Read an interesting post on NPR today about time and space: Essentially, it boils down to this theory: much like how things already exist in space, events already exist in time.
Astrophysicist Adam Frank’s take:
Your birth is an event that occurred at some location in space and at some moment in time. Your eventual death is also an event that will occur at some location in space (hopefully a cozy bed) and at some moment in time (hopefully many, many years from now). Those two points define the end points of a line in the four dimensions of space-time. In between, every place you’ve been or will be and all the moments you occupied those places fill out the shape of this line with its birth-death endpoints.
Here’s how I kind of thought about it: if I’m driving from D.C. to San Francisco, there are several points along the way. Just because I haven’t passed through them yet doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
And I can’t help but wonder what the implications are. If everything I’m going to do with my life, however long or short it may be, has already happened, then how does that work for concepts like free will and fate? When I make a choice, is it because I’ve already made that choice? If who I am going to be is already a done deal, then does that mean everything I’m doing now is going to help me get there, no matter how many mistakes or right decisions I make along the way?
It’s a lot to think about right before I go to bed. It does bring to mind this quote from Mad Men:
I have a life. And it only goes in one direction. Forward.