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Jeans, Sir James - The Mysterious Universe - Threads and the loom



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A description of the experience

Sir James Jeans – The Mysterious Universe

 Yet the threads that represent the atoms of a human body have the special capacity of conveying impressions through our senses to our minds.  These atoms affect our consciousness directly, while all the other atoms of the universe can only affect it indirectly, through the interpretation of these atoms.  We can most simply interpret consciousness as something residing entirely outside the picture and making contact with it only along the world lines of our bodies.

Your consciousness touches the picture only along your world line, mine along my world line and so on.  The effect produced by this contact is primarily one of the passage of time; we feel as if we were being dragged along our world line so as to experience the different points on it, which represent our states at the different instants of time, in turn.

It may be that time, from its beginning to the end of eternity, is spread before us in the picture, but we are in contact with only one instant, just as the bicycle wheel is in contact with only one point of the road. 

Then, as Weyl puts it, events do not happen, we merely come across them.

The source of the experience

Jeans, Sir James

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