Friday, October 11, 2013

The Nonlinear Holism of Time

It isn't that Time doesn't exist, but it is really more of a mode of experiencing this reality...

I'm no physicist and never could be because I don't have patience for the math part of that endeavor. Yet, I find it fascinating some of the discoveries that have been made over the past few years. One of these that really tickled my inquisitive thinking was the idea that isn't all that new anymore, that Time is an illusion. It isn't that Time doesn't exist, but it is really more of a mode for experiencing this reality than the sense it gives that the present is all there is and that the past is gone and the future is yet to be formed.

Indeed, it appears that all of every event that occurs all happens simultaneously, a nonlinear appearance of all events co-occurring with no real division. Looked at this way, it appears that all of everything changes, together, in unison. To make something of a practical application of this:  if you were somehow able to go back in time to your 10th birthday, it would not happen as you remember it. In part, our memory capacities aren't really all that great and out memories actually transform over time as we infuse them with meaning and continue to use them as episodes in the narrative we create of our life stories. But changes aren't only attributable to our faulty capacity to remember objectively. Indeed, there is evidence that the past itself changes.

Most people understand that changing the past, changes the present, but not the other way around.

From movies like Back to the Future most people understand that someone traveling back to 1957 might change the past merely by being present. But as it turns out, we don't need to be physically present in the past to change it. It appears that it changes as we make choices in the present. It has long been held that our future changes as we make choices now, but from what physicists tell us, in fact, past present, and future change simultaneously and exist as a whole, not in fragments or on a continuum. "Future me" is doing things right now that lead me to make choices different than those he made when he was here.

Have you ever had occasions when you second thought something, changed what you were doing, and later realized that changing what you were doing prevented a terrible event from happening? I have an example of this. I was in Fullerton, California last month and was keeping a large sum of money in my locker. I left the hostel one day uncertain that I had locked my locker, yet was far enough away to make it extremely inconvenient to go back and make sure. I made a wish, "I really hope I locked it." And then I remembered, as I was leaving the room, I had this quick little nudge that said, "Make sure you locked that thing." I'm asserting that the wish I'd made sent that nudge back in time to make certain I'd locked the locker.

We don't need to be physically present in the past to change it.

This is a practice of mine now. I will sit and think through my life and come upon a memory, a time when I wish I'd made another decision. I'll send a message back to my past self, saying something like, "You need to stand up for yourself and tell these people you do not want to do this job," as in the case where I felt a lot of pressure to take a position I did not want when I was working in Ethiopia many years ago. I am certain that the past Mark has more courage than I did simply because he's got me here to send back that information saying, "Stand up for yourself, dude."

It might even be speculated that the senses that we have that our higher self is guiding us might in reality, at least in some cases, actually be a future self handing back information to make one choice over another, or to take a particular direction in life. At any rate, this all suggests that our life stories are not as fixed and rigid as the brains we are invested with in this existence would limit us to believe. And I speculate that the confusion in certain dreams is our sleep self passing through nonlinear passages in a timeless space. This has certainly given me a lot to think about, and it lets me understand the power I have to change my life.