Einstein believed in his later life that the past, present and future all exist simultaneously

He talks about the concept of ‘now’ in his new modelling

Unlike in his earlier life in his 1952 book ‘Relativity’ Einstein tells his readers that he had changed his mind and that the past, the present and the future all existed simultaneously. He believes that there is a single existence along the lines I suggest in this blog*. In this sense Einstein is debating that physical reality is a four dimensional existence. He extends these words by saying:


“What nature demands from us is not a quantum theory or a wave theory; rather, nature demands from us a synthesis of these two views which thus far has exceeded the mental powers of physicists. Do not be troubled by your difficulties with Mathematics, I can assure you mine are much greater..”

In material contained in the links below Einstein reminds us that “…it is an illusion to think otherwise…” about simultaneity as being the dominant property of the universe. The late distinguished physicist Richard Feynman talks about this possibility in his book ‘Sum Over Histories’ and seems to summarise his point with these few words (as quoted by another author):-


“…Events in nature are probabilistic with predictable probabilities P.

The probability P for an event to occur is given by the square of the complex magnitude of a quantum amplitude for the event, Q. The quantum amplitude Q associated with an event is the sum of the amplitudes associated with every history leading to the event.

The quantum amplitude associated with a given history is the product of the amplitudes associated with each fundamental process in the history...” *

*A belated complimentary quote from this article:-

“… Yet even the great Einstein despaired of understanding the flow of time and the meaning of now. Einstein’s quandary was described by Rudolf Carnap:

“….”Einstein said the problem of the Now worried him seriously. He explained that the experience of the Now means something special for man, something essentially different from the past and the future, but that this important difference does not and cannot occur within physics. That this experience cannot be grasped by science seemed to him a matter of painful but inevitable resignation. So he concluded ‘that there is something essential about the Now which is just outside the realm of science.’ “…” (I emboldened the text)

In another blog (also cited above) I talk about this topic in relationship to Bohm’s Holomovement theory and predeterminism. This blog also includes a link to a BBC video on the same subject. I feel that this video is compelling viewing.

*I believe that the Planck line in physics is a field of symbolic ‘nows’. Now’s are without time. Temporal fields (with time) exist on one side of the Planck line and ontological fields (relating to the rules of quantum mechanics) exist on the other. Both the temporal and ontological fields are in a concurrent relationship with each other as well as the Planck field of now’s. I think that this is what Bohm might be saying with his Holomovement theory (also known in other works as the implicate order).

Click here to view a copy of the original quoted text that I gleaned ideas and quotes from.

Also see my earlier complimentary post here. You might also find what Carlo Rovelli has to say in Nature magazine of interest as well. Also see this physics explanation.