Warning: This may blow your mind!
According to Einstein, the flow of time is an illusion. According to his theory, time is relative to subject, space, and motion speed.
Say Forsythia and I lived 10 billion light years away from one another.
If we were both sitting still and you freeze framed the present moment, then our NOW would be exactly the same in this freeze frame. He'd be sitting still, on a couch, and I'd be sitting still, in a chair.
But say, I got on a bike and rode down the street at 10 miles per hour away from Forsythia, then if you freeze framed our NOW. I'd be riding a bike in my now, but Forsythia's now would be 150 years in the past. Forsythia wouldn't even have been born yet.
But say, I ride my bike towards Forsythia at 10 miles per hour, then you freeze framed our NOW. In my now I'd be riding my bike, but Forsythia's now would be 150 years in the future. Forsythia is already dead.
Einstein once said, "For we convinced physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent." The only thing that's real is the whole of spacetime.
As physicists say, "In this way of thinking, events, regardless of when they happen from any particular perspective, just are. They all exist. They eternally occupy their particular point in spacetime. There is no flow. If you were having a great time at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, 1999, you still are, since that is just one immutable location in spacetime."
In this idea, any freeze frame location of spacetime has within it all the information of seemingly past events and future events, but the mystery is why we can't see the future. Your past self 1 hour ago is doing the same thing you were doing an hour ago, as an eternal location in spacetime, but isn't aware he, or she, will be reading this in one hour.
I wonder how this could affect one's view of god and creation. According to the East, all things exist as potentiality within pure Mind. For example, when you lay down at night and close your eyes, with the light out, you see nothing. There is no perception of distance, no up or down, no left or right, only a void of pure Mind. But within this formless mind stuff you can dream an infinite amount of dream worlds. Every dream exists in potentiality, as a proto-dream, but the dream you dream that night becomes an actual dream, collapsing all other potential dreams. When you awake the dream dissolves back into the void of pure potentiality.
Could it be we are all within something like a consciousness, as the Eastern Buddhists have come to realize in deep absorbed meditation? This would make sense of Einstein's time. It would also make sense of the double slit experiment in Quantum Physics, which shows a subatomic particle cannot be measured until observed; it remains as potentiality until observation, then it collapses potentiality into actuality. This life could be a dream, metaphorically speaking. And when you dream it's like a dream within a dream, and nature bears the proof of being holographic and fractal (self-similar). Reality wouldn't be the same as our dreams, but we may be able to use this language to point to a greater reality.
The father of quantum physics, Max Planck, said in 1944, "All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter." Physicist James Hopwood Jeans said, "The stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, and we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter."
That said, it doesn't mean this universe is thoughtfully designed. We create great things when awake, but when asleep we become dream worlds without trying to, and those dream worlds are far more marvelous that what we create when awake. Our consciousness becomes the dream universe; we become the people, the trees, the mountains, etc. The universe may be more likened unto a dream rather than a thoughtful design, as the East believes.
It could be the substance of nature is a kind of consciousness or proto-conscious, which by its nature has certain eternal intrinsic qualities whereby it appears as form, for a time, only to awaken into into non-dual unified Being.
This is what the East calls Brahman and Maya. Maya is the appearance of matter and forms, which is subject to the appearance of change, and Brahman is the pure conscious substance and ultimate reality, untouched by the play (Lila) within Maya. In this belief, one is the ultimate unified substance (pure consciousness) but one loses sight of this true nature by identification with the body and senses; like how in a dream you are lost in the dream world, not knowing who you really are, but if you become lucid and know you're dreaming you realize who you really are before you wake up. By detaching from form and sense one finds their true nature of non-dual unified bliss consciousness - Satcitananda Brahman; this is like becoming lucid before awakening. In this case, you can become lucid before awaking fully, and death is the end of this temporary dream.