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Time Travel: The Most Sophisticated Fairy Tale Ever Told

Among all the fantasies we wish to make reality, no other is more dreamt of than time travel. Since we came up with the concept of time, we have imagined what it would be like to “go back” to change the past, or “go forward” to alter the future. Our advances in the comprehension of physics have led to the fueling of this old dream of ours to alter reality by changing the course of events outside the present. We saw that our condition feeds itself by devising escapes, and the form the escape takes is always the next happening, which is the condition itself. Put another way, the thing invents itself, and then tries to escape what it invents.

To start off, where does the perception that time only goes in one direction come from? It comes from the fact that events can’t be undone. If we slam a glass of water against the floor, not only will the glass break, but the water inside will be spilled. Putting all the shattered pieces back together again will be a seemingly impossible task, not to mention putting all the water back inside the glass as well. Physicists call this property of reality entropy. We are not going to delve into all of the details of what entropy is. However, for the sake of context, it is a property of the universe to move from order to disorder. Entropy as a concept is very real, but beside the physical limitations it presents, it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the direction of time. Indeed, reality does move in a specific direction; however, there is an opposition to such direction – otherwise we wouldn’t perceive such movement as direction in the first place. That which opposes motion in a particular path is what we call force. A force is a limit. It is a hint that time is not merely a push forward. In fact, aligned to what has been previously proposed, it seems that time is resistance to all other non-mechanical movements, so that it leaves the perception of only one way instead.

Once more, to think of rewinding events back in reality, as if we were in a movie playing on a screen, is just an interesting story. Still, matter and energy are frequently collapsing, and in consciousness one sees that the layers they build move back and forth. In reality, it’s fair to say that we receive as much as we give, but the version of time humans invented is something that takes but doesn’t give back. Again, without the intention to fool ourselves, what has been done cannot be undone, that is clear. What is not clear is what that has to do with the direction of events other than giving the observer a framework or the image of a reference.

Let us put it this way: if no one ever dies, why would anyone want to go back in time? Say one is eternal, why change anything? If one doesn’t die, then whatever situation will pass, one will still be here. However heartbroken we are, in time we could endlessly try to repair it. The idea of time travel is one of our great escapes. It’s a nice try, but it is not enough.

Now, why would anyone want to change the future? Before we continue with this fantasy, let’s pretend that the future is certain, that it is some destination, so it truly exists. First, if a future outcome is certain, it is because of the order of things. It was previously assessed, there’s no need to distinguish order from security because they’re both the present in action. Therefore, certainty is order in the making, and that will result in a future outcome, which will follow through the same order. Why not change the present then? Why waste energy on all this nonsense, and simply take action in the present?

Now, suppose whatever action we take in the present will inevitably lead to a vision of some future. For example, let’s take death. As I mentioned earlier, we don’t know what death is. We know the body disintegrates, but we don’t know what that word really means. Death is right after meaning. It’s not as simple as to say that we don’t know how to change the outcome of death, but that the outcome itself is an unknown, so no order can be given to it. What is not known in the present is not different in essence than what we call future. There’s nothing to change by “traveling to the future” because there’s literally “no thing” in our content in that direction. Meaning, if the destination is an unknown, what coordinates do we program our “time travel device” to take us to? Death is inevitable because there’s no knowledge which can prevent it from happening, so we are living. Say one doesn’t die, is one alive then?

The present is alive. To the mind, the present is perfect because it contains the whole of reality without any psychological fragmentation. If there really was a Big Bang at the beginning, we are still that Big Bang. It didn’t happen; it is still happening. At the base of the universe there’s a function, and since it cannot be interrupted, that is an abstraction to us. Unlike time, the flow of space cannot be interrupted because there cannot be fixed points inside that which is infinite. In the same manner, there can’t be infinite points inside a finite universe. Existence is an abstraction because we are an open system changing constantly through a present state. The universe, which is that same abstracted existence itself, must be an open system too. It is infinite in all directions and at every point – not just infinite from beginning to end. Each observed point is infinite.

To fix the path of time, as a forward progression inside a framework, limits us to merely mechanical achievements. It really looks as if it were an error. It is a problematic perception, and I think it needs to be fixed. Life for humans, as it is today, has the right psychological conditions for a new framework of reality. One which could take us anywhere without so many interpersonal imbalances and logistical constraints.

As for relationships between humans, it is easier to fantasize about changing one’s actions to avoid undesired or horrendous events in the past, instead of taking action in the present. We ourselves contain the whole of the past; why not change it now? I don’t necessarily have the whole of the answer to such a question, but I’m raising the flag to simply say that’s what we are. It is change that we are concerned with, not time. Can the facts and possibilities both be met in the present? If one really faces them, with deep observation, the unknown reveals the real structure of time. Of course, there are random externalities; events one regrets. There are experiences that are beyond our control – but as long as one is alive, one has the power to change the past through the present. In living, we already know what the future will look like.


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