How can we know that this Which caused that What? It depends on how we use the timepath.
We continue where we stopped our discussion in Time Path – The Flow of Time. and discuss how we identify what happened in the past. The timepath visualization of Fig 1 helps us understand the past. (Click any figure for full resolution.)
Our timepath is formed out of the the Past (the unchanging record of events that have occurred) the Now (where possible actions are actualized to the events that form reality), and the Future (the open possibilities for potential actions that could become realized in the Now).
The horizontal direction ( ← ) is time direction leading from the Now, when such things started, into the Past. A vertical slice ( | ) separates the timepath into left and right regions. The perfectly thin slice is an instantaneous 3 dimensional image of the entire universe. The moment Now is an example of such a slice.
We start with a quick summary of what the timepath means, then examine how use slices and look at our Past to discover activity patterns. We will reach 3 conclusions:
- A timepath slice should be an instantaneous view of the universe, but – because every event loses contrast as it moves deeper into the fog of the past – the width along the timepath must increase as we move into the deeper past. Such a 3D separator marks an interval about a specific time in the past so we can label events as before and after. Our choice of a boundary will effect our judgement of cause and effect.
- We cannot identify every last thing that happened on any chosen boundary, so differences in interpretations are inevitable.
- Since Now is the beginning of the timepath, it is NOT a “boundary” – it does not divide realized events into before and after. Now is one-sided, having only the entire Past before.