I've written 5 published novels, ghostwritten 2 further novels and continue to write fiction and observational articles.
Episode 1 - Introduction to Time travel
Time travel opens up a dimension we never really think about. Everybody loves to dream of special powers, super-fast, super-strong, flying, telekinesis, but as special powers go, time travel takes it by a country mile.
The movie, Back to the Future had Marty McFly battling for his own existence as his parents looked like they weren’t going to fall in love. Twelve Monkeys, Terminator, The Philadelphia Experiment, the Butterfly Effect, Interstellar and so many more showed how popular the genre is. They command big fee actors and big fee directors.
Time travel has been referred to in biblical and other ancient religious texts for thousands of years.
In Hindu mythology, 2,500 years ago, the Mahabharata mentions the story of King Raivata Kakudmi, who travels to heaven to meet the creator Brahma. When he returns to Earth, he learns that he has travelled several hundred years into the future.
One of the Buddha's chief disciples, Kumara Kassapa, explains to the sceptic, Payasi, that time in the Heavens passes differently than on Earth.
The Japanese tale of "Urashima Tarō", first described in the Manyoshu, tells of a young fisherman named Urashima-no-ko, who visits an undersea palace. After three days, he returns home to his village and finds himself 300 years in the future, where he has been forgotten, his house is in ruins, and his family has died.
In Jewish tradition, the 1st-century BC scholar Honi ha-M'agel is said to have fallen asleep and slept for seventy years. When waking up he returned home but found none of the people he knew, and no one believed his claims of who he was.
In literature, early science fiction stories feature characters who sleep for years and awaken in a changed society or are transported to the past through other supernatural means. Among them is “L'An 2440, rêve s'il en fût jamais” (1770) by Louis-Sébastien Mercier, Rip Van Winkle (1819) by Washington Irving, Looking Backward (1888) by Edward Bellamy, and When the Sleeper Awakes (1899) by H.G. Wells.
Prolonged sleep is used as a means of time travel in these stories but the earliest work about backwards time travel is most probably Samuel Madden's Memoirs of the Twentieth Century (1733), which uses the idea that the author is given documents from 200 years in the future. He’s given a series of letters from British ambassadors in 1997 and 1998 conveying the political and religious conditions of the future. While no person is shown travelling back in time, the documents do.
The narrator receives these letters from someone he refers to as his “guardian angel” and Paul Alkon suggests in his book Origins of Futuristic Fiction that "the first time-traveller in English literature is a guardian angel." Madden does not explain how the angel obtains these documents, but Alkon asserts that Madden "deserves recognition as the first to toy with the rich idea of time-travel in the form of an artefact sent backwards from the future to be discovered in the present."
Many ancient tales are uncannily in sync with current theories, what we see today as the fundamental reality of space travel.
If you travel fast enough for long enough or get too close to a black hole, your time slows down but on Earth, everyone else’s time stays as it was. After a few years, you’d find yourself returning to find your granddaughter an old lady.
If your spaceship circled the Earth at a fast enough speed (many times faster than light), you might witness the Earth growing old, eventually being absorbed by our sun’s expansion in 5 billion years.
Time machines are theoretically possible if you can construct devices of infinite size using almost infinite energy travelling at almost infinite speed, but at no point could such constructions by any race be feasible.
But wherever the technology comes from, however it works, time travel is one of our favourite after-hours conversations. Once we’ve exhausted the tales of the day, exhausted the news, sports, fashion and assorted banter. It’s the time for noble and futile speculation apropos of nothing.
What would you do if you could go back in time?
We’ve been thinking about it for a very long time. Maybe ever since we could exhibit coherent thought as ancient home sapiens. When a loved one was taken by the wolves, did ancient humans, just like us today, wish they could revisit the scene and make it work out differently?
The question causes people to smile and put their heads back, delighting in the wilful descent to a dream world where anything is possible, ultimate control can be seized.
It would be a rare person without an already well-planned answer to it. Take today’s winning lottery ticket back to last Tuesday, see your parents when they were small, see a dinosaur?
If you didn’t fancy humble tourism or feathering your nest, maybe you’d right a terrible wrong, kill Hitler or Stalin or some other nasty, meet Jesus or just learn about what really happened at any given point in history.
And this is where our fanciful thoughts have to be analysed.
What are the repercussions of time travel, if indeed we could do it?
Let’s say we killed Hitler, perhaps saving millions of lives. Try and map through time and what could have happened after that moment.
Are we that sure of our genetic isolation from the events we change to ensure our own existence?
Are we sure that the bug we’ve just stepped on 50 million years ago, didn’t evolve into something important today?
Apart from the inherent dangers of doing this, it also brings up paradoxes. A paradox is why potentially we can never travel back in time.
A situation or statement that seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics. For example, drinking a lot of water can often make you feel thirsty. (Cambridge Dictionary)
There is nothing in Einstein’s theories of relativity to rule out time travel, although the very notion of travelling to the past violates one of the most fundamental premises of physics, causality. Causality states that the effect of an action can only occur after the cause.
The classic paradox is the Grandfather Paradox. If you go back in time and kill your grandfather before even your father was born, how could you ever be born yourself and go back and kill your grandfather?
Similarly, with the “Killing Hitler” paradox. If you go back in time and kill Hitler, it erases your own reason for going back in time to kill him in the first place.
So, because paradoxes are logical to us, and we love logic, can time travel backwards ever be possible?
It’s called Multiverse Theory.
Every action we take has an alternative. We might have turned left instead of right. An atom might have behaved slightly differently. Every branch on the probability tree has its own existence, seemingly independent of our own and they’re all running in parallel.
There is no time machine and we have no idea how we control access to it but it’s much tidier. There are no paradoxes in multiverse theory because each time you travel back in time, you are actually travelling to a different universe, almost identical to our own.
If you go back and kill Hitler and stay in that universe, you will see the repercussions play out.
If you return to your own time or universe, Hitler will still have existed.
Teaser – Episode 2 – How Close are we?
So, with all this in mind, how close are we to being able to travel back in time?
Episode 2 - How Close are We?
We've established that current physics says time travel to the past is impossible. The very idea is considered hokum, magic and witchcraft.
It can't be possible because of causality, paradoxes. And if we're honest, that feels logical and just a little bit safer.
Stephen Hawking famously conducted a time travel experiment with a simple party invitation.
It was the most exclusive party invitation ever issued, an invitation for time travellers only. An invitation that was sent after the party had occurred.
Professor Hawking had the venue decorated with balloons. There was a large buffet and the Champagne was chilling on ice. But no-one came, prompting Hawking to state that he'd just proven time travel to the past was not possible.
But maybe they didn’t like egg sandwiches, maybe they don’t breathe air in the future they’ve from or maybe they're just shy.
Any proposals and conjectures from the world of science concerning travelling to the past are encased in physical impossibility. But in theory, if you disregard being able to build it or survive it, things like the Tipler Cylinder could work.
Astronomer Frank Tipler proposed that time travel backwards could be possible if you take a huge lump of matter, 10 times the mass of the sun. Roll it up into a long cylinder. Spin that cylinder at a few billion revolutions per minute. Then, in your nearby spaceship, you could follow a very precise spiral around it and get caught in a loop, what scientists call a "closed time-like curve."
The laws of causality would be breached and time itself would become a single entity, all happening at the same time. There would be no forward or backward in time, just time.
Aside from the obvious construction headaches of such an endeavour, the cylinder would also need to be of infinite length.
Another theory involves cosmic strings. Cosmic strings are left over from the early cosmos. They are narrow tubes of energy stretched out across the length of the universe. They are supposed to contain huge amounts of mass and in principle, you could warp space-time around them.
String theorists say that strings can be infinitely long strings or string loops. If two such strings got close enough to each other, space-time would bend so strongly, and in such a configuration that time travel might be possible.
An exotic form of matter with so-called "negative energy density" has the most bizarre properties, such as moving in the opposite direction of normal matter when pushed. In theory, negative energy density could exist but not in sufficient quantities to enable the construction of a time machine.
But some time-travel research proposes negative energy density is not needed.
A doughnut-shaped hole is enveloped within a sphere of normal matter. Inside this doughnut-shaped vacuum, space-time could get bent upon itself using focused gravitational fields and this would form the closed time-like curve.
To go back in time, a traveller would race around inside the doughnut, going further back into the past with each lap. Again, the strength of the gravitational fields required would be almost incalculably strong.
General relativity provides scenarios that could allow travellers to go back in time and advances in quantum theories might also provide some understanding of how to overcome paradoxes.
But theory is one thing. The only unifying feature of where we are at the moment is that either the energy would be impossibly large, the mass would be impossibly large, constructing it would be impossible and us surviving the trip would be impossible.
So, when we ask ourselves, "Is it possible?" The odds don't look good.
But that's today. Tomorrow is another day.
A thousand years ago, a human travelling at 600mph through the air would have been impossible. It would have been hokum, magic and witchcraft. A few thousand years before that, it would have been gods.
So, who's to say the laws of physics might not become similarly overhauled in the future? Who's to say there won't be something that can overcome causality?
It would have to be a very long way into the future, the sort of people Stephen Hawking was hoping would come to his party.
But who's to say someone in the distant future hasn't changed physics as we know it and already achieved time travel to the real past.
Because we wouldn't know it if they did. How could we?
The future of everyone and everything would change including us, so we would be unaware of any of those changes, things would always be just as they'd ever been.
But the time ripples created by these changes could mean that at any moment, someone in our ancestral line might not be required. We might suddenly never have existed, wiped from the timeline for all eternity.
Is the feeling of never having existed the same as not being alive or does it even qualify for a feeling?
In the sci-fi novel, Machine Sense (2019) by Dominic Schunker, the protagonists start seeing the changes. They find people they know don't know them anymore, a building appears where it didn't stand yesterday. They uncover the people who are moulding the world to their own way at the expense of entire familial timelines, an undetectable temporal genocide.
So, like most everything else, time travel to the past can bring with it the potential for absolute abuse of power, absolute evil, and the singular horror of never having existed.
Stay tuned for Episode 3.
Teaser for Episode 3 – Should we do it?
The prevailing wisdom in the science community dictates that causality and paradoxes are the reasons why we could never travel back in time but a more fundamental question arises.
Even if we could do it, should we?
Episode 3 - Should we do it?
So one day, why can’t we travel back in time? Why shouldn’t we?
First, we need to study the relative maturity of the species in question.
We know that going back in time could be a wonderful thing. We've thought about it, dreamt it. Imagine how many people we could save, how many disasters we could avert, how much advice we could give. We could make a real difference. And if it's not too far back in time, the repercussions would be barely noticeable. Repercussions for the future are not yet our problem.
But then if you will, hear the record screeching to a halt.
Because humans, particularly humans in charge of things, really are a problem. And for every one of you lifesavers, there are 7.4 humans that wouldn't bother and 1.6 of them would not care if lives were lost by their actions.
The powers that be can blow us up many times, as if one's not enough.
They release deadly toxins into the air.
They willfully ignore mother nature screaming at the top of her lungs to do something.
And they can do things to people that we will definitely not speak about here.
They seem really keen on just being a problem and then meekly destroying everything, abandoning sentience altogether.
If it were possible, time travel would give those folks the power to end it all pretty fast.
So, at the outset, it doesn't look good, purely on character analysis.
Imagine one of the 7.4 people who surround you. Imagine they got hold of a time machine.
Would they go back and do what you would do?
Look at how they behave in today's world.
It's inconceivable they wouldn't do exactly the same in a world with time travel possible.
Let's have a look at who and what they are and then we can decide if humans should ever be allowed to travel back in time.
We've covered how many ways they have of destroying us all on a grand scale but now let's look at a more subtle approach, how they manipulate us, how they make us turn in a certain direction or other.
There are systems in place within marketing, political campaigning and the psychology underpinning both, which map us as humans to as close as they can get to stimulating almost automatic compliance. The idea of such systems is to ensure that if they put an ad on our Facebook page at 11.37 am on a Tuesday, they know we are 34% likely to click through.
They already know this about us and more information about us pours into their receiving tanks every day.
In those worlds, we are all a collection of data points. They can tell what we buy, when we buy and why we buy. They can tell us what to vote for. And we are tracked like outlaws all the way through from street camera to IP login to a card payment in Starbucks. And that's the tip of the iceberg.
The Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal is the perfect example. It tells us the lengths they have already been to get us into the box they want.
As the matter is still ongoing in the courts, everything that's written below is alleged.
In 2015, Cambridge Analytica, a London-based consultancy, harvested personal data from 87 million Facebook users (70 million of them in the US) without their consent.
Cambridge Analytica claimed to have 5000 data points on every one of those users.
The data was used to provide incredible amounts of information to political campaigns, noticeably, the Trump campaign in 2016, the Brexit campaign in 2018 and in Russia.
Imagine them knowing that you're still a little sad about your dog dying last week and you need a hug. Their hug will come in the form of the most precise micro-marketing the world has ever seen.
And let's not forget Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA mass surveillance programme in 2013.
We don't know what will happen as a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal but, whatever happens, we do know that once a thing is known, it cannot be unknown.
This will be the new norm.
Add the onset of DNA profiling to all of this and you will see they have you all but cloned and right in front of them at will.
So, let's talk about tomorrow.
The Virtual Reality of tomorrow would be fertile ground for them. As VR develops into a more neural experience, transmitting to and receiving signals directly from your brain, they will have a way directly into your mind. Suggestion will be confused with natural intent and they've got you. You won't even realise it's happening.
From this, will come a deeper understanding of the human brain and naturally a deeper understanding of how to manipulate and control the human brain.
So much for the certainties of corporate abuse.
From DNA profiling will come a greater understanding of how each of us is constructed, what our genetic strengths and weaknesses are. We might even be manipulated to slowly kill ourselves if we are considered surplus to requirement, maybe when we get past retirement age.
So, put all this in a box called "They do it even if they could get caught" and wonder what that box would be like if it was called "They do it and they can never get caught."
Would the box be bigger or smaller?
But hold on a minute. We're not finished yet.
What if the technology filtered out into the wrong hands. Over time, it always does.
When it does, everything could come to end and none of it would ever have existed.
Terrorists. Psychopaths. Either may be happy with an end-it-all moment. One for belief, the other for a game. And anyone can do it by accident.
What if modern-day Nazis got hold of it? Their genocide would be a single trip to a single moment, the moment they imagine the Jews to have been conceived.
And the beauty of it is, it's undetectable by anyone apart from the time traveller. None of us would know what had happened. To us, things would be just as they always were. There never was an old guy called Ted living two doors down, there never was a country called Rwanda.
Undetectable Temporal Manipulation
Undetectable Temporal Murder
Undetectable Temporal Genocide
I wonder what it would be like to see the changes. What if you saw it happening on a daily basis? What if you could tell who was doing it? They’d be the ones who suddenly acquire it all like magic at some point in time. It would probably be easy to figure out who.
What would you do about it?
Would anyone doubt that if any of them got a time machine, they would set about one single task, to mould the world in their image and again, to hell with anyone else?
So for this and for all the reasons discussed here, no is my answer. Not at any cost. Ever.
The responsibility of time travel is too much to ask of humanity.
Time travel and Logic must be uniquely paired. With humans, they are not.
And luckily, the laws of physics agree.
And to be honest, it's a relief.
This is a report on the present and a warning for the future.
Teaser for Episode 4 – Blurring the Lines
So, we have to accept, for now, that time travel to the past is impossible and thankfully so. Even if it were possible, there is no way we should allow ourselves to do it.
But we can pretend and when we do, our Brain starts working its magic.
Episode 4 - Blurring the Lines (Simulation)
So, maybe the universe is right and we humans have been striving for the unachievable. Maybe you really can’t time travel to the past.
It would be a fair relief if truth be told but we’re not done dreaming.
We’re going to explore two quick ideas that would allow us to simulate very real time travel to the past (and the future).
What’s the best way to pretend we can do it?
We’ll examine whether indeed they end up really being simulations or are they real and what’s the difference to the user?
We will try and investigate in our little way what reality is.
What we find is that we can’t avoid blurring the lines between reality, alternative reality and the supernatural.
Psychoactive substances from the Natural World
In the movie, Emerald Forest, a boy lost years before in the Brazilian jungle and adopted by a local tribe (the Invisible People) endures his rite of passage into adulthood.
He takes a green substance, harshly blown up his nose from a long pipe by a tribal elder, and identifies with his spirit animal, in his case an eagle.
He finds himself soaring above the jungle as the eagle to discover something that will help his situation and that of his distraught parents in New York. His trip is instant and he can perform wonderful physical feats.
From the tribes of South America like the Incas up to Meso or Central America, the Maya and the Aztecs to the North American tribes made familiar in the movies like the Hopi, Comanche and Apache.
The Americas are full of similar rituals and folklore, how various substances can act as a great broadening of the human spirit, a glimpse into a higher level of existence.
The notion that psychoactive plants could provoke an altered state of consciousness goes back 1000s of years. The plants and other substances used are called entheogens because they were used to communicate with divine powers.
The word, "Entheogen," comes from the ancient Greek words, "entheos," meaning "full of the god, inspired, possessed" and "genesthai," meaning "to come into being".
The Maya used a toxin secreted from the skin of a toad.
There are flowering plants like Datura ; Morning Glories, which contain seeds with different alkaloids of the LSD family ; Salvia, a psychoactive plant native to Mexico and The White-Flowered Water Lily (Nymphaea Ampla), which scholars compare to the Blue Lotus (Nymphaea Caerulea) used extensively in ancient Egypt.
Alcoholic beverages like Balaché, tree bark mixed with honey, and Pulque, the fermented sap of the Maguey plant
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient found in Cannabis plants.
Hallucinogenic Mushrooms with psychoactive substances like psilocybin and psilocin.
Cactuses that contain psychoactive substances like Mescaline. Other cactuses like Peyote, Peruvian and Bolivian Torch Cactus and the San Pedro cactus. Contrary to popular belief, neither Tequila nor Mezcal contains mescaline. Tequila is made from the blue agave plant and sometimes Mezcal, like Pulque, can use the Maguey plant.
Whether it's taken by ingesting, smoking, drinking, eating or even enemas, these substances offered a wide-ranging menu of solutions for their people. Natural painkillers and sedatives, visions and mild trances. They promoted a peaceful state of thought, lack of attention to surroundings but an increased sensitivity to light and sound stimuli. They served as an anxiety relief to calm those about to be sacrificed, on occasion to such an extent that the victims were reported to have been so at ease when the dagger went in, even laughing, seemingly oblivious to the pain.
They were taken to enhance the quality of life, sexual activity, fertility, birth.
Enhance perception and emotions. Induce altered states.
They allowed you to identify with your spirit animal, assume its powers, enable communications with other inhabitants of the spirit world including their ancestors, who they believed were in a place that now saw everything clearly, even the future.
But there was another psychoactive plant that supposedly allowed you to see into the future.
And what’s more, it appears to obey the rules of time travel.
Ayahuasca, also known as yage, is a blend of two plants, the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis Caapi) and a shrub called Chacruna (Psychotria Viridis). It contains the hallucinogenic drug DMT (dimethyltryptamine).
Because it's still popular today, researchers have managed to collect a great deal of data from those who have used it. Many say they have been to a place that seemed to be more advanced than we are today, a place with new technology, where even the people looked different. They say they've been to the future.
But no-one reported travelling to the past.
Because the past has happened, its story is already recorded in our brains, it's the most likely thing to draw from in any psychedelic experience. But with Ayahuasca, the opposite is true.
So, if Ayahuasca obeys the rules of time travel, is our trip real or simulated?
In our concocting of the perfect time travel simulation, all these substances can not only induce experiences of the most original flavours, they can also act as a primer to more technological methods.
Give or take the warnings in the previous article in this series, virtual reality must play a part, at least initially.
VR graphics are as good as technology will allow, the ideas are exciting and compelling and here are even sensors and mechanisms designed to stimulate touch and smell.
It all contributes to a more realistic experience but not at any time can you truly interact with your environment on a level that would make the experience seamless.
For that, you need something to stimulate inertia, gravity, the feeling of contact with other humans, from fighting to the lightest touch on your skin, the things that make life what it is. Only with this does the brain start to confuse things enough for you to truly believe you are there.
Several devices have been used to attempt this, water tanks, dropping from a plane to achieve weightlessness for a few seconds, or rigged up to some frightening robotic assembly.
VR is not there yet, although a little girl previewing an early VR environment in the Trocadero Centre in London in the late 80s showed that when it does get there, it will be an addiction that few could refuse.
The little girl and a few other small people were given headsets. They were stood on a raised platform with a little bar they could keep themselves steady with. The programme started, and after one or two seconds of adapting to something new, something kids do very easily, their little faces lit up.
They laughed and screamed and they stayed lit up until the programme finished. Their headsets were removed and they experienced a moment of terrible truth as they found themselves back in the real world. It was like someone had decapitated and set fire to their favourite teddy bear and left it smouldering on their pillow. Two of the children re-joined their parents in tears and other parents reported a diminished fervour for the real world for several hours.
To achieve this effect for longer-term immersion into another world, you need to create the kind of environments and interactions that only come from huge amounts of data, capable of being transmitted faster than we can imagine today. Ready Player Once achieved a wonderful environment but it still wasn't real. You still couldn't stroll through a wheat field, brush your hands over the wheat, smell the country or give your lover the lightest kiss. This is what we want. The sense of reality but in a different reality.
Moore's Law predicts that the number of transistors in a microchip (and therefore the overall power and speed of the computer) doubles every 2 years. The iPad we use today is more powerful than the biggest supercomputer in 1995. It's a great leap but that's over 20 years and the rate has now slowed to doubling every 3 years.
VR won't be up to it for a hundred years.
But the signs are clear.
This is more about what virtual reality might become.
So let's imagine a time in the future. 100 years from now. 2120.
Neural and body implants and sensors have become a part of everyday life, certainly for identification and communication and because humans are still humans, it comes with an obvious risk of misuse.
They have also been configured for VR, stimulating the brain, allowing the player's mind to truly believe they are somewhere else, able to do wonderful things. It will simulate all the senses and wonders of the real world, you can breathe mountain air, be hot, be cold, jump and swim and fight, love someone, feel pain.
It has to be real. Only then can it be considered a worthwhile simulation. For a simulation to be worthwhile, there has to be the possibility of confusing what's real and what's not.
Imagine the Star Trek Holodeck without the need to walk into an empty room or the Matrix without the growing-humans-as-a-commodity thing.
Gone are the mobility rigs and clunky goggles of 100 years ago, the shocks for impact and pain stimuli, the mucky medieval appendages for lovemaking.
Here in 2120, it is all about your brain telling you what to feel and do.
You're relaxed in a room hooked up to drips of nutrients, water and psychoactive ingredients and your drips and the programme combine to present illusions of touch, smell, taste, sight and sound and the illusion of antigravity, to fly and swim. You might have someone come into your room to exercise you regularly.
In our induced state, we're us, Mark II. We can go anyplace we choose. Be anything we want.
So, to answer our original question, even if time travel to the past became possible, would it be needed?
After all, we wouldn't be superheroes. We wouldn't be capable of amazing and magical things. Just us.
So, a more fundamental human question arises.
If our simulation is so real, how far can we blur the lines between simulation and reality?
And the answer is, completely.
Let’s say that you use your combination of drugs, implants and VR and you take yourself back to the 1700s, maybe somewhere in rural England. Naturally, it would have to be in the role of someone from the ruling classes. The dresses, the etiquette, the dances and the romance. A genteel world of Jane Austin chivalry and intrigue.
A time without the noise of today, the devices, the constant need to be reviewed and liked.
A time without the constant bother.
Notwithstanding the likelihood you might have to go to war, the prospect of terrible plumbing and questionable personal hygiene, you'd find it a blissfully peaceful existence.
You start with a big exhale as the sleazy moral squalor of modern life passes into your past, which is, of course, the future.
And there’s a thing, look, your past is already your future.
You enjoy hearing the birds in the trees and looking at the stars at night through crystal clear skies.
It might be so real, you dread the return to modern life and all its pressures and dangers. You stay there for a while and that becomes a long while, maybe years. You stop wondering if someone back in your own time will keep on looking after you as you take your trip.
You know it’s not the real 1700s but how long can your brain keep pretending?
The longer you’re there the more your brain will adapt to its new life.
After a while, your incredibly real environment, including all sensory aspects of your new time, starts to become more real. You spend less and less time thinking about 2120 as you absorb yourself in your new life.
But you don’t want to lose yourself. You need to remain grounded, know where you are, where you’re from, reality.
So maybe you tell the system to flash a green light in the corner of the screen for a couple of seconds every day. Something to remind you this isn’t real, something to ground you.
And then your brain starts doing some amazing things.
Natural human adaptation intervenes.
Just like it does in the real world, your brain protects you from things you can’t compute by shutting it away. Like a horrible incident as a child disappearing from active memory. So it has to produce a realistic reason for those things to be happening.
Other people in your 1700s world, now your friends, start telling you they are seeing a beautiful glowing green orb every day at the same time then it disappears.
They give it a name, even call it a God. You're not alone. There's an explanation. An explanation you are starting to believe over reality. After all, a supernatural appearance in a godly era or a time traveller from the future. Which makes more sense to you. Your brain is about to choose.
Initially, you know what this is of course but here’s where your brain starts to conjure, work its magic and weave its supernatural space.
Eventually, you see your alert light in the corner of the screen as they do. It becomes part of your perceived trip and you build it into your perceived existence.
It becomes a sign from god to you too. A wonderful thing has happened to the world and no-one knows what it is and why it came.
Just like in reality, some people get the sense something wonderful is about to happen. Others get the idea it’s the end of the world.
And then, one day, you will have to return to 2120. And you’ll probably have to do it kicking and screaming. Maybe your meds have run out. Maybe there’s a fault with the VR gear.
Either way, when you re-materialise in 2120, you’d be within your rights to truly believe that you have travelled to a place you used to dream about. You have travelled forward in time.
At that point, what is your future and what is your past?
Are you sure you know where you came from?
Teaser – Next Project
In the movie Inception, the characters went on trips into the dreams of their targets. In those trips, their timeline altered. They might spend days or weeks in their dream world but time would pass much more slowly back in the real world.
When they go deeper. Diving into further levels of dream state. Into the dream of someone who is in the dream, the timeline difference is stretched to breaking point.
When you're in your Jane Austin 1700s world, it's possible the same thing would happen?
And that’s for another time.
Thanks for taking this trip with us.
Until next time