The hardest thing to get your mind around concerning time is that it is not solely a subjective awareness of an action’s ‘duration’, or the ‘direction’ of duration. Time is as much an elementary property of matter as physical dimensions, atomic weight, or the number of electrons per atom.
Subjectively we experience time as memory and projection. We imagine therefore that we invent time. We do invent time in the sense that all of material reality is an effect of the mind, of thinking. But within those parameters time is as real an effect of thinking as anything else we encounter in the material world.
I can say that time is part of material reality. But what will startle most readers in this is the fact that matter itself is the effect, not the cause, which has always been the philosophical bias in Western civilization. We are accustomed to looking outside ourselves for ’cause’, and to examine and understand reality. But the truth is that reality (space, time, and thought) is an inside job.
Consider sub-atomic physics as we now understand it. All matter is constituted of atoms, which we used to visualize as hard, clustered billiard balls packed together within a molecule, and within the atom we visualized hard points of polarized energy, electrons and protons. It was very much a materialist’s conception. Take all of that and modify it slightly. Visualize the atom instead as an invisible entity, its wall is more a type of ‘region of force’ that demarcates the entity’s three-dimensional perimeter. The atoms fit together in one mass contiguous cluster because they do not occupy physical space in the same manner we associate with space. ‘Inside’ an atom’s forceful, invisible perimeter is a vast region of space that is – empty. The atom’s nucleus, in material terms, is just more of the same. The protons and electrons do not physical locations within the space of an atom; they are in a sense dispersed throughout as a polarity, positive or negative.
The conclusion from this is that hard, physical reality is in fact empty space. There is nothing ‘physical’, no hard, irreducible bedrock of matter at any level. It is, one might say, ‘information’.
This sub-atomic ‘information’ is an effect of thinking. Thought, it turns out, is the only unambiguous, originary element in existence. Our thought produces physical matter. Thought, moreover, is more akin to light in that it manifests in ‘vibratory waves’. Perhaps you recall the old chart of different wavelengths of light, from the very wide shortwave radio signal at one end to very narrow photon waves at the other end. Imagine that thought waves are extremely far beyond photon waves on the narrow end of the chart.
Time, then, like all of material reality, is a product of thought. In a nutshell this is why all material reality seems so alarmingly provisional, malleable.
Einstein insisted that if one increased the mass of an object sufficiently, one would alter the ‘shape of space’ and the ‘flow of time’ around that object. Mass is the number of atoms in a given molecule plus the gravitational energy said molecule is subject to. The mass of an apple is the same on Earth as in the vacuum of space, yet in the former it has weight, in the latter it is weightless. Increasing mass thus refers to increasing the number of atoms in a molecule, and/or making the molecule subject to a different intensity of gravitational energy.
The information of matter is thus a delicate balancing act between mass and gravitational energy. The latter, it turns out, is defined as the frequency of waves of said energy (like everything else).
Time can be changed utterly, then, if we change the mass/gravity of a molecule. Time, in effect, is a shared effect of mass/gravity, which are effects of thought.
At less than the speed of light, time has an objective, consistent, unchanging, ‘hard’ ontological value. This is what leads us to assume it is unchanging, eternal, a fixed property of a Newtonian universe. At more than the speed of light space bends and twists, bundles up and smooths out, while time annihilates frequency such that waves change from being individual, separable waves into a sort of plasma.
Our intuitive understanding of material reality leads us astray. The only ‘real’ ontological element is thought itself, and of course, Universal Mind, in which all thought participates. So time is as relative as all other effectual elements of the real. The realm of the sub-atomic is an Alice in Wonderland world where nothing is what we expect it to be.