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Gerardus D. Bouw, Ph.D.

Presented under the title “In Process of Time”

at the Third International Conference on Absolutes,

The Woodlands, Texas

16-18 July 2007




          This is the third and final paper on time.  In the first paper we examined time with the language of mathematics.  We started the paper with a look at what happens to matter as the fundamental units (length, mass, time, etc.) changed over time.  For that we assumed conservation of energy and ran into a  peculiar form of the Energy Uncertainty Principle (EUP).  We ended that paper by introducing the usual form of the Energy Uncertainty Principle, and we presented the usual rationale for this most mysterious of the uncertainty principles. 

          In the second paper we looked at time from the so-called natural languages, in our case the English language.  We focused on the concept of attention span as it relates to memory and intelligence.  We closed that article with a reference to sheets, each as thick as an attention span.  At the time we did not pursue that concept. 

          In this, the third paper, we shall connect the Energy Uncertainty Principle and derive from it the sheets referred to in the second article.  This paper presents a view of time sheets that has a superficial similarity to the sheets of Topological Geometrodynamics theory; but it is not quite the same.  The main difference between the two theories is that we present a single, real solution while TGD presents a set of possible solutions, each of which shows up as a “parallel universe.”




          Have you ever wondered about certain statements in Scripture that defy the imagination: concepts such as the firmament of Genesis 1?  In it God placed the sun, moon, and stars, implying that the firmament is immense.  The humanist, who thinks he is the measure of all things, cannot fathom such immensity, especially not if there is water beyond that firmament.  Leaning on his own understanding, he concludes that God really didn’t mean what he wrote in Genesis 1 and so, to appease the churched, concocts the notion that the firmament is the atmosphere and that there must have been some sort of water canopy above the atmosphere, even though such a canopy is impossible.  That failing, he invents the more scholarly-appearing fable that the firmament is an expanse, without saying an expanse of what, and totally ignores the waters above it.  Fiction is ever more popular than fact, so when physics discovered the firmament in the early 1930s, the “recognized” scholars still hold onto the myth that the firmament is an expanse, or that it is the atmosphere, or even the crust of the earth.  We now know that the firmament is a super-dense medium that pervades all of space and dictates the laws of physics, if not all nature.  

          In this paper we consider a family of mysterious references: two that obviously relate to time, and two that appear totally unrelated to time.  The phrases are these:


·         In process of time (Genesis 4:3, etc.)

·         Time and chance  (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

·         Written in the earth   (Jeremiah 17:13)

·         The books were opened  (Revelation 20:12).


Now some will dismiss chance as unreasonable, as abrogating the power of God, as though God has no right or power to abrogate anything he wants (such as the exacting of vengeance for our sins, for instance).  Others dismiss these verses as poetic, not literally true, as if poetic phraseology gives God and man a justification for lying.  Still others, having succumbed to the 160-year old myths that only the original autographs were inspired, that no translation can be inspired, and that God did not care enough about his words to protect them from the ravages of man and time.  Such trivialization of the scriptures runs contrary to everything this author has ever experienced about the scriptures (AV).


In Process of Time


          The phrase, “in process of time,” occurs four times in Scripture.  The first occurrence is found in Genesis 4:3


And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.


The remaining four are just like it (Genesis 38:12; Exodus 2:23; Judges 11:4; and II Chronicles 21:19). 

          What originally puzzled me was the absence of the definite article “the,” as in “the process of time.”  With the definite article in front of the phrase we might assume that the procession of time is meant, even though the word “procession” is never applied to time in Scripture.  Without the definite article, it seems that time is a substance that is processed.   For instance, time fills up (Luke 21:24,[1] “fulfilled”) as if it is poured into a container. 


Science and Process of Time


          Is the concept of time, as understood in modern science—physics in particular—at all compatible with the concept of time as revealed in Scripture?  Let us take a closer look; we may be surprised.

          Scientists treat time as an independent variable.  It is the most independent of all independent variables.

          What is an independent variable?

          A variable represents a quantity.  For instance, your checking account balance is a variable.  The value in your account, the amount of money currently in the account, is a number.  The checking account balance is a dependent variable.  It can be changed by other, independent variables such as deposit amount or the amount on a check.  An independent variable, such as the check amount, may itself also be a dependent variable.  The check amount depends on the number of items purchased, the unit cost, and sales tax. 

          When we say that time is the most independent of variables we mean that time rarely appears as a dependent variable.  Consider some of the ways time is used:


·         Time may be a constant (length of a second, Planck time length of 10-44 sec)

·         Time may be a dependent variable.  When it does, it usually depends on speed, which itself involves time (miles per hour).  E.g.,

t0 = t (1 – v2/c2)

which describes how clocks slow down the faster they travel.

·         Time is the least understood concept in science.

·         To time is assigned many magical properties; for instance:

o        Evolution’s hope against creationism (given enough time…)

o        Unbelievers hope it will erase inconvenient facts.[2]


In short, time is considered to have god-like properties; what can be more independent that that?


Time and Chance


          In some Protestant, and even in some Baptist circles, it is reported that nothing happens by chance; that everything is predestinated, under God’s controlling hand.  But this is not what Scripture teaches. 


·         Ecclesiastes 9:11  I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

·         Luke 13:5  [Jesus speaking] I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.


          It is not hard to understand these two passages and to see how they are tied together.  In Luke, Jesus is speaking of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices and to the eighteen killed in the collapse of the tower in Siloam.  When we so repent, we put our lives under God’s protection.  Paul says that doing so harkens back in time to God’s foreknowledge which predestinates the truly repentant to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29-30;[3] Ephesians 1:5, 11[4]).   In contrast, when we decide to go our own ways, we tell God we do not want him to “interfere” in our lives.  God obliges and we become subject to chance events, such as the tower’s collapse and having the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, as was the case of the Galileans.  After all, we’ve forbidden God to intervene on our behalf.  That is why time and chance happeneth to all. 

          Time and chance are also tied together in science, particularly quantum mechanics. 

          Here, I fear, I have to take some time to explain what chance has to do with quantum mechanics because it runs contrary to the all-is-predestinated advocates among us.  Physicists find it easiest to treat objects as if they are points instead of extended objects.  Modern physics views an electron as a point-particle, for example.  The reality is that there are no points.  The smallest created “point” is a Planck particle which is of the order of 10-33 centimeter in diameter.[5]  The smallest possible wavelength is of the order of 10-63 cm.[6] 

          Quantum mechanics treats all objects as waves.  Thus electrons and protons are waves.  Sometimes these behave as particles, such as when one wavelength transfers its momentum to another entity, but the particles are always waves.  That everything consists of waves is necessary; for if it were not so, we could not “move and have our being” in God (Acts 17:28). 

          Now consider the wave.  At what point is the wave to be found?  There is no such point.  The wave exists equally over its entire wavelength.  This is why quantum mechanics considers the wave’s position statistically because although the wave exists equally over its entire wavelength, the wave does not make its presence felt equally over the entire wavelength.  I accept quantum mechanics as a discipline because it is the best we have and it works.  By contrast, the physics of a truly fully-deterministic model that predestinates everything has no degrees of freedom and is the same as if everyone and everything were encased in a solid lead brick, unable to move at all. 

Time and Chance in Quantum Mechanics: The Uncertainty Principles

          Because there are no true particles independent of waves, the position of a “particle” (particle-wave) cannot be accurately determined.  This results in a set of formulas called uncertainty principles (UPs for short).[7]  The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (HUP) is one of those.  The HUP relates position (x) and momentum (p) as follows:

                               Δx Δp ħ/2.                                                  (1)

In this case, Δp and Δx are the standard deviations of multiple experiments measuring their values under identical conditions.  Standard deviation is a statistical term that is a measure of the width of the bell curve (normal curve) in statistics.  That is where chance enters the picture in quantum mechanics as well as reality. 

          But the above expression tells us nothing about time.  For that we have the following mysterious uncertainty expression:

                                                    ΔE Δt ħ/2                                                   (2)

What makes this “Energy Uncertainty Principle” (EUP) so mysterious is that it is not statistical; particularly, the reader will notice that the E and the t are not in bold face, i.e., they are not vectors.  All the other UPs have two vectors or matrices or operators on the left hand side of the principle, but here only ΔE can be cast as an operator (e.g., as a Hamiltonian) but time is not an operator, it is a parameter, the ultimate independent variable.  If we force the issue, then this mismatch tells us trivially that 0 0, which is useless. 

          How are we to interpret the EUP?  Many proposals have been made, most without merit, but one has promise.  The EUP applies only when E is an energy operator, say a Hamiltonian, and t consists of something that has the dimension of time, such as a lifetime of some state[8] with respect to an observable Hamiltonian.  Here Scripture gives us the key that can unlock this strange Uncertainty Principle.


Written in the Earth


          Our usual perception of time is like a car that drives down a road.  The road ahead of us is the future and that behind us is the past.  In the car is the present.  Thus we perceive time as flowing from the past to the future.

          There is a problem with that perception of time, however.  In our cars we see the future ahead of us, but we do not behold the past because it is behind us.  In reality, we do not see all that far into the future.  Driving down a road, we may see several minutes ahead of us, but by so doing we assumption that nothing unexpected, such as a flat tire or a deer jumping out in front of us, impedes us from arriving there.  These latter factors determine whether or not we can actually see into the future or whether we forecast it based on present trends and past experience, that is, on momentum.  Any valid model of the future needs to consider the turns and twists that we experience in process of time.  The problem is solved if time comes to us from the side, “around the corner,” as it were.

          In this regard, consider Jeremiah 17:13, which has a very mysterious phrasing. 


O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.


Let’s study this for a moment.  Those that hate the Lord,[9] particularly those that depart from him, shall be written in the earth.  This has to be literally true.  The God of truth cannot write something that is not literally true, even if it is put in poetic form.  Some have proposed that the rocks contain holographic images of past events.  Although that properly belongs in the realm of science fiction,[10] it is not all that far from the truth.  So, how can these things be written in the earth, literally?  That is where current theories of time and memory come into play.


Cosmology and the Mind of Man


          It may surprise the listener that cosmology is concerned with more than the structure of the universe.  It is also concerned with how our minds perceive the universe, how we develop theories, and so forth.  I have written about this in the past, developing a theory about theories and how those relate to the word, not only the linguistic word but the word of God (scriptures which consist of the words of God) and the Word, even the Lord Jesus Christ, as the foundation of all truth (John 1:1;[11] 14:6[12]).[13]  The theory of theories, too, is under the purview of a branch of quantum mechanics but beyond the scope of this paper. 

          The theory of time we are about to look at originates from a collection of observations and experiments about attention spans.  These were mostly conducted between 1964 and 1979 and presented in the second paper.  By attention span is meant the amount of time it takes for one to drift off subject or to argue in a complete circle.  Suffice it to say, that by 1972, my research in attention spans led to the discovery of what I call time sheets.


Time Sheets


          In the early-nineties, a Finnish cosmologist named Mati Pitkanen developed a theory called “Topological Geometrodynamics.”  Topological Geometrodynamics (TGD) came to be because of problems originating from the definitions of inertial and gravitational energy in general relativity. TGD views physical space-times as four-dimensional surfaces in a certain eight-dimensional space.  The choice of this space is determined by properties of classical physics and particle quantum physics. When I learned of Pitkanen’s theory in February of this year, I was reminded of my time-sheet theory.  Are they the same?

Figure 1:  Time sheet coordinate system.  The i denotes an imaginary axis while R denotes a real axis resulting in one real quadrant, the Present, two complex quadrants (Past and Future), and one purely imaginary quadrant which, for lack of a better term is labeled Fiction.


          It turns out that the TGD and time-sheet theories are not quite the same, though they cover the same territory.  Pitkanen’s theory tries to incorporate relativity whereas time-sheet theory throws it out.  Relativity is irrelevant if space is absolute and the firmament (Planck medium) is absolute space.  So the TGD adherents, though on the right track, have essentially shot themselves in the foot insofar as progress is concerned.  The most significant similarity the two theories have is that at the macroscopic (every-day reality) scale, both are rooted in perception.  Pitkanen calls it consciousness; I call it attention span.  I shall not go any further into describing TGD.  It is couched in obscure technical language that is hard enough for an expert to decipher.  Specifically, TGD is a cross product[14] of a four-dimensional Minkowski future space with a two-dimensional complex projective space.  A complex space involves imaginary numbers, i.e., involving the (-1).  In picturing my time-sheet theory for this paper, I have projected the two imaginary dimensions into the two bottom quadrants of a regular x-y (Cartesian) coordinate system and the remaining four dimensions into the two upper quadrants.  The cross product yields the interactions I shall describe next with reference to Figure 1 on the facing page.

          Consider the coordinates in Figure 1.  The first quadrant, the one labeled “Present,” has a real (R) vertical axis and a real (R) horizontal axis.  The events therein are real.  The second quadrant, labeled “Future,” has one real axis (R) and one imaginary axis (i).  This means that our imagination can shape the future by dreams and hopes, but only as long as they are realistic.  It also means that the future can communicate future events to our mental imaging system.  In the third quadrant, labeled “Fiction,” both axes are imaginary (i).  These are the things that could have happened but did not. Also here reside the nightmares of a Stephen King and the romantic novels of Jeanette Oke.  Here is found every lie ever told, every distortion or stretch of the truth.  It is the realm of dreams.  Finally, in the fourth quadrant, is the past.  Here one dimension is real (R) and the other is imaginary (i).  Note specifically that the distance to the past is measured from the real (R) axis on down.  That distance, D, is imaginary as per the 4-dimensional Pythagorean Theorem:

                                            D = [x2 + y2 + z2 –(ct)2]                                      (3)


Effectively it means that one has to exceed the speed of light just to look into the past, let alone travel into it. 

Time Sheets in the Past

          Some of what follows is speculative, but there are reasons behind each step encountered in the description of the process of time from the future to the past.

          The past consists of layer upon layer of time sheets, “frozen” in place.  Remember, each sheet is four-dimensional.  At the scale we start with, each sheet’s three spatial dimensions has a volume equal to the volume of the universe and a thickness of a Planck length (1.6 x 10-33 cm) in the time or fourth dimension (about 5.4 x 10-44 second times the speed of light; see the last term in eqn. 3).  The total volume of each sheet is about 3.4 x 1031 cm3.  Large though that number might seem, it is only one forty-third of the volume of the sun.  If a bulb is turned on in empty space, then after one second the shell of light of light it emits would have filled a volume equal to 2.7 x 1031 cm3.  Each sheet has frozen into it the state of every grain in the firmament (every Planck particle) for that instant of time (5.4 x 10-44 second; we shall call it a Planck instant).  When one reads cosmological articles about the holographic universe, this is what the author of the article was talking about: the information recorded in a time sheet.  After each Planck instant, another sheet is deposited on top of the stack (see the “Past” quadrant in Figure 2). 

Figure 2: This figure shows the detailed effects of the Energy Uncertainty Principle.  The time sheet is torqued from the future and turns through the present until it lands on the topmost sheet of the past.  It seems likely that a similar process happens to the complex conjugant sheet, an event which could have happened but didn’t, (pictured by the curve to the right of the vertical axis, rotates through the future to land on the Fiction pile of sheets.


          Each sheet is a layer of Planck particles.  We envision the Planck particles as a layer of ball bearings, each touching its neighbor, with those in the layer above it resting on the lower layer in the most stable position.  This way, the particles are packed as closely as possible.  Thus, too, the layers have some overlap. 



Figure 3: The sheets viewed as layers of Planck particles.  The arrows illustrate vibrational modes for the particles.  These are small relative to the diameters of the particles.  (Figure courtesy of Martin Selbrede.)


          To preserve the information, the surfaces of each sheet should have minimum or zero entropy.  Only two phenomena are known to have zero entropy and those two are light and gravity.  We propose that the top surface of each sheet is light, and the bottom surface is gravity.  Having zero entropy on both surfaces means that inside the sheet there is true and perfect information. 

          Recalling that we are describing an 8-dimensional phenomenon, it behooves us to stand back and see what this looks like from our everyday perspective.  Elsewhere we have reported that the speed of light is the same as two of the four possible speeds of sound through the firmament.[15]  A photon traveling at the speed of light does not experience any time.  As far as the photon is concerned, it travels at infinite speed.  According to relativity, however, from the photon’s perspective we are the ones that move away from it at the speed of light, so to the photon, we experience no time.  To it, we are frozen in time.  Thus the record it bears of us on top of a sheet is a moment of our time frozen forever.  For it, time is no more; it is a perfect historical record.  To us it looks as if the light leaves us with the image of what we were doing at the time it was emitted intact.  In our future, i.e., in the top cone in figure 4, anyone with a powerful enough telescope will be able to focus the light and see that record.  By the same token, we see stars whose light left years ago, provided we were in their future at the time the light was emitted.  (See Figure 4.)


Figure 4: The future for event or location (time and place) A is pictured as a cone.  Anything that happens in that cone will be able to see event A.  Anything outside the cone would require a transmission speed greater than the speed of light to observe event A.  The circle of the cone expands in at the speed of light.  Any event inside the bottom cone can be observed by an observer at time and place A and is thus said to lie in the past of A. 

          We can look at this another way, however.  As the sheets pile up, increasing the thickness of the past at the speed of light, the light from the past is left behind and the record fades from view.  Anyone with access to our past can see the events of the past. 


Formation of a Sheet


          We observe, of course, that an automobile keeps moving unless the brakes are applied.  As we walk, we move, too.  If the EUP were the only uncertainty principle, then all motion would cease with the deposit of the sheet.  Such cessation of action would violate the conservation of momentum principle, but that is why God instituted the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, for it related momentum and position—as per equation (1) above.

          As the present-time sheet lands atop the “past pile,” it “bounces.”  The impact does two things.  It solidifies (literally freezes) the information in the previous sheet and invokes a phase change (it becomes fluid) in the present-time sheet, essentially causing the bounce.  The change of state “confuses” the present-time sheet and that kicks in the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (1).[16]  Unless there is a force acting on a particle, the particle’s position is trapped between the constancy of the Planck constant, ħ, and the conservation of momentum (dp=0).  As a result, if there is any change, it will be in x, position.  Thus the impact changes the position of the particle.  We call the effect of this bounce momentum.  That is, it passes its momentum or energy to the next sheet, freezing into place the sense in which the energy (or information) was headed; in other words, recording what was going on at that instant. 

          At the instant the energy is transferred, our attention passes onto the next sheet about to land.  Not only that, but the vertical pressure of the bounce jolts loose the next sheet from the vertical axis in the Figure 2, causing it to start its turn through the present. 

          The stack of sheets on the past-pile gets thicker and thicker.  We are not aware of its rising because we are always on top sheets.  In essence, time piles up the vertical axis as far as we are concerned—like filling up a container with us floating on the surface.[17] 


          Earlier in this paper we postulated that gravity is on the underside of the sheet or under all the sheets while light is on the top of each sheet.  Our relationship with God will determine where our record falls.  If we are in the light, our record is on top.  If we are in darkness, working for the wages of sin which takes us to the grave, to death, our record is on the bottom.  Life or death, those are the only zero-entropy choices.  The gravitational field we are in is the earth’s, thus Jeremiah 17:13’s “written in the earth” is literally true.


The Books Were Opened


          The sheets are bound to a spine, which, for want of better words, I consider a torque plane because along it the sheets are torqued into existence and twisted through the present to be bound into the past by the action of the two spinning uncertainty principles we have not considered.  Each sheet is a Planck length thick, and the amount of information stored there may seem too detailed, but here is where the Energy Uncertainty Principle comes into play. 

          Recall that the EUP required two operators, an energy operator and a time operator.  The only time “operation” we know of is the time that something exists.  Thus, if instead of looking at an instant of time—a Planck time—what if we looked at a stack of past time sheets a thirtieth of a second apart or thick?  We would see what happened in that 30th of the second.  If now we slid that 30th of a second upward in the past-pile, we would see a 3-D “movie” of what happened.  Sliding the “window” down the pile would play the action backwards in time.  By taking a vertical or diagonal slice through the past-pile we can follow the world-line of an individual; any individual, anywhere, anytime in the past.

          I submit to you that these may be the books referred to in Scripture; books that are used for judgment: ultimately the books of Revelation 20:12. 

Revelation 20:12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

The books depend on the cut taken, or the quadrant taken.  Man can then be judged not only for what he has done (recorded in the fourth quadrant), but also for what he did not do, for that is recorded in the third quadrant. 




          It has not been my goal to teach you about time.  My underlying motive, if there is one, is to teach you to take my Bible literally.  My Bible is the Authorized Version.  It and it only provides the precision of wording, the accuracy of revelation that made this work possible.  It is the only translation in existence today that has its own, theological language—a pure language.  The Masoretic text also has one, but I am not nearly as proficient in Hebrew as I am in English.  Perhaps I can see this truth about the AV because English is a foreign language to me.  It is the richest language in the world, with French a distant second.  So, if you have learned a little bit about time, consider it a plus.  If you have not learned that the AV is the word of God, consisting of the words of God, then consider the works it has produced: the richest language in the world, it evangelized the world, and it is a sure guide to learning about the nature of man, the nature of God, the nature of creation, and even cosmology.  I, for one, could not have been saved by any other version in existence, no matter what language and no matter how godly its translators may have been perceived.   


[1] Luke 21:24 — And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

[2] In the early 1980s the chairman of Biology at Baldwin-Wallace College took issue with me about creationism and geocentricity during lunch at the faculty lounge one day.  The conversation ended on Joshua’s long day, which he dismissed as a local mass hallucination that had spread around the world.  When I pointed out that half of the world has a story of a long day and the other half of a long night, and that there was even a story of a long sunset in between them, he paused and responded, “Well, the science of phenomenology is a new science.  Someday we’ll figure it out”; that is to say, given enough time we’ll come up with a story that could explain away those facts as a mass hallucination. 

[3] Romans 8:29-30  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 

[4] Ephesians 1:5, 11  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, … 11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. 

[5] One electromagnetic theory popular among creationists has the smallest fiber (charge) with a diameter of roughly an order of 10-203 cm., but that is not a particle. 

[6] The Compton wavelength of the entire universe. 

[7] Others, not mentioned in this article, are angular position and angular momentum, and angular momentum in two normal axes. 

[8] In quantum mechanical terms, | t>, pronounced as “ket tee.”

[9] For a definition of what a man has to do to be accounted a hater of God, see Exodus 20:5.  It amounts to a total rejection of the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).  Also see Daniel 3 and Revelation 20:4. 

[10] Indeed, as far as this author is aware, the idea was first proposed in the early 1950s in a Science Fiction Theatre episode. 

[11] John 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

[12] John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

[13] Bouw, G.D., 1996.  “Theory of Theories” Parts 1 and 2, B.A. Vol. 6, nos. 77 & 78, pp. 22 & 18 respectively. 

[14] Also known in some disciplines as a Cartesian product. 

[15] Bouw, G. D., 2002.  “Earthquakes, Snowfalls, and Geocentricity,” 12(99):17 (Appendix). 

[16] As noted in the first article, there are two additional uncertainty principles, both dealing with angular momentum.  Equation (1) here deals with linear momentum.  Similar processes as that described here for the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle will keep a spinning body spinning.

[17] As more and more gravity is caught in the pile, less of it is available in the present, making the universe look as if there is a missing mass.  The mass is not missing; its gravity is merely trapped in the past, unable to operate in the present. At least, that is one theory.