my guess time is based on self-reflection phenomenon.
not a physicist or mathematician, just a developer with some AI/pattern recognition and sci-pop background, so explanation is very popular. it is taken from many books and articles, read in different times, so it can be inaccuracies.
self-reflection phenomenon is strongly inherent to our being and makes fundamental phenomena.
lets start from simple.
- linear to wave transform. each space form can be represented by a wave set. but we can't precisely define set of waves for small piece of space. the smaller space, the unclearer is wave set. and vice versa, we can't represent clear shape from limited waveset. the less wave coefficients, the more edges are blurred, as shown on picture. Fourier transform (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourier_transform). everyday example is image compression. though images are digital (quantified numbers, not continuous) and can be represented by a limited set of quantified wave coefficients.
it seems all matter world consists only and only of such waveforms, which interference makes us feeling something like rigid objects with clear edges, though on big scales only. these waveforms are residing on holographic surface, which is "true" world. the rest, our 3D space, rigid objects, their interaction, all particles and fields are projections from this surface.
books with details:
- Brian Greene (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Greene): The Elegant Universe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Elegant_Universe)
- Michael Talbot (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Talbot_(author)): The Holographic Universe (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/319014.The_Holographic_Universe)
quantum phenomena arises on small scales due to such a representation - no clear edges, no rigid particles (somekind of cloud only), ability of particles to jump through barriers and teleport.
you may imagine it as cellular automata (Life-like cellular automaton (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-like_cellular_automaton), Conway's Game of Life (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway%27s_Game_of_Life)) or as waves on water surface, where interference forms very complicated picture, some part of which behaves as stable rigid objects with own bounds and trajectory, can move one around other, merge and disintegrate (cellular automata is binary and very low range case of water surface):
this is just 2D oscillations. continuing idea it seems there are no wave-particle duality, but waveforms only. so, no habitual 3D space, wave surface and projections only. 3D space and rigid objects is a delusion, however well applicable at some space/time scales.
according to superstring theory such waveform oscillations can be in high dimensional space, much more than 3. so it can form very complicated interaction between waveforms, which is felt by us as particles, fields and boiling vacuum/virtual particles.
our space is 3D because other dimension oscilations is too small to leave it, but they can perform kind of hyperjumps at a very close distances (qt says at lower scales space dimensionality is much more complex) and rarely at a longer distances. but these oscilations are enough to form complicated matter interaction.
guess, giving these oscilations a bit higher energy and (which is more important) coherence it will be possible to shake a part of space and tear it off into other dimensions making a hyperjump between points in 3D space. another guess, such shaking can be performed via known interactions, like electromagnetic (Philadelphia Experiment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Experiment)). seems outside our 3D space energy/vacuum density have to be much lower, so higher than light velocity can be achieved (or, in another words, velocity of light outside 3D space is much higher). it have to be no contradiction to relativistic theory, because it limits speed to light inside transmission medium, while hyperjump is outside this medium and have no interaction with it, like a hypersonic vehicle - it have hypersonic speed without actually transmitting sound waveformes in air, and imagine such a vehicle is made from air.
during big bang there was a period when universe expansion was much faster than light speed. also, there are far distant parts in our universe which are much likely was a whole at earlier stages, but the distance between them is much larger, that light can achieve during universe lifetime. also some distant parts of universe showing interaction with speed, much greater than light. this makes an assumption, that early universe have much more energy to be connected on other dimensions, but during expansion it become lack of energy, so connection between dimensions were lost and close parts become distant, however in some cases links are remained. (really, it is required a huge amount of energy to keep integrity in higher dimensions)
actually boiling vacuum can be just a secondary/lesser waveforms, not formed into big/stable/rigid particles. the first picture exactly demonstrates this - waveforms can't form strict linear edges, nor strict empty space.
this model shows that each particle is a combination of a lot infinite-spread waves, having just peak focus at a certain point, but no exact location. this refers to quantum mechanics basics that no particle can't be located exactly in space. the clearer location, the more blurred other parameters. this arises to fundamental property of linear to wave transform, as mentioned above.
also this model explains other quantum phenomena. why quantum coherence is hard to achieve in arbitrary case, why it is impossible to create isolated quantum system in arbitrary case, Negative energy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_energy), Quantum entanglement (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement) and Quantum teleportation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_teleportation). it is just simple: any particle is infinite spread waveform, which can be tied together with others or immediately refocused to another space point at no time at certain conditions, and can't be isolated from the rest of being (it is a major point).
another point, quantum theory says each particle have a "coat" from virtual particles, which forms all fundamental physic fields and interactions. according to this model, "coat" is a secondary waveforms, and not a cause/carrier of interaction, but a consequence, when interaction is formed on a more generic level, and both actual and virtual particles are just consequence of it (so we discowered another our delusion, and some principle how our delusions are formed).
there can be other references to quantum theory I forgot to mention.
so there arises second major point:
- everything in other being is tightly connected to everything, and nothing else.
we can't fly over this "water surface" and observe it. we are tightly inside and can't get out. there is no "out". but if it can be and can observe (and hence interact) "water surface" it is not true outer. because possibility of any observation/interaction assumes observer and object are tied together in any form and hence tightly connected together (though it is a bit philosophical question and I may be wrong).
so while observing we can't measure event or object directly, we have only secondary wavefront from it, which interferes with observers wavefront causing some third wavefront. so we never can't said what is happening exactly, we only can assume it.
moreover, active observing implies acting on object with our own wavefront (which is certainly unknown!) forming resulting waveforms. so no certainity at all. we can't observe ourselves. we can't predict ourselves. we can only assume. however at larger space/time scales our assumptions are true-like, and tends to be good for most of cases.
this is the self-reflection phenomenon, it is fundamental and base of our being.
of course, we can try to spent much resources to make measurements more carefully, but we will not receive absolute precision, just better approximation. the more accuracy required, the more resources we will need. utlimately we can bring all being into self-exploration, but will not reach absolute precision.
moreover, such an exploration will bring into our being multiplicity of artifacts, which will make our being much more complicated. and sure, we have to account all these artifacts during our exploration. this brings us concept of Continuum (set theory) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuum_(set_theory)). any direction, any point of exploration gives us much more than infinity of possibilities, which can't be reduced to each other, however can resemble each other, like fractals. moving around such a medium causes alternative ways and point be lost for ever without possibility to return. in space we can move forth and back (keeping in mind that our 3D space is delusion, just logical construct), we can have direction, but here we can't. its somehow resembles entropy, but see below.
so, the time source arises to self-reflection phenomenon. we can't measure future. even we can't completely measure past. but this is assymetric and different from linear space measurements, though have units and direction.
it makes time also a logical construct, which is (almost) true only at a certain (perhaps very wide) space/time scales.
can we travel in time?
this concept does not prohibit such a travel, just points possible technology and limitations.
we have to make a device, which will gather a big area of existence into focus, to get big part of threads (perhaps wave key patterns), leading to past/future events, controlled. then, it can make a projection along these threads into other point of time, not exact transfer. the greater focus, the clearer perception of other time will be. the much power device will have to controll the threads, the more chance will be to interact with other time. the less device creators related to certain events in other time, the easier will be to deal with them.
by which principles such a device can be governed? guess it will be again holistic wave processes. rather than trying to move, we have to generate/detect waveforms of place and time we want to appear. something like detecting circuit of radioreceiver, which can trap waves of certain forms. however in our case waveforms are extremely complicated and dynamic, and binary logic of existing computers may not handle it. we will need some AI or human mind to govern device (say hello so SkyNet). in other words, if we can imagine destination place and time, we can get to it. if we can imagine change of it, we can change it. also see below about processes similarity and life/intellect basis.
warp-drive spaceships, described above, also might require to be driven by similar principles. string theory says, waveforms are extremely complicated to be computed by digital calculations. so, AI or human mind may be able to detect and generate holistic key patterns for the warp jump, and also plot a route inside a warp space, instead of meticulous calculations (say hello to Frank Herbert's Dune and start collecting spice).
interesting point is, that our past is not fully clear to us. so it seems possible to adjust these uncertain points to affect our future with minimum of energy.
another point is, powerful device can event rebuilt (or broke) present, when affecting the past. but only after the point when device were engaged, i.e. outer observer can see miraclous changes to reality in real time inside device focus (of course, if it will remain memories about previous version of reality, because device may affect memories too).
also there can be alternative time branches and/or conjugations (like virtual coat of particles), resembling source events, but not actualy an events, just phantoms. time device also possible to deal with them, perhaps more easily. even create forks in alternatives/conjugations. even it can be separate indepentend layers of reality, with their own world, different to us.
guess, time branches can't be arbitrary, they may have some basic trunk, with other branches around it. see below.
if we want to control all humanity, like in Isaac Asimov's eternity, we should keep most of human existense in time and space inside device focus. which requires huge amount of energy (originally Sun supernova in distant future). it would be fatal for the device, when human get out of controlled space. this point is not disclosed by Asimov, just mentioned the eternity prevented interstellar trips, prisoning humanity into Earth. when people from hidden centuries were intending to destroy eternity to return to its trunk state, despite probability of human self-distraction, perhaps they knew about basic harmonizing processes and beleived into success. Asimov said that eternity expelled all extraordinary things from humankind, this is perhaps due to difficulties of time-governing AI to deal with unusual patterns (though from original novel it may seem that strict math equations were used for time behaviour calculations).
continuing the idea we can try to guess the source of all being. natural questions are what was before time? what holographic surface resides on? it is possible to answer without producing unnecessary entities.
the one idea is something like a ideal world of absolute ideas, where the rest is projection from it. but, the questions are remained. "absolute" is not an answer. another concepts are singularity, nothing, ethernal cycles which also unsatisfactory.
now a little retreat and a bit or Roger Penrose (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Penrose) concept of ideal word.
in our world there is no entity which can strictly hold logical one (on/true state), nor processes that can process strict logical computations. everything is approximation. any, even most stable particle can disintegrate, any process, even very rarely can go wrong way, any computer can make error due to this physical issues.
another point is Gödel's incompleteness theorems (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del%27s_incompleteness_theorems). in everyday terms it means that many strict logical deduction can't be deducted at a finite time, no one can prove that his formal logical constructions are absolutely true, no program/computer can be made, that can handle all it is own errors - the human should press reset or rewrite program to make it correct. this is well described in Penrose books.
however, in Penrose opinion, humans are able to perform true logical computations at a finite time, though no such physical process found now. so, by Penrose, humans can induce such an ideal reality to get absolute truth from it in a finite time. and such an ideal reality is a background of our being. on Penrose mind, human can deduct absolutely logically true computations, of course after well thinking enough.
key point of Penrose reasonings, is that when some system is logically wrong, the error will grow, dominate and completely destroy the system in any case. so, the world is governed by true logical computations.
having some AI background I can't agree with this. any system may have logical inconsistence. but it is not necessary that this inconsistence will dominate and destroy the system. logical inconsistence may remain in the system, while system at whole can be quasi-consistent, in vast majority producing true-like decisions. it is similar to life-like cellular automaton, it is fundamentally unable to say for arbitrary case will cells die or continue ther life infinitly, will them have some repeating cycles or not.
intellect and life at whole are acting at the same principle. having some basic harmonizing process, it can reproduce itself minimizing damages, and make its surrounding more organized, though producing a lot of stupid/destructive instances (together with good), which are generally converging to suboptimal/true-like solution (read Richard Dawkins (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkins) books about evolution, he is describing kind of such processes). inner proceses in life/intellect are applicable to outer environment, because all processes in existence are resemble each other, compatible and fit each other, being however different. also this is why reasoning by analogy is working and widely applicable.
but, when such a system is inside a being, it is still beaten by Penrose arguments. though his reasoning for this point is vague to me, he can be right, but this does not matter.
now imagine, as a fundament of being we have something, which is able to reflect itself, perform self-generation. it can produce endless variety of different and extremely complicated processes. vast majority of them lead to disintegration, and can be said as "true" chaos. also it is possible to be vanishingly small amount of processes which are harmonizing and can reorganize/recreate itself, keeping some heredity. despite there are small amount of them, each of them can generate endless forms of beings.
this is why reality layers can't be arbitrary, they have to be around of somekind central trunk (which is actually not a stick, but extremely complicated and dynamic ethernally-dimensioned form). the trunk may be just an approximation, logical construct, without exact "strick" in it, like axis of the Earth, but surrounding layers are real. the nearer reality layer to trunk, the more comfortable and organized it is. somekind of conjugations/phantom realities can be between "real" layers, it is like coat of virtual particles around real particle. these layers are still connected to each other, perhaps with possibility for habitants to interact or even travel between them. traveling/interacting device have to be similar to described above time machine, also it have to perform some reencoding between layers, because there is possibility their reality can't be imagined directly. can other trunks, based on other harmonizing processes exist? perhaps yes. and no. because their existence is almost nonexistense for us, and theay are hardly can be reached due to different basis, like perpendicular lines.
now imagine there is nothing else except this "something", no "outer", no "before". nothing that can be and that can't be, nothing that can we imagine or even can't. sounds tricky and mind blowing. finally imagine, that mind is a delusion of this "something". so, logical constructs like time, space, basis, outer, before are just mental crutches, just an approximation to very small piece of "true reality". so this is the answer about source of all being. which is actually not an answer, but brain blow.
why this concept is better than concept of another basis/layer of reality? because it eliminates need of these basis layers. it completely says, that finding basis is a delusion.
practically it can explain where life and intellect comes from. why so tiny-encoded lifeforms can show such a complexity structure and behaviour. they are just successors of basic harmonizing processes, living inside harmonized environment. it also says, that any chaos we are interacting with, is not a true chaos, just lesser order of harmonizing processes, which can be used by lifeforms.
how these basic harmonizing processes are related to holographic surface? I do not know. can we reach this ground layer via our exploration? guess no, at least directly. digging more into existence basis will produce us more and more basis layers, because this is eternal self-reflecting process, not linear-depth ground, even infinite (at least in infinity we can point final direction, here, in continuum - no). so finding final basis is a delusion. however each next found basis layer will be practically useful at certain constraints, so I can't say our existence is total illusion. it can be said as a point and angle of view, which produces somehow similar, but different picture. we can be at certain point and look at certain direction, but can't be a whole. even we can, it seems we can't hold full impression about whole, while returning to our point.
is there predetermination or freedom of choice? it does not says. seems such a division is a delusion. practically it worth to consider freedom of choice, it is more effective strategy, nothing else. however it says, that too mouch hesitating, self-reflecting, trying to think out better decision will distract us from or goal. there have to be balance between practice and thinking, and if we can't think out good decision we have to try, there is a good chance of success even through sequence of local faults.
is it ideal or material? neither. ideality/materiality is a delusion.