There’s no such thing as ‘now’

Here’s a thought…  there is NO such thing as ‘Now’!

It is impossible for us normal human beings to ever actually experience our life in the ‘now’.

There are two reasons it is impossible.

One is because of how our senses work, the other has to do with the reality of multi-dimensional space and the limits it imposes upon us due to the velocity of light or other electro-magnetic energies that permit the transmission of information concerning any event external to, or even within, our own body. We do not experience things instantaneously – a certain amount, albeit a very small amount usually, of time has to pass between an event occurring and us experiencing or sensing it. The further something is from us the longer it takes to reach our senses. The time between the event actually occurring and our brains receiving the information of the event is dependent upon two different things; the speed of light/sound etc. that lets us see/hear the event happening and the speed our nerve impulses travel from the sensory organs to our brains.

Consider the example of our Sun. We might look at the Sun and believe we are seeing it ‘now’ in any given instant of time. The truth is that our Sun is 93 million miles away and when we see the sun what we are seeing is light that left it’s surface over 7 minutes ago. In the time since the light left the Sun and ‘now’ the Sun may actually have ceased to exist or moved to another point in space.

What we are seeing ‘now’ might not even exist anymore!

For other stars in the night sky the gap between what we see and what is actually happening ‘now’ is much, much longer. Many of the stars we can see could have ceased to exist long before we were even born.

So when we look into the sky what we see is not actually what things are like right now but what they were like in our past. To a lesser degree whatever we look at or hear on earth is also occurring in our (more) immediate past because it takes some time (perhaps a very small amount) for the information to make it’s way from whatever object we are observing or recording to our human sense or recording device. There is ALWAYS a delay between a thing happening (an event) and our brain registering the event (observation of the event).

Or consider a different example – of seeing fireworks go off or someone shooting a gun from long distance. We see both before we hear the related sound; there can be a gap of some seconds between what is seen and what is heard. Try closing your eyes next time there is a firework display and tap someone close by when you hear the firework, then reverse roles and you will clearly see that even though both of you are alive, awake and witnessing the same events you are both in a different ‘now’.

No matter what we try to observe and attribute to happening in our ‘now’ everything we see or hear or mechanically record is actually happening to a lesser or greater degree in the past. We can never see, or experience in any way, a true ‘now’.

Every one of us is, in actuality, always living in the past.




  1. Many, many thanks Noorain. 🙂 I love to consider the science of the mind (and science in general) – of human intellect and emotion in many different aspects.



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