The falling water is not a curtain, but more like a heavy rainfall.The overflow of the pool forms the creek you have been following.For the past has ceased to exist, the future does not yet exist, and only the present is actual. For, [HH, 593] The current moment, the present, the only realisation of time, vanishes to a mathematical concept, like the derivative of a function at a point which has no dimension, no extension in space. Out bushwalking, you are following a small creek upstream, and you have come to a waterfall pouring over a rock-face.At the base of the fall is a pool polished out over ages by the water.It applies the handbrake to the juggernaut of time, just enough.
Augustine’s examination starts by laying out the conventional three-fold division of time into past, present and future, and finds stumbling blocks of paradox.How is Augustine’s miracle of perceived duration achieved?How, that is, within the confines of a materialist conception of mind?According to my impeccable internet sources, time, in the view of quantum mechanics, is continuous. that in reality [the present] is still felt as duration.Some observers have postulated that time is discrete, but that view has generated no enthusiasm to date. In general he admits that the present has no extension in abstraction. It’s a lovely discussion of Augustine’s wrestling with the mystery of time, by a writer with great affection for the saint.He invites us to ponder, yet again, Time’s inescapable coils.You remember the creek that you followed, and you are aware that this pool of the present moment is outflowing into it, ceasing to participate in being the pool; becoming instead that which fallen.You anticipate the approach of the water above; although you cannot see it, your expectation of it is vivid, and you are not disappointed. The rest of the cascade may have disappeared from your awareness, but their flight towards you did not.That part of the brain that provides us with consciousness might be like an enormous shift register.A shift register is an electronic circuit into one side of which bits of data are fed as input, each bit then passing through the successive positions in the register until it emerges at the output side.