Philosophers call them naïve realists, although in the time of Kant they were known as dogmatists. They’re the folk who believe in an absolute, objective world. When asked the age-old philosophical question, ‘Would the world be the same if you weren’t in it?’ they answer with an emphatic ‘yes, of course it would be’.
But of course, it wouldn’t be, and couldn’t be. The world is our creation, both metaphorically and physically. In fact, the material world of hard objects is entirely our interpretation or imposition.
As physicists and quantum physicists remind us, the material world of ‘stuff’ is made up of atoms and these in turn are made up of sub-atomic particles. At this level, space and time become, well, interesting.
Yet that’s not how we see the world. For us, the world doesn’t appear to be atomic at all; instead, it’s made up of large, often solid, and discrete objects. Time is serial and orderly, moving inexorably from past, to present to future, or so it seems, and space is measurable and constant, or so that seems.
That is the human experience of the world, although it’s not true. Einstein demonstrated that space/time is not an absolute, while other animals who we share the planet with have a different experience from us, seeing colours and sights and hearing sounds that are beyond our sensibilities.
Indeed, everything is energy, and our brains ‘freeze’ that into a world that, by necessity, has time and space. As Kant posited, space/time is an imposition of our brain onto that which is infinite and eternal for us to have an experience.
The world, as we sense it, could not be the same without us, although the statement is self-evident. This is not a casual, or dry and academic, point. The world you live in every day is part of your creation, or more precisely, each of us interprets everything into forms that are intelligible to us.
Add to that a few other layers and we’re into the heart of Time-Light territory. If everything is energy, and the past leaves an energetic imprinting, as Time-Light suggests, then your past is shaping the present.
And there’s a final paradox. Your brain can’t be a part of its own creation (something that Kant overlooked). That suggests a third self, which the Time-Light calls the Potential self, and this has to be outside of time and space.
Others call it by a variety of names, such as consciousness, the atman, nirvana or God.
Curiouser and curiouser.