The modern human interpretation of reality views time as the flow of duration from past toward future. It is imagined that the past and future are just as real as the present. Indeed, people are punished through the justice system for past misdeeds, and history books chronicle the highlights of actions made by individuals and nature. Movies are produced showing imagined technologies allowing a person to travel through time. Older people tend to experience the rate of time as flowing faster with age.
The physical world is viewed by scientists as real, and the world of the mind is viewed as imaginary. The mind is seen as a secondary effect of material existence, having arisen because of physical processes.
In reality, all the physical matter of the entire physical Universe exists only in the present. There is no physical evidence of any kind that if a person could build a time machine that they could travel to another time filled with physical matter as it was at an earlier date, or as it will be at a future date. The only physical world exists right now, in the present. This is the world of space-time, but forward time only occurs in the present moment due to a property of matter called "spin." Matter has a property observed by physicists that is commonly named, half-spin. This spin is not a spin in space, but rather, it is a spin in time.
The physical Universe if a five-dimensional existence. Matter exists in only four of those dimensions. In the greater physical Universe, the temporal dimensions are a frequency between forward and backward time, and another simultaneous frequency of right and left twisting of time (called spin). The electron and proton see only the forward and left spin of the greater Universe. This allows physical matter to appear in motion, in forward time. However, the matter only exists in the present moment. Another way of say this is that matter exists only in the present, but with change occuring in the forward time direction.
The only physical existence is in the present moment. There is no physical existence in a past or future time line. So from a strictly physical perspective, there is no past or future; there never was a past, and there never will be a future physical Universe. All that happens is that the present physical world changes in a forward time direction.
So where does the past and future come from? The physical Universe beyond matter, and in which matter is a subset of, exists as a vibration between forward/backward time and right/left twisting of time. Our mind exists in this greater, five-dimensional Universe. Our body is made from physical matter, but our mind has a greater order of existence. In our mind, we can store memories of past physical structures and actions. In our mind we can attribute meaning to these structures and actions. Our mind is capable of connecting with physical matter, such as our body, and manipulating that matter. Everything that happens in the physical world happens because the mind makes it so. Even beyond humans, there are mental causes behind physical structures and behaviors. And just as there are different complexities and attributes of physical embodiments, there are infinitely more complexities and attributes of mental existences.
Life, such as in physical life, is the interaction of mental existence with physical existence. Ultimately, at every level of physical existence in the Universe, there is life in one form or another. A trained mind can sense these different levels of life and interact with them. An untrained living being lives in a very limited awareness of its relationship with its physical existence and its mind.
One's "reality" depends on the scope of one's awareness. Learning about the limits of physical existence, and the greater scope of the mind, is essential to expanding one's awarenss of reality. When we realize that the past and future exist entirely within the mind, and that the physical reality exists only in the present moment, then we have begun to see things as they really are. Most of the experiences during our daily life occur strictly in our mind as we worry, plan, contemplate, and engage in numerous other mental interpretations of our physical existence. In our mind, we do travel forward and backward in time, and we do it instantaneously. However, our physical existence is limited to physical laws and rules. Almost everybody, however, is confused about what is physical and what is mental. We have blurred this important distinction to such a point that we pretend to live in a physical world with a physical past and physical future, and in a world where the mind is subjugated to physical existence.
To an enlightened person, physical existence is not a linear flow of time from past toward future, but it is a blend of numerous cycles; Sun and Moon rises and sets in different phases; breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then it repeats the next solar and lunar cycle; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and then it repeats the following week. One can identify hundreds of cycles that regularly occur in a daily life, and these cycles can occur on very small scales and very large scales as well. And this is the key to a healthy and happy life; identifying cycles that support the physical body and its environment. An enlightened person gets in sync with the cycles of life and learns to resonate within and without, and with all other existence. This is the real reality.