Natural science needs the time of philosophy

In 1972, I travelled overland from Santiago de Chile for a project in a copper mine in the north of the country. I had a rare stroke of luck: shortly before, the El Niño current had brought rain, and the Atacama Desert was in full bloom for a distance of 1,500 kilometres. The trip was an unforgettable occasion to reflect on the mysterious nature.

During the ancient world, anyone who claimed that the basis of nature was irrational, that is, incomprehensible to the mind, would not have been taken seriously. Philosophers strove to find logical explanations for our world. Today, the representatives of quantum physics and cosmology insist on a wide variety of phenomena that are irrational and paradoxical. Does this still mean “understanding” when in reality we do not understand? Then what is the point of all the effort? “Fundamental science” has obviously lost the ease of admitting such simple questions. It is not nature that could be irrational, but our models with which we try to understand it (e.g. that time would be an illusion, that the assumed laws of nature would be time-neutral). I think that a search for rational explanations is worthwhile if only because there is always the possibility that one will eventually understand.

Since 1994 I have been fascinated by the idea of a “dynamic” energy that allows nature to be described rationally, which led me to publish a book (Energy, Time and Consciousness). Other books (Irrationality in nature or in Science? Probing a rational energy and mind world, Time arrow as trace of energy. Logical key to a spiritual universe, Zeitpfeil als Spur der Energie. Logischer Schlüssel zu einem geistreichen Universum) and publications (Refs. 442, 445, 448, 450, 451) followed. Now I understand that nature is fundamentally irreversible, that energy dynamically drives time as a trace of ongoing erasure of information. The time of today’s physics is indeed an illusion, because it is frozen, it does not flow, it only represents a scale whose information it uses. It is not the real, the lived time that dynamically advances through energy turnover and loss of information (Ref. 451).

It is obvious that my research concerns precisely the great philosophical problem that separates spiritual science from natural science when it comes to understanding time. The humanities have always thought with a dynamic, directed time, as it has grown historically: a present state shifts in time relative to future or past states. When my idea prevails, this discrepancy in the experience of time will disappear in the sciences. The humanities will then be in a better position to interpret and philosophically process the results of natural research. Natural science, on the other hand, with a directed time, will again be able to rely on purely logical explanations and face the important challenge of self-organised phenomena and a nature-compatible technology.