Badrinath arrived back at the construction site and was dismayed by what he saw. The concrete slabs that they poured yesterday had not setup well. In fact, he could clearly see fractures and areas that were weak and already crumbling. He had argued with the foremen advising him not to pour because the temperature at night was forecast to go down below freezing. But the foreman overruled by saying that the project already was two weeks behind schedule, and they could not afford any further slippage. They would try to protect the area from frost with tarps.
But even so Badrinath wished that he had the ability to turn back the clock so that he could try harder to convince the foreman about the folly of his way.
There are many times in life when events turn out not as we expect, and we wish that we could do it all over again (this time differently). But we have all heard the phrase, “the past is written in stone,” and our experience seems to corroborate that view. So what can we do, anything?
Now I’m not here to say that there has been a breakthrough in time travel. So far there are some great theories about parallel universes, matter-antimatter, wormholes, Quantum Mechanics, and Superstring theory (with its 11 dimensional universe) but nothing concrete has yet unfolded. It still remains in the realm of science fiction. But efforts to find a Grand Unification Theory (one theory to explain all the forces in nature) and better understand space/time still continue to this day.
But I would like to point out that physicists have discovered that events in the past still seem to be under the influence of the observer in the present. How we perceive the passing of time (history) seems to be directly linked to what we focus our attention on and what questions are we asking.
We used to think in terms of the Euclidian plane (2 dimensions), or Euclidian geometry (3 dimensions) when discussing space. Euclid was a Greek mathematician living in Alexandria around 300 BC. Today geometry uses Cartesian coordinates (x, y, and z axis, by Rene Descartes 17th century) to graph and help us better understand 2 & 3 dimensional shapes.
But non Euclidean geometry (ie. hyperbolic and elliptic trajectories) work by Isaac Newton, Poincaré, and later Einstein’s (special & general relativity) extended this concept to include time as a fourth dimension.
In prior posts we have discussed how the world of time/space depends upon there being a distinction between rishi (the knower), devata (the process of knowing) and chandas (the known). When we practice mediation and the mind transcends inward that distinction becomes blurred. When the mind clearly experiences its source as the field of absolute eternal bliss consciousness, rishi devata and chandas have merged into one. There is no longer any distinction.
Here is some clarification from the “Samhita of Rishi, Devata and Chandas,”
If I went to my mother and asked her why she had created me, this is what she would say:
“I have created you to have three, because within me there was a stirring. Before that stirring, I was unaware of the nature of myself, and because of that stirring, I desired to give birth to that nature. To become the Mother of Nature, I created you, the three.”
My Dear Divine Mother, why are you referring to me as three?
“Because in Reality, my Son, you are three and you have never left me. I am aware through you. You are a seer. I gave birth to your seeing; hence I see. You are the knower, that which is known, and also the process which creates the known for the knower. Thus through you—the sequential dynamics of what I am—I become aware of the nature of my stirring within. In becoming Mother Nature I created you as nature, the expression of myself. ……….”
“Rishi, Devata and Chandas are naturally devoted to me, for I am their very means of existence and accomplishment. They are the dynamic aspect of what I am. Their only desire, which has been their purpose, is to accomplish and to continually expand for greater and greater accomplishment. Rishi desires to know and the tree of knowledge is enormous. There are innumerable fruits, ripe for the picking, within the branches of this seductive tree. Tasting the sweetness of just one fruit creates an almost unending appetite for the rest.
“This three-as-one is the more illusory nature of your idea of self. This illusory nature is called Maya. The veil of Maya is the scrim that blocks out your awareness of me… Samhita. But the three-in-one—the ‘Samhita’ of Rishi, Devata and Chandas—is the Reality of Self ……….”
Time and space are intimately related to our sense of ego (small self) and our ability to perceived/appreciate the surrounding world. They are constructs of the illusory world that mind creates.
According to physicist Stephen Hawking, “The histories of the universe depend on what is being measured, contrary to the usual idea that the universe has an objective observer-independent history.”
There is evidence to suggest that action today may yet determine events of the past.
As reported by French scientist Vincent Jacques in Science Magazine, the Wheeler Delayed Choice experiment showed that the behavior of a photon passing through a device (interferometer) depends upon what we choose to observe and measure. As photons moved through the experiment they had to decide whether to behave like a wave or a particle. After passing the decision point a second beam splitter mirror was introduced (or not) based on the choice of the observer. It turns out that what the observer does (with the second beam splitter) actually determines what choice the photons made prior at the decision point.
Wheeler has said, “as no signal traveling at a velocity less than that of light can connect these two events, we have a strange inversion of the normal order of time. We now, by moving the mirror in or out have an unavoidable effect on what we have a right to say about the already past history of that photon.”
(Science 315, 996 (2007); DOI 10.1126/science.1136303),
We have learned in a prior post on Quantum Mechanics how an event is best described as a probability, until it is actually observed. Many possible states exist until our attention becomes focused on an event.
In 1948 physicist Richard Feynman developed a new way of looking at interactions between elementary particles. In what is now called a “Feynman diagram,” it can serve as a method to calculate and display all of the different ways that particles can change/interact with each other. For example, two electrons can exchange photons back and forth several distinct ways. The diagrams show interactions taking place over time. In the 1960’s the diagram was extended to gravitational and other disciplines of physics.
In the above Feynman diagram an electron and positron are annihilated; a virtual photon is created which then transforms into a quark – antiquark pair.
We read the diagram from left to right (t-axis). Time proceeds forward moving to the right. This shows the trajectory and interactions of particles. The (y-axis) up and down, is basically the spacial direction. Right arrows are matter particles (the electron, e–), and left arrows are anti-matter particles (the positron, e+) . The wiggly lines are force particles. The direction of the arrow represents the flow of electric charge.
What’s interesting about the depiction of elementary particles on the diagram is that if we choose to read it from right to left (backward in time) many of the reactions would still hold true (as long as we added the necessary energy to complete it). This is not time travel, only the same reaction in reverse.
Is a positron an electron moving backward in time? In the earlier days of QED (Quantum Electrodynamics) it was an interesting discussion point. Diagrammatically, and in some sense mathematically, one can take this interpretation. But since we view time/space/causality as the mathematical framework for quantum field theory – built forward looking and subject to increased entropy (dissipation of orderliness over time), this idea as it stands offers little advantage. But, as we experience higher states of consciousness, over time we will formulate new theories to explain the ever present moment.
But that brings up the hypothetical proposition, and you need to stretch your imagination here; that the universe consists of a single atom, traveling backward and forward through time all at once, in the eternal present. Just as a kaleidoscope can be used to look at a tree and see many different versions of it, so to that single atom could appear as the entire multiplicity of creation, depending upon who is looking (their level of consciousness).
What others have said:
Albert Einstein, “Time and space are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live.”
John Wheeler, “There is nothing in the world except empty curved space. Matter, charge, electromagnetism, and other fields are only manifestations of the curvature of space.”
Richard Feynman, “We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out.”
From a human standpoint we can correct (lessen the impact) mistakes of the past thereby changing their influence on us. Forgiveness heals the heart and mind and often brings conclusion to a past hurtful event.
We have an uncanny penchant for worrying about the past, and letting it continue to influence our future. Through meditation that incessant thrashing of thoughts slows down and eventually comes to a stop. Past event are remembered only when useful and pertinent to the task at hand.
The past and future come to a standstill during meditation when we experience the timeless transcendent. Overcome the influence of time through Self Realization.