Do we live in Present?


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We live on a “dot planet”, Earth, the only planet in solar system where life exists. Sun is the ultimate source of energy for all existence on earth. The energy coming in the form of light from Sun is converted into chemical energy i.e food by the plants by photosynthesis. All the fossils fuels are derived from plants which existed millions of years ago. The existence of life on earth is dependent on sunlight.

The speed of light is 3*10^8 m/s. Sunlight takes around 8 minutes (precisely, 8 minutes 20 seconds) to reach earth. This means what we see Sun is its past view of 8 minutes. What we view is the past image of Sun which is the ultimate source of energy on earth. Many chemical reactions depends on sunlight which is necessary for survival. The fossil fuels like natural gas, coal etc. which takes million years of formation. These energy sources are created over a very long period of time from decayed and fossilized living matter, mainly plants and animals and the energy in these living matter originally came from Sun through photosynthesis. Sun is also responsible for changing weather pattern on earth. The existence of all forms of life on earth is fueled by sunlight, directly or indirectly.

Similarly, when we see Moon, it is 1.3 second past view of it as moonlight takes 1.3 seconds to reach earth. The speed of sound is 343 m/s. Although, the speed of sound depends on its medium of travel. When we speak, sound takes its own time to reach us. This means what we hear is past. Also, what we see is the past image including that of sun and moon. Our eyes also take some time to process the image.

Having said that, this raises an important question. Do we live in the present? We see the past and we hear the past. The ultimate source of energy on earth i.e sunlight takes 8 minutes to reach us. Our entire process is dependent on sunlight. Then do we live in present or in past. If we use telescope to see some planets of our solar system, we will see the past image and not the current one as light takes its time to reach us. If we see images of stars or planets of Milky Way Galaxy, we will see the past of it. Similarly, if some aliens will view our earth from their place of residence (assuming that there might be some habitable planet), they will see our past and not the present.

Consider an example. Planet Earth reflected its light which took 100 earth years to reach Planet X. Now Planet X people if use a telescope to focus on earth can see the light emitting from earth will be 100 years ago reflected by earth. Zooming in (assuming they have that high precision telescope), they will see us 100 years past image, meaning if it is 2021 on earth, they will be seeing 1921 earth. This will happen for us as well if we focus on say, Planet Y and light takes 50 years to travel to earth, then we will be seeing 50 years past of Planet Y. In fact, what we see in the night, the various twinkling stars, we are viewing their past light emitted from these stars, few years ago depending on the distance of those stars from earth. So is the case with sound. Space science had proved this that what we see is the past and not the present. This means that everything we see is the past and everything we hear is the past. Then how can we live in present? Do we really live in present?

Philosophically, we should try to live in present. But is it practically possible when everything going around happening is the past? This question might seem awkward, but I wanted to share with you all. You may have encountered or thought of this question. Hoping to get answer to this question. The answer to this question is subjective and can be debatable. Please share your views.

Ashish Kumar

60 thoughts on “Do we live in Present?

    1. Yes, it is. We can see that if we have such high precision telescope and so is the case with other planets. They will always get our past… I have updated the post with an example which I missed while publishing…

      Thank you so much for reading and sharing your views… Glad you liked it… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This was really insightful!
    Just like in Interstellar it was explained how the time bends and they called time as the fourth dimension. But this is reality and beautifully true.
    Thanks for sharing such an interesting topic!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Interesting! My say is ~
    Aren’t we allowed to call ‘the present ‘the present’ if our brain intuitively tells us so?
    Then there is the concept of the multiverse.
    But again,
    There is an almost insoluble dilemma encountered in the subject of time – which is the inextricable & mutual implication of time & perception.
    The nature of our perception leads us to have an unruptured belief in passing or linear time – we conceive of the present as somehow being stuck between a past and a future – yet I believe that there could be a different view.
    That there is only the present – which by being drawn constantly into our subtle memory, evokes the illusion of a past – the linearity of which is presumed into an equally illusory future.
    I ain’t time expert, nor this is my profession just hobby!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for your visit and sharing your valuable insights… You have provided a good insights about time, present including the concept of Multiverse. Multiverse concept is yet to be proved as there are two school of thoughts…
      Liked your thoughts on time and present- the way you have described… Thanks a lot… Welcome to my world of writing… Keep visiting… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Firstly, are you a science enthusiast? I am just curious 😁 Being a science student, I really enjoyed reading this. You have brought up a great question. There are multiple answers to this delicately posed question. Once the gravity of your theory is understood, anyone’s head would go bonkers. 😁😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am B.Tech and MBA. So science is in my way of thinking and perspective… This question was streaming in my mind for few years and hence thought of bringing it up here, to get the answer. The answer to this question is subjective as you rightly said, there can be multiple answers…

      The objective is not to make anyone’s head to go bonkers… 😛 Hahaha…. I am glad you liked the post and enjoyed it.. Means a lot… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very nice and though provoking, I feel like what we see and feel at the moment is present for us and your article perfectly reminds us that life is moving on and this moment is already past. Just makes to be grateful for the present.😊😁

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It may happen with advancement in science and technology… 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on it… Glad you read the post and liked it… 🙂
      Welcome to my world of writing… Keep visiting… 🙂

      Like

    1. Indeed, we are tiny and miniscule when compared with space… Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts… Glad you liked it… 🙂

      Welcome to my world of writing… keep visiting… 🙂

      Like

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