[above links to free (203 pg) pdf i got when googling.. after i had already checked out the (140 pg) ebook version from the library]
(2004 for edition i’m reading.. copyright is 1993) by alan lightman [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Lightman]
Alan Paige Lightman (72) is an American physicist, writer, and social entrepreneur. He has served on the faculties of Harvard University and MIT and is currently a Professor of the Practice of the Humanities at MIT. Lightman played a major role in establishing MIT’s “Communication Requirement,” which requires all undergraduates to have training in writing and speaking each of their four years. Lightman was one of the first people at MIT to have a joint faculty position in both the sciences and the humanities. In his thinking and writing, Lightman is known for exploring the intersection of the sciences and the humanities, especially the dialogue between science, philosophy, religion, and spirituality.
He is the author of the international bestseller Einstein’s Dreams. Einstein’s Dreams has been translated into more than 30 languages and adapted into dozens of independent theatrical and musical productions worldwide, most recently (2019) at the off Broadway Prospect Theater in New York. It is one of the most widely used “common books” on college campuses.
Lightman’s novel The Diagnosis was a finalist for the National Book Award. He is also the founder of Harpswell, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance a new generation of women leaders in Southeast Asia.
Lightman has received six honorary doctoral degrees.
reading because of this share from maria popova (and thanks library.. for the book loan) https://www.brainpickings.org/2021/08/28/alan-lightman-einsteins-dreams/ – this quote in particular:
A life in the past cannot be shared with the present. Each person who gets stuck in time gets stuck alone.
time ness.. et al
quote from book: Long ago, before the Great Clock, time was measured by changes in heavenly bodies: the slow sweep of stars across the night sky, the arc of the sun and variation in light, the waxing and waning of the moon, tides, seasons. Time was measured also by heartbeats, the rhythms of drowsiness and sleep, the recurrence of hunger, the menstrual cycles of women, the duration of loneliness. Then, in a small town in Italy, the first mechanical clock was built. People were spellbound. Later they were horrified. Here was a human invention that quantified the passage of time, that laid ruler and compass to the span of desire, that measured out exactly the moments of a life. It was magical, it was unbearable, it was outside natural law. Yet the clock could not be ignored. It would have to be worshipped. The inventor was persuaded to build the Great Clock. Afterwards, he was killed and all other clocks were destroyed. Then the pilgrimages began.
from maria: Having spent half of my own life trapped in a self-created world of rigid routines and clockwork habits — a half-conscious effort to manufacture the illusion of constancy and continuity, to cope with the uncertainty and unpredictability of life, to deny the fact that to be human is to be inconstant and discontinuous ourselves — there is one world that particularly thrills me and particularly terrifies me:
from book: In a world without future, each parting of friends is a death. In a world without future, each loneliness is final. In a world without future, each laugh is the last laugh. In a world without future, beyond the present lies nothingness, and people cling to the present as if hanging from a cliff.
talking about balance.. live in presence/past/future..?
from book: .. So tiny are the disconnections in time that a single second would have to be magnified and dissected into one thousand parts and each of those parts into one thousand parts before a single missing part of time could be spotted… So tiny are the disconnections in time that the gaps between segments are practically imperceptible.. In truth, she loves him back, but she cannot put her love in words. Instead, she smiles at him, unaware of his fear. As they stand beneath the street lamp, time stops and restarts. Afterwards, the tilt of their heads is precisely the same, the cycle of their heartbeats shows no alteration. But somewhere in the deep pools of the woman’s mind, a dim thought has appeared that was not there before. The young woman reaches for this new thought, into her unconscious, and as she does so a gossamer vacancy crosses her smile. This slight hesitation would be invisible to any but the closest scrutiny, yet the urgent young man has noticed it and taken it for his sign. He tells the young woman that he cannot see her again, returns to his small apartment on Zeughausgasse, decides to move to Zürich and work in his uncle’s bank. The young woman walks slowly home from the lamppost on Gerberngasse and wonders why the young man did not love her.
rogers understand law et al
from book (includes original quote of intrique): The tragedy of this world is that no one is happy, whether stuck in a time of pain or of joy. The tragedy of this world is that everyone is alone. For a life in the past cannot be shared with the present. Each person who gets stuck in time gets stuck alone.
p 49 below (ebook version)
from maria: This, indeed, is the silent refrain of the novel: the haunting reminder that however the past and the future might unfold and refold in the origami of even the most elaborate time-model, unless we live in the present, we are not living at all. .. Like The Little Prince, Einstein’s Dreams remains one of those endlessly rereadable classics, unfurling new splendors of insight and subtleties of feeling which each reading
notes/quotes from ebook version – 140 pages:
for the past several months.. he has dreamed many dreams about time.. his dreams have taken hold of his research.. his dreams have worn him out.. exhausted him so that he sometimes cannot tell whether he is awake or asleep.. but the dreaming is finished.. out of many possible natures of time, imagine in as many nights, one seems compelling.. not that the others are impossible.. the others might exist in other worlds..
14 april 1905
suppose time is a circle, bending back on itself.. the world repeats itself precisely.. endlessly
some few people in every town, in their dreams, are vaguely aware that all has occurred in the past.. these are the people w unhappy lives, and they sense that their mis judgments and wrong deeds and bad luck have all taken place in the previous loop of time.. in the dead of night these cursed citizens wrestle w their bedsheets, unable to rest, stricken w the knowledge that they cannot change a single action.. in each town.. late at night.. the vacant streets/balconies fill up w their moans
16 april 1905
in this world, time is like a flow of water.. now and then caught in debris.. suddenly carried to the past.. they wear dark clothing.. tip toe.. try not to bend a single blade of grass.. for they fear that any change they make in the past could have drastic consequences for future.. they are hiding under eaves of building, in basements, under bridges, in deserted fields.. they are not questioned about coming events.. instead they are left alone and pitied
in this world time has 3 dimensions.. like space.. where object may move in 3 perpendicular directions.. so and object may participate in 3 perpendicular futures.. each w the same people but w diff fates.. in time, there are an infinity of worlds..
in this world.. two times.. 1\ mechanical – rigid, pendulum.. unyielding, predetermined 2\ body – squirms/wriggles.. makes up mind as it goes along
many are convinced that mechanical time doesn’t exist.. where watches as courtesies to those who gifted them or as ornaments.. no clocks.. instead.. they listen ot their heartbeats.. they feel the rhythms of their moods/desires.. eat when hungry, make love all hours
then those who think their bodies don’t exist.. live by mechanical time.. rise at 7, eat at noon and 6.. appts precise, make love 8-10 pm, work 40 hr wk, read paper on sunday play chess on tuesday.. when stomach growls.. look at watch to see if it is time to eat.. body is a machine.. subject to same laws as .. clock..
the body is a thing to be ordered not obeyed
taking night air along the river one sees evidence for two worlds in one.. where the two times meet, desperation.. where they go their separate ways, contentment.. for, miraculously, a barrister, a nurse, a baker can make a world in either time, but not in both times.. each time is true, but the truths are not the same.
in this world.. instantly obvious something is odd.. science: farther from center of earth time flows more slowly.. so everyone lives in mtns.. anxious to stay young.. houses even built on stilts .. some 1/2 mile.. height has become status.. people at ground level never sit.. they run while carrying their briefcases/groceries..
small number in each city have stopped caring whether they age a few seconds faster than their neighbors.. these adventurous souls come down for few days at a time.. lounge under trees, swim leisurely in lakes, roll on ground.. they hardly look at their watches and cannot tell you if its monday or thursday..
in time.. people have forgotten why higher is better.. nevertheless.. they continue to live on the mtns.. to teach their children to shun other children from low elevations.. thin air, spare diets.. at length, the populace have become thin like the air, bony, old before their time
time is visible in all places.. clock towers, watches.. et al.. time paces forward w exquisite regularity at precisely the same velocity in every corner of space.. time is an infinite ruler/absolute.. town clock chimes and everyone resets watches.. time is proof of god..
a world in which time is absolute is a world of consolation.. movements of people are unpredictable.. movement of time is predictable.. people can be doubted.. time can’t.. people take refuge in time..
a world in which cause/effect are erratic..
scientists are helpless.. predictions become postdictions.. equations become justification.. logic becomes illogic.. scientists turn reckless and mutter like gamblers who cannot stop betting..
sounds like now
artists are joyous.. unpredictability is the life of their paintings.. music.. novels.. they delight in the events not forecasted.. happenings w/o explanation.. t
most people have learned how to live in the moment.. no need to dwell on past/present if not of consequence.. each act is an island in time to be judged on its own.. family comfort dying uncle not because of a likely inheritance but because he is loved at that moment.. employees not hired because of the resumes but because of their good sense in interviews.. clerks trampled by bosses fight back .. w no fear for future..
it is a world of impulse.. a word of sincerity… a world in which every word speaks just to that moment.. every glance only one meaning.. each kiss a kiss of immediacy
in this world time does pass.. but little happens.. if person hold no ambitions.. he suffers unknowingly.. if hold ambitions.. suffers knowingly but very slowly
einstein and besso walking.. e explaining to his friend why he wants to know time but says nothing of his dreams.. ‘i want to understand time because i want to get close to he old one’ besso points out problems: 1\ old one might not be interested in getting close to creations .. intelligent or not 2\ not obvious that knowledge is closeness.. 3\ this time project could be too big for a 26 yr old.. on other hand besso thinks friend might be capable of anything..
on einstein’s independence.. besso eyes his friend curiously.. fo rsuch a recluse and an introvert, this passion for closeness seems odd
world to end in 1907.. so schools close 1 yr prior.. why learn for future?.. children delighted.. play hided and seek.. parents let them to what they wish.. trade/commerce/industry/fear subsides.. no need w so little time left.. a liberation fills the air
don’t seem to mind that world will soon end, because everyone shares same fate.. a world w one month is a world of equality
one day before end: laughter in streets, neighbors who have never spoken greet each other, skinny dip in fountains, swim till exhausted.. like in grass and read poetry.. in a world of one day they are equal
barrister and postal clerk who have never before met walk arm in arm.. discuss art/color.. what do their past stations matter.. in a world of one day they are equal
some do good deeds to correct misdeeds of past.. theirs are the only unnatural smiles
fix vs not hidden ness
one minute before end.. everyone gathers in giant circle and hold hands.. no one moves/speaks.. it is so absolutely quiet each can her the heartbeat of the person to his right/left..
quiet enough ness
each section of the village is fastened to a diff time (century).. people too.. get stuck in time
the tragedy of this world is that no one is happy, whether stuck in ta tie of pain/joy.. the tragedy of this world is that everyone is alone.. for a life in the past cannot be shared w the present..each person sho gets stuck in time gets stuck alone
intro quote via maria
no thing is out of place..
in this world the passage of time brings increasing order.. order is the law of nature, the universal trend the cosmic direction.. the future is pattern, organization, union, intensification; the past, randomness, confusion, disintegration, dissipation.. philosophers have argued that w/o a trend toward order, time would lack meaning.. the future indistinguishable from the past..
in such a world, people w untidy houses lie in their beds and wait for the forces of nature to jostle the dust from their windowsills and straighten the shoes in their closest. people w untidy affairs may picnic while their calendars become org’d, accounts balanced.. lipsticks, brushes and letters may be tossed into purses w the satisfaction that they will sort themselves out automatically.. gardens need never be pruned.. weeds never uprooted.. desks become neat by end of day.. clothes on floor in eve are on chairs in am.. missing socks reappear..
another wondrous sight.. in springtime the populace become sick of the order in their lives.. in spring, people furiously law waste to their houses.. they sweep in dirt, smash chairs, break windows.. break glass, shot, howl, laugh.. people meet at unarranged times, burn their appt books, throw away watches, drink thru the night.. this hysterical abandon continues till summer, when people regain their senses and return to order
a place where time stands still.. raindrops hang motionless in air.. pendulums of clocks float mid swing.. people frozen on streets.. as traveler approaches.. he moves more slowly.. his heartbeats grow farther apart.. temp drops.. who would make a pilgrimage to the center of time? parents w children and lovers.. one sees parents clutching their children,
daughter will never grow winkled/tired/injured.. never unlearn what her parents have taught her.. never think thoughts her parents don’t know, never know evil.. never tell her parents that she does not love them
lovers kissing.. in a frozen embrace that will never let go.. will never fail to show his love.. never become jealous, never fall in love w someone else.. never lose the passion of this instant in time..
a brush of the hair might take a year.. a kiss a thousand.. while a smile is returned.. seasons pass in the outer world.. while a child is hugged.. bridges rise.. while a goodbye is said, cities crumble and are forgotten
and those who return to the outer world.. grow rapidly, forget the centuries long embrace from patents.. which to them lasted but seconds.. children become adults, live far from their parents, in their own houses.. learn ways of their own, suffer pain, grow old.. curse their parents for trying to hold them forever.. curse time for their own wrinkled skin and hoarse voices.. thees now old children also want to stop time.. but at another time.. they want to freeze their own children ..
lovers who return find their friends are long gone.. after all lifetimes have passed.. they move in a world they do not recognize.. now their embraces seem empty and alone.. they forget the promises.. become jealous.. say hateful things.. lose passion, drift apart.. grow old and alone in a world they do not know
some say it is best not to go near the center of time.. life is a vessel of sadness, but it is noble to live life, and w/o time there is no life.. other disagree.. they would rather have an eternity of contentment, even if that eternity were fixed and frozen, like a butterfly mounted in a case
this doesn’t sound like a scientist.. and if a scientist had a dream like this .. it seems he wouldn’t recount it like this.. too risky for his prestige..
so refreshing.. embodying
wait – i thought they were his real dreams.. dang..
The novel fictionalizes Albert Einstein as a young scientist who is troubled by dreams as he works on his theory of relativity in 1905. The book consists of 30 chapters, each exploring one dream about time that Einstein had during this period. The framework of the book consists of a prelude, three interludes, and an epilogue. Einstein’s friend, Michele Besso, appears in these sections. Each dream involves a conception of time. Some scenarios may involve exaggerations of true phenomena related to relativity, and some may be entirely fantastical. The book demonstrates the relationship each human being has to time, and thus spiritually affirms Einstein’s theory of relativity.. The novel is sometimes cited as the source of the urban legend apocryphal “universal force” letter from Einstein to his daughter, Lieserl, but the novel does not contain the letter
a world w no time only images..
(all the things/happenings.. ending with) a yellow brush
in this world people have no memories.. many walk w notebooks to record what they have learned while it is briefly in their heads.. when it is time to return home at end of day.. each person consults his address book to learn where he lives..
late at night the wife/husband do not linger at the table to discuss day’s activities.. bank account.. instead they smile at one another , feel the warming blood, the ache between the legs as when they met the first time 15 yrs ago.. for it is only habit and memory that dulls the physical passion.. w/o memory, each nigh tis the first night.. a world w/o memory is a world of the present.. the past exists only in books/docs.. to learn of upbringing.. have to read it.. hear shrieks and sighs from people finding out what they did
w time book thickens and cannot be read in its entirety.. then comes a choice.. which pages to read.. some have stopped reading altogether.. they have abandoned the past.. they have decided it matters not if yesterday they were rich/poor, educated/ignorant, proud/humble, in love or empty hearted.. such people look you directly in the eye and grip your hand firmly.. such people walk w the limber stride of their youth..
this is a world of changed plans, of sudden opps, of unexpected visions.. people receive fitful glimpses of the future.. and change course of action. for those who have had their vision.. this is a world of guaranteed success.. few passions are wasted
were they even passions? if see future and go to that?
for shows who have not had their vision, this is a world inactive suspense.. how can one enroll in uni w/o knowing one’s future occupation.. make love to a man when he may not remain faithful.. such people sleep most of the day and wait for their vision to come.. thus.. few risks are taken.. some few who have witnessed future do all they can to refute it.. such people stand on their balconies at twilight and shout that the future can be changed.. that 1000s of futures are possible.. but eventually (those set visions happen)
who would far better in this world of fitful time? those who have seen the future and live only one life? or those who have not seen the future and wait to live life.. or those who deny the future and live two lives?
all is in motion.. buildings, houses.. when a person comes out his front door at sunrise, he hits the ground running, catches up w his office bldg, .. no one sits under a tree w a book.. gazes at ripples on a pond.. lies in thick grass.. no one is still
why? because time passes more slowly for people in motion.. to everyone travels at high velocity to gain time..
the speed effect not noticed til invention of combustion engine and rapid transportation
since time is money, financial considerations alone dictate .. travels as rapidly as possible.. to achieve advantage over competitors..
the faster a house travels.. the ore slowly the clocks tick inside… and more time available to it occupants..
at night people dream of speed.. of youth.. of opp..
everything in reverse.. people get younger w time et al
either breathing/heartbeats sped up.. so entire lifetime compressed.. or rotation of earth is slowed so that one revolution occupies a life time.. either case.. a man/woman sees one sunrise/sunset
a world in which people live just one day.. person born at night learn indoor trades.. reads a great deal.. becomes intellectual.. eats too much .. is frightened of vast dark outdoors.. cultivates shadows.. person born at sunrise learns outdoor occupations.. becomes physically fit, avoids books and mental projects, is sunny and confident.. is afraid of nothing
no time to lose.. must fit everything in one day
when old age comes.. whether in light/dark.. a person discovers that he knows no one.. there hasn’t been time.. his life is scattered in fragments of conversation, forgotten by fragments of people.. his life is divided into hasty episodes, witnessed by few.. he wonders if anything exists outside of his mind.. ie: did mother’s embrace.. falling in love.. really exist..
time is a sense (diff to each person).. like sight/taste, a sequence of episodes may be quick or slow .. dim or intense.. salty or sweet.. causal or w/o cause, orderly or random.. depending on the prior history of the viewers.. who can say if an event happens fast/slow/causally.. or w/o cause.. in the past or the future?.. who can say if events happen at tall?
some born w/o sense of time.. these time deaf are beseeched to describe the precise placement of trees in the spring.. the shape of snow on the alps.. the pattern of birds in flock.. yet.. the time deaf are unable to speak what they know.. for speech needs a sequence of words.. spoken in time.. t
suppose people live forever.. strangely the population of each city splits in two: the laters and the nows.. the laters reason there is no hurry to begin .. whatever.. for all there is an infinite span of time.. all things can be accomplished.. thus all things can wait.. indeed, hasty actions breed mistakes.. they (th elaters) walk an easy gait.. and wear loose fitting clothes.. take pleasure in reading whatever magazines are open.. rearranging furniture in their homes.. slipping into convo the way a leaf falls from a tree.. sit in cates sipping coffee and discussing the possibilities of life
the nows note that w infinite lives.. they can do all they can imagine.. they have an infinite number of careers.. they will marry infinite number of times.. change their politics/occupation infinitely.. each person will be (all the occupations).. in order to taste the infinities of life.. they begin early an never go slowly.. they are the owners of he cares.. the college profs.. the drs, nurses, politicians, the people who rock their legs constantly whenever they sit down.. they move thru a succession of lives.. eager to miss nothing..
when 2 nows meet at fountain.. they compare lives.. exchange info, and glance at their watches..
when 2 laters meet at fountain.. they ponder the future and follow the parabola of the water w their eyes..
nows and laters have one thing in common.. infinite relatives.. all alive and offering advice.. no one ever comes into his own..
no new enterprise is new.. need to learn from errors of elders.. in such a world.. the multiplication of achievements is partly divided by the diminishment of ambition.. can’t get undiluted guidance.. ie: mother must ask mother who must ask mother.. just as sons/daughters can’t make decision themselves.. they can’t turn to parents for confident advice.. parents are not the source of certainty.. there are on million sources..
every action must be verified one million times.. so live is tentative.. sentences (and buildings) go unfinished.. engagements end just days before weddings.. on streets people turn .. to see who might be watching..
such is the cost of immortality.. no person is whole/free.. some have determined that the only way to live is to die.. in death.. free of weight of the past.. these few souls.. w their dear relatives looking on.. dive into lake.. ending their infinite lives.. in this way the finite has conquered the infinite.. millions of (whatever).. has yielded to none..
time as quality not quantity.. it exists but cannot be measured.. no clocks, calendars, no definite appts.. events triggered by other events, not by time.. train leaves when it is full.. et al
people who attempt to quantify time, to parse/dissect time.. they are turned to stone..
world w/o future.. so hard to say goodbye.. never see each other again.. each parting of friends is a death.. each loneliness is final.. each laugh the last.. people cling to the present as if hanging from a cliff.. people paralyzed to inaction.. some lie in bed wide awake but afraid to put on clothes.. others leap out of bed.. live each moment to full.. others sub past for future..
he is not waiting for the rain to stop because he is not waiting for anything
time is a visible dimension.. one may look out and see births, marriages, deaths that are signposts.. stretching into future.. one may choose his motion along the axis of time.. (shall i stay or shall i go)
in this world time is not continuous.. starts/stops.. seemingly continuous from distance.. but disjointed close up.. after each restart of time, the new world looks just like the old.. but with new thoughts.. that can change course of actions
quote from maria that got me reading the book:
Long ago, before the Great Clock, time was measured by changes in heavenly bodies: the slow sweep of stars across the night sky, the arc of the sun and variation in light, the waxing and waning of the moon, tides, seasons. Time was measured also by heartbeats, the rhythms of drowsiness and sleep, the recurrence of hunger, the menstrual cycles of women, the duration of loneliness. Then, in a small town in Italy, the first mechanical clock was built. People were spellbound. Later they were horrified. Here was a human invention that quantified the passage of time, that laid ruler and compass to the span of desire, that measured out exactly the moments of a life. It was magical, it was unbearable, it was outside natural law. Yet the clock could not be ignored. It would have to be worshipped. The inventor was persuaded to build the Great Clock. Afterwards, he was killed and all other clocks were destroyed. Then the pilgrimages began.
in some ways life goes on the same as before the great clock.. but.. every action , no matter how little, is not longer free.. must pay homage to the great clock.. thus on any day/hour.. line of 10 000 stretches radially outward from center of rome.. a line of pilgrims waiting to bow to the great clock.. they stand quietly, reading prayer books, holding their children.. they stand quietly, but secretly they seethe w their anger.. for they must watch measured that which should not be measured.. t.. they must watch the precise passage of minutes/decades.. they have been trapped by their own inventiveness and audacity.. and they must pay w their lives..
any form of m\a\p.. killing us
in this world.. time is a local phenom.. clocks close tick at nearly same rate.. but clocks separated by distance tick at diff rates.. farther apart the more out of step.. holds true also for rate of heartbeats.. pace of inhale/exhale.. time flows at diff speeds in diff locations..
since commerce requires a temporal union, commerce between cities does not exist.. the separation between cities are too great.. how can they do business together.. so.. each city is alone.. an island.. must grow its own plumes.. live on its own..
as move from one timescape to another .. bodies adjust to local movements of time.. if every heartbeat/pendulum harmonized together.. how could a traveler know that he has passed to anew zone of time.. (likewise) how could he know something has changed.. only when the traveler communicates w the city of departure does he realize he’s entered a new domain of time.. ie: learns shops have changed.. daughter is frown.. or perhaps.. neighbor has just finished song she was signing when he left.. it is then the traveler learns that he is cut off in time.. as well as in space.. no traveler goes back to his city of origin..
some people delight in isolation.. ie: their city is the grandest.. what could be finer..
others want contact.. they endlessly question the rare traveler who wanders into their city.. ask him about other places.. in time.. one of he curious sets out to see for self.. becomes a traveler.. never returns..
this world of locality of time.. world of isolation .. yields a rich variety of life.. for w/o the blending of cities.. life can develop in a 1000 diff ways.. (yet) the abundances caused by isolation are stifled by the same isolation
(time) passages take place (graduation et al) indifferently, mechanically, like the back/forth swing of pendulum, like a chess game in which each move is forced.. for in this world.. the future is fixed..
time is not fluid.. parting to make way for events.. instead.. time is rigid.. fossilizing the future as well as past.. every action/though/breath.. completely determined, forever
ballerina .. she is precision.. she is a clock.. in her mind, while she dances, she things she should have floated a little on on e leap, but she cannot float because her movements are not hers.. every interaction of her body w floor/space is predetermined to a billionth of an inch.. there is no room to float.. to float would indicate a slight uncertainty, while there is no uncertainty.. so she moves.. makes no unexpected leaps/dares.. does not dream of unplanned cabrioles
we do not know the rooms ahead.. but we know we cannot change them.. we are spectators of our lives
(ie of selfishness).. or.. never pay hi back at all.. and who can blame him? in a world of fixed future.. there can be no right/wrong.. right/wrong demand freedom of choice.. but if each action is already chosen.. there can be no freedom of choices..
in a world of fixed future, no person is responsible.. he almost permits himself a smile.. so pleased is he at his decision.. he breathes the moist air and feels oddly free to do as he pleases, free in a world w/o freedom..t
time is like the light between two mirrors (china doll in a china doll in a china doll ness).. time bounces back/forth producing an infinite number of images/melodies/thoughts.. it is a world of countless copies.. t
wilde not-us law – most people are other people et al
he feels the others.. feels himself/room/thoughts repeated a 1000 times.. which repetition is his own, his true id, his future self? (lightman keeps repeating same questions to model idea ie: should he leave his wife.. what about that moment in the library of the polytechnic.. what solitude.. et al).. his thoughts grow dimmer until he hardly remembers what the question were or why.. what solitude? he looks out to the empty street and plays.. his music floats and fills the room, and when the hour passes that was countless hours, he remembers only music..
(ie of school bullying).. that memory has become his life.. when he wakes up in the morning, he is the boy who urinated in his pants.. walks down street.. children visit.. he stays in room and talks thru door.. (no eye contact) he is the boy who could not hold it in
but what is the past? could it be, the firmness of the past is just illusion?
in a world of shifting past, one morning he wakes and is no more the boy who could not hold it in.. now he (has a good/better life)
in world of shifting past.. in time.. past never happened.. but who could know.. ? who could know that the past is not as solid as this instant..
(on people chasing birds) each man/woman desires a bird.. because this flock of nightingales is time.. time flutters/fidgets/hops w these birds.. trap one and time stops.. the moment is frozen for all caught w/in..
in truth.. these birds are rarely caught.. the children.. who alone have the speed to catch birds, have no desire to stop time..t.. for children, time moves too slowly already.. they rush from moment to moment, anxious for bdays and new years.. barley able to wait for the rest of their lives..
not yet scrambled ness
the elderly desperately wish to halt time.. but are much too slow and fatigued to entrap any bird.. they must watch time jump and fly beyond reach..
on occasions when bird is caught.. the catchers delight in the moment now frozen.. but soon discover that the nightingale expires, its song diminishes to silence.. the trapped moment grows withered and w/o life..t
bird uncaged et al
(on einstein w patent officer and typist looking over his manuscript on theory of time).. einstein walks back to hsi desk, sits down for a moment then returns to the window.. he feels empty.. he has no interest in reviewing patents or talking to besso or thinking of physics.. he feels empty, and he stares w/o interest at the tiny black speck and the alps