Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Elusivity of Time

Time is elusive. Is it linear or not? Can one travel through it? We never seem to have enough of it. Once time is spent, is it gone forever? If not, how do we get it back? Whether or not you believe in the notion that events can be repeated through time loops or revisited through some sort of time travel device or ability, time remains indefinable. It just exists. However, if we were to treat time as an object, something tangible to hold in the palm of one’s hand, what would you do with it?

There are just as any clich├ęs about time as there are years in the universe, it seems. One thing is certain, though: it’s the most coveted “thing” after wealth and power. Many people throughout history have searched for the fabled fountain of youth, some settling for the pseudo-immortality that comes in the form of fame. Those with money try to buy a time-defying, youthful body, but as part of nature we must all go through the same cycles of time as every other life form – we are created, we live our lives, and our energy is recycled when we die. What matters is what we do with that time in the middle, that little thing we call our life.

How do you make the most of your time? Do you regret the past, worry about the future? If so, does that consume so much of your thought that you neglect the present? Are you following your bliss? Are you fulfilling a passion? Are you helping others? Are you caring for the planet?

When I look back at my life, I count the mistakes as life lessons. I don’t feel comfortable dwelling on things I can no longer control – the past – or worrying about what will happen in the future. Suffice it to say, I haven’t failed to plan for my future; my path has merely changed as needed. Certainly, I also regret some of the decisions I’ve made over the years. However, if I were to change anything from my past, it would profoundly affect who I am today and alter the course my future was meant to take.

Imagine, if you will, a place where time does not exist. I tried to do that once and the idea of it simply overwhelmed me. It was a little like when I was a young child and tried to imagine what the immense nothingness of death would be like. Imagine instead the notion that everything co-exists in the same time and space, overlapping each other and occasionally intruding upon each other, offering glimpses of life in an alternate reality or parallel universe. Interestingly, I have a much easier time comprehending this particular theory, and I believe that it explains many controversial phenomenon like ghosts, ancient aliens, and UFOs.

Being human, we like to attach labels to things and fit them into neatly defined categories. Time, being one of those things, eludes a definitive label; however, it can actually be described as having motion. It is generally accepted that time only moves forward, never backward or sideways. I personally do not believe this.

Consider for a moment the possibility that the ancient alien theories about UFOs, for example, are proven wrong. Beings from other planets didn’t visit Earth; we were instead visited by people from our own future. Perhaps humankind discovered a way to fold time back upon itself to visit our past, maybe to change history or to ensure it. It’s possible that our descendants developed an effective means to study our history by actually becoming part of it. This might explain why there are so many artifacts of “gods” who look like us and appear to be wearing some sort of familiar space suit or are in a spaceship of some kind.

“Impossible!” you say? Maybe so, but this sort of postulating fascinates me.

Everyone has different ideas about how things are and how things ought to be. We all search for our own truths; we try to make sense of the world around us and to understand our part in it. Some people obsess over such ideas and theories; others never give it a second thought.  Still others, like myself, spend just enough time thinking about it so we can write fanciful tales of time travel in science fiction and fantasy novels.

While spending time on such pursuits can be inspiring, it’s also important to live in balance. We can’t know or understand everything. We can’t devote ourselves entirely to our daydreams. Yet we can’t just “exist,” for to do so would be an incredible waste of humanity. We have a huge capacity for imagination, which is a good thing. Without dreams or the drive to figure out the universe, we’d still be hunting our meals rather than shopping for them at the grocery store or dining out at fine restaurants.

One thing I do know for certain – time is relative. It’s what you do with it that counts.

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts. I think that time is not only relative it is reference so we may have some semblance of past, present, and future. I think that space/time is like a spiral in which movement can be forward or backward. I have wondered about future selves visiting past selves and perhaps being an influence (if one can find this believable)---and makes good science fiction and fantasy.


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