Although I prefer not to dwell on the past, I find that I often do. Our memories are not perfect pictures of moments in time as they fade with the passage. Yet, they are there, remnants picked up and then embellished with our own particular perception.
Time, an invention of the human mind, may not exist at all. Something is working though, causing changes as it seems to progress. We see our bodies race towards decay, we see the seasons come and go. What can it be that we can label that presents these images to our senses, but time.
Is time like a river? Does it flow? Is it an expansion, like a bubble? No one knows. Is there really a past to which one can travel? If everything is here now, what is left in the past?
Perhaps the past is not really the past. Perhaps what we call the past is another reality racing behind us. To go back in time in this event would mean traveling between dimensions into someone else’s reality. The future? If we are not the first there would surely be previous realities ahead of us. Is all of this speculation merely in our heads? Surely, but who else is there to think it.
Einstein spoke of differences in time passage. If a craft were traveling at near the speed of light, he proposed, time would slow for the occupants. They would return home to find much more time had passed than had passed for them. Depending upon the length and speed of the trip they might find upon their return that everyone they ever knew had perished.
Many have suggested that travel into the past might be possible, but that travel into the future might not be. How they can know this I haven’t a clue. I would be more inclined to think there is nothing left behind, that is, if time exists. If otherwise, the requirements would be too immense. Having each second holding a different version of what we know as reality, each caught up in a moment, would require duplication of matter on an unimaginable scale. I admit this seems too much in the way of practical thought. If this were the case, where would each moment be divided in time. Would it be a second? A nanosecond? The more divisions, the more matter required. Are we then slipping through different dimensions, different realities, which we have mistaken as time? Is everything that ever was, and everything that will ever be, and of course everything that is, simply layers on some onion-like exploding orb?
I can see only the now. We see vast galaxies in the distance as their distant light reaches us. We see them as they were millions, perhaps billions, of years ago. Yet, I can only think that even though all we see is past light, on distant worlds their instant in time is the same as mine. Now is now.
On one hand I would like to have the answers. On the other, I would have the mystery remain. Science may solve these problems someday, if anything can. Will the answers be to our liking?