Time

Photo source: accuweather.com

Photo source: accuweather.com

You know, I was going to write about something else entirely today, but I had this strange experience and it got me thinking about time.

I’m not much of a religious person, I’m not an atheist per se. I call myself spiritual. Truth is, I don’t know anything with any certainty in this department and that makes it difficult to label myself in any way. That’s fine with me. I have some “practices” that make me feel spiritual, make me feel like I am communing with a higher power. But I don’t see it in a way that makes any religion or organized form of spirituality fit with what I believe or do. I think I may be closer to our pagan ancestors, but I don’t believe in little spirits or things like that. We do live in the 21st century after all. We have all these scientific discoveries. We can explain many things now that used to seem mystical to people.

Anyway, there are some people that subscribe to the idea of reincarnation, and I think there is something to that. I don’t know what, but the idea makes me think about time. Our time here. How time flows. There are some people who believe (and some even try to prove this scientifically) that time isn’t linear as we think of it. Or has this already been disproved? I’d love to have someone explain it to me. I don’t know if I get it, but I think I had an experience of time today that made me think it wasn’t linear at all. Is it possible that what happened to us in the past is actually happening to us now? Nothing happened. Everything is happening NOW. The idea boggles me, but it does make one think doesn’t it?

Today I was walking and I was 33-year-old me and simultaneously 7-year-old me, with all the thoughts and feelings of both those realities. It was bizarre and surreal. Before you write me off as a cuckoo or at the very least some weirdo, I wasn’t having hallucinations, I wasn’t hearing voices, just some sensory triggers had me experiencing another time in my life. I had a specific memory of walking home from school and all that I was feeling in that moment on that particular day.

Of course, this could all be logically explained. These sensory triggers (visual and smell) had me withdraw a stored memory from the brain, which replayed a pattern of neural activity (the memory of an event). Even though it may not have been something I readily remembered, these cues made this reality quite real to me for a moment. I most readily accept this logical, scientific explanation. But I like to entertain the thought of what if? What if time really isn’t linear and I broke through to another point in the circle or cloud of time realities? Is it possible for me to be 33 and 7 simultaneously?

It is possible for us to cross paths spatially with our old selves. Of course, the physical body won’t be in two places, but so much of what we call reality is just in our heads. So much of it is just our perception of reality. How do we really know what we perceive as truth to be true? Empirically, we just can’t. No scientist has been able to prove it, because we must rely on our senses. And this problem calls our senses into question. There must be some point of reference. But how do we pick this point?

There are some scientists that believe that what we are experiencing is actually a hologram. That is just something I have a hard time wrapping my head around. But it definitely is fun to try. And of course, it’s all very Matrix-y.

I once read that our brain is like a super computer and at this point in human history most of us only have access or at least only know how to use the basic programming. Isn’t that a fun thought? I like to think about all these things we could do if we only opened up this area of our brain we currently don’t know how to access. We could self-heal. We could use our mind to move things across the room. We could teleport ourselves. Oh the possibilities.

What do you like to think about? What kind of what if scenarios do you play out in your head? Have you ever had a weird experience like that one I described?

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2 thoughts on “Time

  1. In the Cartesian sense, I’d say that everything we know to be reality is in our heads.
    Also –
    Have you ever contemplated the concept of “Block time” or “Eternalism?

    ‘Eternalism is a philosophical approach to the ontological nature of time, which takes the view that all points in time are equally “real”, as opposed to the presentist idea that only the present is real[1] and the growing block universe theory of time in which the past and present are real while the future is not.’

    – The ontological genuis, Wiki Pedia

    If you’ve read Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughter-house 5, the universe of the tralfamadorians seem to display such a way of thinking.

    Anyway, I was reading this and I was anticipating you mentioning it! So here it is, I think it’s a fascinating concept.
    I have felt similarly to your temporal past/present experience. It’s an odd thing, different phenomenological manifestations of memory… For me, recent flashes to the past have been:
    – The stairwell of my boyfriend’s Edinburgh apartment, scented sandalwood soap like the clothes of an old friend of mine.
    – Seeing a reflection of the window panes on the wall, reminding me of being in a junior-school art classroom.
    – The sharp, floral, plastic-y scent of a posh young woman bustling past me yesterday, made me remember my 14 year old self in a huge Chinese department store….

    Have you had any other occurrences like this since you wrote it?

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    • It really is a fascinating concept. I like the idea of all points in time being equally real.
      I have such occurrences every once in a while, but this one was so strong. It really felt like I was in two places at once. Other times they have just been fleeting moments and didn’t feel so “real.”

      Like

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