Motion is part of our daily life. We see motion or movement everywhere. What causes this motion? How does this motion happen? You will be surprised, it is completely opposite to our conventional understanding.
Frame of Reference:
If there are two cars next to each other and travelling in the same direction at 60 mph, they will not experience any motion with respect to each other. They will feel they are stationery. They will feel motion if they pass a stationery person standing on the roadside. If one driver is driving at 60 mph and another person at 55 mph. They will only experience a speed of 5 mph. To explain this, physics teaches us that there are two frames of references. One frame of reference is the observer and other frame of reference is the object. If both the reference frames move at the same speed, there will be no relative motion, if they are not moving at the same speed, motion will be experienced.
Motion has a knack of playing tricks with us. There are two stationery trains in a platform. You are sitting in one of them. The other train starts moving, why do we feel that we are moving, and the other train is stationery. The observer frame is stationery and the object frame is moving, but we feel that the object frame is stationery and the observer frame is moving with respect with the object frame. We look through the other side window and then realize we are stationery and the other train is moving. If there were no windows on the other side, we would really think we are moving. If there is no other frame of reference except the other train, we would really think we are moving. The conclusion is that if there are only two frames of references, then both the frame of references thinks they are moving with respect with the other reference frame.
Apply this logic to our daily life. We are walking towards some trees. Are we really walking towards the trees or we are stationery and the tree are coming towards us? The idea we are stationery and trees are coming moving towards us is a possibility based on the frame of references we discussed for the trains at the platform. But can this be true? Yes, it is true, and it is the only truth. It is difficult to digest this, how can the trees move, they seem so stationery.
The teachings of Vedanta can help us in this regard. We have seen in the other articles at our website, that the Observer, which is Awareness is within each one of us. This Observer is outside the spacetime fabric and is always t = 0. This Observer is not the body or mind and is always stationery and never moves. It cannot move because it is outside the spacetime fabric. If the Observer frame is always fixed, it is only logical that the trees are moving closer to us to give a sense of motion. But how can the trees and other such fixed objects in the universe move? As we have discussed in our article ‘Life is Living Wave’ that there is a fully functioning subtle universe made up of mental waves which is operating in the mind. These subtle mental waves are then projected out there as the physical world.
Based on this, there are subtle waveforms of the tree in our mind. In some way (which is discussed later), the subtle waveform of the tree moves closer to the fixed Observer in the mind. When this happens, the projected physical tree will now be closer to the Observer. Since the physical tree has moved to be closer to the fixed observer, there is a sense of motion or movement of the tree. We do not feel this, we feel the tree is fixed and we have moved closer to the tree. This is exactly the same way you feel your fixed train is moving as compared to the other train in the platform. This is the grand deception of motion, played by Maya shakti.
The Observer frame is always stationery and the movement of the object frame gives the impression of motion for the Observer frame. So, how does the object frame really move? What is the cause for the object frame to move? To understand this, we need to discuss the Einstein theory of special reactivity.
Theory of Special Relativity:
If you understand the Einstein theory of special relativity, you will see that there is a connection between motion and time. We just saw if one driver is driving at 60 mph and other person at 55 mph, they will experience a relative speed of 5 mph. We don’t have this experience with reference to the speed of light. Light is travelling at 186,000 miles per sec and suppose you are traveling in a car at 60% of the speed of light. Sitting in the car, you would logically expect the light to travel at only 40% of its usual speed, but if you take measurements you will find to your amazement that light is still travelling at 186k miles per sec. The same applies if you increase the speed of the car to 80% of speed of light or slow down to 30% of the speed of light. The speed of light is fixed at 186,000 miles per hour irrespective of the frame of reference.
What has happened is that time has slowed down so that light still covers 186K miles in one second. Since time has slowed down, the space of 186K miles will be smaller as compared to earlier. The space is still 186k, but the measuring ruler has shrunk, so the space measurement is still 186K. Amazing but true. If you increase the speed of the car to 80% of speed of light, time will slow down further, and space will further contract. If you now slow down to 30% of the speed of light, space will now expand. All this is done to ensure that the speed of light is a constant at 186,000 miles per sec. This expansion and contraction of spacetime also happens even when walking or running. However, the speed at which you walk, or run is so slow when compared to the speed of light that you are unable to notice, but the changes to the space time framework are always occurring.
- This mean motion and time are interconnected. As speed of motion goes up, time slows down. If you reach the speed of light, time will not move, it will be fixed.
- Suppose Person A is sitting in a chair, Person B is walking, Person C is running, Person D is cycling, and Person E is driving a car; all of them are moving at different speeds; this would mean that each of them will have their own separate spacetime framework.
- From the above, it would seem the time clock of each moving person is different. This means that the atoms are vibrating differently for each person. If atoms are vibrating differently, the object makeup will be different. In other words, each person is not only having a separate spacetime framework, but all the objects in that spacetime framework are different.
Time and Motion
From the theory of special relativity, we can conclude that the motion and time are interconnected. When motion speed increases, then the time slows down. It seems motion comes first and then the time slow down. Motion is the cause and the slowdown of time is the effect. Is this the correct interpretation? I don’t think so. Motion is gross, we see motion everywhere. In contrast time is subtle – you cannot see it, touch it or feel it. Time is present in the mind as a mental wave. This wave has the power to create Time. It is quite difficult for us to understand or visualize the composition of this waveform, but one thing is certain that Time is subtle and therefore it is a waveform and is present in everyone’s mind.
Vedanta teaches us that subtle mental waves comes first, and the subtle waveforms is the cause for the gross world around us. The subtle waveform projects the physical world out there. If you apply this reasoning, time must come first, and the time waveform is the cause for motion. So, the correct way to interpret the connection between motion and time is that when time slows down, then motion is created.
When time slows down, it is only logical to expect the objects would be closer to the Observer. The physics equation s = v*t will support this. When time t is a smaller value, the distance s will be smaller, meaning it is closer to the Observer. There is motion of the object by slowing of time. Before the slowdown of time, the objects were at a certain location and by slowing down of time, the objects have moved closer to the fixed Observer. The objects have moved, meaning there is motion. However, we feel the opposite, the objects are fixed, and the Observer has moved. This is exactly the way we feel when the other train moves in the platform. We are fixed, and the other train is moving, but we feel the other train is fixed and we are moving.
So, time controls motion and not the other way around. Time is the cause for motion. Increase or decrease the time factor in the mind, the resulting motion (or speed) of the objects will change in the physical world. Time is also the cause for the spacetime fabric expansion or contraction. Increase or decrease the time, space time fabric will also expand or contract. This corroborates the Einstein theory of special relativity.
Next time you are walking or running, just imagine you are fixed at your location, but the objects around you are moving closer to you. True and amazing.
Just a quick word about acceleration. The same logic also applies to acceleration. Acceleration is a type of motion, so here also time controls the motion. In the earlier discussion, the time slowed down by a fixed amount and this resulted in motion at a fixed speed. But in acceleration, time slows down by squaring itself, this results in motion being accelerated. So time is king, it controls both velocity and acceleration.