‘Time Travel’ in pop culture is normally conceived of as a scientist working in obscurity and in private. After the scientist makes his breakthrough, he usually then embarks on a trip to the past or future to fix some perceived wrong or mistake or some other similar ‘problem.’
And the depiction of such an endeavor is largely and distinctively linear and mechanical.
But what if it wasn’t?
Delving a bit deeper into the question, it helps to have a starting point from which to plumb the rabbit warren of false leads and dead ends of the ‘time travel’ question. As was mentioned in the introduction to this essay, any typical story of Time Travel is largely linear and mechanical in its description. What I mean by this is that the scientist/adventurer will climb aboard his time machine and go backwards or forwards in time along a predetermined pathway through time. If Marty McFly started in 1985, he had to travel through 1984 on his way to 1955; and he had to do so in his sports car time machine. Or, as Wells imagined, in a handmade steampunk contraption from the late 19th century.
The John Titor story as told by John himself in 2000 definitely holds to this profile to a large extent. According to John, he placed his portable, footlocker-sized ‘time machine’ in the backseat of his “’67 Chevy,” activated it and away he went. Several hours later (1 hour for every 10 years of travel, according to our friend) he and his machine would reappear in the same location as he departed but in a different time and, also according to John and his claim of Multiple Universes, a different universe altogether.
But “where” is the time traveler during the time that the time machine is active? Again, according to Titor, his machine ”separates” from its origin universe and then, when the proper destination time is located, it reattaches to (or creates) the new universe. (reattaching or creating is a very large detail indeed but beyond the scope of this essay.)
Setting aside for a moment the question whether he lands on a pre-existing universe or creates a new one out of whole cloth, we are still left with the question of his “location” during that null-time of his jump. If John went to 1975 from 2036 for a difference of 61 years and 1 hour is spent subjectiveley by the time traveler for every 10 years of travel, this then means that John spent just over 6 hours in his “’67 Chevy” waiting to reattach to his destination time and universe.
So, “where” was John for 6.1 hours? Does the question even have any meaning at all? Is he between universes? Is “where” the wrong word to use?
Everything you just read has been considered many times before by me and others. But this question was provided to you, dear reader, as a means to provide a small amount of context for a new question; the actual topic for this essay.
A large and glaringly ignored aspect of the ‘time travel’ question is the role that consciousness must play in it. During John’s posts in 2000, a participant in the discussion once asked John about Déjà vu. John responded that scientists of his time guessed that, considering multiple world theory was found to be true, they surmised that déjà vu was the “leakage” of information from one world line to the next world line. This has huge (and unrecognized) implications. If John’s statement is even remotely true, then this would show that Information (with a capital I) is non-local, can transcend the limitations of 4D space-time and that we as conscious beings are natural antennae to non-local information by virtue of the fact that we are experiencing the deja vu at all. Could this be the source and explanation of psychic or clairvoyant phenomena? My guess is that it is. Psychically-derived data could very well be déjà vu on steroids.
So, if information is, in fact, non-local and can be transmitted to or simply exist as a field encompassing, all universes then this implies that that information ‘field’ also exists between those self-same universes. While he is in that in-between, null-space the ‘time traveler’ must be absolutely bathed in the non-local Information field as he makes his way to meet his own Grandfather.
But again, this hypothesis is also not a new one. I have explored this possibility before. But I must build the foundation carefully for where we are going. Please, read on.
Now, there is a very strong case to be made that the Information Field likely has quite a bit of overlap of its characteristics with Consciousness itself. Is it possible that Consciousness and the Information Field are one in the same? Are we drawing a distinction where there is none?
Is Consciousness itself non-local as well? It certainly appears to be so. Déjà vu and other forms of psychically-derived data definitely would support this notion. Otherwise, it would be impossible to discern objects, events or persons outside of the normal 5 senses. But this happens nonetheless. Whether the information comes to the mind or the mind goes to the information seems to be a moot point because at the end of the day, there is a joining of Consciousness with Information resulting in perceptions that shouldn’t be possible.
Now, what remains are the two final building blocks for our foundation for the ultimate question. These notions will be difficult to grasp and even harder to explain with any fidelity within the constraints of this medium. So, I will introduce these ideas to purely move the conversation along. I will leave it to you to come to your own informed opinion on whether they hold water or not.
The first of the final building blocks is the idea that the mind (Consciousness) creates the external world around us.
There are any number of sources of information that would support this radical idea. I am currently reading a book called “Biocentrism” and I can recommend it as a good explanation of this idea. In a nutshell, the author posits that the old and accepted idea of the physical universe(s) existing external to us and continuing to exist whether we observe it or not is a fundamental misapprehension of reality. The old koan that asks if a tree fell in the woods and nobody was there to hear it, would it make a sound, is solidly answered in the negative.
I won’t bother recreating the basis of his explanation of such a radical idea that the world around us only exists because we will it to because it took him an entire book to do so. But suffice it to say that there is a good argument that Consciousness not only effects the world around us, but actually creates it. I would recommend my readers to reacquaint themselves with the “Double Slit Experiment” if they still have doubts that Consciousness is trapped in your skull.
The last and final building block for the foundation of this essay is just as radical an idea as the others and only serves to really help quantify what John meant when he said there were an “infinite” number of universes “out there.” There is a certain train of thought that implies that a new universe is created with every thought and every choice a Conscious being has or makes.
The idea that a simple day dream about telling off your boss actually happening in an alternate universe is staggering. According to this theory. every idea, every choice, every ‘what if,’ everything; all of it spurs the creation of a new universe, all with similar and subsequent decision-point branches all throughout its own individualized history.
I will grant you that this idea is among the hardest to get your head around and the hardest to imagine. I will leave it to the philosophers and psuedomen out there to provide the basis for this idea since I am woefully underequipped to tackle the enormity of this possibility.
But the theory exists nonetheless. Where does that leave us, if we were to entertain the combination of all these foundational building blocks I described up till now? What structure emerges upon this foundation?
Well, if MWI is real and Consciousness is non-local and the mind creates new universes with thought, then:
Why do we wake up to the same universe every morning?
If our consciousness creates the reality that we perceive (perceptions definitively happening within the physical brain and by the non-local mind) then why is it that we do not perceive subtle changes to our universe(s) over time? Why is chlorophyll always green? Why do dogs only bark? Why do birds only fly? Wouldn’t the generalized patterns of thought eventually bend these fixed circumstances away from one accepted norm over time to another, just by virtue of the fact that thought creates reality?
Is there some sort of bias towards “one” set of circumstances over the ones we, as individuals, imagine every moment of our lives?
One theory, as preliminary as it is, is that there is no “bias” per se, but rather it is an unconscious consensus by all beings gifted with consciousness to “agree” on what we will see when we wake up in the morning. This consensus is tacit, unspoken and accomplished on only the most deep of levels; wholly unacknowledged in the workaday world we all interact with (and create) on a conscious basis.
The discipline of Statistics provides a ready vocabulary for what we are imagining with this question. This apparent consensus inferred above might look like a normal distribution (a “bell curve”) of possible outcomes where every event, every dot, represents a thought or choice for a possible set of circumstances that we find when we wake up and perceive the universe(s) anew. (This obviously assumes Consciousness ‘switches off’ when we drift off to sleep which is likely not the case, but we have to draw a line in the sand somewhere, so in an attempt to simplify the problem, let’s just assume the universe(s) is re-created upon waking.)
Each dot in the distribution represent a possible history or circumstance that is imagined by a conscious being, for all of time. Histories such as the Allies winning World War II, the development of powered, controlled flight by the Wright Brothers, the events of September 11, 2001 are all represented within these dots. Truth be told, one might even expand the definition of each dot (each instance of thought) as a self contained universe complete with its entire future and past history of possibilities.
The dots also represent more basic and humdrum circumstances and conditions such as chlorophyll being green, rust is red, dogs bark, etc.
Because the conscious beings that have these thoughts generally tend to think and imagine the same thoughts, the possible universes also tend to look the same, all falling in the center of the distribution. That is to say that everyone ‘agrees’ that the Allies won World War II; everyone “agrees” that chlorophyll is green; everyone agrees that the United States is located in North America. It is only when a conscious being imagines an alternative to these consensuses does a new dot emerge in the distribution; and depending on how radical of an alternative thought that the conscious being may imagine determines where in the distribution the dot will appear.
The more radical a thought, with its attendant and subsequent consequences of such a possibility (a “what if” notion along the lines of the Danes building the Pyramids in Antarctica, for example) the farther away from the central distribution of dots and farther into the tails that dot will appear.
An opposite example of alternative universes created by Consciousness might be someone wondering what their life would have been like had they bought a white Dodge Dart instead of the red Dodge Dart that they remember buying. From any objective point of view, the choice of buying a red over a white car of the same make and model would likely result in very little variance and subsequently, those two dots (representing two separate universes created by the choice) would likely reside within the central distribution and very near each other, quite likely right on top of each other.
This still doesn’t explain however why we don’t see the minor variations among the possibilities from day to day when comparing one dot in the center of the distribution to another. Stated another way, if we as conscious beings can (and do) create the circumstances of our universe(s) on a continual basis, shouldn’t we see some objective evidence of this? Evidence such as waking up one morning to find a red Dodge Dart in our garage instead of the white one we ‘remember’ buying?
As some who are familiar with the John Titor story can attest, there is evidence of this happening. Evidence where an individual remembers the past differently than what is being observed by him/her in the present. This phenomenon has been dubbed “Alter Vues” by some within this very niched area of interest. The experience is akin to a déjà vu but, as the participant/observer is experiencing the déjà vu incident, the event actually is changed from what the observer “remembers” or expects. This phenomenon is exceedingly rare and I personally have only experienced it twice.
But what this scenario demonstrates is that it is indeed possible for information to ‘change’ from what the Conscious observer expects or remembers. One attendant question might be: Why don’t we see this more often?
An interesting corollary to this is that this model also implies then that there is not an infinite number of universes as John Titor claimed in 2000. It must be finite since there always ever will be a finite number of conscious beings creating those possible universes. If/when the last conscious being expires no new universes will or can be created. Similarly, biocentrism posits that if/when the final conscious being dies, then that entire universe will also expire or cease to exist because it was the consciousness of that being who created and maintained that universe in the ‘first’ place.
Granted, I can understand why Titor explained the multiverse as being populated by an infinite number of universes. It very well could have been simple shorthand for saying an impossible number of universes without having to delve into the staggering vision that biocentrism and the other notions I have presented here posit. And, similarly, if universes are being created by every conscious being, everywhere, at the speed of thought without end, then while there may be a definite number of universes at any given time, if you are constantly adding to that number, then isn’t that a de facto definition of “infinite” anyway?
Returning to our Statistics vocabulary for a moment, if there truly was an infinite number of universes as Titor described, then the distribution would not/could not be depicted as a bell curve. Rather, because every possible circumstance and every possible possibility would be represented, wouldn’t the distribution of those possibilities be a square box where, over time, every possible condition or circumstance would fill every possible space in the distribution?
So instead of a bell curve, a normal distribution, you have a solid block-looking distribution. This model also tends to imply that there is a finite length to any given world line.
I will wrap this essay up not with an answer, but with the question that spawned it:
If consciousness creates its own reality, then why do we wake up to the same universe every morning?