No past, present, or future: On Love

Yesterday  I wrote about the physicist Brian Greene, and his struggles to accept what he knew mathematically to be true about time and how time passes.  His lived experience of life told him his father died in the past.  But mathematically, there is no such thing as past.  

A quick and extremely simplistic example:  According to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity (and other mathematical models) there is no such thing as past, present, and future.  This is how my brain can grasp that truth:  If you move faster than the speed of light, your present is earth’s future, and if you return, your past is their present, or future, or past, depending on how long you’ve been gone.  (To all my science friends:  Please correct if this is a grossly erroneous!)

Perhaps your own spiritual life holds this to be true as well:  That with God, or within the universe, there still and always will exist all that has happened, could happen, and will happen.  But man, is that hard to see – to beleive – in real life.  (Even though as one who trusts in the reality of resurrection and the alive-ness of Christ for today, it’s STILL hard.  It boggles my mind.  It’s easier to trust what my senses tell me.)  

Until I saw this post on The Belle Jar’s facebook page today: 

This is an excerpt from a letter the acclaimed physicist Richard Feynman

wrote his wife 16 months after her death.  Remember, he’s a physicist, with a much more complex understanding of time than us mere mortals (who last took math in 1984 & made a “D.”)

It reflects to how time is irrelevant when speaking of love – And what could be more true than love?

I find it hard to understand in my mind what it means to love you after you are dead — but I still want to comfort and take care of you — and I want you to love me and care for me. I want to have problems to discuss with you — I want to do little projects with you. I never thought until just now that we can do that. 

When you were sick you worried because you could not give me something that you wanted to and thought I needed. You needn’t have worried. Just as I told you then there was no real need because I loved you in so many ways so much. And now it is clearly even more true — you can give me nothing now yet I love you ….  You, dead, are so much better than anyone else alive….. You only are left to me. You are real.


Okay, so some might say there is unresolved grief here, but I would say that is the perspective of one who has not lost a loved one.  Even if our loved one’s molecules and atoms are not visible and cannot be held, for those of us who loved them deeply, they still are real.  In some ways, more real than what can be seen & touched.  And in a very real, mathematical, AND sense of the heart, this is more true than what our senses tell us.

(Watch for a post that sort of contradicts this:  On the powerful reality our senses know better than our minds….. Because our brain’s world IS COMPLICATED.)




2 thoughts on “No past, present, or future: On Love

  1. Grief is Everlasting

    I don’t believe my grief will ever end, nor do I want it to. My grief comes from loving, caring, respecting someone. Their spirit will always be with me after their body is gone. So, I will be both sad and happy when I grieve.
    Here is a personal example. My father died, very elderly and suffering from both Parkinson’s disease and dementia. My father gave the family a 100+ year old vacation cottage. Last summer at the cottage, I needed an unusual, large bolt/screw – not something you’d likely find in a hardware store – for a repair. On the back of his work bench was just such a thing. I’d never noticed it before. I believe my father left it for me, and I grieved with tears and happiness. His spirit was and is with me.

    Bob Schacht

  2. I was just at a seminar where we touched on the possibility that time can fold back over on itself……and how our energy leaves permanent imprints on the world – Just like you are talking about!

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