The past, the present and the future, three stages of perception with time as their reference. Do these exist in reality? If you look around, you can only see the past. The past… not the present. Consider that what you see is the manifestation of the world around you through the reflection of light rays that collide with objects and are received by your eyes. Light has a finite speed (at least according to popular science) and therefore takes time to reach your eyes (however little but it still does take time and is not instantaneous). This means that everything you see is what has already transpired, i.e., it has completed happening and is now only a ghost of the actual reality that existed in a time past.
So with the same assumption, if we consider that light has a finite fixed speed, then we see that it takes lesser time to travel to us from nearer objects than farther ones. This means that as objects get closer to us, we get closer to seeing the present. And as objects get farther we see more into the past. So the past stretches out all around us in the visible universe!
Does this mean that there is a point where we perceive reality as it exists at this point in time? If so where is this point? Is it the point of perception? What is the point of perception? Is it the retina of the eye? But then it takes time to send the received information to the brain for processing. Is it then the point in the brain where the information is being processed? But then even that takes some time. So is it even possible to see the real present?
Maybe we can only feel and believe in the present as something that the mind understands through the eyes, then corroborate with information received after. But if we consider that the mind sees the present and the eyes perceive it after, is there a limit to how much time is there between these two points of conscious mindfulness. If there is, how do we measure it? How do we know that something is the present. Clearly in this case, there is nothing preventing us from understanding something and perceiving it before our eyes see it? And nothing prevents us from seeing it a few seconds or hours or even days earlier. The only question is whether it is going to be a reality at some point in which case we have seen the future.
If we can see the future, where is it that we are looking? Since everything we see outside is just the past. This would mean we can only see the future inside. Inside what? Again a clear anatomical answer eludes us.
We see the future in our minds. The mind is the one creates the future in thought and then actions realize it. The inception of the future begins in the mind. This is one way of how it could be.
And where is this future? Is it here or there? Again as everything outside is in the past and hence all points there are in the past, where does the future exist? Here? Where is here? Within the space of our body? If we then shrink our consciousness to something smaller than our body and become aware of the outer layer of the body as a separate entity outside just like the real world,
“IT” would also be “there” and not “here”. Where then is “here”? It is in our mind. “Here” and “Now” is in our mind, for only there can we really perceive them so.
But the body is not separate from the mind or the consciousness. We are connected to the outside world by our body and its various perception devices. So we are in fact connected to our past through the body and to the future through our mind. So then the present must be in the spirit of the two. The cross roads of the conceptual and real. The “path” you take gives you the results you “see” subsequently regardless of whether you actually conceptualized it in the mind.
So even though our mind may see something, it may not translate into the “past” in our “future” if the essence of the mind is not connecting us to the perceptions of our body.
The threads of time extend infinitely in two directions; outwards from our body and inwards into our minds. They intertwine at many places at the center and shape the fabric of present reality in between.
As with any fabric, the loom that weaves the fabric has much to do with the final results. Threads of all colors and hues and possibilities are available to the the soul of the weaver but for the unity of the trinity of mind, body and spirit.