Carlo Rovelli is an Italian theoretical physicist who explains to the best of our human understanding how we observe and relate to the flow of time; past, present and future.
- “Every day countless people die, and yet those who remain live as if they were mortals.”
- Time passes faster in the mountains than it does at sea level.
- The Earth is a large mass and slows down time in its vicinity. It does so more in the plains and less in the mountains, because the plains are closer to it. This is why the friend who stays at sea level ages more slowly.
- Clocks run at different speeds in the mountains and in the plains, but time is always flowing. Similar to a river, the water flows more slowly near its banks and fast in the middle.
- We cannot change the past; we can have regrets, remorse, memories. The future instead is uncertainty, desire, anxiety, open space, destiny, perhaps. We can live toward it, shape it, because it does not exist yet. Everything is still possible… Time is not a line with two equal directions.
- Aristotle thought time is nothing other than the measurement of change.
- Newton thought there is a time that passes even if nothing changes.
- The world is not a collection of things, it’s a collection of events. The difference between things and events is that things persist in time, events have a limited duration.
- It isn’t absence that causes sorrow. It is affection and love. Without affection, without love, such absences would cause us no pain. For this reason, even the pain caused by absence is, in the end, something good and even beautiful, because it feeds on that which gives meaning to life.
- Suffering occurs because we must lose what we have and are attached to. Because everything that begins must end. What causes us to suffer is not in the past or the future: it is here, now, in our memory, in our expectations. We long for timelessness, we endure the passing of time: we suffer time. Time is suffering.