Pondering Space and Time

Space and time. It’s one of those subjects that can make your head hurt. In fact, I distinctly remember being a kid, maybe six or seven, and laying in my bed at night unable to sleep. Earlier that day I’d been to church with my family. The priest was talking about eternal life. After we die, our spirits go on and on and on. My little, underdeveloped brain struggled to grasp the concept. It was so overwhelming I couldn’t sleep. I just starred at the ceiling, trying to wrap my thoughts around the concept.

Maybe that seed of discomfort and confusion is what drove me away from organized religion. Who knows. Anyway, that’s a whole other subject. As to the subjects of space and time, here are a few views I hold.

The idea of another dimension seems plausible. Our brains are set to think of everything in three-dimensional terms. But the possibility of a fourth, five, or any number of dimensions is very real. As of now, we have no way to prove or disprove this. It could certainly help explain some phenomena we experience in our world.

Also in terms of space, size appears to be relative. While we may be able to see out to the edges of our universe, we have no conclusive way to prove space ends there. Perhaps our understanding of space ends there, but that’s all. Beyond what we perceive to be the ends of space could be infinitely more space that we have no way of discovering of yet.

We’ve seen Hollywood play on this idea in one of the Men In Black movies, as the camera keeps pulling out further and further until we realize that an entire universe exists in something as tiny as a marble. It’s another interesting concept, and one that also seems plausible. Our only experience with size is relative to our own understanding. But as we know, having once thought the Earth was flat, our understanding changes and evolves every day.

On the other hand, there is time. All kinds of theories have been put forth about time bending and black holes and the possibility of time travel. These theories have been put forth by men with such a vast intellect that I hesitate to even write anything. But I have a very difficult time (no pun intended) seeing how time could be anything but linear. The implications of time travel are so enormous, and I simply can’t see how we can travel forward to time that hasn’t occurred or backward to time that has already passed. It just seems that when a moment passes, it ceases to exist. Conversely, the future hasn’t been made yet, so how can one travel forward to it?

The idea of other dimensions seems a much more real possibility than the idea of time as anything but linear. Again, our understanding of things grows every day. Who knows, tomorrow a study could come out disproving every word of what I just wrote. But until that time, it’s interesting and stimulating to ponder these issues.