Perception of eternalism
Perception of eternalism can be described as the experience of a major alteration of one's perspective of the fundamental mechanics behind the linear continuity of time moving from the past to the present to the future. During this state of mind, it feels as if all points across the timeline of existence are equally "real" and are occurring simultaneously alongside each other. Every point in time is felt to exist regardless of the person's current position within the overall timeline, much as all points in physical space persist regardless of the observer's location.
While all moments are felt to be equally real, the directional flow of time is felt to be maintained, with the present always being the moment which is currently experienced. All moments in time are still felt to be linked together by causality, the past necessitating the present, which necessitates the future, and so forth.
A common conclusion that is reached during the experience of this state is that although one's life inevitably will end, it will apparently persist forever within its own timeframe and is therefore perpetual despite not being infinite in its length. Birth and death are therefore seen as merely the start and end points of the range of time that a person exists in eternally, if not experiences eternally.
This sudden change in perspective starkly contrasts with the standard perception of time in which only the present is felt to exist, while the past no longer is and the future is yet to be.
Perception of eternalism is often accompanied by other coinciding transpersonal effects such as unity and interconnectedness and feelings of interdependent opposites. It is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.
Perception of eternalism is one of a handful of subjective effect components that has had a substantial impact on how I view myself and the universe around me. I first experienced this effect during a state of level 4 unity and interconnectedness while under the influence of a heavy dose of Ayahuasca. It was one of the most profound experiences of my entire life. I truly felt that not only was I the entirety of existence experiencing itself through this body, but that this moment and all other moments would continue to exist eternally within their specific time frames. Although I am acutely aware of how it is impossible for me to genuinely know if this is true or not, I have found it to be a perspective that is very difficult to shake off after having this experience a number of times.
Before experiencing this effect, I had never considered or even heard of the various similar metaphysical schools of thought that exist as relatively mainstream concepts within the field of philosophy. However, after having had experienced this state of mind numerous times, I happened upon a large number of relevant concepts that include ideas such as eternalism, four dimensionalism, growing block universe, perdurantism, and the b-theory of time. Each of these concepts have their Wikipedia articles linked to within the See Also section of this page.
As an intellectual concept, the B-theory of time is especially interesting to me as it is relatively well supported by the physics community. In summary, B-theory posits that the flow of time is an illusion, that the past, present, and future are equally real and that time is tenseless. Its support is seemingly due to its apparent compatibility with theoretical physics and the fact that many theories such as special relativity, the ADD model, and brane cosmology are considered to point to a theory of time similar to B-theory. However, I feel that it is important to note that I do not have a remotely in-depth understanding of theoretical physics and that although these theories are in support of notions similar to this experience, I am not entirely sure that their ontological implications can be asserted within science and outside the realm of philosophy or metaphysics.
Regardless of whether or not the nature of time is genuinely illusory, it is truly fascinating to me that without any prior knowledge, myself and many other psychedelic users can experience incredibly specific states of mind that seem to line up with entire philosophical theories. This holds true for a number of transpersonal effects and is something that I'm deeply passionate about doing my absolute best to both document and discuss without descending into any degree of pseudoscience or hippy babble.