Living Time

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

Living Time was a Forerunner philosophical concept relating to the flow of time and "the joy of life's interaction with the Cosmos."[1] It was the founding concept behind the Mantle, and seemingly drew from the Precursor philosophy of neural physics which postulated that the entire universe was a living entity enriched by the collective experience of ever-changing life.[2] According to the premise of Living Time, struggle, competition and even war were not at odds with the harmony of the cosmos, as they were regarded as a natural part of life. However, excessive and needless cruelty and destruction were seen as introducing an imbalance to the harmony of Living Time.[1]

The philosophy of Living Time viewed time as an infinite series of twisting and entangling streams—known as world-lines—intrinsically tied to the notion of fate.[3] Metaphysical junctures of Living Time where the world-lines of individual entities connected and were bound together were known as synchrons.[4] While it was common for these points in time to go entirely unnoticed, a particularly potent synchron could be felt by a Forerunner as a momentary and very concrete realization of the linkages of world-lines between themselves and other individuals sharing their fate.[5]

The Forerunners considered themselves to be only a stage in the stewardship of Living Time, with only a temporary place in the Mantle before another civilization that would reclaim their place as stewards of the galaxy.[6] The Forerunners also believed that individual lives would be summed and judged at the end of Living Time.[7]

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b Halo: Cryptum, page 267
  2. ^ Halo: Primordium, pages 365, 367
  3. ^ Halo: Primordium, page 235 ("It arises from the skill and the will of my life-mate, my wife, the Librarian, who sees much farther than I do down the twining streams of Living Time.")
  4. ^ Halo: Cryptum, page 57
  5. ^ Halo: Cryptum, page 60 ("The synchron was definitely upon me. By the sensations that crept up and down my back and my neck, I sensed that a connective loop of world-lines would bind me for a long time—perhaps forever—to the two humans waiting in the dark, back at the stone circle.")
  6. ^ Halo: Cryptum, page 31
  7. ^ Halo: Silentium, page 16