Eddington, Sir Arthur - The Expanding Universe - Time
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Sir Arthur Eddington – the Expanding Universe
Let us take the whole universe as our standard of constancy, and adopt the view of a cosmic being whose body is composed of intergalactic spaces ….. now say it keeps the same size ….. Watching us for a few thousand million years, he sees us shrinking; atoms, animals, planets even the galaxies, all shrink alike; only the intergalactic spaces remain the same.
The earth spirals round the sun in an ever decreasing orbit. It would be absurd to treat its changing revolution as a constant unit of time. The cosmic being will naturally relate his units of length and time so that the velocity of light remains constant. Our years will then decrease in geometrical progression in the cosmic scale of time. On that scale man's life is becoming briefer; his three score years and ten are an ever decreasing allowance.
Owing to the property of geometrical progressions, an infinite number of our years will add up to a finite cosmic time; so that what we should call the end of eternity is an ordinary finite date in the cosmic calendar.
But on that date the universe has expanded to infinity in our reckoning and we have shrunk to nothing in the reckoning of the cosmic being. We walk the stage of life performers of a drama for the benefit of the cosmic spectator. As the scenes proceed, he notices the actors are growing smaller and action quicker. When the last act opens, the curtain rises on midget actors rushing through their parts at frantic speed. Smaller and smaller. Faster and faster. One last microscopic blur of intense agitation.
And then nothing.