Philosophers love to argue over what exactly constitutes Reality. Questions over which philosophers love to argue are inclusive of, “Is reality a frame created in the mind, or does there exist reality outside of the mind?” Questions that relate to essence of reality are inclusive of character of time, namely, “is time itself real, or is time merely an illusion?”
One of the tools of Pure (Abstract) Mathematics is a principle referred to as Backward Induction Compatibility.
Application of the tool works as follows. A Mathematician asserts (proposes) a statement that he or she believes to be true, a statement not as yet shown to be true by any other Mathematician. Using tools of Pure Mathematics that already are well accepted to ‘all’ Mathematicians, the Mathematician attempts to establish truthfulness of the new assertion. In this respect, note importance of application of only those principles already accepted to be true by ‘all’ Mathematicians. If the Mathematician is successful, the new assertion (Proposition), which is established using already established tools of Mathematics, becomes part of the received wisdom of Pure Mathematics.
If you wonder how it is, what already is known produces what hitherto had yet to be known, know that this is part of the wonder of Pure (Abstract) Mathematics.
The most credible new truths are those truths that are extensions of what Mathematics already accepts to be true.
The implication for Reality? Well, using what already exists, the Mathematician establishes a newly discovered reality, that is, an hitherto unperceived reality that simultaneously is true. But if the new reality is established in context of principles already accepted to be true, that is, in context of some pre-existing reality, clearly the new reality always had been, with outcome only it’s discovery by the Mathematician is rooted in time.
We arrive then at the insight that, relative to reality, time cannot be considered to have any separate reality — time serves only as ‘reference’ for existence of opportunity for arrival at discovery of a new reality. A wise sage states the insight to which we have arrived as follows (paraphrase).
“What is that which has been? It is that which is; and what is that which has been done? It is that which is done, and there is not an entirely new thing under the sun” — King Solomon.
Relative to principles as Reality, Time serves only as a purveyor of Reality, that is, as reference for opportunity for arrival at discovery of a new reality, does not itself have any separate reality.
Let us consider then what exactly transpires subsequent to inferring of the newly discovered reality by the hypothesized Mathematician.
If the new principle is pragmatic and practical, it results in new applications in different spheres of society, with outcome, relative to time that precedes the new discovery, evolution of affairs on earth are perturbed in a different, yet better direction.
You see then that we arrive, once again, at the same insight, which is, with timing of inferring of the new principle as reference, time segments history of life and affairs on earth into two segments, the pre-discovery, and post-discovery segments.
It is not, however, the segmentation itself that is real, rather it is inferring of the hitherto existing, but newly discovered principle that is source of the segmentation in time. We have then that it is not time that is real, but on the contrary, it is actions of man that produce a new reality.
In the sense that actions taken today have capacity for altering of the future, while ‘today’ does not itself have any reality that is specific to it, actions taken today are part constituent of man’s reality.
The Kicker to it all? Well, the past having been established, and the future being conditional on actions undertaken today, always the most important reality of life is not today, but, rather, actions undertaken today.
To see this, suppose the hypothesized Mathematician does not embark on his or her study, with outcome the newly discovered principle, which enables new applications in different spheres of life, is not inferred. In presence of such an inaction, there is not any alteration to the path of life on earth, with outcome we do not arrive at any segmentation, in time, of reality that transpired in affairs on earth.
Clearly then, relative to either of the past, or the future, the most important arbiter of reality is not today, but rather, actions that are undertaken today, and implications of those actions for realities that feasibly can subsist in future.
“What will you do with today, such that, while today, in of itself is lacking in any self imposed reality, regardless, with your actions as purveyor of reality, today has opportunity for acquiring of character of ‘reference’ for reality?”