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TimeUniverse

Grasping the Paranormal… Is it a Matter of Time?

Could seemingly disparate paranormal phenomena from UFOs to ghosts, psychic intuition, prophecies and visions to reincarnation, life after death, and even episodes of high strangeness, all be explained in common terms with a similar origin? 

Perhaps the key to unlocking these and many other mysteries is all a matter of time. According to brilliant physicist and prolific science writer, Paul Davies, what we perceive as time, and how physicists prefer to think of time, are at odds. From That Mysterious Flow Davies writes in connection with how we perceive time in our daily lives:

“In daily life we divide time into three parts: past, present, and future. The grammatical structure of language revolves around this fundamental distinction. Reality is associated with the present moment. The past we think of having slipped out of existence, whereas the future is even more shadowy, its details still unformed. In this simple picture, the ‘now’ of our conscious awareness glides steadily onward, transforming events that were once in the unformed future into the concrete but fleeting reality of the present, and thence relegating them to the fixed past.”

…. and how physicists prefer to think of time.

But for many physicists, time is viewed rather differently according to Davies:

“Physicists prefer to think of time as laid out in its entirety – a timescape, analogous to a landscape – with all past and future events located there together … Completely absent from this description of nature is anything that singles out a privileged special moment as the present or any process that would systematically turn future events into the present, then past, events. In short, the time of the physicist does not pass or flow.”

The Block Universe

To philosophers, this concept of time is often referred to as eternalism. Perhaps, however, it is more commonly known as block time or the block universe. In this theory, time is another dimension. A dimension where there is no objective flow of time and where all events, past, present and future, all exist somewhere within this vast block of time.

Consider the possibilities of a block universe.

Somewhere now within this block universe, dishevelled Roman soldiers are marching along a newly-built road in Roman-occupied London, possibly in retreat or following a hard-won fight. A bloody battle is in full swing between the Picts and Northumbrians by a lake on a Scottish field. Also taking place somewhere are the battles of Agincourt and Gettysburg.

And it’s not only major ‘historical’ events that are playing out either. The block universe is crowded with the mundane minutiae of everyday life.

A woman stands by a window, pining for her long-lost husband, drowned at sea years earlier on a whaling expedition.

There is the chatter of millions upon millions of conversations.

It’s not only past events that exist either. Events that we have yet to experience, and can hardly imagine, are also playing out somewhere within this block universe.

No Reason to Fear Death in a Block Universe

If the theory of the block universe is correct, the implications are profound.

At the Center for Science and Society Symposium, held in February 2003, Cheryl Chen, Department of Philosophy at Harvard, considered the implications of the block universe:

“If the block universe view is correct, it is irrational to fear death. We apparently fear death because we believe that we will no longer exist after we die. But according to the block universe view, it’s not true to say that we exist now, but won’t exist any longer after death. Death is just one of our temporal borders, and should be no more worrisome than birth!”

While the idea of the block universe may provide us with solace in the face of death, it may also provide a key to unlocking many of the disparate paranormal phenomena that today remain unexplained.

The March of Spectral Armies

While installing central heating in the cellar of the Treasurer’s House in 1953, Harry Martindale was witness to an astounding sight. Roman soldiers, dressed in green tunics and wearing plumed helmets, appeared suddenly through a wall of the cellar, they then marched, dishevelled and dejected, through the cellar before disappearing. Interestingly, the soldiers were only visible from the knees up. Later, a Roman road was discovered, buried knee-deep beneath the current floor of the cellar.

In a similar case, a Scottish woman apparently witnessed a replay of what was, at the time of her experience, a little known battle in 685 AD between the Picts and Northumbrians, complete with warriors carrying flaming torches.

What may be even more perplexing is the case of the Battle of Campania recorded by St Augustine in The City of God, in which many reported to have witnessed this ancient battle … days before it actually took place.

“Is not this proved by the fact that they were seen in a wide plain in Campania rehearsing among themselves the battle which shortly after took place there with great bloodshed between the armies of Rome? For at first there were heard loud crashing noises, and afterwards many reported that they had seen for some days together two armies engaged. And when this battle ceased [the phantom battle], they found the ground all indented with just such footprints of men and horses as a great conflict would leave.”

Could these cases of spectral armies and phantom battles be explained in a block universe model of time where all events are occurring now, but at different locations within that block?

Time and the Bermuda Triangle

Another mystery that may one day be explained by the block universe is the Bermuda Triangle and its many disappearances.

Bruce Gernon describes himself as “the only person in the world to witness what creates the Bermuda Triangle”. Gernon believes that an electronic fog produces time distortions which may account for some of the many disappearances in the notorious waters. In his own experience, the plane he was piloting was enveloped in this so-called electronic fog and was catapulted 30 minutes forward in time and 100 miles forward in space.

Could this electronic fog have also enveloped Flight 19 and transported the ill-fated squadron to another location within the block universe?

Time: the Key to Unlocking Many Mysteries

It must be remembered that the block universe is a theory, and while many physicists may favour it, the block universe remains unproven. We still have a long way to go before we understand time. But when we do, will this newly found knowledge also provide the key to unlocking many of the mysteries we struggle to comprehend today? Will it add credence to the reality of paranormal phenomena?

Will we learn that the UFOs that seemingly enter and leave our atmosphere instantaneously simply have the ability to move backward and forward at will within different time locations within the block universe?

Will we nonchalantly explain away phenomena such as time slips, ghost sightings, EVPs and battles between spectral armies as events that simply drop in momentarily on our own location in time as if tourists visiting from another country?

And will predictions, prophecies and psychic intuition one day be commonplace in a society that understands that time does not simply flow from the past to the present and into an unknowing future, but that all events within time are accessible if we know their location within block time?

 

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  • Underseer

    A very similar concept – perdurantism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perdurantism

    It’s a concept I find deeply fascinating and one which may solve not only some paranormal phenomena, but some mysteries in quantum physics. Put simply, time in this theory is a fourth physical dimension, the movement through which we perceive as duration. But it gets freaky from here on in, folks, if you speculate as wildly as I’m going to…

    The physicist Fred Alan Wolf drew the analogy of the baseball. In three dimensions, you see the baseball as a spherical object, but in the fourth dimension of time it is stretched out as a ribbon-like object across the entire duration of its existence.

    Its physical body extends beyond its current three dimensional form into a four-dimensional body, The ball’s sphere shape that you perceive as real, is an illusion, like looking at a single frame of a movie without being about to see the other frames all smeared together.

    If you could stand back to see the baseball’s ‘temporal body’, and look at its starting point in the fourth dimension, you’d see millions of smaller ‘ribbons’ converge on it as all the materials needed to manufacture it were brought together to assemble it.

    I think this also implies everything is entangled with everything else. Your perdurant or ‘temporal body’ is stretched out over millions of kilometres, as it follows the earth’s spin, as the earth orbits the sun, as the sun orbits the Milky Way galaxy, in vast physical elongated form that boggles the mind. Every piece of matter your temporal body has touched over those millions of kilometres remains connected to you in the fourth dimension.

    The complexity of these interconnections and entanglements is staggering.

    To me, it explains the seemingly inexplicable quantum phenomena of ‘action at a distance’, wherein two subatomic particles, emitted from a parent atom, can interchange information instantaneously, no matter what distance separates them subsequently.

    This effect was confirmed in the eighties by the French physicist Alain Aspect. Also known as ‘quantum teleportation’. Perdurance explains this seemingly hidden mechanism of quantum non-locality: the separation of the two subatomic particles is an illusion: in the fourth dimension they remain connected, but since we can only perceive time one moment at a time, this connection is hidden from us.

    Another thing I think the perdurant theory points to (in my crackpot theory ;) ): communication with the dead. Think about it:

    Imagine when you look up into the night sky at a distant star. The light from that star has taken millions of years to reach you. Light is made up of subatomic particles – photons. In the three dimensional space we perceive, the photon is a discrete object travelling through space.

    But in perdurantism, in the fourth dimension we call time, the photon is a vast ribbon stretched out across light years, connecting your retina across time to that star. Now imagine that star went nova some time after that photon started its journey to your retina.

    Across light years of space and millions of years in time, you’re physically connected to a star that no longer exists, (via the vast ribbon that the photon actually is) in the fourth dimension.

    Effectively, in a very real sense, you’re in contact with the dead.

    And if you ‘rewind the film’ all the way back to the big bang? Then everything in the universe was touching everything else. Observed from the fourth dimension of time, everything is, to this day, enmeshed with everything else, ever-unfolding.

    It suggests the mechanism of psychometry may be explicable by perdurantism.
    It also suggests (to me anyway) that quantum wave function collapse is what anchors us in the present moment, but when we die, only that immediate three dimensional ‘frame in the movie’ – our body at that moment in time – dies. Our vast temporal body, stretched out over the fourth dimension, still exists.

    Effectively, death only happens in one frame of the movie. All the other frames? we remain alive in those. I’m not sure I’ve been clear enough about this concept, but it’s an exciting one.

  • JM

    that was clear, and amazing. thanks for that

  • John Townley

    It seemed to me, way back in the ’80s, that a fait accompli model of the universe worked better, particularly if there are not one but a balancing three dimensions of time. What moves is not time (in either of these) but us, navigating a real envelope in which we continue to live until we step or are pushed out one of its edges/walls. We don’t see much of the other two dimensions, except for a little wiggle room, as we do most of our functioning along a vector path of the one we locally share, just as we do in space, where we don’t negotiate more than a few feet of the up-down part unless we go in a plane, but we do millions of miles laterally through space just standing here on earth.

    And our little wiggle room may account for a lot of free will, as we sidestep a little in time, without exactly knowing that’s what we’re doing. Take the wonderful “image a parking space” phenonmenon that works so well in Sylva Mind Control (though it doesn’t work too well beyond that). Imagine one and you point yourself to the slightly temporally offset, but spatially identical, world that has the space. Then, because you relax back into the general vector flow of everything else, everything pretty much remains the same, except you got a space. And, the further ahead you envision it, the more often you get it, more easily wedging your little crack in the universe. Try it a block away and it almost never works. Interestingly, the same principle applies to planning a trip for a better astrological solar return, one of the few places in astrology where you can actually manipulate your relationship to the planets.

    Push that too far, however, and you may be off into a part of the envelope that has unsought perils as well…I often wonder whether I’m trading a parking space for an unintended early doom in a slightly-altered time frame….!

    With or without the extra time dimensions, the fait accompli “block” visions definitely explains more. Add the extra two, and you may have the hiding places for all that dark matter an energy, or rather no need for them as the calculation about the size of things, big-picture speaking, is greatly altered, with a lot more stuff out there already existing in extra time frames….
    John Townley
    http://www.astrococktail.com

  • John Townley

    It seemed to me, way
    back in the ’80s, that a fait accompli model of the universe worked better,
    particularly if there are not one but a balancing three dimensions of time.
    What moves is not time (in either of these) but us, navigating a real envelope
    in which we continue to live until we step or are pushed out one of its
    edges/walls. We don’t see much of the other two dimensions, except for a little
    wiggle room, as we do most of our functioning along a vector path of the one we
    locally share, just as we do in space, where we don’t negotiate more than a few
    feet of the up-down part unless we go in a plane, but we do millions of miles
    laterally through space just standing here on earth.

    And our little wiggle
    room may account for a lot of free will, as we sidestep a little in time,
    without exactly knowing that’s what we’re doing. Take the wonderful “image
    a parking space” phenonmenon that works so well in Sylva Mind Control
    (though it doesn’t work too well beyond that). Imagine one and you point yourself
    to the slightly temporally offset, but spatially identical, world that has the
    space. Then, because you relax back into the general vector flow of everything
    else, everything pretty much remains the same, except you got a space. And, the
    further ahead you envision it, the more often you get it, more easily wedging
    your little crack in the universe. Try it a block away and it almost never
    works. Interestingly, the same principle applies to planning a trip for a
    better astrological solar return, one of the few places in astrology where you
    can actually manipulate your relationship to the planets.

    Push that too far,
    however, and you may be off into a part of the envelope that has unsought
    perils as well…I often wonder whether I’m trading a parking space for an unintended
    early doom in a slightly-altered time frame….!

    With or without the
    extra time dimensions, the fait accompli “block” visions definitely
    explains more. Add the extra two, and you may have the hiding places for all
    that dark matter an energy, or rather no need for them as the calculation about
    the size of things, big-picture speaking, is greatly altered, with a lot more
    stuff out there already existing in extra time frames….

    John Townley

    http://www.astrococktail.com