Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Who Needs Time Travel? You're Already There

For those of you who have read Emily's House, you know that one of the themes of the story is the convergence of mysticism and science. And it's little wonder that came through. I love science, and I'm intrigued by mysticism and spirituality.

Reading avidly in both areas, I've long noticed how physics and metaphysics are closely aligned. It's like they're talking about the same things, only in different languages.

The other night, I was watching one of my favorite shows, Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman. To be fair, I'd probably listen to Morgan talk about snow shovels for an hour - LOVE that guy.
Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman, photo by Colorstorm Media/Eyevine
But combine Morgan with far out, freaky, cutting edge science and I'm all in.

Morgan Freeman and Mr. Kitty
What up with the cat on his head? 

So I was all settled into the small dent my butt has created on my couch (okay, big dent), Morgan cranking on the set. The episode was about eternity and time. Toward the end, along comes Dr. Jeff Tollaksen, of Chapman University, and says this about time:
"There's an ocean flowing here. There's a current flowing, from past to future and future to past."
Dr. Tollaksen of Chapman University. I wonder if he has
this much attitude because of something his future
self has done?
Dr. Tollaksen was referring to the results of over twenty years of experiments he and his colleagues have performed - experiments which have led him to the conclusion that the future affects the present.


According to Dr. Tollaksen, not only does the past affect our present, but the future does as well.

Can you get your head around that? I'm not sure I can - not really. This would mean that I'm doing shit right now, in a future I'm completely unaware of, and it is affecting what I do now. But what I'm doing now - wouldn't that affect my future? Doesn't this create one *ucked up paradox?!

But here's the thing that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when he said that time was like a stream. This is a section of Chapter 50 of Emily's House - a chapter entitled "Put Your Boat In":
Brighid said, "But time is very much like a stream . . ."
Emily replied, "So if the stream is like time, then if I put my boat in back there, by the big willow . . ."
"Then that is what you observe . . ."
"And that's like the past."
"But if I put the boat in way up there, by that big oak . . ."
"Then you are with the oak in that moment . . ."
"And that is like the future."
"I can put the boat in the stream wherever I want to go. So I can go to any time I want simply by choosing it?"
"Your Anam is eternal. You already exist in all time that ever was or ever will be." 
When I wrote this exchange between Brighid and Emily, I had not heard of Dr. Tollaksen or his experiments. This idea about time - how it's a stream with past, present and future connected - was influenced by metaphysics and new age spirituality. And I thought it was a cool way to deal with the concept of time travel, a device I needed to use to make the story work.

But doesn't it sound similar? Isn't it intriguing that science is now proving what some mystics have long believed - that time flows freely from future to past, and past to future?

What do you think?

I'll see you in the future. Oh wait, we've already been there . . .


  1. thank you very much for sharing the information ... god bless you


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