Posted on

Slices of Green

The relationship between space and time is like that between whole and part, where the terms whole and part are interchangeable. If we call the onion space, its layers are time. If we call the onion time, its layers are space.

The following is a brief quote from a forthcoming essay. “To be requires context. Contrast. If I am green in a green room, in a sense, I don’t exist. Only the finite can exist within the infinite. Similarly, though it’s humbling to consider, the infinite needs the finite. The relationship between energy and matter is like that between time and a photograph of a moment in time. Into what could time be divided, if not discrete finite moments? Only the finite can comprise the infinite. And if the finite would truly comprise (know or “grok” in computer language) the infinite, it is also infinite.”

Let’s look at this idea more closely. Let’s say there’s an infinite river of green that goes on forever, running from left to right. Each “slice” or individual moment of the river is fixed in time, finite, and can be expressed materially, like a photograph. But if every slice of something infinite can be expressed as something finite, then, cumulatively, the finite is also infinite. If “river” is infinite, and every moment of “river” can be expressed as “photograph,” then “photograph” is also infinite. In other words, if the set of that which is finite goes on forever, then it is not, in fact, finite. More importantly, if a set is infinite, then each individual slice of it—each subset—is also infinite. Here’s how.

(Spoiler: think of the Fibonacci spiral, which is on display everywhere in our universe, from the shape of galaxies to the human face.)

Each slice of the river of time is space. Each slice extends out horizontally, while time proceeds vertically. But each slice, as it extends, bends. Space is not static; the universe is expanding. Space, as it accelerates, becomes time. We can never complete 360 degrees; it will always be 365; because as we go, with each step, the universe is expanding. This is not an inertial plane; space exists “under the influence” of time. There are, in a sense, no circles. By the time we complete a circle, it’s wider. It’s the same place—but a different day. Every circle is actually a spiral. God draws straight with crooked lines.

This video captures the spiral of space but (in the final shot seen from a distance) fails to express its increasing size.