THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS
* MOVIES INVOLVING TRAVELLING IN TIME by way of propulsion, magic, sleep, hypnotism, ”time machine”, worm holes, body hopping, ”sudden temporal phenomemen”, weather penomenen, reception of sent data from the future a.o.
Time Travelling expresses control over the progression of Time, oftenmost perceived as the image handed down by Marcus Aurelius: Water flowing towards the sea as a river that never repeats itself – in either direction it is at any given point different from adjoing points. To most people it feels natural to perceive time, ie. human life, with an ending and a beginning, the beginning being uncontrollably lost to us, but the ending, or the way to the ending, everything that is meant by the word ”control”: The open vista of opportunities and possibilities, of which we will try to ensure a handfull of those most interesting to us and most needed for survival. And when we succeed in our endeavours, we are in control. When we do not succeed, we have lost control.
Time Travel is a vent for loss of control: The interesting question that we find impossible to answer in real life, but… what would have happened to me today, if ”that one little tiny factor” was changed on or before a set date? On a global scale, thinking about the nation’s History, or global history… what would have been today’s reality, if this or that person had not lived to become the horrible despots, we find them today? Time Traval is our means of exploring the fantasy of the what-if’s, maybe to come to acceptance of that in our past, which we carry with us as un-changable sorrows, disasters and shameful actions. And on a lighter note, we can explore our wildest fantasies, and do so every day, when we imagine that we would have become rich, handsome, successful, loved and more, if only we could go back and change things around a little. Just a little bit, which nobody will notice…
Playing with fantasies of control over the past, and control over the future, often carries with it a layer of guilty conscience. We KNOW in our hearts that it will never be, this that we want to change in our past, but sometimes we can employ the longing of change in our past to play out consequences of change. We can weigh our options, because we suddenly have options, when we weigh the longed for past out against our more experienced present. Thus, our present can strenghten considerably, when we see that fantazising about the past can actuate control in our present, and a better grasp of (how to handle) our future.
Speculating in any serious way about Time Travel, necessitates pondering the paradoxes – the appearant co-existance of two or more oppositionally directed forces. ”The Grandfather Paradox” is a classic of the genre as well as of philosophy and science concerned with Time Travel: Go back and kill your grandfather, before he sires your father, and you were never born and cannot go back to kill your grandfather, wherefore you are born and can go back and kill your grandfather! But it is not a paradox, says quantum physics. The man you killed cannot have been your grandfather – your grandfather must have continued to live until your father was sired. And this is how it has always been and will always be: You will travel back to kill your official grandfather, but you can never succeed for real, because then you were not alive to go back.
Time has already happened. Not as predestination, but in the same way that space stretches as far in the opposite direction of the galactic core as there are objects to hint at the distance. With objects in space, space – extension, the physical dimensions – exists. The same with time: Without a focus on ”a time” – the 3D-objects of the time dimension – the boundery of time cannot be defined; looking and not finding anything in the farthest reaches of the void means time has no meaning there. Time needs objects to exists. Humans, Stars, Electrons, Quarks. It behaves slightly different under different circumstances, as seen from a human point of view, but remember we know other humans best, as well as the measurements of our reality that we grew up with. Thus we can learn to accept and even understand the different way time behaves, when we look at it through a telescope, a microscope or a mathemathical equation with the power to reveal the influence of observed time on the smallest fractions of what we call ”matter”.
What we learn there, as well as in emotionally charged situations like anger, fear, love, sex, meditation and so on, is that time is not a constant. Light is a constant measured in distance over time, but time changes by how it is observed. Same as the universe: It only grows, the farther into it we look.
This is the basis of serious speculation about time and multiple dimensions. Imagine any past event in your life, and then imagine it differently. Then imagine the consequences of this difference, and the multitude of other options that come from just this tiny little chance. Just looking at it – imagining it – creates it. And in this instant time for the body, emotions and the mind time has travelled with the speed of thought to another place and another time. Could the body be persuaded to come along, it would be because it was possible. Call it ”ready” – in syncronicity with the laws of the universe.
Many people fight over the concepts of free will vs. determination. For me it is easy: I am the product of all that has gone before, all my reactions as they expressed themselves in the physical world as well as inside my body. I cannot say no, if I Am yes. If I am maybe I cannot say anything but maybe. And a no, to which there is no felt or imagined alternative, is really a no. I am Me, in this point in time. And the more I come to realise this, the less it matters what I imperatively need to do, as long as the doing feels in balance with my abilities, my desires and my existance. I am on a stage or in an arena, and I intuitively understand, what I need to do, when something ”un-expected” happens. Or I don’t, but I cannot but act, even if it is instinctive, and besides: something happens anyway. But once I understand (the parameters of) a situation, or an equation, or a law of people or physics, I create it, or strenghten it. Reality comes from observation, not the other way round. Thus shared reality is stronger than reality percieved only by the individual.
Reality is a language of the mind. And like all languages it sometimes needs translation into another language, or the finer points of meanings needs to be discussed. Regarding Time Travel we are still in the process of discussion the parameters of how, why, where and when. Science says it more likely than unlikely that time travel will be a reality – but a headline preceding such a statement has no interest in discussing the finer points of the reality of time travel – headlines are designed to confirm reality, not question it. So it should be noted that a scientist bold enough to point out that time travel will occur, is most likely not in the discussion of the finer points, but rather on the lookout for reality to strenghten his own reality, and this by continued oberservation in his line of science. Most people don’t get it – most of us are still in the shared reality of the fiction business and their image of time travel as plot device. Time machines with blinking lights or arm wrist thingies, tiny enough to come with brief incomprehensible scientific explanation designed just to shut us up and suspend disbelief.
If we ever want to time travel for real, we need to veer away from finding our time travel reality in fiction – this breeds only more fiction, muddling the broad and strenghtening the fictional, wishful reality. Understandig time travel in its various forms – as psycho stabilising scale centering us in the now, as plot device, as philosophy, as logic enhancer and as science – brings with it the benefit of searching out the real reality of time travel. We cannot travel in time, as a real collective, before we have gathered enough mass to join all of the facets in a consensual reality, strong enough to carry a focus for most, clear enough to carry the same acceptance and basic understandig of functionality as the light bulb and the combustion engine. We cannot understand what time travel really means, and the consequences of time travel, before we as a species possess this understanding.
Don’t be disappointed, if the simple answer lies in living itself: the passing from second to second with regular forays into remembering/creating the past and imagening/creating the future, i.e. that we are already doing it. I don’t mean to say this is the answer, but collectively aiming for the understanding of time travel may well have consequences way beyond a mere meddling with past or future events, as depicted in fiction. We may find that we don’t need it, or we may change as much compared to our immediate forebearers, as we ourselves in terms of knowledge, shape, mindset, technology etc. have changed compared to our ancestors of 200.000 years ago. But one thing is certain: If we get to a workable understanding of time travel, it won’t easily go back in the box. Searching for something changes you. And one thing Time Travel has as build in desire is change.
Change is our greatest fear and our collective drive. Observe, create a new reality, stabilize it through the spreading of knowledge. If you don’t like (the possible implications of) what you find, don’t tell anyone. This is what drives all secret societies. What you find sometimes has the power to change other people’s life, and shift the balance of power towards yourself. Time Travel has the potential, at this point in our collective understanding of ourselves and each other as a species, due to our strong collective and prose-driven image of Time Travel, to un-balance change itself. Imagening that we were given a time machine by aliens today, we would not possess the evolutionary capabilities to use it, as we have not yet become it. Searching for it, on the other hand, changes us slowly – we will become adjusted to the mechanisms of Time Travel, as they present themselves, as realistic visualisations of our development as a species. But we won’t find is, as a species, unless we continue to feel a need for it. And looking at the history of fictional represenations of what it implies to travel in time, all it still is is personal gratification and pain avoidence. Not exactly the most noble of causes, but a natural one in times of crisis. Dream yourself away into a better existance. Think it like this: you can only go back in time if you get the urge to prevent your grandfather from getting killed, before he has sired your father. Whether you refrain from travelling or not, he is alive in his own time, and you ahve done good, caring good, just by thinking the thought. Don’t kill him in your mind just to fuck with logic – love him, and save yourself at the same time.
Ancient tribes have the right idea: Ancestor worship. Keeping the ancestors alive as consultants. Just thinking of your grandfather as a consultant equals holding him in esteem and passes his understanding and knowledge on to you – because you are taught to carry your ancestors inside of you as a natural thing. Thus you place the past in your own mind, rather than ”in the past”: his body has died, but you have become it ”enough” to be both the ever changing convergation of your own past as well as a product of – in principle – everyone else. In the western world we translate this as ”History”. With the tiny difference that esteem for certain deceased persons is most often institutionalised by State, Church, Company and the like. Impossible to connect to, unless through the official picture. The Institution will ”time travel” on your behalf, and tell you their findings, as they see fit.