“One cannot choose but wonder. You see, he has all the time in the world.” The Time Machine.
“That first self, that true self is a real, mensurate, quantifiable thing; tangible and incarnate.” Altered States
I have always been fascinated with the concept of Time Travel ever since I watched Rod Taylor return to Weena after fighting off the Morlocks. I have seen almost all the movies. Most of the stories, are about what we learn about ourselves going backward or forward because the actual concept is mind-boggling. I can only follow the traditional reasonings just so far with all their paradoxes……The paradoxes, ay, there’s the rub. As Captain Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager says, ” I hate discussing temporal anomalies. It makes my head hurt”. I agree.
I read Paul J.Nahin’s book “Time Machines”… Fascinating but DENSE. I keep it on my shelf for reference but it’s not one I can curl up with for very long.
I think the concept of Time as a circle resonates best with me. I like its simplicity. It always calls to mind the last few lines of The Incredible Shrinking Man that I watched as a kid. Not a Time Travel movie per se but as he continues to shrink with NO end in sight he says that he realizes that the Infinite and the Infinitesimal are actually the same thing. “The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet, like the closing of a gigantic circle.”
This seems like as good an explanation of Time Travel ( among other things) as anything to me.
As far as time travel in ancient civilizations, I think it is entirely possible, if not plausible, that they attempted it. But I can only relate to it through my circle theory.
I think it ties in with alternate realities and altered states of consciousness, rather than scientific technology, since advanced science was practically non-existent back then (Von Daniken’s theories notwithstanding.)
In ancient cultures , the search for the meaning of life was sought internally. Hindu fakirs, Mexican brujos, Native American shamans et al, all sought the connection to life and creation through these alternate or “non-ordinary” realities. This was how they accrued the same knowledge and theories that Einstein and Hawking marveled at.
They entered the circle through “inner space”. As science progressed and we reached out to the stars, we now attempt to enter the circle through “outer space”; black holes, temporal rifts etc.
But physicists are also studying “inner space” by searching for ever-smaller particles progressing from grains of sand to atoms to electrons to protons, to neutrons, to quarks, to strings and so on, … smaller and smaller and smaller.
I think if time travel IS possible it will be achieved by closing the inner and outer circle and I think, perhaps, the ancient civilizations may have already achieved that by creating altered states of consciousness, some starting with drugs ( peyote and jimson weed ) like Carlos Castaneda and progressing to self-altering motivation like many devout religious practitioners not needing the drugs at all to “let go”.
Somehow, I don’t see time travel being achieved through creating our beloved “time machines” but rather a better understanding of self………. If we can survive that long.