Time in Broad Sense. The Spiritual Essence of the Time

This entry was posted by on Thursday, 19 November, 2009 at


“…that we may comprehend the  duration of all things under a common measure, we compare their duration with that of the  greatest and most regular motions that give rise to years and days, and this duration we call time;.. ”

R. Descartes , Principles of Philosophy, Part I,  LVII

Time represents the essential human dimension; could the simple measurement of the Cartesian duration bring us closer to the understanding of its essence? After 1980, the general time theory enriched with a series of major aspects, which brought together provide a new and consistent perspective upon time essence.  Here are a few of these recent developments:

  1. Introduction, based on advances in high energy physics ( hadrons, etc ) of a new type of inter-systemic coherence, called by me synconnection or generative interactivity (Fig. 1c).  Synconnection ( syn from synthesis ) goes beyond regular interaction  ( interactivity): more or less there is  a genesis – this model- concept being crucial for the proper, non-reductionist understanding of the inseparability between real / possible, space / time, body / soul, matter / spirit, ergonic / nonergonic.

  2. The prominent role performed by the active, non-linear environments in contemporary science and technology, with a corollary often overlooked – the activation of possible ( involving the modal recoupling or reuniting of real / possible; for  details see the  section ” The Intrinsic Probabilistic  Character of the Contemporary Knowledge “, paragraph  ” Activation of Possible : from Prigogine to…Chuang-Tse ).

  3. Last but not least the elaboration of the decoherence theory ( coherence / decoherence / recoherence) mainly by the German Professor H.-D. ZEH and the American researcher Dr. W.H. ZUREK; see the collective monography already issued in two editions ( Springer 1986; 2003 ) entitled “ Decoherence and Appearance of a Classical World of Quantum Theory ”.  To mention that one of the co-authors of this exceptional work is a remarkable Romanian physicist I.O. STAMATESCU.

Beginning with the ‘80s,  as a professor  – researcher at Transylvania University in Brasov, Romania, I have tried to synthesize these post- Einsteinian  developments, edifying  a non-linear model of time based on so called  the “ activation of possible ”, the first results being published in Bucharest ( Dr. Florin FELECAN – Fizica si Filosofie, 1984, Edit. Politica pp. 269 – 288, editors:  Prof.  Ioan-Iovit POPESCU and Dr. Angela BOTEZ).



Fig. 1 Types of inter-systemic connections:

a. weak connection ( linear / conservative )
b. interactive connection ( transient )
c. synconnection ( modifying the system’s nature )
d. Time into relativity theory ( S = space, M = matter )


The term spirit ( spiritual ) has not necessarily – but does not exclude either – a religious connotation.   According to contemporary knowledge the spirit could have essentially a wavy  nature ( under the form of some potentiality waves, leading to a close relationship between the spirit in a broad sense and possibility) controlling ( especially through an intrinsic, modal selection mechanism) the entire existence, history, duration, being the  non-local, non-ergonic expression of the Whole ( Universe, Nature ).  Through communication / information (and not through action = transfer of energy / impulse ) the Whole influences the history / evolution of the systems  but not directly ( through physical states modification ) but rather indirectly through states  probability alteration. The traditional annexing of the possibility by real / reality ( of the spirit by matter and correlatively of the time by space) is evidently questionable, being rooted to the limited human perception: in the ordinary life just the happening matters, the other potential alternatives being definitely dismissed. The great German philosopher Hegel did consider the possible but only as a devoid category.  Between the Cartesian mechanism “ either… or “ (exclusive disjunction) – the basis of the modal un-coupling ( either real, or possible ) , the Hegelian option ( the possible is void  ) and Einstein’s thesis ( time is an illusion ) there is an undisputable conceptual correspondence.   In the Fig. 2 it is shown how the possible “ P ” ( and Time ) became the most plausible modern illusion (“ p ”);  “ r ” = the real being generated / recovered by the possible “  P ”, “ r ” having less than one occurrence probability; “ R ” = the Real of modern science, ruptured from possible, simply being thrown into the world; time became duration – a spatial accident,  while the modern spirit was / is nothing else than a material accident, a by-product of the brain.



Fig. 2   Modal un-coupling, the introduction of split / parametric  time (duration).

The fact that the modern science has been deprived of the genuine genesis ( the possible generates the real ) as well as of the conversion of the real into potential ( from where the real could forcefully return  ) has been grounded on the assumed Cartesian modal  un-coupling  model ( Fig. 2b ).

The decoherence theory opened the door to the new comprehension of the time status / temporal situation ( Fig. 2a ) concomitantly suggesting the recognition of the true,  spiritual essence of the time ( to note , by contrast , the material essence of  the space ). It  is my pleasure to mention that the mutual note exchanges between myself and Professor Zeh ( 2004 ) was encouraging me to develop the time  syncategory, tying together time and potential possibility of the existence in broad sense.  Decoherence as a reality fabric ( D. DEUTSCH, 1990 ) cuts down, in a stable and irreversible  manner, islands ( more exactly peninsula ) into the unlimited ocean of potential – possible states.

Many years ago I was shocked to discover how the Bible expressed, somehow against Descartes / Hegel /  Einstein, the idea of irreducible  modal coupling between real and possible:

God chosen, …the things which are not, to bring to nought the things that are “ ( 1 Corinthians 1:28 ).

Time follows the curvature imposed by the fluctuant distribution of possibility. Within a particular universe characterized by a specific value of cosmological constant, the time curvature t and distinctivity or duration D of the systems are dependent on the ratio between potential information ( Ip ) and actualized / realized information ( Ir ):

Ip / Ir = t ;    t = 1 / D 

This is the mathematical expression of the phrase “ the possible curves time ” equivalent to the well known modern relativist formulation “ the matter curves space ”.



  • The main conclusion of this paper  is that  time is not an illusion ( Albert Einstein ), nor a construction ( Paul Valery / Ilya Prigogine ) and nor  a space – annex ( St. Hawking ), but on the contrary in the  pair space / time the time plays the leading role. This reconsideration comes with a special methodological  significance  showing  that Einsteinian physics , based on  a particular ( linear / reversible ) assumption , namely that time = duration or  time curvature t = 1 , should be generalized for  any value of t ( modal generalization );   see too the section  “ Holism in the broad sense. Syntegration ”.

  • Time and unstable systems: time in broad sense cannot be reduced to duration any longer (such in the case of modern physics, constructed on the narrow particular supposition t = 1, proper to stable systems which served as a basis for local realism conception), being obvious that potential time precedes / succeeds to the real. The temporal curvature index “t” proposed here can be directly used to characterize unstable / dangerous  situations / systems, when “t” can take excessive positive ( decceleration of the physical / extrinsic  time)  or negative ( acceleration of internal rhythms, energetic cycles, etc. )  values tens, hundreds.. times higher/ lower than ” normal “, highlighting the exponential increase of potentialpossible role in the history of existence in broad sense.

  • Time dependence on ratio Ip / Ir gives time certain fluctuant fluidity, allowing it to escape the Cartesian corset of duration: only now we can talk about a temporal delocalization, analog with spatial, non-ergonic nonlocality. Significant for the Dasein model: human consciousness may alter / influence the value / evolution of this ratio for better or for worse, in other words, to some extent, the decision of the living being about temporality is inherent to the bearer (see “Consciousness in Broad Sense” ). Mainly we have to note that temporality is pre-established in a non-univocal manner by the originary situation (design, Entwurf) for each Dasein, the vector of this provision being “Ip” (active information in Bohmian terms).

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