Jul 30, 2017

Alan Moore and Eternalism


The interview is a full transcript of the one filmed and shown at the debut Festival 23, which took place in South Yorkshire between 22nd and 24th July 2016. 

Alan Moore: [...] I found out this idea is called ‘Eternalism’ apparently. It’s the idea that’s as we were saying, that if this is a solid universe then we exist in that universe as fourth dimensional entities.

I imagine it as a bit like a spacetime centipede; it would have a lot of arms and a lot of legs and its tail would be emerging from between our mother’s legs, it would have its origins in genetic fluids; its far end would be cremated dust and it would be perhaps, what 70-80 years long. And this centipede-like life form is a little filament that is embedded in this huge, eternally unmoving, unchanging mass of spacetime.

It is just our consciousness moving along these centipede-like lines and experiencing each moment as if it was in a sequence, whereas in fact it’s like a strip of film that, all of those little moments on the strip of film, they’re not moving, they’re not changing – you can keep that strip of film for 100 years and those pictures will not have changed, they will not have moved.

Only when we have turned the projector beam, or by analogy, our consciousness, only when we run that over those images does Charlie Chaplain do his funny walk, does he fight the baddy, does he get the girl; do we have the appearance of a story, a narrative and motives and cause and effect and all of those things. Whereas actually, it’s just these frozen individual moments with our consciousness moving between them.

Now that would mean that in that huge block of spacetime, every moment that has ever existed or will ever exist are all existing conterminously, at the same time. Including all of those moments that made up our lives and the lives of everybody that we knew and the one thing that we can definitely say about those lives is that we were alive during them.

If this is an unchanging and unmoving universe, then we’re still alive during them because everything back there in the past, the fact that there’s no decent telly on a Saturday night, all those buildings we love, they got pulled down, those people that we liked, they ended up dying, Spangles, they don’t make them anymore!
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