Thursday, June 27, 2019

Fractals and Dill Weed

A fractal pattern is one that replicates itself at larger and smaller versions of itself. It's the same story, only bigger, or smaller, over and over again. In that way, fractals are like myths. Some myths are God-sized and angel-sized, other myths are replicated at a smaller, human level.  The Fall and Redemption of Tiger Woods is a recent, newsworthy version of a  myth at the human level. But every person replicates fractal myths in their lives; every archetypal story is a fractal. Young love, tragic breakups, Falls from grace and favor, triumph in sport and war--these are fractal myths played out in every life.

The dill weed below shows us several levels (iterations) of fractal patterns that looks like an explosion of golden fireworks. The first iteration is the mother plant and all of her branches of flowers. 

The Second iteration of the fractal is the explosion at the tip of each branch, producing a bundle of fireworks flowers

The Third iteration of the fractal is the explosion of each flower.

The Fourth iteration of the fractal is the little flower at the tip of each bundle.

The Fifth iteration of the fractal is the tiny spike coming out of each little flower. 

A possible Sixth iteration is the flattened spatula at the tip of each spike that may flower out in the explosion.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

My Appearance on Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio

On Friday, June 28, I was the guest of Miguel Conner on his Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio program. Aeon Byte can be heard on all popular podcast platforms as well as on youtube. 

This was my first interview regarding my new book, The Gnostic Gospel Illuminated. It's good to watch it on YouTube, because we run the illustrations during the program and I explain the visual symbology.

If you have any follow-up questions regarding The Gnostic Gospel Illuminated or The Simple Explanation of Absolutely Everything, please feel free to leave me a comment here.

 books by Cyd Ropp

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Gnostic Gospel Illuminated and Animated

Four years ago I posted this Power Point "animation" to youtube. Hard to believe I  had made these illustrations by then and put them into this animation. It is as if someone else did all of this work for me and now it's here and ready to go. 

Now that I have written the book, The Gnostic Gospel Illuminated, I can assure you that if you read the book, you will be able to follow the animation above. I've used the same conceptual illuminations throughout the book. The only difference is that in the book the words don't fly onto the page and there are more of them, with plenty of time to ponder their meaning.

This animation is slightly edited from the version that has been up and running since 2015. Only today I noticed one single illustration that has evolved over the past four years, and so I made the change. I won't tell you what it is, in case you would like to view the previous video and compare to this one. It will be like a "Where's Waldo?" of Gnostic visions. How's that for an esoteric challenge?

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

A Gnostic Perspective On Consciousness and Christianity

I just wrote and posted this as a comment on consciousness and Christianity over at the Skeptiko forum, but it seems too juicy to keep it from here. 

Is it possible for the Christian mythos to be in any way truthful and factual? Sure. But I'd say the Christian mythos that most closely resembles reality as we know it would be the Gnostic mythos, and it was weeded out of the canonical Bible and thrown away in 300 AD. I used to think the Pope and Emperor weeded it out for the good of the faithful, but now I realize they weeded it out for their own power to reign supreme. Yes, they left a lot of good in, but they weeded out the logos that makes the religion reasonable. So no wonder it looks superstitious and shallow. Thank God the Gnostic truths were buried out in the Nag Hammadi desert and resurrected intact during WW2. They have literally been protected from hundreds of years of theological misinterpretation.

I've been chewing this particular Gnosis over for about 50 years. See if this intrinsically coherent Gnostic Christian narrative is more satisfying to the Skeptik than the Orthodox view. I think it is, but it is no less Theistic, so if that's your quibble, I can't help you there. I think in order to understand Gnosis, one must start with a willing heart. If you hate God, then it is very difficult to appreciate Gnosis. Here goes:

According to the Tripartite Tractate Nag Hammadi book, we start with an underlying matrix of consciousness. (So, right off the bat, this ancient book acknowledges transcendent, undifferentiated consciousness.) This illimitable consciousness thought of a particularity, which became a fractal representation of the illimitable. This first fractal is called The Son. The Son immediately fanned out like rays from a light into an infinite number of particularities. The moment the particularities became conscious, because they, too, were fractals of the illimitable consciousness, they named themselves in order to know themselves. This naming had the effect of sorting themselves into a hierarchy of names, stations, ranks, positions, and powers. These are the Aeons, also known as the Pre-existent Church and the Elect, also called the First Order of Powers. The Aeons live in a place called the Pleroma, or the ALL, or the Fullness. Altogether, the Aeons of the Fullness represent the infinity of potentialities. They are of one accord, being simply the names of the qualities of their Father, who is called the Son of the originating One. This is the entire sum of the hidden knowledge of Gnosis that so frightened the Emperor and the Pope. We can catch glimpses of this cosmology, the Father, the Son, and the Aeons, in the canonical Bible, but not enough was left intact to make sense of it. Now we know.

The Aeons of the Fullness dream one dream that they ALL share. This is the dream of Paradise, which was the original Thought that set the whole ball rolling. The Aeons dream exactly as we dream, except they all share the same dream. This is a place we are also familiar with, we humans in our dreams. It is the foretaste of Heaven. It is the fragrance of Utopia. It is the place where we can fly. We all know it, according to the Tripartite Tractate. 

Then various things happen, an Aeon overreaches and wisdom becomes presumptuous thought. The Aeon Falls from the perfection of the Fullness. The Aeon breaks apart and little pieces of it become the seed of our material universe. The Aeons above in the Fullness dream up a Second Order of Powers that carry their Aeonic traits into this material plane. All archaea of our planet are Second Order Powers. It was decided that all of the Aeons would come to earth to clean up the mess and restore perfection to this creation that occurred because of the Fall. Every thing on earth contains innumerable Aeons instantiating consciousness into the mud. Our fables and Bible stories tell fractal stories of all lives; the same stories over and over and over again. They are real and they are metaphors. We are the children of angels; we are angels. We are all Fallen and need redemption.

The Christ Consciousness, according to the Tripartite Tractate, is the Third Order of Powers. The Christ Consciousness was designed to be the correcting algorithm for the Second Order Powers who'd been ensnared in the deception of the material delusion, also called the Imitation. Imitation of what? Imitation of the Paradise dreamed by the Aeons of the Fullness. The Christ is like a computer clean-up code that must be inserted in order to do its work of Redemption. Every soul needs to remember their eternal heritage in order to shake off this material plane and return to the Fullness. 

Here's where Jesus of Nazareth comes in--this was a human who carried the perfected Third Order Power of Christ into our material plane, and co-existed with the human genome donated from the mother. Fully God. Fully Human. First Adam perfectly incarnated. In this manner, all of the infinity of the ALL was at last incarnated, completing the cycle of coming one-by-one to our material plane. It wasn't so much Christ's sacrifice on the cross that took away the sins of the world, but his incarnation as a human and his personal Aeonic experience of separation, despair, and death. I think the emphasis is on the cross as a shape of top-to-bottom/spirit-to-mud and side-to-side/ALL inclusive.
And what it means to be Redeemed by Christ as a pre-requisite to going to Heaven, well, yes, the Christ incarnated for the salvation of the ALL, and that includes us, but also the dogs and cats, and the trees and grasses. You name it. Jesus saves. Obviously the mission is larger than our belief in it or our capacity of comprehend the fullness.

You can read a much more detailed and coherent account (fully illustrated) in my own book called "The Gnostic Gospel Illuminated". It's all there.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A Simple Explanation of the Multiverse--"What is possible is actual"

My brother, Bill, and I have been kicking around the implications of an infinite set of multiple universes. The discussion began with his discomfort over the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics--that infinite multiple parallel universes branch off from every random quantum outcome of our universe. 

My reply was that it didn't bother me to think of infinite dimensions branching off of what we call reality, because the metaverse is infinite, and we rest inside of it, so there's plenty of room, so to speak. Also, since there are infinite dimensions wrapped around us, any point in our universe can map outward wherever it wants to go.

After a couple of days and a couple of phone calls, Bill called me all excited after experiencing an Insight. "Modal logic!" he declared. Then he proceeded to tell me many things about modal logic that I barely followed, because I majored in Rhetoric rather than Philosophy. (I manipulate words and diagrams as symbols, while he is comfortable manipulating logic and math symbols.) 

Once he started speaking English again, Bill said, "Modal logic talks about possibility and necessity. I realized this morning a new proposition that answers our inquiry! It's: 'What is possible is necessarily actual under an infinitely many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics!'"

We humans say it all the time: "What can be done will be done." As if it were a universal law. And of course it would be a universal law, because it's a fractal meme, isn't it? After all, if it can be said, it has been said--again a universal fractal meme.

If the universal consciousness thought up the algorithm that became our bounded universe, and that originating consciousness is infinite and illimitable, then there is a necessity for the infinities of consciousness, time, and space to be expressed in infinitely branching possibilities. 

This interpretation fits nicely with the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and complements string-theory notions of Hilbert space.

Read the Simple Explanation of the Fractal, Conscious Universe here.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Simplicity is not Reductionism, repost from 2015

This article was originally posted in August of 2015, but I think maybe it was left off of the Topical Index, so you may not have read it. I've slightly updated it today by adding a couple of sentences.

Every once in a while, someone I'm talking with reacts poorly to the very notion that complex concepts should or could be simplified--as if this Simple Explanation blog contributes to "dumbing down" science, philosophy, religion, and metaphysics. "Your theory is nothing but pure fantasy and speculation," I hear them say.

Well, I've got news for them-- All axioms are fundamentally unprovable. This is true in science, in logic, and in math. Fundamental propositions are assumed to be true. All of these axioms are in fact intuitive. So the criticism that the Simple Explanation is intuitive is a false criticism, as the same can be said of all science, logic, and math. According to U.C. Berkeley's Understanding Science website: 

"All of science is based on a few fundamental assumptions that transcend any individual experiment or study." 

Understanding Science goes on to explain that, while the fundamental propositions may be assumptions, they generate testable hypotheses that can verify the assumptions. The Simple Explanation is not unscientific--it verifies its hypotheses through observation and by mining other people's research findings, amply demonstrating its theoretical robustness.

I talked this over with my brother, Bill, the philosopher, and he felt it was very important to explain the difference between "simplicity" and "reductionism." So here goes.

Simplicity is not reductionism. 

Simplicity as I use the term involves stripping away layers of linguistic and cultural particulars to reveal underlying universal patterns. According to the Simple Explanation, once memes are lifted out of their familiar linguistic and cultural expressions, their universal applicability can be readily discerned.

I have found that limiting the specificity of nouns raises the applicability of the concept. For example, I could say, "All people reach out to others to work together on projects they could not accomplish alone." But when I word it as "All units of consciousness reach out to others to work together to build the next level up," suddenly the Simple Golden Rule applies to atoms and cells as easily as it does to people.

Reductionism, on the other hand, narrows the focus of exploration by pursuing information from smaller and smaller objects, as in the way physicists look for ever smaller particles and wave forms to explain the composition of our universe. Hand in hand with this pursuit is the assumption that an object can be reduced to its tiniest components and that this will reveal its underlying nature.

I'm happy to see that according to wikipedia, Bill and I are not alone in our distrust of reductionism. Apparently reductionism doesn't go over so well with ecologists or systems theorists, because interactive systems can't be described by their smallest objects but must be described in terms of relationships and interactions. From the wiki article on reductionism: "Disciplines such as cybernetics and systems theory embrace a non-reductionist view of science, sometimes going as far as explaining phenomena at a given level of hierarchy in terms of phenomena at a higher level, in a sense, the opposite of a reductionist approach.[24]"

So, while conventional science believes itself to be thoroughly pursuing truth through reductionism, the Simple Explanation would say it is more like they are trying to describe the haystack by counting the number of its molecules. Yes, it is a measurable result, but meaningless.

Again, from wikipedia: "Methodological reductionism is the position that the best scientific strategy is to attempt to reduce explanations to the smallest possible entities. Methodological reductionism would thus hold that the atomic explanation of a substance's boiling point is preferable to the chemical explanation, and that an explanation based on even smaller particles (quarks and leptons, perhaps) would be even better. Methodological reductionism, therefore, is the position that all scientific theories either can or should be reduced to a single super~theory through the process of theoretical reduction.

Here at the Simple Explanation, simplicity means "elegance"--the simplest theory that explains the most evidence. But unlike methodological reductionism, the Simple Explanation does not restrict truth to the tiny.The simplicity pursued by the Simple Explanation is of an entirely different kind--a true theory of everything looks for the underlying reality of our cosmos, irregardless of where it is to be found. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Misplaced Hopes of Progressives

It's difficult for me to resist writing political articles because we live in such interesting times.  So, please forgive me if I offend at least one half of my readers with this post, but I must share this insight with you nonetheless.

The Progressive Democrats who are currently wresting power from America's traditional Democratic Party are, bless their hearts, way off base. No need for me to go into particulars; you can read other people's books and columns for details. 

Here's my take on it. The Progressives are mistakenly trying to usher in a Utopian society that is not possible to achieve in this fallen world. 

It appears to me that the Progressives are mistaking earth for heaven. History proves over and over again that the Progressive ideals, such as socialist redistribution of wealth, open borders, and "free" government programs never achieves its objectives. 

Hope springs eternal, yet those who forget the lessons of the past are condemned to repeat them.

Yes, the Progressive ideals are, for the most part, lovely thoughts. Yet, they are impossible to bring into reality. The reason is that human beings are too easily corrupted, and the politicians you trust today will become the dictators you fear tomorrow. Why? 

Because absolute power corrupts absolutely.

As I watch the promises pour out of the lips of the younger Progressives, I admire their egalitarian ideals. But, unfortunately, that is not the way the world works. It is the way heaven works. 

I believe the young Progressives are mistaking the hope for Utopia as something that can be achieved. It cannot. Again, the problem is not the ideals, for they are indeed heavenly. The problem is the fallen nature of humankind and the hard, sad fact that wealth and power corrupt those entrusted with ushering in Utopia. 

The older Democrats running for President who are now changing their stripes to appear more Progressive are not Progressives--they are politicians pandering to the youth vote. You young idealists are being played by the old men and women who pretend to agree with you. They do not. They only seek power and dominion over you. This is the sad the truth of the matter, and anyone who has been alive on this planet for any length of time knows it.

The Progressive ideals will quickly turn ugly as unintended consequences take over the agenda. Here's just a few off the top of my head--

I could go on. The point I am trying to make is that things don't turn out the way you hope they will. 

I used to teach college. I have a pretty good idea of your reasoning abilities. You are not smarter than the writers of the American Constitution, and neither are the politicians you trust. It's tragic. Your motives are noble, but the results are not achievable. 

No, it's not a good idea to try anyway, because civilizations do fail and governments do fall. It can happen here and then we will have the post-apocalyptic scenarios that are so popular on television and in the game worlds. Anarchy is not better than our Constitutional government; don't fool yourself.


Below is a reprint of my article, "Live and let live is the Democratic Ideal," in case you haven't read it.

I am reprinting this column about tolerance of those with whom you disagree. "Live and Let Live" is a meme that is absolutely central to a functioning democracy. Every American citizen is entitled by the law of this land to hold and express their opinions. It is only through exchange of information and assistance that the big jobs get done. Read on for the why's and how's:

The Simple Explanation's theory of memes uses the term "meme" to stand for a belief or a tidbit of knowledge. These memes are passed around to our friends like trading cards--most of our close friends hold the same meme cards we do; that's why they are our friends. The more memes you hold in common with someone else, the more you like them. The opposite is also true--we have a difficult time relating to people who hold a different set of memes.
Here is the bottom-line of the previous Apocalyptic Visions article:

The Simple Explanation suggests that "live and let live" would be a great meta-meme for everyone to adopt. If we could appreciate the fact that each of us has a unique perspective, then perhaps we could allow each other to hold the memes that make the most sense for our lives. This is my meme chord; that is your meme chord. If I don't like your meme chord then I can talk it over with you and see if we can move our meme chords closer to one another in agreement. If neither of us is able or willing to swap memes with the other, then so be it. Either accept the other person, memes and all, or move on. Find someone else who more closely agrees with your memes. There is enough room in this world for each of us to hold our own chords, but only if "live and let live" is an overarching meme.

We are now in the midst of a social epidemic of intolerance. Intolerance is the opposite of "live and let live." When we are intolerant of others' memes, we are declaring that our memes are correct and their memes are wrong. And then we take it a step further--we refuse to "tolerate" the others' memes. We throw up resistance, we throw up roadblocks, we close our ears and refuse to listen to the other. We do not merely disagree, as reasonable people may do from time to time. When we are intolerant, we look for ways to force the other to abandon their memes and adopt ours. We shout them down because we feel we are shouting the right memes and theirs are not only wrong, they are evil and have no right to be heard. And once you declare the other "evil," it is no longer a disagreement in good faith, but a fight for the soul. "God is on our side, therefore we can do whatever it takes to crush the opposition," is a dangerous and usually delusional meme to hold. And if it entitles the holder to disregard rule of law, then it is not a democratic ideal and it has no place in American politics.

Once words can no longer be exchanged, frustration builds and violence follows. This is what we are seeing now in the U.S.  Free exchange of memes has been thwarted because of intolerance. 

Exchange of ideas is the key. You needn't agree with the other person, but you must hear them out. Because, once you agree to sit and exchange ideas and concerns, whether or not you adopt the other's ideas, the very act of hearing each other out creates a shared space that acts as a balm to soothe both your soul and theirs. When you are too angry, frustrated, or afraid to listen to the other, you perpetuate the intolerance that leads to violence. This intolerance is not helpful. 
 Maxine Waters calls followers to adopt intolerance of others' right to disagree. [cnn photo credit]
We hear a lot about the importance of "diversity" nowadays in America. True diversity can only thrive if we allow each other to "live and let live." When you seek to silence those with whom you disagree, you are not encouraging diversity; you are actually partaking in fascism. Fascism advocates the forced suppression of those who express opposing views. Disagreement, on the other hand, is not forced suppression, it is merely disagreement.  Shouting others down when they have the floor, shunning those with whom you disagree, refusing service in a restaurant to paying customers who voted for a different candidate--this is not the side of the angels, folks. This is not helping us come together to get the job done.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Unusual Fractal Flower and a Dandelion

Here's a pretty flower I saw on my walk yesterday. I've never seen this type of fractal pattern before. 

It's hard to describe--a lily pad shape with two flowers coming out is the closest I can say. Not many fractal levels, looks like 3 iterations to me.

This Euphorbia Rigida exhibits an interesting fractal pattern.
The dandylion below is a more common fractal flower. It is only one iteration deep. You see that the hundreds of smaller flowers each look like the single mother shape.
This dandelion shows a very simple fractal pattern that only goes one iteration deep--a puff-ball made of puff-balls.
You can watch my fractal broccoli demonstration to see the many levels of a broccoli.
The reason that fractals were so hard to identify as a phenomenon is that it is the pattern of smaller and larger iterations that make up a "fractal," not its particular shape or appearance. So you can look at a number of fractal objects all lined up, like the three plants above, and not recognize that they all bespeak the same operational pattern of "as above, so below."

Saturday, May 4, 2019

A Simple Explanation of How Ancient Roman Architects Used Invisibility Cloak Technology

Here's a fascinating reprint from ars Technica concerning the observed similarities between ancient Roman structures and the geometry of electromagnetic cloaking devices. My "Simple" interpretation will appear at the end of this column.


Study says ancient Romans may have built “invisibility cloaks” into structures

Foundational patterns in Roman theaters resemble electromagnetic cloaking devices.

Roman Colosseum is an oval amphitheatre in the center of the city of Rome. French scientists suggest its structure might have helped protect it from earthquake damage.Alex Livesey/Danehouse/Getty Images)

Falling within the broader class of photonic band gap materials, a "metamaterial" is technically defined as any material whose microscopic structure can bend light in ways it doesn't normally bend. That property is called an index of refraction, i.e., the ratio between the speed of light in a vacuum and how fast the top of the light wave travels. Natural materials have a positive index of refraction; certain manmade metamaterials—first synthesized in the lab in 2000—have negativeindex of refraction, meaning they interact with light in such a way as to bend light around even very sharp angles.That's what makes metamaterials so ideal for cloaking applications—any "invisibility cloak" must be able to bend electromagnetic waves around whatever it's supposed to be cloaking. (They are also ideal for making so-called "super lenses" capable of seeing objects at much smaller scales than is possible with natural materials, because they have significantly lower diffraction limits.) Most metamaterials consist of a highly conductive metal like gold or copper, organized in specific shapes and arranged in carefully layered periodic lattice structures. When light passes through the material, it bends around the cloaked object, rendering it "invisible." You can see anything directly behind it but never perceive the object itself.

Top view of a megastructure using periodic arrays of tall buildings as resonators to create a seismic cloaking effect. Stephane Brûlé et al.
Co-author Stephane Brûlé, a civil engineer at a Lyon-based company called Menard, demonstrated the possibility of this kind of large-scale acoustic and seismic cloaking a few years ago with colleagues from the Fresnel Institute in Marseille. The researchers drilled a periodic array of boreholes into topsoil and discovered that sound waves reflected most of their energy back toward the source when they encountered the first two rows of holes. Brûlé noticed a similar foundational structure while on holiday in Autun (a town in central France), thanks to an aerial photograph of the semicircular structure of a Gallo-Roman theater buried under a field.
When Brûlé superimposed a more detailed archaeological photograph of the theater's structure over an image of one of the invisibility cloaking metamaterials he and his Fresnel colleagues had made in the lab, the ancient theater's pillars lined up almost perfectly with the microscopic elements in the metamaterial. He discovered similar overlap with images of the foundational structure of the Roman Colosseum and other, fully enclosed amphitheaters from the same era.
"I doubt that the [Romans] intentionally designed their buildings to be earthquake resistant."
Roman engineers may not have done this deliberately; they could have just been lucky, according to Brûlé. Or they might have noticed over the centuries that certain structures were more resistant to earthquake damage than others and modified their designs accordingly. "Rigorously, we cannot say more for the moment," he told Physics World.
"The introduction of archaeological metamaterials is a fascinating idea," said Greg Gbur, a physicist at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. "I doubt that the builders of structures in that era intentionally designed their buildings to be earthquake resistant, or even that they were able to unconsciously evolve their designs over time to make them more secure—the time scales seem too short. I could imagine, however, that there might be a sort of 'natural selection' that occurred, where megastructures built with inadvertent earthquake cloaking might have survived longer than their counterparts, allowing us to see their remains now."
"There have been a few articles written in the past about the possibility of designing 'seismic cloaks' to protect buildings, but these were all focused on placing subsurface elements around an individual building to guide the waves," said Gbur. "This review illustrates how a well-designed urban area, consisting of multiple buildings, could use the buildings themselves as the elements of the cloak, using them to shield the most important or vulnerable buildings (schools, hospitals) from harm. I had my doubts about the feasibility of really designing practical seismic invisibility cloaks when the research first started coming out, but once again researchers have proven themselves more clever than I could imagine."
A Simple Explanation of the above article is to point out the obvious fact that this "invisibility cloak" geometry is that of a torus. 
As to the question of whether or not the Roman architects knew about seismic dampening fields, we're talking about the primordial shape of things from the quantum clouds on up. Atomic clouds, magnetic fields, galactic clouds all organize their aggregates into this torus shape.
According to the Simple Explanation cosmology, the torus shape is the actual shape of the container that surrounds our universe's space/time continuum.  It is also the shape of fractal consciousness. As we are all fractal iterations of the Universal Unit of Consciousness, we know this shape deep in our soul.
My guess is that the Colosseum's architect had some sort of creative vision or direct intuition that the stadium needed to be designed "just so." It's likely the shape was conceived as somehow blessed by the architect who transcribed it as if in a dream.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

A Simple Explanation of Time

Scientific and philosophical orthodoxies have yet to crack the conundrum of time. There is no agreed-upon consensus regarding the nature of time. Time seems to be connected to space and the things that occupy space--it takes a certain amount of time to go from here to there--but unlike space and matter, time has no attributes. You can't find it anywhere, although it seems to be everywhere. You can't look at it, you can't weigh it. You can't collect it into a container. You can't buy or sell it.

Time seems to be peculiarly subjective. The subjective sense of time varies from person to person and from situation to situation. Sometimes it seems to pass quickly; sometimes it seems to go slowly. Its duration seems to change despite the steady ticking of the clocks that measure what we call its passing. Clocks do not actually measure time itself, but rather how long it takes a thing to go from here to there. 

As previously stated, clocks measure how long it takes something to go from here to there. Imagine if there were no objects and you could somehow observe truly empty space. Where would the time be then? Would there be any sense of time other than eternity? I think not.

In the absence of matter, the first distinction of time passing would be "before" and "after," but only in reference to something occurring or arising in that empty space. The Simple Explanation would say the "before" state of timeless eternity would describe the formless ground state of no-thought consciousness, prior to thought, prior to things. The Simple Explanation calls this initial state the "Metaverse."
The Simple Explanation suggests that pure consciousness then had a thought that unfolded our universe. 

This thought and subsequent universe were immediately encapsulated in the form of a 4-dimensional torus. The toroidal container isolates our familiar 3-D universe from the Metaverse, keeping the Metaverse eternal and uncluttered. 

The Simple Explanation calls this container the "Universal Unit of "Consciousness." 
Within this container, time is born, along with space. "After" is separated from "Before" by "Now."
The thought of our Universal Unit of Consciousness is the formulae for all of creation, for it is a whole and complete subset of the infinite and illimitable Metaverse. 

In the same manner a bucket sitting in the sea holds water indistinguishable from the water that lies outside the bucket, so, too, the Universal Unit of Consciousness holds the infinite within its limited space.
The torus is a rotating figure that continually pushes perfect order into our 3-D space from the perfection that lies outside of it. 
The algorithm of creation enters our space through the portal of "here and now" in a highly ordered state.
The order of creation is this: momentary chaos, then metaversal information, then energy, then highly ordered matter. As matter proceeds away from the portal of here and now it becomes less orderly as the residual entropy of chaos affects it.

The Simple Explanation states that every thing, every piece of "material," comes into our universe with its very own unit of consciousness (UC) that governs the behavior of that piece of matter. From particles on up, every piece of material in our universe "knows" how to do its job because it is a fractal of the universal unit of consciousness, and the universal UC knows all there is to know about creation because it holds all the formulae. 

It is through consciousness and information that our material universe is formed. In the case of an atom, its unit of consciousness (UC) needs to know how to reach out to other atoms and bond to form molecules. Molecules know how to bond to form elements. Organelles know how to bond to form cells. Cells know how to bond to form organs. Organs bond to form creatures. And so on. Each UC only needs to know how to do its own job. 
 My Self--the Governor of Whoville
What's all of this got to do with time? The units of consciousness that enter through the portal of here and now to become the material of our universe not only bring the information they need to fill their material slot and do their jobs, they bring along a finite piece of eternity. This finite bit of eternity is what we experience as time. 

In other words:

Time is the 4-D universal torus pushing eternity through the portal of here and now into our confined 3-D space. 

This bears repeating: 

Time is the 3-D projection of eternity passing through through a hyperspatial torus. 

Now let's revisit the bucket of ocean water analogy: Outside of the bucket lies eternity. The water confined to the bucket is limited. We call the water inside the bucket time. We experience time as a phenomenon of consciousness because consciousness is passing from one location in the bucket's space to the another.

According to the Simple Explanation, the bucket holds our space-time inside a fractal border that can never be breached. Pure consciousness and the vastness of eternity lie just outside the bucket.

Each unit of consciousness passes one-by-one through the portal of here and now, from infinity into space and from eternity into time.

We are essentially units of consciousness, each with our own personal time manifesting along with our physical bodies. Time is subjective because each unit of consciousness is a subject with its own point of view. 

There is no such thing as objective time. Time is always observed through the consciousness of an observer. Time is a manifestation of eternity, observed through consciousness that has been confined to our 3-D space/time continuum.