Eternal Return. Cyclical Time Theory.

Is cyclical time theory or eternal return possible when it concerns the universe? What are other people’s opinion on this? I think it is possible if there is no beginning or end of the universe especially if existence itself is infinite.

If the universe is infinite patterns are bound to repeat over and over again.

I try to live my life on the basis of eternal return.

Joker: I think that the Eternal Return, as a cosmological theory, is simply misguided. It cannot possibly provide grounds for an ethic. It also gets relatively complicated and exceedingly mystical rather quickly.

As a thought, however, it does seem quite powerful. However, as a thought, we are inclined to ask what it means, exactly. As goes Nietzsche, this has been the subject of much contention. Deleuze provides a fairly interesting interpretation, an interpretation that, however, rests on some fundamental philosophical commitments. First, one must accept that the world is a monster of innocent becoming. If we probe into the being of such a monster, the “what” as in what does it do , we might say: it recurs – its being is recurrence. But what is it that recurs? It is becoming, that is: difference. And so we can see that the Eternal Return isn’t really the Eternal Return of the same, which changes the thought at its core. The real question is, of course: what does this thought do? What is it good for? I’d like to hear your answer to that question. What is the eternal return to you? Is it an ethical imperative (and if so, how?), or is it a transformative thought?

To the contrary: eternal return only works if the universe is finite. But yes, it’s certainly possible. Finitude, i.e., a boundary of “nothingness”, is no less conceivable than infinitude: both are completely inconceivable.

It’s not a return of the same things inasmuch as there are no such things as “things”. There are then no cosmic cycles, just one self-same cosmic circle.

I think we’re in agreement. It took me a while, though, for Nietzsche speaks specifically of “this same spider”, “this same moonlight”, etc. eternally recurring. It is no easy thought to grasp, which is why it’s so compelling.

When you die, if you come back, it’s only through tricks of language. When you’re dead you’re dead. Who gives a shit if some part of you, that’s not really you comes back? It’s not you.

The ER is not concerned (at least not primarily) with the recurrence of a self. If you don’t care for what happens after your death, then philosophy must be an overwhelmingly useless way to spend your time.

Maybe to you. I put those kinds of thoughts in the realm of religion.

Smears: I think you misunderstand. I didn’t say “what happens to you after your death”, but rather: “what happens [at all] after your death”.

If there were only a single particle in the universe and it repeated infinitely X infinity [I.e. inc all +1’s etc] ~ to the aleph omega, there could be nothing else. Why then is there more than that?

Before we make more than a single particle then we should need to put that particle through the process of the ‘eternal return’ [whatever it is].

The only way I can see such an idea occurring ~ and I think the Egyptians saw it much like this [as a boat on the Nile], is if we don’t attempt to stretch the universe into infinity. Such that there is only a ‘fuzzy relativistic now moment’, much like our thoughts work in threes; the current observation/perception along with the ones fading in and out [past and future], time and the universe is like a ship on an infinite ocean [but not part of that infinity].

You have to get rid of all-time for that to be true though. ~ at least as expanded into infinity.

Because there is more than just a single particle. And this more perpetually, ceaselessly becomes. And this perpetual, ceaseless becoming recurs. Your question seems only to be a lazy reiteration of the “why something rather than nothing” problematic. I see no place for it here.

You have to arrive at why there is more, and what determines the amount etc, you cant just say ‘because there is more’ ~ what kind of science or philosophy is that? :stuck_out_tongue: You also have to define how the cardinality of the universal set composed of limited things correlates to the infinity which by definition is unlimited.

Actually, I’ve found “because there is” to be the most acceptable answer to the age-old “why something rather than nothing”? It is the kind of philosophy that wishes to move beyond introductory thinking games and onto productive thought.

I’ve yet to mention infinity, limited, unlimited, universal sets, etc. I’m not sure that my reading necessitates such definitions.

For some theories you can say; well this is what there ‘is’, but here we are mapping a progression/expansion against and eternal, hence we have to get to what is first.

An eternal return necessitates such values, though a continuum does not have to ~ are you seeing cyclicity in this light [as with my position in my first post [or similar]?

Why do we need a ethic? :laughing:

There is always enough room for the mystical I think. We can’t explain everything.

Well I see it as the eternal reoccurence of the same so I can’t answer your question.

Makes sense to me. I appreciate your intelligent interpretation of this.

Yes and no, Smears.

If eternal return is true then what happens is you die causing your entire being and form to go into a sort of suspended animation in which once the finite circle comes around again the very individual pattern essence that is you becomes reborn where you are forever cursed to live the same life over and over again filled with the exact replica of all the expiriences having already expirienced prior from cradle to grave.

This is my interpretation of eternal return. Think of it as a exact copy within a repetition of a much greater copy that is the universe.

It’s like the sequence or events of earthly history eternally repeating in the same exact manner over and over again unchanging.

In the end we really do live forever as eternal echoes of cyclical time in the fabric that is the universe only in this dimension there is no heaven but only earthly pleasures and sufferings.

Who knows how many countless billions of times we have lived this same exact weary life? How many births and deaths we have already expirienced?

It sounds supernatural but it’s not. There is no “God” involved in this. There is only the cyclical nature of the universe in eternal repeating patterns.

If existence is a single eternal stream with time being the same that has no beginning or end then the chances of the same exact patterns reoccuring are increased infinitely.

The universe for sure eventually dies like everything else but in it’s death comes the creation of a multitude of infinite other universes. This is the eternal creation, destruction, and death that repeats itself. In death there is never static but only the transformation into somthing else.

What is the merit of this idea?
I am asking because, with science, the merit is always clear, it’s power.

But what has changed for us if we decide that all things return?
Nothing is affected. Only our valuation of our actions, since they are multiplied into infinity.

The literature is quite dense on this point. Laurence Lampert, as Sauwelios will never tire of recommending, does quite well in answering this question in his Nietzsche’s Teaching.

Indeed. And the short answer is: the overman.

On the contrary! Insofar as we now have an over-reaching interpretation of things, everything will be affected.

Strange I thought an infinite universe makes us even smaller comparatively nothing. Besides ^^ this would run into my earlier problem, an event/action reaching the aleph omega would deny all others.

If everything eternally repeats themselves truely then nothing and everything doesn’t matter. :laughing:

I think the universe is infinite not definite.

If the universe was definite I don’t see how the cyclical outline would exist or operate but if it’s infinite then it would make all the more sense.

Still even the infinite must be enslaved to entropy which in some sense might make it limitedly definite. Kinda confusing.

If it were infinite there’d be no limitedness/universe/things in.

Why would there be entropy in an infinite universe [assuming there was one]? How can it degrade? …be less than entire.

isn’t infinity simply a dimension in which the universe is expanding, hence it’s a bit like saying the universe is in the vertical of the three spatial dimensions.