The ancient concept of time

“I know what time is until someone asks me about it,” said St. Augustine (400 AD). Many philosophers and scientists have tried to explore the nature of time in terms of solar, biological or atomic time 1) but hardly anybody has touched the fundamental aspect of time.

One way to comprehend the ancient cosmology is to know about the nature of time.  However, this may deter anybody to proceed further as no scientific theory has yet revealed what time really is.  I therefore wish to give you a simple hint how to get through to this subtle subject.

Everybody knows that time has a tripartite structure i.e. the past, the future and the present (“Now”), where the “Now” is situated in the middle separating the past and the future. Curiously, most of the ancients imagined the universe as a three-tiered structure namely heaven, earth, netherworld, where the earth is located in between the heaven and the netherworld. We will see shortly the close relationship between these two structures.

The four-dimensional time

Conceptually, the “Now” is like a mathematical point put arbitrarily on the  straight a) time-line separating the past on one side and the future on the other side of the line (Fig. 1B). As the end of the past is just about linked to the beginning of the future, the point separating them barely exists, it is almost imaginary b).

Philosophically, the “Now” exists in between the probability of the future existence and the necessity existence of the past it had.  As such the Now, and everything within, exists in the possibility 2). This is the underlying reality of the quantum mechanics, as oppose to the deterministic conception of the classical physics that physicists fail to comprehend.

Without separation, time would remain in its eternity (Fig. 1A). The dynamical time is created out of the eternity (aeon) through the act of separation c)

Moving to the physical reality, we need to transform the conceptual time into the real time by expanding the former’s dimensions into that of the real one. How do we do that? The Now which we are in is certainly not zero-dimensional as we have conceptualized so far. It should allow us to move forward and backward, left and right or up and down. The “Now” in which we are present should be three-dimensional.

Accordingly, as this three-dimensional “Now” is embedded between the past and the future, the latter two should be four-dimensional. The time as a whole is, therefore, four-dimensional wherein the Now is just a mere slice of it (Fig. 1E). The time-line that we use as the basic structure of the conceptualized time is corresponding to the four-dimensional [space]time which the relativity theory has discovered.

Alas, the modern physicists overlook this tripartite structure in their cosmic model. They take for granted the spacetime as a unity and deny the existence of such universal “Now” no matter whether it is flat or wavy. As such, they took a proto-universe as the actual world model which is timeless and spaceless where neither matter nor even light could exist (Fig. 1D).

The Great Mystery

And how the ancient thought about it? The reader may judge for himself about the ancient knowledge which was written on several papyrus (4300-3700 B.C) which later becomes the Chapter 64, the oldest and one of the most important chapters of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The knowledge was taught by Thoth at Sais at the commencement of Egyptian history about 14,000 B.C.

This chapter was written on a block of iron which had been inlaid with letters of Lapis Lazuli found in a shrine under the feet of the god Thoth in Khemennu (Hermopolis) in the reign of the king Men-Kan-Ra by royal son Heru-Ta-Ta-f when he was travelling to inspect the shrine. Under the guidance of his adviser, he brought to the king with his royal chariot the block containing a great mystery he had never looked upon drawn on the cube (Fig. 2). The first sentence of the hymn read “I am yesterday, today and tomorrow” 3).


Now if we look to the cube carefully, we find as if it were divided in two by a section drawn in the middle of it as depicted in Fig. 2A. We can easily decode this that one side of the section represents the past, the other side the future, and the section itself represents the “Now”. This matches exactly with the structure depicted in Fig. 1E, referring to the tripartite structure of the past, now and the future.

At the top of the cube we see a symbol drawn consisting of a triangle located in a circle bounded by the square of the cube’s section (Fig. 2B) coding the dimensions of the system. What the ancient wanted to show us was that the cube is 4-dimensional (symbolized by the square) embedding a 3-dimensional section (represented by the triangle) which represents “Now”. The ancient Egyptian cube is, therefore, corresponding to the modern 4-dimensional spacetime.

Now we have decoded the great mystery locked for thousands of years since immemorial time. We can even draw the lesson from the ancient that the current mainstream physics has wrongly adopted the 4-dimensional [undivided] spacetime to represent the real world.

Had the physicists recognized the tripartite structure of the spacetime they would go straighter through the road of reality.


a).   In a grander scale the notion of the past and the future is relative as the time-line is not straight but forms a grand circle (Fig. 1C). They are analogous to the notion of the above and below when it is looked from the global perspective.

b)     The ancient [Hindu] called such imaginary existence  (illusion) Maya

c)     Most creation stories and myths spread out across different ages and places throughout the globe are based on a basic theme:  “creation through separation”which modern physicists also adopted under the notation of spontaneous symmetry breaking.


1.  Ridley, B.K. : “Time, Space and Things”, Canto, Cambridge University Press, 2002, p. 57-68.
2.  Isutsu, T. : “Unicite de l’existence et Creation Perpetuelle en Mystique Islamique”, Les Deux Oceans, Paris, 1980, p. 131
3.  Churchward, J.: “Le Monde Occulte de Mu”, Editions J’ai Lu, Paris, 1972, p. 138-141.

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