Books

06 September 2014

The Death of Forever by Darryl Reanney

In a recent post, I mentioned The Death of Forever by Darryl Reanney - a book that discusses many ideas, all related to how we view time:  consciousness, death, the arrow of time, cyclic time, linear time, the ego-self, entropy, the illusion of time actually moving...

As Reanney says: It is not time that is moving, it is our own sense of an individual self voyaging “by virtue of the choices it makes among the hills and valleys of a future that is already there (...) Our sense of the serial passing of time is very much a construction of our own minds.”
                                       
There is far too much in the book to fit into a 300-word post, but The Death of Forever is definitely worth reading. Even if you do not agree with everything that Reanney has to say, it is a book that will make you think.
 
Writing about what can happen to our concept of time when the ego-self collapses, Reanney quotes (among others) Jesus: "Verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am." and Goethe: "One moment holds eternity." He also quotes T.S.Eliot, and, to conclude this post, I will include a few lines from Eliot's poem 'Burnt Norton'.

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction 
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden.
(...) 
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.
Not the stillness of the violin, while the note lasts,
Not that only, but the co-existence,
Or say that the end precedes the beginning,
And the end and the beginning were always there
Before the beginning and after the end.
And all is always now.