences what seems a perfectly normal rate of time. The events of the flea’s life happen at normal pace, according to the flea, and constitute a rich and long life of ups and downs and twists and turns, just like my life. It’s only when I look at the flea’s life does it seem like a super-sped-up movie. To the flea, the pace of time seems normal. And to the mountain, the pace of time seems normal. Pace of time is relative.
Now wait a minute. I have talked about how the mountain “sees it’s life” and how the pace of time “seems” to be normal for the mountain. These things suggest that the mountain is alive, that it can experience things, such as time.
Yup, that’s what I’m suggesting. All things are alive. In order for something to exist in time it must have a duration and in order for something to have a duration it must have a birth and a death and if something has a birth and a death than what happens in between is what we call life.
The Theory of Special Relativity gave rise to a new concept called “spacetime.” I am trying to give rise to a new definition of the word “lifetime.” I am hypothesizing that rather than connected to space, time is connected to life. And to go a step further, the size of a living organism is related to the duration of a living organism. Little things have short lives and big things have long lives, relatively speaking.
Wait a minute, the mountain is alive?
Yes. It’s just that the mountain is connected to something SO big that it moves at SUCH a relatively slow pace that it appears totally lifeless to us. But maybe, just maybe, humans are living inside another living thing. Maybe the mountain and the Earth are part of a living being that is so different in scale from us, so ridiculously bigger than us, that we can’t see it. We can’t understand how it could be true. That doesn’t mean it’s not true.
Need a little help?
Imagine a microscopic organism living inside your body. No need to freak out at such a notion. It happens all the time. Things are living inside things all over this planet. It is the way of life that things live inside of and off of other living things.
So this microscopic organism living inside you; what would you look like to it? Well first, imagine that, from its perspective, it has a long and full life. It experiences time at the same pace that you do, from its perspective. And it has friends, just like you do, and a scientific community and a society and history and these little organisms have been studying their environment for generations and they have conceded that the world they live is is not alive. This is because the world they live in does not change fast enough for them to see. The world they live in does not fit their experience of what it means to be alive; does not first their definition of life.
This is a wild idea, but can you say that it could not be true?
If you believe that the pace of time could be different for different sizes of creatures, and that one thing’s understanding of another is relative to how close they are in scale, then it opens the door to the possibility that all things are living. If something exists in time then it has a life.