Time as a Stream of Change

EPR Experiment and Time as a Stream of Change

Amrit Sorli, Kusum Sorli
SpaceLife Institute, Podere San Giorgio 16, 53012 Chiusdino (SI), Italy

E-mail: spacelife@libero.it

Received: 17 January 2004


EPR experiment shows that for information to pass between two quantum no time is needed. In this particular sense the experiment does not have a full scientific understanding. In the universe the passing of physical time cannot be clearly perceived as matter and space can be; one can perceive only irreversible physical, chemical, and biological changes. On the basis of elementary perception (sight) one can conclude that physical time exists only as a stream of changes that runs through cosmic space. With this understanding EPR experiment gains its full explanation.



Common scientific experience is indirect. Perception and experience become separated through the rational activity of the mind. Information enters the senses, goes into the rational part of the mind where it is elaborated through logic and mathematics, and then becomes an experience:

rational experience
universe → perception (senses) → elaboration (mind) → rational experience

Let's do a simple experiment. You observe for a few moments a plant in your room or one that is outside the window, and then close your eyes. Inside yourself you observe many thoughts, like how big the plant is, what colour it is, and so on. The mind's elaboration creates a gap between perception and experience. The question arises: is it possible to experience the plant directly as perceived by the senses without the mind elaborating on it? Direct experience requires us to become aware of all thoughts, emotions and images that are associated with the object or situation that we experience. Humans have the capacity to watch how mind elaborates perception. By observing (watching) the way mind elaborates perception he or she becomes aware of how mind influences the experience of the experiment. With this awareness rational experience of the experiment is enriched with conscious experience. Having conscious experience one grasps exactly what one perceives. Conscious experience is direct, as the mind does not interfere between perception and experience:

conscious experience
universe → perception (senses) → conscious experience

Rational And Conscious Experience of Time

In the universe the passing of physical time cannot be clearly perceived as matter and space can be; one can perceive only irreversible physical, chemical, and biological changes (hereinafter referred to as "changes") in space. On the basis of elementary perception (sight) one can conclude that physical time exists only as a stream of changes that runs through cosmic space. [1]

The terms "physical time" and "stream of changes" describe the same phenomenon. Physical changes are irreversible, and thus physical time. Change A leads to change B, B leads to C and so on. When B is in existence A does not exist anymore, when C is in existence B does not exist anymore. It is not that changes happen in physical time, changes themselves are physical time. The universe is composed of only two things: space and its content, with both these components changing.

The question then arises: Why is irreversible physical time experienced on top of changes as past, present and future with a sense of reversibility in it? The answer is obtained by analysing the scientific way of experiencing. The eyes perceive a stream of irreversible changes. Once elaborated by the mind, the stream of changes is experienced through psychological time, and this phenomenon is a part of the human mind, not a physical quantity.

The Origin of Psychological Time

Let's look at the origin of this psychological time by carrying out an experiment. Take a pen and move it from the left side of the table to the right. You can perceive only the movement of the pen in space, but you experience that the pen has also moved through time. How come? Perception passes first through psychological time and then the experience occurs. That's why you experience the movement of the pen in time. But on the basis of elementary perception (sight) one can only state that the pen has changed position in space. Mentally, the pen could retrace its path back, so reversibility is implied by the mind in this mental construction process of time; time then appears naturally reversible, but changes are not. Your perception of the movement of the pen enters the senses, goes into the rational part of the mind where it is elaborated through the concepts of linear time (a mental map of the changes), three-dimensional space, logic and mathematics, and becomes an experience.

movement of the pen → perception (eyes) → elaboration through the time and space of the mind  → experience

Time Was Conceived Differently Through the Ages

The rational understanding of physical time has changed over the ages. For ancient Greeks, Indians, and Mayans, time was considered a cyclic phenomenon; time moving in circles, with no beginning and no end. When Judeo-Christian civilization arose in Europe, another understanding of time became prominent — time going forward in a straight line, one shot through so to speak. According to this civilization, time has its beginning with God's creation of the universe and will have its end with the Last Judgment. In Newtonian physics, physical time is an independent quantity (absolute time), running uniformly throughout the entire cosmic space (absolute space). In the General Theory of Relativity, time is no longer independent — it is linked with space in four-dimensional space-time. Finally, according to the understanding coming from conscious experience (as discussed below) time exists as a physical reality only as a stream of changes in timeless cosmic space. It is a "by-product" of the matter that changes in timeless cosmic space.

EPR Experiment In Timeless Space

In the conscious experience cosmic space seems to be timeless. Change run, but space is just there, unchangeable. The timeless cosmic space is giving a full explanation for experiment of Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen (EPR).

This experiment shows that two quantum which have been together and than send in the space in opposite directions "know" for each other in an instant moment. When the spin of one particle is unilaterally changed, an astounding experimental result is that the second particle's spin "immediately" flips of its own accord Furthermore, the means by which the information of the first spin flip is transferred to the second particle (so that it too can flip) is information which is required to travel faster than the speed of light. While the information transfer may not be simultaneous (limits on the experimental apparatus prohibits any proof of simultaneity), it nevertheless —- within the time frame of the Planck constant or speeds in excess of the speed of light —- must connects the two particles in some fundamental manner.

As cosmic space is timeless information between quantum is immediate. But this understanding can not be grasped by the rational experience, the conscious experience is needed.

An Independent Feature of the Mind

The rate of psychological time does not always follow physical time, it depends on one's well-being. The more relaxed you are the slower the speed of psychological time is. In modern society time passes quickly, in so-called primitive societies time passed slowly. In an altered state of consciousness, such as meditation, ecstatic dance, deep prayer, psychological time stops.

Already in a normal state of health there are, every now and then, aberrations of subjective time such as acceleration or deceleration of lapse of time. Under several mental disturbances (like those characterizing serious mental psychoses, drug-induced states, trances, mediations, as well as other deep "altered" states of consciousness), these anomalies/peculiarities become more pronounced. The flux of time may even cease completely — the sensations usually described as "time standing still", or "suspended, arrested" time, or expand without limit — the feelings of "everlasting now, eternity." [2]

In "altered states" one has the capacity to observe his/her mind. This is a function of consciousness/awareness. [3] Everybody can observe his/her thoughts and emotions. By observing them the speed of thought and the intensity of emotion calms down. Once the mind stops psychological time stops too. Psychological time is thus independent of physical time.

Conscious Experience May Assist Rational Experience

Through rational experience one grasps a stream of changes as linear time (through making a mental map of the changes), while conscious experience reveals this stream as an irreversible process. As we have seen, by observing this stream, humans have developed psychological time through which we rationally experience the universe. However, psychological time is reversible. One can go back into the past. This creates then an idea, i.e. a model that physical time physically exists (notably through its past), but this is not so.

In that line, General Relativity allows a speculation about time travel. Someone could travel through a black hole with a spaceship, go back into the past and kill his grandmother. The consequence is that he could never have been born.[4] This shows the lack of causality built into General Relativity, a fact that was of great concern to Einstein as an unphysical feature of his theory. This feature was tied to the fundamental disconnection of space from its contents within the basis of the theory (the "hole" problem), and a problem he dealt with for 2 years before succeeding in making it at least mathematically acceptable for final publication. [5] This is still a key problem, showing the theory ultimately to be a crude model of reality, and only acceptable within the limited framework of rational experience.

Travelling into the past is not possible because a stream of changes is irreversible; the past exists only as psychological time, through which it is not possible to travel with a spaceship or otherwise (H. G. Wells' Time Machine?). The problem of the "Arrow of Time" has been known since the 19th century, as classical mechanics has reversible equations when dealing with the time parameter, while the world is not reversible. [6] One could only conclude that classical mechanics was a model ultimately incomplete to represent reality. In the 20th century, quantum mechanics dealt with this through the "collapse of the wave function," an irreversible but unexplained process, a pure axiom within the model of the theory. However, even there the Schroedinger Equation is reversible, so quantum processes are still seen as reversible. In all these cases, conscious experience must then correct rational experience.

One experiences physical time consciously as he/she perceives it: as a stream of changes in space. Rational experience is enriched with conscious experience by simply allowing the observer to watch his or her mind. Watching is an individual research method, using the imagination of the researcher, as Einstein saw. [7] Rational experience is based on analysis, it deals with the elements of the universe (stars, planets, living beings, atoms and so on) in separated way. Conscious experience instead reconnects the scientist (the observer) and the universe as a whole. It reaches beyond the duality subject-object.

Time as a Stream of Changes in the Theory of Relativity

We can measure with clocks the duration and "speed" of changes (or amount of changes between known common events). Regarding Special Relativity this means that, in an inertial system moving fast, the amount of changes between known events is less than in an inertial system that moves with less speed. The twin in a fast spaceship is growing old slower than his twin-brother in the spaceship that travels with less speed, and this we know when the twins meet again (a common event). The hypothesis that time as a physical quantity runs slower on the first ship than on the second is our rational deduction via reading clocks at the events where and when the twins meet. But these clocks measure only the amount of changes, not time, at their location in space in-between the events. So rational experience in this case has to assist conscious experience: The comparative features of streams of changes between common events can only be reached through the model of physical time constructed through rational experience, not through conscious experience.

Experiments with high precision clocks confirm that changes are less in the parts of space where the gravitational field is stronger, as the model of General Relativity predicts, a rational experience by definition. The speed of clocks near the sea in Venice is slower than on the mountain Monte Rosa because gravity is stronger near sea level. [1] Within General Relativity this means that with an increase of the "roundness" of space the speed of changes (amount of changes between common events) is getting less. These changes in the characteristics of space from place to place beg the question: Is space then changing also with changes in its contents?

Rational vs. Conscious Experience in the Theory of Relativity

In the conscious experience one experiences oneness, timelessness, harmony. Einstein called it "imagination". General Relativity is a "rationalization" of conscious experience of the universe. He worked hard to express the beauty and harmony of the universe in a scientific model. The image of infinite three-dimensional cosmic space is replaced with the image of a finite surface in four dimensions that changes with changes in its contents. Matter and space are in dynamic equilibrium. Einstein visualized space as bent by the presence of matter. Space changes also with changes in its contents, and this as a result of an initial conscious experience, Einstein's.

Through Einstein's model, time was then half integrated with space, with changes in space described within three-dimensional Riemannian subspaces ("space-time slices"), and with the speed (amount) of changes in matter and electromagnetic phenomena measured with clocks. This half-integration to space resulted in time being still reversible in the model, and was thus considered a failure by Einstein. [8] Here integration is complete, time being a stream of changes of matter within space, with no reversibility possible.

With complete integration of time into space four-dimensional space can be replaced with three-dimensional space. Movements of stars and galaxies can be described within three-dimensional Riemann space, its duration measured by clocks.


By having conscious experience of time and space one become aware that universe is a timeless phenomena. It has no beginning and no end, it is eternal. There is no Creator of the universe. Man is born and dies. He projects his birth and death into the universe. Because of the fear of death he has created a concept of God. Conscious experience brings awareness of the immortality of the universe. One enters into a deep harmony with the universe that dissolves the fear of death.

Recent scientific theories confirm that universe has no beginning and no end. That big bangs are cyclic is predicted by the cosmologic theory of Turok and Steinhardt. [9] Kompanichenko came to the same conclusion by studding how stars and planetary systems has been formed. [10]

The scientific picture of the universe is continuously improving towards what the universe really is. The geocentric model was improved through the heliocentric model, Newton's space and time were changed into the space-time of Minkowski and Einstein. A further development is from space-time to timeless space in which an irreversible stream of changes runs, time being only a "by-product" of the content of space that changes within cosmic space.

Here "watching" the mind is an absolute necessity. It is an individual research method that brings awareness of how linear time as a map of changes and space-time as a four-dimensional surface exist only in the mind, and are only one way of conceptualising reality. Watching the mind is the only way that can lead into a rational picture of the universe that is closer to its true makeup.

On the other hand, via the model of General Relativity, rational experience was there to confirm Einstein's initial conscious experience, something he called "imagination," that not only the content of space but space itself is changing according to its content. Such a concept needed the assistance of rational experience, for example by comparing clocks at common events, in order to ascertain its validity since not accessible to conscious experience. But, as the irreversibility of changes has demonstrated, conscious experience must be used in the first place to set rational experience, especially when it comes to devise its models (such as time), including the bounds of their validity and their conclusions.

Rational experience of space and time is indirect, limited by geometrical models through which one rationally experiences them, while one can experience cosmic space directly through a conscious experience. Time can only be constructed via a rational experience as it is only a model, and thus not in the realm of conscious experience.

Conscious experience thus represents not only an enrichment for scientific research, but a vital part of productive science (explanation of EPR experiment is a good prove of practical aspect of conscious experience). This is the conclusion Einstein also reached through his well-known statement [7] about the imagination encompassing the entire world, contrary to rational experience.


[1] Sorli (1990), Konec Casa (The End of Time), Mladinska Knjiga, Ljubljana, Slovenia

[2] Rosolino, Metod, Endo (2003), Physical Paradigm and Mathematics of Subjective Time, Frontier Perspectives, Vol 12, No. 1, Temple University, Philadelphia

[3] Sorli (2001) Watching the Mind as an Individual Research Method, Frontier Perspectives, Vol 10, No. 1, Temple University, Philadelphia

[4] Paul Davis (1995), About Time, Chapter 11, Simon & Schuster

[5] Overbye (2000), Einstein in Love, Chap. 20, Viking Penguin

[6] Coveney and Highfield (1990), The Arrow of Time, W. H. Allen

[7] Viereck (1929), What Life Means to Einstein, Oct. 26, 1929 interview, The Saturday Evening Post

[8] Chapter 3 of ref. [6]

[9] Steinhardt and Turok, A Cyclic Model of the Universe, Science 2002 0: 10704621-0274

[10] Kompanichenko (2002), Non-equilibrium State of Stars and Dichotomous Formation of Planetary Systems, PGS Publisher, Russia, Khabarovsk

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