Imagine each one of us, are looking at the same scene, maybe a group of trees. If so, are we looking at the same trees? If we are looking at the same scene, I am sure most people will answer, yes; we are looking at the same trees. My answer is a qualified ‘yes’. We may be looking at the same trees, but each one of us is looking at a different version of the trees. In other words, we are not looking at ‘exactly’ the same trees but looking at different versions of the same trees.
How to understand this? The problem is the way we look at the vast and intractable space. We are so used to see space in terms of distance. This tree is 100 feet away, that house is 1 mile away, that plane is flying at 30,000 feet. There is nothing wrong with this, but this particular vision hides the complexities of the space out there. The interesting truths about space get hidden with this perspective.
Another way to look at space is in terms of time. Measure distance by the amount of time light takes to reach us from different objects. Einstein taught us that space and time are the same things, and he coined the term spacetime. This would mean we can measure distance in space both in miles/km and by time. Things become interesting and the inner complexity of the universe becomes evident when you look at the universe in terms of time. To get the ball rolling, let us look at some trees in terms of time taken by light to reach us from the trees. We know that light travels at 186,000 miles/sec. For an instance, suppose you are standing at Location A and your friend is standing at Location B, and you are looking at a group of trees located and rooted at different distances. Even though the trees are not very far, a single beam of light will take some time to reach us. See below the results of the trees in terms of distance and time taken by light to reach us.
|Location A||Location B|
|Tree 1||100 ft||0.10 µs||600 ft||0.60 µs|
|Tree 2||300 ft||0.30 µs||800 ft||0.80 µs|
|Tree 3||500 ft||0.50 µs||1000 ft||1.0 µs|
|Tree 4||1000 ft||1.0 µs||1500 ft||1.5 µs|
Note: µs = microseconds = 10-6 seconds
You are standing at Location A and tree 1 is 100 feet away. Based on the speed of light, it will take approximately 0.1 µs to reach you from the point where the tree is located. Since light has taken some time to reach you, the version of the tree you will see is not the current version, but a dated version of the tree. We will see the current version of the tree, only if the distance between the tree and us is zero and when light will take zero seconds to reach us. I like to call this the ‘now’ tree. It is the current version of the tree. The simple explanation is that, If light must travel any distance (however small), you will never see the current version or the ‘now’ version of the tree. It is always the older and the dated version of the tree.
Based on this, for tree 1, which is 100 feet away, you will see the (now- 0.1 µs) version of the tree. This is because light takes 0.1 µs to reach us, so what we see is not the ‘now’ version but a (now – 0.1 µs) version of the tree. Light from Tree 3 at 500 feet will take 0.5 µs to reach us, so the version of the tree you see the (now – 0.5 µs) version of the tree. This logic will apply to all the objects in the universe.
Now, suppose your friend is standing at Location B, which is 500 feet behind you and for him Tree 1 is 600 feet away. Since your friend is standing 600 feet away, light will take 0.60 µs to reach him. This would mean your friend will see the (now – 0.6 µs) version of the same tree. The version of his tree is different from the one that you are seeing. You at 100 feet away see the (now – 0.1 µs) version of the tree and your friend at 600 feet, will see (now – 0.6 µs) version of the tree. Since light travels a longer time to reach your friend from the same tree, he will see a different version of the same tree.
This may sound strange, but it is true that if we are not standing at exactly the same distance from the tree, we will see a different version of the same tree. It is this same logic of a changed and altered version that applies to all objects in the universe.
You may argue, µs = microseconds = 10-6 seconds is a very small number, and a human being cannot discern these small-time differences. This is very true and that is why there is no confusion between the different versions of the same objects. We all think we are seeing the same version of the tree. Human mind has a limited capacity to distinguish between these minor changes. If the human mind cannot distinguish between these minor changes, that does not mean that mother nature is also limited. Based on the Plank constant, the smallest possible time slot in nature is 10-44 seconds. This is a very small number, and nature is constructed based on the time increments of 10-44 seconds. The entire space and the objects in and around it are constructed based on this time increments. If you compare 10-6 seconds with 10-44 seconds, 10-6 seconds seems like eternity. This is the discerning capacity of nature.
The point being made is that the tree you see at 100 feet is the (now- 0.1 µs) version of the tree and your friend sees the (now- 0.6 µs) version of the same tree at 600 feet. If each one of you might have taken a photo of the tree, you might not have noticed any difference. This is expected because the distances are not much. The human mind cannot distinguish these minor changes, but nature definitely provides different versions of the same tree.
If the minor version changes for small distances is difficult to accept, let us conduct a thought experiment, where the object distances are very large, and the time taken for light to reach us is significant. Let us assume that human beings are living all over the universe. Even the far far away planets are inhabited with people. Let us say that at this very moment 4 people are looking at the sun. Person 1 is stationed on Earth. Person 2 is stationed at Mars. Person 3 is in a planet which is 1 million light years away. Person 4 is living in a planet which is 4 billion light years away. At this ‘now’ moment, all of them are looking at the sun. What will each person see?
- Person 1 will see the (now – 8 min) version of the sun, because a single ray of light takes 8 min to reach the person 1 in Earth.
- Person 2 is on Mars and light takes 13 minutes to reach Mars. This person will see the (now- 13 minutes) version of the sun. It may not be noticeable, but the sun in Mars will look 5 minutes younger as compared to what Person 1 sees on Earth.
- Person 3 who is 1 million light years away, will see the (now- 1 million years) version of the sun. This is because it has taken light 1 million years to reach the Person 3.
- Person 4 who is 4 billion light years away will see the (now- 4 billion years) version of the sun. We know that the sun is about 4.5 billion years old. So right now, Person 4 will see the version of the sun which was 4 billion years ago. This person actually sees the infant version of the sun, which is totally different from the sun person 1 is seeing from the Earth or Mars.
All the 4 people are looking at the sun right ‘now’, but they are seeing different versions of the sun. Not only the sun, but this same explanation applies to every object in the universe. You maybe a few millimeters away or light years away, each one of us will see a different version of the same object.
Some more intriguing complexity of the world yet remains unsolved. You are standing 600 feet from Tree 1. We have seen at this distance; you will see the (now- 0.6 µs) version of the tree. Now you start walking towards the tree. What happens? As you walk, the tree gets closer to you. This means the beam of light will take less time to reach you and therefore, you will see a different version of the same tree. With every step you take, you will see a different version of the tree. It is indeed an amazing stuff, but extremely true. When you reach 100 feet from the tree, you will see the (now- 0.1 µs) version of the tree. What is happening? The tree looks so fixed and stationery, how is possible the tree is changing its version on a continuous basis. It would almost seem that the current version is being physically uprooted, and it is being replaced by a newer version of the tree. It is definitely not our experience.
How to understand this reality? We can see that the universe out there looks very different when space is looked with the eyes of ‘time’ and not distances. How to understand that you see a version of the tree; your friend sees a different version of the same tree. A person 4 billion light years away will see the infant version of the sun, while you on Earth will see (now- 8 min) version of the sun. How to comprehend that when you walk, run or drive in a car, the version of the tree and every object out there keeps changing its version on a continuous basis.
This is intriguing because this perspective is never discussed. So what is the basis If you want a simple answer – it is called Projection. It means each one of us project our own universe out there. Our mind projects the universe and that is what we see. I am projecting a version of the tree along with other objects you are also projecting your own version of the tree depending upon the distance at which the tree is located with respect to you. This way each one of us is projecting their own version of the tree along with other objects. There is no other way which will explain why you see a different version of the tree as compared with others. Also, if you are moving at any speed, how will version of the objects keep changing. The entire phenomenon is only possible because each one of us is projecting the universe out there.
I have given a detailed explanation why ‘Projection is the Only Truth’ and ‘How the Projection Really works’ in the following article at my website.
Vedanta teaches us that there is a fully functioning subtle universe made up of waveforms which is operating in the cosmic mind and a subset of this subtle universe is operating within an individual mind. Also, each object in the universe has a gross form and a subtle form. The subtle form is made up of waveforms. Each object has its own and unique waveform. These object waveforms make up the subtle universe. In cosmic mind and individual minds, there is also a Time waveform. This waveform is the source for Time. This Time waveform superimposes with the object waveform to from a combined Time-Object waveform. This Time-Object waveform is powerful, and it maintains the full historical timeline record of the object, right from its birth to the ‘now’ moments. All the versions of the objects are available or stored in the combined Time-Object waveform. For example, if Tree 1 is 70 years old, the combined Time- Tree 1 waveform will have the consummate record of all the versions of the tree from its birth to the current moment. This applies to every object in the universe.
When you are seeing Tree 1, the (now- 0.1 µs) version of the Time-Tree 1 waveform will be available in your mind. Your mind will then project this tree at 100 feet. When your friend sees Tree 1, the (now- 0.6 µs) version of the Time-Tree 1 waveform will be available in his mind. Your friend’s mind will project this tree at 600 feet, and therefore projection varies from one individual mind to another.
Next time you look at space, please look at it through the lens of time. You will get a different perspective of the world out there. If you do that regularly, then you will understand the actual construction of the universe. You will realize that objects are placed at different distances because of the time light takes to reach us. If you think deeply about this, you will be convinced that your mind is projecting the different version of the objects out there.