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A Conversation On Antichronous

  • By Saleem Rana
  • Published 03/23/2008
  • Fiction

After my spaceship had landed on Antichronous and I had spent a good deal of time amongst the enlightened inhabitants, I also lost track of time. Like earth, the planet rotates around the sun and time can be measured. And the people are certainly clever enough to create measuring devices for time, from watches to calendars to history, but they prefer not to do it. “Time is an illusion,” explained the sage, Viji. “You see,” she said, “we can remember the future and we can change the past.” “How?” I asked. “It is because we have learned not to take it seriously. Who you are, after all, is pure subjectivity. This means that everything is happening right now.” “Well, I see you,” I pointed out. “So you must be objective. After all, I am here with my back against a tree trunk and you are there, a short distance away, sitting on a rock facing the ocean.”

“Yes, ” she agreed. “But I am an image inside of you, a vibration of light that you interpret as a physical form. And you hear my voice, and interpret the sound to carry certain meanings. Now if you were not here at all, but, say, back on earth, do I really exist for you? Even if you remember me, is that not just an image you have in your mind? And if you were to remember me many years from today, your image wo

uld be of me as I am now and not as I may have changed.” “Still, there is something that I am seeing and hearing to interpret and something that I am remembering, even if incorrectly. So you are objective.” “My objectivity relies entirely on your subjectivity.” “Fine, “I said, “but let’s get back to this concept of time.” “Yes, I know about that concept because I have been to your world,” she said. Pleased, feeling that I was at last gaining some ground here, I opened my mouth, but she interrupted to say, “but I don’t believe in it at all.” “Why not?” “Because there is only now. Yesterday it is now. Tomorrow it is now. How do I know? Because that is all I experience. I am only fully aware of this moment. I may have memories of past or future moments, but it is only from this moment that even that type of imagination is possible.” “But what about the day my spaceship landed on your planet,” I protested. “That was not now.” “The now is not fixed, it stretches,” she said. “Then it was now and now it is now. It’s the same now because a movement of events does not make the now disappear.” I shook my head. I was even more confused than before. Then suddenly she threw an apple at me and I caught it. “When did you catch it? “she asked. “Now,” I said.

And she laughed.



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