It is the illusion that life has many points that is the basis of quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is the science of illusion. The fracturing of point into a multitude of “points” to life is a consequence of relativity, the relativity of one’s symbolic relations in the world. A single or absolute relation to any one person or thing your whole life long is not possible, nor would it be sufficient to give your self meaning. We seek to realize our full potential by expanding our initial relations in life to other people and things in order to gain more meaning. But “more meaning” is another point. The meaning you get from a given relation is the point of that relation; to get more meaning out of it entails a change in it of some sort. This change in a symbolic relation is relativity. Remember that your world, your context, comprises the people and things that have meaning to you personally; you expand (change) these relations over time in terms of your own meanings.
An easy way to grasp this is to look at your own life. You have any number of meaningful relations right now; some are more important than others but all of them give you meaning. Are they sufficient for the rest of your life as they are or do they have to evolve? Will you have to establish new relations in the future or will your present relations suffice until you die? If you’re in your nineties, possibly, but if you’re in your early teens, hardly. Each relation has a point, maybe perfectly satisfactory for things as they exist now. But things change, you change, you move on to new relations and so do others. The more relations you establish, the more abstracted your life and the more points (meaning) to it. Our relations, being symbolic, define us; specifically they define a self-image.
Is time past-present-future or is it something more? Time is point, abstracted into past and future. Your self-image is derived from your past and expanded by a future. Because the true state of a human being is to exist in image of God, the relation to God is paramount; it is this relation that brings you out of the “man of dust” into the image of God. God formed Adam out of “dust from the ground” (Gen 2:7), yet Adam existed in God’s image. It was Adam’s relation to God that was the transcendence over his body of dust. So point is that state that comprises one’s relation to God, that gives you your self in image of God in the here and now alone, without having to refer to a past or realize a future possibility of self. We all strive to live with full meaning each and every moment of our lives; this is the goal of all our human endeavor. But to live a truly meaningful life, one in which point and not space-time contexts is our existential state, in which self-meaning is eternal, sufficient in the moment to define a self, your symbolic relation to anything must encapsulate the one moment, with no extension to past or future. A self’s context is either point, wherein one exists in relation to God, or it is a space-time construct; it is never both. (Within worldly contexts, the meaning one gets out of life in the here and now can be called point; however, point as dimension is defined as relation to God here and now and this state is the true, or eternal, existential state.) The latter indicates that a person’s self-image derives from a past and depends on a future to evolve; that is, it’s relative. Past and future are abstractions of point, necessary because your relation to an object that gives you meaning has to be sustained largely through mental images (memory, the past). Symbolism, full meaning, is depleted from point in establishing these constructs. Consider again that your relation to God, in the here-now alone, gives you your self in image of God. In essence then your relation to God is the point and the point the relation; the self is the relation to God and this relation gives you your self in God’s image. This is a critical truth, essential to grasping the real nature of space-time. The point of any relation is the full meaning you get from it; the striving is always to exist in image of someone or something perfectly so as to have fullest meaning as a self. If you exist in image of God, the relation that gives you His image (self, so constituted) is also the point of the relation. Relation and point are the same. The relation to God, between a self and God, is grounded in the Spirit and is the self and is the point of the relation. The self exists in point. With objects however it’s different. A bond must be established that connects you to an object, whether person or thing, and symbolism is lost in the establishment of this bond. Because the spiritual is the true state of things, everything must exist in terms of God’s meaning. Thus if you seek to relate your self to something other than God, you yourself must establish that relation in your own terms. You need to assign a meaning to the existence of things in terms of your own self. A space-time relation assigns a place and meaning to objects that would otherwise be just isolated entities as far as your own existence is concerned. “Why do these things exist?” Space-time relations resolve that question.
subjective dimension of time
When you establish a symbolic relation to an object, you make two motions: one to relate yourself to the object as it exists (basically acknowledging that the object exists) and the other to relate that object back to yourself in your own terms, giving it a meaning in terms of your own life. The first motion establishes a spatial relation to the object, space. You exist here, the object exists there; the space between is defined by your existence as an object relative to the other object. Space does not exist independent of objects. When things don’t have meaning in relation to a Creator, you and I must answer the question of why they exist, what purpose they serve. You relate yourself to a specific object as it exists in the moment you relate yourself to it, its physical properties and attributes just so in that moment. Later on down the road, its physical attributes may change due to time and other factors but that’s another relation at another point in space-time. What exactly is a point in space-time? We’ll get to that shortly. What are the point and purpose of this object as far as you are personally concerned? What does it mean to you? The second motion – making it meaningful to yourself – is what makes this spatial relation relative. “Time” is the relativity of a spatial relation; the relativity of space is why the dimension is not just space and not just time but spacetime. Once you assign a meaning to the existence of an object in terms of your own self, it’s relativity. To relativize something, in essence, is to make it meaningful to yourself. The relation isn’t absolute because the object exists in your own terms and not only does its meaning change relative to other relations in your life over time but other people relate to this same object in their own terms. So time as we know it enters in with the motion to relativize, to relate an object to one’s own self. As space does not exist apart from objects, time does not exist independent of space. The spatial relation to an object is necessary if one is to exist in its image. But a spatial relation is not itself the point of one’s symbolic relation to an object; its point is the image of the object which image one derives with the second motion to relate this object to self.
past and future
Your relation to a given object has to be sustained beyond the present moment in some way in order to keep giving your self meaning. As you live your life, you eventually move beyond your present relations to the objects of other people, as both you and they change and your respective roles in the world change. In moving beyond them, however, you still seek to maintain the bonds you had to them because of the symbolism gained from these relations. To maintain them, you mentally “split off” the object-image (abstraction) from the object itself; you abstract the image from the object. You retain this image mentally and invest it symbolically – that is, with self-meaning – so it can substitute for the actual object in the here-now once you have moved on. Thus you maintain the symbolic relation and continue to exist in image of the object, although it’s an image of the object at a certain point in space and time that is now past. The spatial relation to the object has become a temporal one to its image, temporal because the past defines your self in the present to some extent.
The preceding describes the dynamics of space-time. But there’s a third factor – possibility. Although we think of time as past-present-future, the future (possibility) is not strictly speaking part of space-time. It does however keep the entire construct of space-time going. Possibility concerns the potential of a self and as such it most clearly sets forth man’s existential dilemma. Possibility – how fully your self can be defined given your self-image – is determined by whatever you are in relation to, which in worldly contexts is the object whereas potential – the possibility your self is capable of – is related to the eternal in man. What your self is capable of is not the same as how fully it can be defined. The object has its limits when it comes to defining a self. What you’re trying to do in worldly relations is define the eternal in temporal contexts. Because the potential of a human being, created in God’s image, can never be realized in worldly contexts, because an object can never define a self who is spirit, the self keeps reaching for the possibility of an abstract “self”. You always feel as if it’s possible to be more and grow more. Your space-time context is the context of mental images, conscious and unconscious, that you invest symbolically. But self-potential can’t be actualized in relation to the past alone. Your symbolic relations in the here and now are the ones that give you the most meaning; they result from expanding past relations as you reach for the future, the possibility of more meaning in life. So each worldly relation has the three components of past, present, and future: the initial relation to an object, here and now, that becomes a mental image you symbolize, embodying that relation, that you then expand (to the same or to other objects) in order to gain more meaning. Your space-time context, comprising all the relations and images in your past, defines what is possible to you, your possibilities in life. Not everything is possible to you in terms of being meaningful or realistic; it depends on your context, the symbolic relations that have given you meaning and self-image throughout your life. You live your life along a continuum of context and possibility, past and future. As a child, you live mainly in terms of possibility; your “self” has yet to be fully defined. As you grow older, you live more and more of your life in terms of past relations and images; these define your possibilities in life and your ability to actualize them. The older you get the more your context limits your possibilities as context becomes more massive and possibility diminishes. As more of your symbolism is bound up in worldly images, the less you are able to symbolize new ones.
Meaning in the here-now is point – in worldly contexts, the full meaning you can get from a given relation. But meaning within your entire space-time context is manifest as probabilities. Within space-time contexts, point is probabilities. This is because when you have many symbolic relations it’s impossible to isolate the meaning of your entire life. The “point” of your entire life is not a single relation; your life consists of many relations, each with its own point or meaning. The meaning of your life as a child is much different from that of your life as an adult. The relations you had as a teen and from which you derived effect have different meanings to you as a career person. Could you still derive the same meaning from those relations today? And while the meanings of your life right now may be the most important ones, remember that these meanings have evolved; they are an outcome of all the previous relations you formed in life. The point of your life now is not the point of your entire life or a result of the only meaningful relation you ever had. Your entire context has many “points”. Everything in your context, every relation and meaning, is interdependent. When you try to pinpoint the meaning of your life, you can’t. The point of your life is only a probability. All of your past relations represent the probability of point, the meaning they have to your life here and now.
What I’m leading up to is the conversion of point into space-time in each and every person’s life, not enmasse, into a context in which point is manifest as probabilities. No single absolute relation defines you as a self but a multitude, each one having a point. With each succeeding relation, you repeat the same motions establishing space and time as a context. You first relate your self to an object, to someone or something; this constitutes the spatial relation. You then relate this object back to yourself in your own terms to gain self-meaning. The self-meaning (definition) you gain is the point of this relation. The spatial relation that you establish with the first motion becomes with the second the point of that relation but it is not the full meaning needed to define you in image of the object since symbolism has been depleted in establishing the spatial relation. Nevertheless, this relation to an object gives you meaning, has a point as defined in worldly contexts. Point becomes a probability the moment a relation evolves or changes, as it does when another symbolic relation is established. (Probability is a direct consequence of evolution; indeed the ongoing process of converting point into probabilities throughout one’s life is evolution and affects every thing we call into symbolic relation to ourselves.) Symbolism is now invested in the new relation, leaving in its wake a probability which is the fractured point of the previous relation. These new relations then are not established independently; they result from expanding an original relation so as to gain more meaning in life. Your life may be filled with meaningful relationships but with each additional relation, point becomes increasingly fractured; meaning in life becomes more and more probable with time, harder to pinpoint, contingent on any number of factors. When all is said and done, what you have as a spacetime context is probabilities of point bound by symbolic bonds unifying them as context. Symbolic relations have been abstracted into probabilities and the bonds between them. Self-image depends first on your spatial relation to an object; you must have the relation before you can have the point of that relation. Because no one can maintain a relation to an object in the here and now permanently, you abstract the image from the object and invest it symbolically.
Probability applies to both one’s past (context) and future (possibility). It represents the odds of each possibility becoming reality as well as being manifest as all the meanings of one’s life thus far, one’s space-time context; that is, probabilities are the meanings or “points” of one’s past relations that are now retained in mental images. Possibilities, as distinct from probabilities, are abstract until they’re realized; possibility represents the future and probabilities the odds of each abstract possibility becoming reality. We can think of probabilities – the meanings within a space-time context – as symbolic weights that, when applied to possibilities, determine which outcome is realized. The realization of one of these possible outcomes expands a relation and gives us more meaning in life. Some outcomes then, depending on their symbolic weights or relative meanings, are more likely than others to be realized. A point that passes into one’s subconscious as a probability exerts a certain pull (gravity) and in effect acts as an odds of various possible outcomes. It’s the same as saying that one’s own little world seeks to incorporate what is meaningful to that world. Some things are more meaningful than others. When point becomes a part of one’s entire space-time context, that is, when it becomes a probability, it interacts with all the probabilities therein to determine which outcome is realized. From this we can see that the odds of anything symbolic, any outcome, are never purely random; they are determined by the relative meanings of things within a symbolic context and are thus much more likely to favor certain outcomes than others.
To sum up time then – the present, here and now, is “point”, derived from your current relations; the past (your space-time context) is probabilities and the symbolic bonds connecting them to the present. A probability results from the fracturing of point into past and present dimensions. You moved on from a given relation (past) to a new one (present). Your “moving on” is the symbolic link between past and present. The future, so to speak, is the abstract possibility of both your current and past relations.
Can we say that the quantum particle (to use a scientific term for an indivisible component) of gravity is point? Because gravity is space-time and point is manifest as probabilities in space-time contexts, the quantum particle of gravity is better understood as a probability. But a probability is inseparable from all other probabilities in one’s context because the existence of a probability depends on the bond linking one probability to another; point becomes a probability each time another symbolic relation (bond) is established. The bottom line is that the very fabric of space-time is probabilities. Our true spiritual state is our relation to God, through Christ, one point to life, one truth.