34 Chapter 2
THE NATURE OF REALITY
it certainly looks as if we could 'see' into the future! When we 'read'
visual representations of the basic assumption discussed here that are
meant as temporal metaphors, we need to see them differently, to
overcome the misimpression generated by their visual representation,
that we can actually 'see' into the Future, or even, 'see' clearly into the
With such representations, we need to imagine that we are no
longer outside the drawing, looking at it, but that we are a part of the
drawing, at some 'place' on it -- perhaps trapped on it says it even more
accurately. By doing this, the conceptual confusion is removed -- and
the insoluble difficulty again becomes clear. In other words, when we
look at such representations, we have to imagine that we are no longer
'out here' looking at the line, but that we are now trapped on it -- that
we ourselves are one of the marks on the page. So, how can we, who
are on the line -- and not 'outside' it, looking at it -- really, confidently
know where we are on the line:
Past - - - *- - - - - - - - - > Future
(*you are here?)
-- or even if there will be a line:
Past - - - *
(*you are here)
Many times, temporal representations of the paradigm take
advantage of the evident fact that we are, indeed, 'out here,' looking at
marks on a paper -- while at the same time they implicitly ask us to
imagine that we ourselves are one of those marks on the paper. We
unknowingly fall into an inconsistency when we play along with this.
We can't really have it both ways, and all 'arguments' that depend on
our having it both ways don't actually prove anything.
Just because we can make a mark on a paper that says, "Future"
doesn't mean that it, or any future, will necessarily exist. Although
some widespread representations of the basic assumption along a
temporal axis seem to assume that we 'watch' time outside time, 'left' to
The proper technique, agenda, etc. of 'Today' - - - - - - >
Inevitable Good Things, Forever!
or peer (`right' to `left') from the 'inevitable' Future to its 'necessary'
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.