- Time, again -

:: Posted :: 2018-07

I've observed before that a deep understanding of the nature of time is pivotal to our comprehension of life.

When I re-read Dogen's Genjokoan and Uji I'm regularly struck by how modern his view of time is. His discussion of the movement of a boat relative to the shore, for example, suggests a deep intuitive grasp of key aspects of relativity.

Recently I've been reading Carlo Rovelli's book: The Order of Time, which explores his work on 'loop quantum gravity' - some of which is a bit beyond me conceptually.

However, I was struck by a short section in Chapter 8: Dynamics as Relation in which he reflects on colleagues whose work helped frame his own, but who - being dead - are beyond an expression of his gratitude:

"... 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."

I find his positive gloss on loss comforting, and a sign that his work as a research scientist in a very rarified area hasn't in the least insulated him from 'normal' human existence.

The Order of Time

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