What did Albert Einstein mean when he wrote “Time is an illusion”?

A few weeks before Albert Einstein’s death he wrote a letter to the family of a recently deceased friend in which he wrote, “For people like us who believe in physics, the separation between past, present and future has only the importance of an admittedly tenacious illusion.”

What did he mean by these now-famous words?

I can’t speak for Einstein personally, but having come to the same realisation myself, not through physics but through rigorous internal enquiry, my understanding of time is that it is not as real as we think.

And therein lies the key to unlocking Einstein’s meaning.

Time (past & future) is a co-created thought construct that is only held in place by our collective belief in it.

When the imagined divisions between past, present & future dissolve, time collapses and the true nature of our reality reveals itself as timeless, eternal, and all happening now.

In this state of consciousness, time is seen for what it truly is: a dream-like figment of our imagination that we project outward.

This sentiment is echoed by wisdom traditions the world over as well as by indigenous cultures who have long known that the function of the mind is to dream. “Visioning” is to dream forward (future). “Remembering” is to dream backward (past). The otherworld is the imagination.

When this is understood, the concept of time travel takes on a whole new meaning!