The flow of time is a subjective illusion, according to the most popular philosophical interpretation of the equations that describe spacetime. We experience time subjectively and intersubjectively, but in the actual physical universe it it just one of four dimensions of space. This tends to be disappointing to theists and continental philosophers, who suppose that time *really *does flow. But this philosophical interpretation - even though it is near-universal - is nevertheless *merely *an interpretation: it is possible to interpret the data in alternate ways.

There are two basic approaches to maintaining that time is not an illusion while still accepting general relativity. One is to interpret its results differently - to posit that the "block time" interpretation doesn't necessarily follow from the equations, and then offer an alternate, durational interpretation. There are Christian philosophers (like William Craig and Robert Russell) who have attempted this.

Another approach - perhaps a more interesting and useful one - is to suppose that spacetime is itself epiphenomenal, and that the equations of general relativity can be derived from something else that is more fundamental (and for which time is a reality). Stephen Wolfram claims to have been able to derive both general and special relativity from graph theory, and is optimistic about the possibility of accounting for quantum mechanics as well. If he's right, then there would be a sort of fundamental code/rule/network that is non-topological and accounts for the physical world as it is known by science - and in this sub-spatial field, time would in fact be meaningful: time would essentially be the *order *of steps taken by a given universe among all possible choices it could make.

Thus there would be an *ordinal time*, perhaps the very same "pure and empty form" of time that Deleuze describes in Difference and Repetition, at the heart of nature - not merely human or epiphenomenal but in fact *more fundamental* than spacetime itself. This would require a radically free and powerful being to *choose* one sequence rather than another. We could call this being HAQQ