(Animation from GIPHY.com)
I was falling asleep on a train, drifting in and out of consciousness. The cascading droplets of rain against the glass would momentarily catch my eye. The realest, truest thing in the world to me, in that moment, was the cold of the glass against the side of my forehead, the ice-cold collision came with the words of my inner-monologue, reminding me “don’t fall asleep”.
With each thud of my skull against the train window, with each jolt to my slipping consciousness, I found myself remembering, reliving similar moments. Different trains, different destinations, different times, different understandings of self. The blur of the outside world and the cascading droplets, rushing and colliding down and across the glass. Like the water droplets that form as one when they collide, when memories are so similar, the mind (under certain circumstances) might momentarily lose its bearing on exactly where, when, or (in some extreme cases) even who it is. A cascade of consciousness, altering, questioning the perceivable reality.
It’s like waking up in the middle of the night, and not knowing where you are. You’ve changed houses, changed beds multiple times but the subconscious mind can be caught off guard. Driving for five hours, with almost no recollection of how you actually got to your destination. For one moment, it’s as though a former self, by some miraculous means has taken the helm of a future/current self, bewildered by the changes that have come to pass. Until better senses return and you are living in the moment, once more (some of these experiences can be caused by serious conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, Amnesia).
In my experience of human cognition, the mind doesn’t always want to live in the moment. Sometimes it seeks to traverse memories past, conjure events yet to come, or entertain some things that may never unfold in this reality. At this juncture in my existence, I’ve forgotten a great many details from my own life, let countless memories slip through the cracks of time. Even some of the chaotic, (relatively) cataclysmic moments, carelessly discarded. Yet strangely, sometimes I truly wonder, am I still falling asleep on that train to god-knows-where, soon to come to my senses, when my head next collides against the glass?
The ghost of a former self perpetually drifting in and out of consciousness?
Are we all essentially amalgamations of our many former selves?
To illustrate my point, you might ask yourself the following question:
Where are you right now? At this very moment?
You might tell yourself a geographical location, along with a juncture in time. But the relative geographical location, is fixed upon a planet that is moving (Earth orbits the sun at approximately 67,000 mph/107,000 km/h. 365 days for a full orbit. The sun and the solar system appear to be moving at 200 kilometers per second, or at an average speed of 448,000 mph/720,000 km/h —Space.com). The time you refer to, is also quite relative to where you are in this entropic universe. In fact, the relative time it’s taken to read to this point, the answer originally proposed, has already drastically changed.
Then there is the philosophical element, when asked where and when you are, your future self perpetually shed to join the amassing former selves, as every moment passes. Are the former selves, which for all of us, inevitably outnumber the current self, merely doomed to be lost to oblivion for all eternity? Outside of memory, outside of the physical implications, the footprints left behind, does/can anything truly last forever? Or is everyone, everything we’ve ever known like the particles of chalk temporarily marked on a blackboard, inevitably wiped astray?
As previously suggested in ᴛʜᴇ ILLUSION ᴏғ TIME, ᵀᴴᴱ WORMHOLE ᴬᴺᴰ ᵀᴴᴱ TIME PARADOX, TIME TRAVEL ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ 2ɴᴅ ʟᴀᴡ ᴏғ THERMODYNAMICS, I’ve slowly found myself veering further and further away from such an absolute, ultimately universal declaration.
So putting philosophy aside, putting psychology aside, removing the concept of a former-self “theoretically” returning (purely in the mind), due to some memory impairment etc. Is the past, the physical elements comprising what we consider to be a “past reality”, including our former selves, truly lost to oblivion?
“Approximately 13.8 billion years ago, our comprehensible universe in its entirety existed in a fraction of time and space many, many times smaller than a single atom. Some have theorized the existence of parallel universes, a direct ‘shadow universe’ (connected/veiling our own and connected by gravity since and attributing to the beginning of our universe) and an entire multiverse linking/spawning universes and or dimensions. One theorized means of connecting two isolated points in space and time, universes, or junctures throughout the multiverse are naturally occurring ‘wormholes’.”
—ᵀᴴᴱ WORMHOLE ᴬᴺᴰ ᵀᴴᴱ TIME PARADOX
Theoretically, it would only take one single accessible ‘wormhole’ (located anywhere in this universe), even if it was only stable for a fraction of a second, for a highly technologically advanced being/machine to potentially have access to every single second of this universe, not excluding every moment that ever passed comprising the history of this planet (and your entire lifetime). If you could successfully get back to a starting point, the natural linear progression of the passing of time could be replayed over and over to access a certain event in history.
Such a wormhole could be a connection of time and space within this universe from the distant future, to the distant past (formation of earth). Or it could be a wormhole/portal naturally forming or technologically created connecting this universe (prior the formation of earth) to another dimension, where time as we understand it, may not exist.
The existence of inter-dimensional “portals” that have a constant or fixed entry point connected to a momentary conjuration in our universes history that collapsed in seconds, would still be a theoretical fixed portal to a very specific juncture in time (though problems would arise, if multiple objects arrive/exit at the narrow window of time output).
A highly advanced being/machine (some speculating UFOs to be traveling through time and dimensions, not just our atmosphere or space) may at some stage (or currently) possess the capability of creating dimensional portals at will, to travel through both dimensions and what we perceive as time relative to this universe (and beyond).
Immediately, traversing both dimensions and time would cause all kinds of theoretical temporal paradoxes to arise. The grandfather paradox, does an action committed by a (future) time traveling entity in the past, change the future from whence the traveler came? Does the Multiverse theory, allow for the possibility of so many (infinite) variations of universes/dimensions indistinguishably close to our own, that every single conceivable variation, is playing out in unison?
It’s so far removed from our understanding of time and reality, we come up with all sorts of answers to the paradox. If you travel back in time and assassinate yourself as a child, some might suggest you would immediately “vanish” or cease to be. But the physical being that committed the murder had to exist for the murder to take place. Perhaps, if time is a linear structure, played out like a game of chess, going backwards, every single time, has consequences that ultimately change the version of reality the time traveler left. Ultimately changing the arrangement of the pieces on the (shared) board. Meaning, while the individual entity of matter, and instrument of time alteration is unscathed in the past (now relative present), the future/time-line from whence the traveler came, no longer exists (connected to the current linear trajectory of time).
Aside from theoretically disconnected dimensions of the multiverse, there is also suggestions of a theoretical shadow universe/mirror universe, intrinsically linked with our own:
“If mirror matter is present in the universe with sufficient abundance then its gravitational effects can be detected. Because mirror matter is analogous to ordinary matter, it is then to be expected that a fraction of the mirror matter exists in the form of mirror galaxies, mirror stars, mirror planets etc. These objects can be detected using gravitational microlensing. One would also expect that some fraction of stars have mirror objects as their companion. In such cases one should be able to detect periodic Doppler shifts in the spectrum of the star.There are some hints that such effects may already have been observed.”
—R. N. Mohapatra, Vigdor L. Teplitz “Mirror matter MACHOs”, 1999
Right now, this very second, whenever that second may be, when whoever you are might be reading this. Is there currently, within this universe, a portal (naturally formed, or synthetically created) that leads to another dimension?
There isn’t currently, an authority on this Earth that could in all honesty give you a definitive answer to that question. But perhaps you could search yourself for the answer, in the form of yet another question.
Is there a limitation fixed upon infinity?