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 Aug 2018
Dear Friends, having introduced ‘The Enigma of Time in Verse’ in Part One, along with few selected poetic quotes, I now mention what some of the important Philosophers thought about Time down the past centuries. But while doing so, I have tried my best to simplify some of those early concepts for better understanding and appreciation of my readers. If you like it, kindly re-post the poem. Thanks,  – Raj Nandy of New Delhi.

   I commence by quoting Sonnet 60 of Shakespeare about Time,
   Hoping to seek some blessings for this Part Two composition of
“Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
  So do our minutes hasten to their end;
  Each changing place with that which goes before,
  In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
  Nativity, once in the main of light,
  Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown’d,
  Crooked elipses ’gainst his glory fight,
  And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
  Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
  And delves the parallels in beauty’s brow,
  Feeds on the rarities of nature’s truth,
  And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
  And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.”

              PHILOSOPHY OF TIME
Animals are said to live in a continuous present,
Since they have no temporal distinction of past, future,
or the present.
But our consciousness of time, becomes the most
distinguishing feature of mankind.
Though we are mostly obsessed with objective time, -
As the rotation of our Earth separates day from night.
With the swing of the pendulum and the ticking of clocks,
Which regulates our movements, while we try to beat the clock!
But the ancient theologians and philosophers of India and
Who were among the first to ponder about the true nature
of all things,
Had wondered about the subjective nature of time;
Was time linear or cyclic, was time endless or finite?

I begin with Heraclitus, the Pre-Socratic philosopher of 6th Century BC born in Ephesus.
He claimed that everything around us, is in a constant state of change and flux.
You cannot step into the same river twice Heraclitus had claimed,
Since water keeps flowing down the river all the while and never
remains the same.
This flow and change in Nature is a process which is ceaseless.
The only thing which remains permanent is impermanence!
Here is a quote from poet Shelley reflecting the same idea:
“World on world are rolling ever
  From creation to decay
  Like the bubbles on a river
  Sparkling, bursting, borne away.”

Now Heraclitus was refuted by Parmenides, born in the Greek colony of Elea,
On the western coast of Southern Italy, as his contemporary.
Parmenides said that our senses deceive us, since all changes are mere illusory!
True reality was only eternal and unchanging ‘Being’, which was both indivisible and continuous - filling up all space.
Zeno, a pupil of Parmenides, through his famous ‘Paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise’ had shown, that when the tortoise was given a head start,
Swift footed Achilles could never catch up with the tortoise,
Since the space between the two were infinitely divisible, resulting in the impossibility of movement and change in motion!
Now the Greeks were never comfortable with the Concept of Infinity.
They preferred to view the universe as continuous existing ‘Being’.  
However, unlike Heraclitus’ ‘world of change and flux’,
Both Parmenides and Zeno have presented us, with a static unchanging universe!
Thus from the above examples it becomes easy for us to derive,  
How those Ancient Greeks had viewed Time.
Time has been viewed as a forward moving changing entity;
And also as an illusory, continuous and indivisible Being!
To clarify this further I quote Bertrand Russell from his ‘History of Western Philosophy’;
“Creation out of nothing, which was taught in the Old Testament, was an idea wholly foreign to Greek philosophy. When Plato speaks of creation, he imagines a primitive matter, to which God gives form as an artificer.”

For Plato, time was created by the Creator at the same instance when he had fashioned the heavens.
But Plato was more interested to contemplate on things which lay
beyond the sway of time and remained unchangeable and eternal;
Like absolute Truth, absolute Justice, the absolute form of Good and Beauty;
Which were eternal and unchangeable like the ‘Platonic Forms’, and were beyond the realm of Time as true reality.
Plato’s pupil Aristotle was the first Greek philosophers to contemplate on reality inside time, and provide a proper definition as we get to see.
He said, “Time is the number of movement in respect to before and after” - as a part of reality.
To measure time numerically, we must have a ‘before’ and an ‘after’, and also notice the difference objectively.
Therefore, time here becomes the change which we see and experience.
Time takes on a linear motion moving from the past to the present;
And to the unknown future like a moving arrow travelling straight.
Aristotle had developed a four step process to understand everything inside of Time and within human experience:
(a) Observe the world using our senses,
(b) Apply logical rules to these observations,
(c) To go back and consult past authorities, if your logic agrees with their logic,
(d) Then only you can come to a logical conclusion.

No wonder in our modern times, experiments conducted by the LDC or the Large Hadron Collider, located 100m underground near the French-Swiss border,
By going back in time simulates the ‘Big Bang’ conditions, that moment of our universe’s first creation.
The scientists thereby, study the evolution of our universe with time, which  resulted in the  finding of the Higgs Boson !  (On 4thJuly 2012)

NOTES :  All elementary particles interacting with the Higg's Field & obtain Mass, excepting for photons & gluons which do not interact with this field. Mass-less photons can travel at the
speed of light with a mind boggling 186,000 miles per second! Now this LDC is a Particle Accelerator 27 kms long ring-shaped tunnel, made mostly of superconducting magnets, inside which two high-energy particle beams are made to travel close to the speed of light in opposite directions, and the shower of particles resulting from the collision is closely examined, presuming that these similar shower of particles must have been produced at the time of the ‘Big Bang’ some 13.8 million years ago, at the time of Creation! Sound like fiction? Well, Prof. Peter Higgs got the Noble Prize for Physics, for locating the particle called ‘Higgs Boson’ among those shower of particles, on 10th Dec. 2013.



‘Time is a great Teacher, but unfortunately it kills its Pupils!’ – HL Berlioz

“Lost , yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two
   golden hours,
   Each set with sixty diamond minutes.
   No reward is offered, for they are gone forever!” – Horace Mann

Now getting back to our Philosophy of Time, there was Plotinus of the 3rd Century AD,
The founder of the mystical Neo-Platonic School of Philosophy.
He had followed Plato’s basic concept of Time as “the moving image of eternity.”
Mystic Plotinus tried to synthesize both Aristotle and Plato by saying that the entire process of cosmic creation,
Flows out of the ONE  through a series of emanation!
This ONE gave rise to the ‘Divine Mind’ which he called the ‘Realm of Intelligence’ and is an aspect of reality,
When everything is understood in terms of Platonic Forms of Truth, Justice, the Good, and Beauty.
However, the later Christian theologians had interpreted this ONE of Plotinus, -
As the Christian God, the Divine Creator of the Universe.
For God is eternal, in the sense of being timeless, in God there is no before or after, but only a timeless present.

Now this lead St. Augustine, to formulate a very admirable relativistic theory of Time!
St. Augustine, the greatest constructive teacher of the Early Christian Church, had written in Book XI of his ‘Confessions’ during  5th century AD, -
His thoughts about the enigma of Time which had perplexed the Greek philosophers of earlier centuries.
To simplify St. Augustine’s thoughts, I now paraphrase for the sake of clarity.
Time can only be measured while it is passing, yet there is time past, and time future in reality.
To avoid these contradictions he says that past and future can only be thought of as present: ‘past’ must be identified with memory, and ‘future’ with expectation.
Since memory and expectation being both present facts, there is no contradiction.  
“The present of things past is memory, the present of things present is sight; and the present of things future is expectation,” - wrote St. Augustine.

This subjective notion of time led St. Augustine to anticipate Rene Descartes the French philosopher the 17th Century,
Who proclaimed “Cogito, ergo sum” in Latin, meaning “I think, therefore I am”, and is regarded as the Father of Modern Philosophy.

Now cutting a long story short I come to Sir Isaac Newton, well known for his Laws of Motion and Gravity.
Newton speaks of ‘Absolute Time’ which exists independently, flowing at a consistent pace throughout the universe, which can only be understood mathematically.
Newton’s ‘Absolute Time’ had remained as the dominant concept till the  early years of the 20th Century.
When Albert Einstein formulated ‘Theory of Space-time’ along with his Special and General Theory of Relativity.

Now the German philosopher Leibniz during 17th century, had challenged Newton with his anti-realist theory of time.
Leibniz claimed that time was only a convenient intellectual concept, that enables to sequence and compare happening of events.
There must be objects with which time can interact or relate to as ‘Relational Time’ he had felt.
Ernst Mach, like Leibniz towards the end of 19th Century, said that even if it was not obvious what time and space was relative to,
Then they were still relative to the ‘fixed stars’ i.e. the bulk of matter in the universe.

During late 19th century, Robert Kelley introduced the concept of ‘spacious present’, which was the most recent part of the past.
Psychologist and philosopher William James developed this idea further by describing it as ‘’the short duration of which we are immediately and incessantly sensible’’
William James also introduced the term “stream of consciousness” into literature as a method of narration,
That described happenings in the flow of thought in the mind of the characters, - likened to an internal monologue!
This literary technique was later used by James Joyce in his famous novel ‘Ulysses’.

Next I come to one of my favourite philosopher the French born Henri Bergson.
The Nobel Laureate and author of ‘Time and Free Will’ and ‘Creative Evolution’.
Will Durant in his ‘Story of Philosophy’ says Bergson was ‘the David destined to slay the Goliath of materialism.’
It was Bergson’s ‘Elan Vital’ that life force and impelling urge, Which makes us grow and transforms this wandering planet into a theatre of unending creation.
For Bergson, time is as fundamental as space; and it is time that holds the essence of life, and perhaps of all reality.
Time is an accumulation, a growth, a duration, where “duration is the continuous progress of the past which gnaws into the future and which swells as it advances.
The past in its entirety is prolonged into the present and abides there actual and acting.
Duration means that the past endures, that nothing is lost.
Though we think with only a small part of our past; but it is with our entire past that we desire, will, and act.”
“Since time is an accumulation, the future can never be the same as the past, -
For a new accumulation arises at every step, and change is far more radical than we suppose…the geometric predictability of all things, Which is the goal of a mechanistic science, is only a delusion and a dream!”  
Bergson goes on in his compelling lyrical style:            
“For a conscious being, to exist is to change, to change is to mature,
to mature is to go on creating one’s self endlessly. Perhaps all reality is time and duration, becoming and change.”
Bergson differed with Darwin's theory of adaptation to environment, and stated;
“Man is no passively adaptive machine, he is a focus of redirected force, a centre of creative evolution.”

Martin Heidegger, the German thinker in his ‘Being and Time’ of 1927, had said:
“We do not exist within time, but in a very real way we are time!”
Time is inseparable from human experience, since we can allow the past to exist in the present through memory;
And even allow a potential future occurrence to exist in the present due to our human ability to care, and be concerned about things.
Therefore we are not stuck in simple sequential or linear time, but can step out of it almost at will!

In this part I have tried to convey what the Ancient Greek Philosophers had felt about Time in a simplified way.
Also some thoughts of Medieval and Early Modern philosophers and what they had to say.
Where Sir Isaac Newton stands like a colossus with his Concept of Time, Laws of Motion, and Gravity.
Not forgetting Henri Bergson, one of my favourite philosopher, of the mid-19th and the mid-20th Century.
All through my narration I had tried to hold the interest of my readers, and also educated myself as a true knowledge seeker.
In my concluding Part Three I will cover few Modern Philosophers along with the relativistic concept of time.
Certainly not forgetting the space-time theory of our famous Albert Einstein!
Thanks for reading patiently, from Raj Nandy of New Delhi.
 Jul 2018
the chokecherries have indentified the intercontinental blues that
eyes have averted towards Cornelius
the Centurion
while in your study room
you've realized that "our godforsaken Titantic dreams were never rehearsed or disembarked but
they were countless overwhelming
excuses of cardinal
hotel bedroom visits and "advection"
from obscene
choices to orbit around old conditions "the inquiry of
a riddle extending its meaning"

- G
Rashawn Banz - Lost
 Jul 2017
South by Southwest
The fairies of the mound
hide under ground
when the light of the day reveals

But as the sun
makes it's final run
the fairies
come out to play

Then there are
those picked by stars
to be the forebearers
of burden and woe

They fly the skies
as night time byes
warning of death to come

Beware my friend
someone comes to an end
when the banshees
starts to wail

It's heard through wood or stone
in every home
no one escapes
the throes

And in the end
the wailing sends
another poor soul
to Hell

Banshees are a special breed
they come from the seed
of a star

In the mounds of folk
does their life evoke
a love afair of magic
from a man made out of a star

Sometimes the banshees will wail
when they think of the love
that parted so many years ago
so many light years away
 Feb 2017
Light House
Before the garden was saved...  It fell countless times.
But each time it fell, it was saved & restored; & each time has been worth the effort.  This is fact, not mere opinion.

The garden has fallen in many fashions.  It has gone out
every way imaginable.  It has been burned.  It has been ridden
with plague & disease.  It has consumed itself through greed.
It has killed, turning corrupt eye ...time after time after time..
It has frozen over, gone cold with stone & ice.  It has been stretched,
& all-l-l  ..the way to death, it has bled.  It has been its own worst enemy,
& has also played the victim.
As it has fallen, so shall it be risen.

It has gone out every way imaginable...  Implying then, it has been saved every way imaginable...

There is one cycle, in which the city was drenched, died due to a dogged downpour.  The garden suffocated; it was flooded,
submerged... condemned.. to the bottom of a new-lake.
Rusting & flaking beneath... drowned, Garden did..
Flowers seaweeds.  Treasures & high-test soil ..buried;
everything bloated & breaking, like Atlantis rotting ...Garden sank.

But in this cycle, the city was saved... not by something with scales,
but by a creature with feathers, instead.  This is the tale of
the Sea Hawk  ..the Osprey.

He dove down from the clouds, as if they were cliffs
into this new-lake deep, full of some sort of
new-kind-of-spirit & reached... out with his grasp,
till his fingers clasped..  the tip of the ship.  Like a toothpick,
he uplifted said-ship, pinching it..  like a nerve, holding it...
like some old, legendary sword by its bowsprit-of-a-grip.
a bowsprit is the long piece of wood you often see jutting out forward over the ship's bow, extending over the figurehead.  Apologies if that is confusing.  I think that is a decent enough explanation?  Let me know if I am wrong.
Unedited for now.
Notes regarding Garden & this hawk idea I have now added to the mix.
Everything in the works.
Claiming this more unfinished than I was originally going to claim it.  Will be updating this one.
 Jan 2017
b e mccomb
my legs itch

the fat little
kid who lives
upstairs wants
to borrow a knife
to cut apart boxes

i give him scissors

and scratch one calf
with the other foot.

my legs still itch

i think it's dead
skin until they
sting up where
i've scrubbed

or tried to scrub
away the past

my mom always
told me i was a
good artist but
she never knew

i'm picasso in
his blue period

and i paint in
one color alone


the kid hands the
scissors back and
i try not to scratch
try to smile through

cracked winter lips
and split skin
beads of december
sweat all over me

swallow the smell
of burning meat
swallow secrets with
my morning meds
and a glass of cold
heartless blood

and don't ever tell my
mom she was right

that it feels good to
be a ******* artist.
Copyright 12/28/16 by B. E. McComb
 Jan 2017
Nishu Mathur
Today, I am gardening my life,
I'll root out  worrisome weeds,
Those thoughts that trouble me,
Cast them aside, those I'd never need.

I'll cut the grass of discontent
Layer it even, soft, green and sweet,
Smoothen  the furrows,
So I can run content, bare feet.

I'll water seeds planted with love,
Of friends made this year,
Friendships that bloomed,
That make life special, worth living and dear.

I'll welcome  butterflies,
And make homes for nesting birds,
With them, taste sun's ambrosia,
Soar and see the world.

I'll bask in the rainbow of colors,
Of blossoms brilliant bright,
And keep them sheltered,
When they sleep at night.

I'll capture the scented essence,
Of roses, jasmines and lilies
Place them in a jar,
My fragrant memories.

I'll love; rest and spend more time,
Under the shade of the  family tree,
Cherish every moment, every minute,
' Neath its precious canopy.

And I'll buy new saplings,
Sow them all carefully  in a row,
Of hopes, promises to me and mine,
And tend to them, make them grow
 Jan 2017
Walter W Hoelbling
the myths of birth and rebirth
are as old as humankind

scratched onto cave walls,
tablets of stone or clay,
scrolls of papyrus or  parchment,
for hundreds of years on paper,
and nowadays typed onto backlit screens
   that are recycled faster
   than old hieroglyphs were understood

in our time
when refugees are tens of millions
on our globe

let us remember that these myths
have celebrated for millenia
    not battles, war, or death
but the survival of the human race    
the joy we feel when new life has arrived
   often against all odds
the hope that emanates from godesses
    or mother saints of yore
    who symbolize fertility,
    have brought forth saviors and new tribes

these are what has propelled us to our current state

and we do well to not forget that our fate
does not depend on people slain
but on how we can save the joy of life
and celebrate all humankind again
Trying hard to write a verse of joyful optimism in dire times.... Wishing y'all on hellopoetry a Merry Christmas and a Better New Year!
Her soul
Was in a noose,

She broke free -
She cut loose.

She threw the rope
Into the sea,

Finally, after four decades,
For the first time, she was free.

She forced herself to accept
The things that she could not change,

She learnt how to protect herself -
However weird it felt;
However strange.

For the first time, ever,
She listened to herself,

With this, she found a remedy
For her exhausted mental health -

Finding this,
She found the grandest of wealth;

She finally found out
How to truly love her 'true' self!

By the Grace of God,
Came this divine gift,

She is blessed -
She is forever grateful
For this mental shift.

~ All thanks, be to God,
Her one and only,

For blessing her
With his unconditional love -
He remains with her
Even when she feels
hopelessly lost,
Extremely anxious,
And unbearably lonely.

By Lady R.F ©2016
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