It turns out that there is only the Now, in nature, and in us as the present sensation, which smoothly rolls along, due to our human imagination of anticipation of what is likely next to come and to our very recent memory of what just went on. Such, as with music, it sings the song of continuity.
Outside of memory, the past is not kept and the future is not yet. We look through Time, not space, to ‘see’ distant galaxies and stars, as they were long ago, some of which may no longer exist. Even the vision of our own sun is eight minutes behind the Now, and has changed.
A useful human trait is to spatialize, thinking that we are seeing stars and such through a fixed space, but that is not so—it’s that their light is just now arriving.
Time, then, is what really is, and then only in its Now, as the Planck instants marching/computing along, or whatnot, at the basic monad level, and then, higher, for us, at the speed of light. Again, in all this the past instants are all gone and the future ones not yet manufactured.
There are several philosophies proposed by some that are quite impossible and cannot ever be true, among them: Nothing, Random, Infinity, extant Past/Future, a Beginning or an End to all that ‘IS’, real space-time (but useful as a model), Free Will, wishes as ‘Truths’, and sensing anything other than the inside of one’s head.
While Omar rails against the predestination by ‘God’, it is for other reasons that determinism is still the way events must be, as much as we somehow wish to think that our will can be free of itself or that physical Nature can do the same. Outputs must ever come from inputs, in any realm, as cause and effect; there can be no outputs without inputs, i.e, from Nothing, as is called ‘Random’, but it’s only seemingly so because we can’t or don’t know all of the contributing conditions.
To boot, if one could have a true ‘Random’, all consistency would be lost, and very soon we wouldn’t want it anymore. So, in comparison, a dynamic but fixed will (of the instant) doesn’t seem so bad, albeit that “what ever will be will [still] be”. If we are lucky enough to be able to learn new things, then the consolation prize is: at least a wider ranging Fixed Will of the instant.
All things then, roll on “impotently”. We are, as Shakespeare noted, actors in a play, strutting and posturing to the script. What benefit to life then? I suggest it is Experience, which can be mostly a joy—with Omar’s love, drink, food, friends, adventure, romance, and feeling right up there, although transient, but ever of the glorious Now, and generally free of Shame and Blame, in the Paradise of right here, plus we being just as organic as anything else in nature, “willy-nilly blowing”.
When “You shall be You no more’ and “And naked on the Air of Heaven ride”, and the like, it is that there is no redundant soul living on of an angelic vapour that duplicated and still maintains what is already you in the essence of a evolutionarily expensively formed brain.
“You shall not shrink” from Death because it was Death itself that separated the pointed from the pointless and the wise from the silly, sifting the best from the rest, over billions of years of Time—we being made from stardust, whence from stars came our ‘help’.
“The Eternal Saki from that Bowl has pour’d/Millions of Bubbles like us, and will pour” because Existence-All-What IS-the Cosmos-reality has no opposite, cannot have come from Nothing, so it ever is, and was causeless, there thus being no point at which any distinctive direction could have been imparted to it—and it is, thus, Everything, and so everything happens, time and time again. What IS, is, present tense, and no other.
“Which, for the Pastime of Eternity,/He doth Himself contrive, enact, behold” and the like is that there is no Designer, but if one plays along with myth, it is that He thought of, planned, designed, and implemented humans and their nature, with their wide-ranging spectrum of capacity for and from Good to Bad, but in myth-take ‘God’ bears no responsibility for His recipe expressing itself just as He all-knowingly wanted it to.
“Round which we Phantom Figures come and go” is about the noumena that our phenomena arise from as a kind of holographic phantasmagorial realm of the “Magic Shadow-show”.
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
While the above refers to predestination, it can also relate to how each moment arises in Time, in the Now, and then completely passes away, replaced right then and there by the next Now, which can’t be stopped; “That none can slip, nor break, nor over-reach”.
I won’t be referencing those who proclaim faith’s unknowns to surely be of truth and fact, but suffice it to say that this non-sense at least got some of us investigating deeper, and with the nonsense out of the way the Box of Truth opens all the more, and much wider, although some wishers may still try to put a lid on it.