Einstein quipped, "I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."

Funny line, but also a sage tip for how to maximize happiness.

A tip that's tough to follow.

A lot of people think constantly of the future. Or the past. Or both—pinballing between the two. But that mind-set robs them of living in the moment. Still, they just can't seem to let go. I've been there. I know how those mind games can shut you down.

So I called a couple of fellow Christian Scientists, Laurance Doyle and David Carico, both physicists, hoping to drum up a science-based discussion that could help others (and ourselves) become—
Time Masters!

The Sentinel's Jeffrey Hildner mind-travels with physicists Laurance Doyle and David Carico

Astrophysicist Laurance Doyle works in Mountain View, California, at the SETI Institute (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). He is also a member of the NASA Participating Scientists Program, where he's in charge of detection of planets around eclipsing double star systems for the NASA Kepler Mission, an orbiting telescope launched in March. He lives in Menlo Park, California.

David Carico, a physicist and writer, currently teaches physics, astronomy, and mathematics at College of the Siskiyous and at Shasta College, both in Northern California. He lives in Weed, California, a little town at the base of Mt. Shasta, about thirty miles south of the Oregon border.

Doyle and Carico have coauthored a paper soon to be published in the refereed Open Astronomy Journal. Their paper reexamines the fundamental nature of time and shows how history might be changeable — yes, you heard that right. Paper title: "Quantum Uncertainty Considerations for Gravitational Lens Interferometry."

Buckle up ...


JEFFREY HILDNER: Laurance, David, what is time?

DAVID CARICO: If you had to pick a quick scientific definition of time, according to physicists, that is, the one I generally offer my students is, it's another dimension to the universe. We have forward and backward, right, left, and up and down—those are the three dimensions of space. Of course, there's fourth dimension that is forward and backward: time—future and past. When you make that connection, time becomes just one more dimension. So space and time are really inseparable, and that's why physicists generally talk about space-time as one word, one concept. Whatever it is, it's the same thing.

LAURANCE DOYLE: Mary Baker Eddy recognized that time is a falsity. It's a delusion. You don't want more of it—you want to get rid of it. Getting rid of time is one of the things that relates directly to Christian Science healing. Time is considered a healer in medical practice, but not in Christian Science practice.

HILDNER: Time has no power.

DOYLE: Right. And I would say that physicists are converging on that concept, on the concept of time as Mrs. Eddy defined it. And they're converging as well on the concept of matter—and therefore on the concept of space-time, as you say, David—that Mrs. Eddy talked about over a hundred years ago, namely that matter also is false, a delusion. Einstein was unusual, being 30 or 40 years ahead of his time, and most physicists and scientists are considered geniuses if they're a couple of decades ahead of their time. But Mrs. Eddy was over a century ahead of her time in her concepts of what matter is and what time is. Physicists have for the last century been discussing that time is an illusion.

HILDNER: Just to 3-D (or 4-D!) this a bit more, I'm looking here at an article I wrote a few years ago in The Christian Science Journal called "Time, Space, Matter: Seeing through the grand illusion" (July 2005, pp. 44-55). I brushed up on a few things I learned that were very enlightening. For example, physicist Brian Greene, building on Einstein's theory that space and time are relative, has said that "space and time are in the eye of the beholder." And Einstein went further. He came to believe late in life that time isn't merely relative or in the eye of the beholder — time is unreal. I have the full quote here. It's from Einstein's letter to the widow of a friend who had recently died: "To those of us who believe in physics, this separation between past, present, and future, is only an illusion, if a stubborn one" (Jim Holt, "Time Bandits," The New Yorker, February 28, 2005, p. 85). Pretty something. And Einstein's best friend, Kurt Godel, considered by many the greatest logician of the 20th century, agreed. According to author Palle Yourgrau, Godel ultimately concluded that time "turned out in the end to be the world's greatest illusion" (A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Godel and Einstein, New York, Perseus Books, p. 7).

Time. Mortal measurements; limits, in which are summed up all human acts, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, knowledge; matter; error; that which begins before, and continues after, what is termed death, until the mortal disappears and spiritual perfection appears. —Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health. p. 595

And so the questions naturally arise: How does one put this into practice? How does one live in alignment with truth? With the truth that time is an illusion? And what are the benefits of living in alignment with the truth about time?

DOYLE: Well, one benefit would be the capacity to feed the multitudes without waiting for the grain to grow, as Jesus did. Another benefit would be that you would not be subject to death, as Jesus also demonstrated. Time is the basis of all limitation in matter. It's the basis of the concept of mortality. Mrs. Eddy defines time as "Mortal measurements; limits, ... matter; error; ..." (Science and Health, P. 595). And so we have to watch ourselves, not to say we were born or that we're going to die, not to say, "I need more time. I need more error. I need more limits." We have to be on the alert that we really do live in the now, to deal daily with the concept of time as applied to aging, or as applied to limits on what you can accomplish, or any kind of limitation on healing — planning for long-term invalidism or anything of the sort.

HILDNER: You mentioned Jesus, Laurance. Mary Baker Eddy described Jesus as "the most scientific man that ever trod the globe" (Science and Health, p. 313). And his scientific viewpoint was totally practical. He moved from Point A to Point B instantly. He healed people without delay. And as for the future, he said, "Take therefore no thought for the morrow" (Matt. 6:34). And he said that everyone has the spirit and the power to do these

CARICO: Something that keeps coming to my thought is not to fall into the mistake of accepting a mortal sense of the present as being somehow more real than a mortal sense of the future or past. Reality is timeless, and Mrs. Eddy said, "Eternity, not time, expresses the thought of Life, and time is no part of eternity" (Science and Health, p. 468). The mortal measurement of time includes future, present, past. And it's possible, I think, for the mortal mind to lock on to the present as being somehow better than the future or the past; whereas, in reality, it's timelessness that we're going after.

As far as Jesus' expression of that, I'm remembering his statement, "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58). Jesus wasn't saying, "I am a mortal living at this moment in time, who also lived in past times." He was saying, "I'm timeless. Because I'm immortal, I'm timeless." So when we use the word now, we're kind of limited by language. Now, in the highest sense, means eternity, which includes past, present, and future, all at once.

DOYLE: Jesus said to his disciples, and I'm paraphrasing, "Look over in that field. So you think it takes a while for things to grow? I'm telling you that they're already grown. They're white already to harvest" (see John 4:35). I think a lot of Jesus' instruction was about overcoming time. And he demonstrated that in his healings.

I had a healing like that. I used to practice sport judo when I was in high school, and I was at Cal-Poly at San Luis Obispo at a tournament. During one of the matches, my opponent got kind of carried away and grabbed my pointer finger on my right hand and twisted it back. My judo instructor, who is from Japan and also known to be kind of a medical expert, said it was broken, and I should go have it X-rayed and set. So my folks took me to the emergency room. I hadn't really been to an emergency room before, and a lot of people came in with hurts and different things going on, and it didn't take long before I was praying for them instead of for myself. I'd done some prayer for myself. I know my mom was praying to know that my perfection was present. But I started to pray for other people. I was praying to kind of dispel the fear. It seemed like massive fear in the emergency room. So about 45 minutes later it was my turn, and I went in to see the X-ray person. And he X-rayed my finger, and he said, "The bone is healing nicely, and you should not use the emergency room for a checkup." The next week I was playing judo.

So you could say, "Well, the bone really wasn't broken." But the fact is that the X-ray technician said it had been broken and that it had set nicely. That's an example that shows me how time is not a part of Christian Science healing.

CARICO: Probably the quote that has helped me most is from Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy: "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an everpresent help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment. What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love! More we cannot ask: more we do not want: more we cannot have. This sweet assurance is the 'Peace, be still' to all human fears, to suffering of every sort" (p. 307).

That is such a powerful statement of truth. And my wife and I have seen things just break open wonderfully by holding on to it. Things got really difficult for us financially last summer, as it did for many people in the US. But it turned into an amazing experience, a healing. We had gone for many months really struggling and not getting enough work to pay our mortgage, getting further into debt. So last summer we really cranked up the prayer. Our starting point was that we already had all we could ever need and our job was simply to wait and never doubt. We got the help of a Christian Science practitioner, and it was amazing how things just suddenly appeared. I ended up connecting at our local college with the mathematics department. I'd never taught mathematics, but I am qualified, and that's been the best source of our supply ever since. Then my wife was offered a job, and it's turned out to be wonderful for her. These opportunities so clearly coincided with our prayer and the realization that it's not a matter of looking ahead to the future—it's knowing that we all have all we need, each moment.

HILDNER: That's beautiful, David. Hallelujah! Let's talk about aging. I think of Mary Baker Eddy's line, "Meet every adverse circumstance as its master" (Science and Health, p. 419). Aging is an adverse circumstance. And if one could live in alignment with the reality that time is an illusion, then one could meet aging as its master—and not age. As the Bible promises: "And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning" (Job 11:17).

DOYLE: Yes, and clear means transparent. Clear means you can't see it. Noonday—it's clear as can be, no morning fog, no evening clouds. It's like "clearer than the noonday" almost means your age will be cleared away. You'll get to see through the illusion of age.

CARICO: A lot of the fear of aging, of course, is the fear of death— that we're approaching some end and don't want life to end. So one counterattack I have against that idea is there is no ending. Nothing's going to end. Mrs. Eddy was clear about that when she said that the first thing someone realizes when they die is they wake up to realize they haven't died (see Science and Health, p. 251). So, if you realize that, that helps a lot with the fear. OK, well, maybe there'll be some transformation, but it's not death. I'm going to continue; all will continue; life will continue. It's unavoidable.

Another thing that strikes me is I feel like—how to put this?—to the extent that we're looking at the material body, of course that's where the source of the fear, the source of the belief of aging, is coming from. It seems clear to me that each one of us, everyone, has intuitively an understanding that death is an illusion, that aging itself is an illusion.

I remember when I was in grad school, I was attending a family gathering, and I just sort of became aware that at this gathering there were at least four generations. My young niece was there; I was there; my older cousins who were a half generation older than I; my dad, my parents, my grandparents, were there—all these generations. And they were all sitting around just enjoying the day. At one point I just asked, "When do you start feeling like you're getting older?" And every one of them, they all smiled and said, "You never do." My grandpa was about 90 years old, and he said, "You never do, I never have." And now I've been through enough years myself to realize that's true. I don't feel older. No one ever does, I don't think.

If you look to your body and say, "Well, this problem seems to be weighing me down," that's when you get sidetracked. If you look to your true self, your true nature as God's idea, you never feel old. None of us do. We're fresh, we're wonderful. We know that intuitively.

DOYLE: Yes, Jesus said, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32). So if it doesn't make you free, then it's not the truth. If it doesn't make you free, then you don't have to believe it, and can't really know it.

HILDNER: I can't resist quoting a line from the movie Kung Fu Panda: "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that is why it is called the present." Accepting this gift, this gift of the present, this gift of the reality of now, sets you free. What would you tell someone they could do, right now, to feel more of this freedom?

DOYLE: I would say, first of all, ask yourself, "Am I happy with the concept of mortality?" Why not, if it's natural? On the other hand, is there something deeply inside you that says, "I have to be immortal," and that's what's protesting this notion that you're mortal?

Here's the most practical thing you can do: Be quiet, and consider that you are spiritual and immortal, not material. Consider that you're a spiritual idea, and then listen to what God is telling you about that. It's a very simple thing to do. And you'll find it has very practical results in your daily life. You will find that your body will start to be healed, limitations will start to disappear, and the ideas of God will begin to constantly flow in your life and meet all your needs.

CARICO: I would say to someone to consider that your thought is important. And then try thinking along the lines of the things we've brought up, that the present is all that is, and that you are God's idea being expressed continually each moment, fresh and new. css

FOR MORE ON THIS TOPIC To hear Laurance Doyle, David Carico, and Jeffrey Hildner speak on this topic, tune in to Sentinel Radio during the week of August 1-7, 2009. For a listing of broadcast locations and times, go to www.sentinelradio.com. To purchase a download of this radio program, #931, on or after August 1, go to www.sentinelradio.com and click on Audio Download Store.

August 3, 2009

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