Raindrop and Beyond
$.02 by Terry Beard
First, let me say that I am NOT an expert. I have no "formal education" on the topic, but I have done a lot of thinking and my own life experience has shown me some things that I believe to be true. Due to the fact that nobody else KNOWs what really happens after we die, I feel that I am as qualified as anyone else to put forth my views. And that's all this is...an attempt to tell it the way I see it.
Secondly, I want to state right upfront that I am aware that my unorthodox beliefs will not be accepted (or even taken seriously) by those who BELIEVE in any conventional religious or scientific teachings. I was raised in a Christian (Lutheran) setting, but my thinking is all "outside the box" and may be seen as heretical. But, if you really take the time to visualize and understand what I say, you'll see that the "truths" of all those doctrines are included in this big picture. They all tell the truth, and there is no conflict.
If you disagree with me, that's fine. You can send me email if you like and although I may not have time to write a reply, I will read it.
In order to understand reincarnation and related topics, one must first understand, more completely, the concept of TIME.
Contrary to popular belief, it is my opinion that time is not essentially sequential. That is, moments do not necessarily "follow" one another in sequence from the past to the future. Further, it is my opinion that explanations expressing that view have been put forth as the "easy way out". The concept of Cause and Effect which currently governs most scientific thinking is actually a very convincing illusion that appears to be fact when viewed as part of of a sequential universe, but falls apart when seen as part of a greater picture.
Also, once the "big picture" of TIME is understood, other fundamental and cherished concepts that have governed human development fall apart. But as they fall apart, many fundamental and cherished questions asked throughout the ages are answered.
"As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be...world without end..."
- from the Book Of Common Prayer (1662)
Although most of the picture is beyond the range of our human sequential experiences, understanding it can begin with a visual image. Imagine a totally flat wooden tabletop (any size) and call it the dimension of TIME.
Sit at the table and place a tiny dot anywhere on the surface. Call this point "NOW". Then pick a direction on the tabletop and call that direction the PAST. Draw a straight line from a point in the PAST through NOW and extend the line into the FUTURE.
This simplistic visual image is how many people see time. This "life line" begins at the moment of our birth and goes until the moment of our death as we move from one moment to the next along the "time line" from the past into the future. Each point along the way is a moment that we call NOW. Each NOW moves us a bit closer to our death.
Our human perceptions are built in such a way that we are totally immersed in each NOW, and the only thing we can see from each NOW is that one moment...NOW. We can remember the other NOWs through which we have passed, and we can imagine future NOWs through which we might pass (sometimes with amazing accuracy), but we can only truely experience one NOW at a time.
It's as if we're in a tiny boat in the middle of the ocean. Moving steadily toward the horizon, we look around and our vision stops at the ever changing, yet ever the same horizon. Our direct experience must occur within that range.
That's the way we're built. We experience TIME sequentially, one moment after another.
OK...so back to our tabletop model...
There we are, totally focused and immersed in NOW and NOW keeps changing as we move from one moment to the next. This is our life, and it ends at some NOW in the future.
But wait, that can't be all there is. What about the, so called, turning points? What about those moments where we must decide which path to take? Are those paths predetermined and really just part of the straight line through time?
I don't think so.
Let's jump to the end of the line...the moment of death. Our intense focus on NOW stops. I believe that our focus shifts from that narrow line and our 3 dimensionally focused consciousness leaves the linear structure of TIME and is suddenly "above the tabletop". We can now see the entire "life line", but more than that, we can also now see the entire tabletop, and it suddenly becomes clear to us that there were many other possibilities. At each moment of our lives we were surrounded by all the other NOWs adjacent to the current NOW, and all of them were available to us and any of them could have been our choice for the path to travel.
Our intense focus on one NOW at a time precluded all the other paths except the one upon which we embarked.
But here we are, above the tabletop, and from this vantage point we can see all the other NOWs that might have been. Upon closer inspection we can see that those "might have been" moments are not imaginary paths, but they are just as "real" as the path we actually took. There they are right in front of us. Together they make up the entire tabletop complete with all the patterns and variations in the grain, the items that sit upon it and the other "greater selves" (like our own) sitting at the table viewing it, each intensely focusing on various parts of it.
We come to realize that each NOW on the tabletop is a tiny part of the whole picture, and without each NOW the picture would be incomplete...the tabletop would not exist (as it clearly does).
This new paradigm shifts our entire perception of the nature of reality.
Our singular journey through the moments was one of many, each as real as the other, and our "greater self" (the one sitting at the table) sees and gains the experience of the entire range of possibilities.
That moment in a life when the decision was made to not go to work one morning was a "branch" that led to the moment of death 10 years later. At that same moment the decision to get up and go to work was also made. That "branch" led to a moment of death 15 years "later" on an alternate path. (This might seem to be the preferred choice, but along that path you might have had to experience the death of a loved one that did not happen in the other path.)
Both paths are real. Both were seen and experienced by the "greater self" sitting at the table. More importantly, both paths led us to explore valid human experiences within the sequential, linear, moment to moment structure.
All paths through the "eternal NOW" are real and provide us with valid human experiences.
There may have been a moment where an unconscious decision was made to step out in front of a bus. That branch may have led to a path through pain, mental damage and years of medical treatment; all valid human experiences. However, at that same moment, the unconscious decsion was made to stay on the curb to light a cigarette. The bus passed without incident.
Neither decision was refutable. Both events took place. Both paths were followed, and each was experienced by another portion of the "greater self".
To repeat this important concept, all the moments are real and experienced by the "greater self", and the "big picture" would not be complete without every one of them being in place.
EXPANDING THE PICTURE
The current limits of perception by which our "3 dimensional" linear selves must abide make it difficult to comprehend much more using the tools in our 3 dimensional workshop. Those tools are WORDS which necessarily fail in any attempt to describe things very far from the range of our possible experience. Intuition and visualization are tools better suited for the job as we continue to expand the model for even greater understanding of TIME...there is much more. (Of course, we must realize the range of possible experience continually changes throughout the centuries. What is possible today was not possible in years gone by.)
Let's sit back down at the table and visualize a few things.
The table with all its moment points (NOWs) has no edges. Expand the surface to infinity in all 360 degrees on the plane. In all directions, there is no beginning and there is no end.
Most major religions and philosophies hint at the validity of this concept, but none explain what is meant by it. I believe this is due to the fact that, especially in the case of older religious teachings, the explanations were meant for the minds of the times. People in ancient times had no concept of quantum physics, wave dynamics or other advanced sciences. Although their experience was limited, they were quite familiar with concepts of family; father, mother, son, daughter and the hierarchies involved in those relationships. The concept of God, the father, was useful - being something they could get their arms around in an attempt to understand the relationship between humans and "the infinite". While we are immersed in TIME we are governed and must accept the limitations of the "time" in which we live.
Anyway, I digress...
Now, take the entire infinite plane of the tabletop and, around each moment point (each NOW), rotate the entire plane (and all the points on it) 360 degrees in all directions.
Perform this rotation operation as many times as your mind can handle and then allow for the possibility that it actually goes much further.
The structure we've created is now a matrix of moment points with infinite patterns and points of connectivity between them.
Within this matrix any single individual life line is composed of NOWs with an infinite number of choices for the next NOW...an infinite range of possibilities, and each possible path exists as real as all the others. Everything that "might happen" actually happens, actually exists simultaneously with all the other events that might happen.
Not only that, but any given NOW is intimately connected with every other possible NOW. Quite literally, ANYTHING might happen next.
Very neatly, this accounts for all the events that "come out of the blue". Events that are unexplainable in usual terms are suddenly accounted for because all the possible moments MUST exist in order for the entire picture to exist, as we agree it must.
CAUSE AND EFFECT
Sit back down at the small 3 dimensional table. Imagine a tiny drop of water on the tabletop. Immerse yourself in a NOW on a path toward the drop of water. As you move into the water and experience that event, your experience of NOW changes. Your experiences for the next few moments are wet. Suddenly, your path takes you out the other side of the droplet and that event again your experience changes back to dry. Remember, from your vantage point in the NOW you cannot see the fullness of the drop of water, you can only see that your experience has changed.
Of course, the "greater self" sitting at the table can see the entire sequence of events (as well as all the other possible wet and dry moments), but the question is, "did the event at the moment you entered the drop of water cause the event that you experienced as you emerged from the other side?"
I think we must all agree that, from the vantage point outside of time, sitting at the table, the answer is no. As I mentioned earlier, Cause and Effect which currently governs most scientific thinking is actually a very convincing illusion that appears to be fact when viewed as part of of a sequential universe, but falls apart when seen as part of a greater picture.
Reincarnation is not what most people currently imagine or believe.
Again, sitting at the table and focusing on a particular part of the pattern of wood grain, we experience the entire range of possibilities within that area. For the purpose of this example, let's say we've been focusing on a square foot of the tabletop on your right. That area is our "area of influence". Within it we can make decisions that create the moments within it, thus forming the patterns, and experiences we will have.
OK, now we've seen that part. We want to look somewhere else. As our attention shifts to another area of the table, the life lines within the previously viewed area end. The moments do not disappear, but we're not looking in that direction at this moment. We've changed our focus to another square foot of tabletop on our left. As our attention is directed at that part of the tabletop a new lifetime is created. But, it was really there all the time...we just were not looking at it.
The NOWs within this area are very different, yet because our "greater self" is viewing it they are all seen in the light of what is already known by the "greater self". Therefore, the experience of various areas of the tabletop are connected by the experience of the viewer(s).
By the way, because there are many "greater selves" all sitting around the table, each is free to focus on any area of the pattern. Each viewer sees any given moment from a different angle, so each moment can look very different depending on your point of view. An object (sequence of events) sitting on the tabletop might be white on one side and black on another. One might see the white side, but someone on the other side of the table sees the black side. Each experience is valid and the sequence of events is experienced in totally different ways.
Obviously, this is highly simplified, and again the words fail to fully convey the picture because all of this takes place outside of the dimension of TIME. Everything happens at once so no view of the tabletop is "before" or "after" another. This is a very tough concept for a 3 dimensional being to grasp. (Click Here, maybe this will help.)
GOOD AND EVIL
Evil is the absence of and the opposite of Good. Good is the absence of and the opposite of Evil. Neither of those definitions actually define either term, but using those definitions our perceptions are the true definitions.
I believe it is valid to make a comparision between the concepts of Good/Evil to the concepts of Hot/Cold. Both sets of concepts rely on a perception of the condition for definition, and in both sets deal with opposing forces. The definitions of the terms may also include measurements and "grey areas" where both forces are simultaneous influences.
Hot and Cold are descriptions of our perceptions of a temperature condition, and they are opposites. Hot is the absence of and the opposite of Cold, and vice versa.
To me, 30 degrees farenheit is getting to be pretty cold and uncomfortable, but to an inhabitant of an arctic climate just getting off an airplane in the northeastern USA in winter, that same 30 degrees might feel downright warm and comforting. Not only that, but the inside of the air conditioned airliner might have seemed unbearably HOT.
Where does one draw the line?
The truth is that there is no true line between hot and cold. The line is drawn by our perception of the condition. Both terms describe opposite ends of a spectrum of the same thing.
I believe the same thing is true of Good and Evil. It is our perception of an event or a force that defines whether it is good or evil, and sometimes there are those grey areas where no matter what your point of view, it's hard to tell the difference.
Further, each of us has the free will to choose our own perceptions, and throughout the course of a lifetime we may also (through either conscious or unconscious decisions) change our perceptions.
When I was much younger, I really enjoyed spending hot summer days on the beach. Now, at the age of 51, (and for the moment, ignoring the effects of global warming) the beach is one of the last places on earth I will choose to go. It's so hot and sticky and oh, the sunburn and risk of skin cancer...who needs it?
Value judgements on these things are shaped by our perceptions of them, and the value judgements are not necessarily the TRUTH.
The entire world is currently dealing with what they call a conflict between good and evil. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are said (by US allies) to have been perpetrated by "forces of evil the likes of which has never been seen before", and lovers of life and freedom are "rightfully" mourning the dead and grieving for the wounded and the families of those left behind. Many are also mourning the loss of the buildings, the money and the loss of our sense of security. The entire (currently continuing) event is seen by the "free world" as totally evil.
Clerics of many faiths are denouncing the act as being the work of the devil.
These are valid human experiences.
We, in the "free world" are not seeing much in the media about what's happening in the rest of the world. We have seen a few short clips showing people in some parts of the world celebrating the event as a triumph over what THEY see as good over the evil United States. The men who perpetrated the attacks MUST have believed they were doing the "right" thing, otherwise why would they have given their lives to further their cause?
Are we so arrogant as to really believe that all those people are wrong and represent the most evil forces in the universe? Are those brave men who gave their lives for what they believed in agents of the devil? Or, will they end up at the right hand of Allah, as they believe they will? The founders of the United States were willing to give up their lives for their cause even as the British must have denounced them as being Evil. Who was right, and who was wrong? The answer is both were right and both were wrong.
As hard as it might be (while in the midst of an event like this with such global impact), we should try to step outside of TIME and sit at the table to view the event and look at the "greater selves" sitting on the opposite side of the table. They have been viewing their life lines from a totally different point of view. The object on the table (sequence of events) is painted a different color on the other side.
The truth is that these events are all valid human experiences. The moments are all part of the pattern in the grain of the wood making up the tabletop. They MUST exist or TIME, itself, could not be.
As we move through TIME and "get beyond" the current events we will all look back at this area of the tabletop with fascination and wonder at the incredibly complex patterns of human emotion and activities composing it. A few of us may also get a glimpse of some of the alternative paths where, perhaps, the fourth airliner made it to its target, or where the US military forces actually shot down the plane as it approached the Pentagon. These are all part of the bigger picture.
All over the world people are, at this moment, envisioning, pondering, planning and preparing for what they think will happen next. The range of possibiliites is infinite. Afghanastan may soon be wiped off the face of the earth. Terrorists might load up a lot of trucks with explosives and blow them up at strategic points above the San Andreas Fault, hoping to break off the left side of the USA dropping it into the Pacific Ocean. Or, everyone on the planet might suddenly have a giant revelation that all this fighting is a useless waste of time and resources and start respecting themselves and loving one another.
All these scenarios are part of the possible future, and I believe they all actually exist in reality. But they all happen on different parts of the tabletop from various points of view around the table. I believe all these possibilities (and more) are part of reality.
Again, the recent attacks have already shown us both sides of the Good and Evil. An enormous number of people have been affected in a "negative" way, but that negativity has also produced a unity among many sectors of the population all over the planet. This can be seen as an extreme "positive". So, were the attacks brought upon us by evil men truely Evil in nature? How can Evil (the opposite of Good) appear to cause so much Good (the opposite of Evil)?
The answer: everything is a valid human experience and is there for us to experience as part of the bigger picture in the matrix of NOWs.
WELLNESS AND DISEASE
Similar in nature to Good and Evil, wellness and disease are opposite measurements of the same thing, and it's often hard to distiguish between them. Also, the effects they have on our path in life is subject to the same perception measurements.
For example, take the "true life" story of a man who was stricken with polio. He lay in his hospital bed for years, swearing that if he ever got out of that bed he would design ceilings that would be interesting, even nice to look at. Well, he did get out of that bed and today his ceiling designs can be seen in many banks, malls and office buildings.
That's getting ahead of the discussion.
Our medical experts do have a pretty good grasp on the definition of "good health", and they can usually easily determine when someone is experiencing a diseased condition by comparing it to what is considered "normal"; "normal temperature", "normal blood pressure", "normal red cell count", "normal heart rate", "normal brain wave activity"...etc.
But none of those "normal" measurements are necessarily accurate for everyone. "Normal" is actually a range around each of the measurements. Some people "normally" operate at higher or lower temperatures or heart rates. People who are "normal" can function in society and live a "normal" life, but there are some who are diagnosed by "normal" people as psychotic, neurotic, manic depressive or retarded, etc. These folks cannot do what "normal" people can do.
But, they can often do things that "normal" people can't do. There are many documented cases of idiot savants and geniuses, all describing people with conditions outside the "normal" range of possibilities. There are even combinations like Albert Einstein whose incredible brain power was tempered by manic depression. Maybe the manic depression was responsible for his genius, or maybe the other way around...?
The point I'm trying to make is that I believe that wellness and disease and one's experience of them is a matter of perception. Whatever condition you have is "normal" for you at that time. It is helping to shape the path through the eternal NOW by forcing you to make unconscious and sometimes conscious decisions. "Should I have that operation or not?" "Is this diet going to help me to get to a normal weight?"
You have the choices, and you make them. But, in our 3 dimensional existance you can only make one choice at a time; you can only travel on one path. But the other paths are still there on the tabletop and you are travelling on them all simultaneously.
Personally, I believe that the medical profession (don't get me started) does not really treat a person for disease. They treat symptoms, but most physicians do not know how to treat the PERSON. I don't pretend to have the answers to any of this, but I feel that many of us would be better off if we would just realize that the conditions we experience are normal and valid, and further, that our "greater self" is simultaneously experiencing the entire range of possibilities. That does not mean that we cannot or should not try to change them, but it would make dealing with them a lot easier on us if we knew there was really nothing "wrong" with us.
LIFE AND DEATH
In a desert in California there is a plant called the Manzanitas. My pet name for it is the life and death plant because, to me it is the perfect description of the relationship of life to death.
This plant lives in a very harsh climate where it experiences extremes in temperature and moisture in the form of rain and snowfall. Many of them grow right out of a crack between rocks where there's not much soil for it grab ahold of and from which it can obtain it's nutrients.
And yet, the bark on these plants is beautiful and smooth, reddish brown in color. The leaves are small and very green. Okay, so this describes any number of desert flora, but there is one amazing difference.
Almost all Manzanitas plants I've seen are about half dead. You'll see these beautifully smooth red branches that are really only that way on one side. The other side is dead; no bark, grey in color and rough in texture. Both conditions exist simultaneously on almost each branch and on the trunk.
It's as if the live part could not exist without the dead part, and vice versa. Life and death existing simultaneously, each totally dependent on the other for its very existance.
I believe that's really the way it is for everything. Without death there could be no life, and without life there could be no death.
Let's go back to the tabletop. Death is the state of being experienced while sitting at the table. Life is the state of being experienced while immersed in the matrix of NOWs that make up the expanded tabletop. Without all the NOWs there would be no table, hence nothing to view and no place to sit.
It's all in your own perceptions.
THE BEGINNING AND THE END
OK, so where did all this come from, and where is it going?
The answer is there is no beginning and there is no end. It just IS. All of it simply IS..
GOD AND THE DEVIL
It is my belief that God is "ALL THAT IS".
There is nothing else.
There is one question though, that has been near the forefront of my mind since I was about 5 years old, and I've never found anyone who could give a reasonable answer to it. That question is, "Who created God?"
Although my picture of the nature of reality does not directly answer that question, it does provide the tools that allow one to BEGIN to understand the concepts involved and then to realize that the answer is far beyond the power of words to express. First, the question implies that TIME actually applies to God. Assuming that there was a point in TIME where God was created brings the entire concept of God "down" to a 3 dimensional level. God (All That Is) is beyond TIME and the other dimensions that may contain it, and being so, there are no words to use that can convey a state of being so far removed from our own human experience.
God sits at the "biggest" table viewing all the possible moments.
HEAVEN AND HELL
Given all that I've written, you might well guess that I do not believe in Heaven or Hell. Nor do I believe in God or the Devil in the traditional definitions.
Belief in the personification and anthropomorphism of these opposites has taken humanity along paths of much sorrow, discontent, pain, anguish, agony, misery, death, destruction and uglieness of war. Simultaneously, faith in the same duality has shown us paths of joy, ecstacy, gratification, pleasure, satisfaction, progress, and appreciation for the beauty of a snowflake or a newborn child.
Heaven and Hell are like Good and Evil, our perceptions of the condition. More precisely, since Heaven and Hell are supposed to exist after "death" (assuming that TIME actually plays a role in those events), the "greater self's" perception of the condition is more likely to define Heaven and Hell.
Here again, words fail to fully express my beliefs, but I'll do my best to get this out. My "greater self" might be sitting at the table viewing the matrix of NOWs, but sitting in a very uncomfortable chair. To that "greater self", the experience might be perceived as HELL. However, your "greater self" might be sitting in a big old Lazy Boy that's nicely broken in and you might have a cool drink at your side. Your "greater self's" experience is likely to be more enjoyable than mine.
Of course, I could move to another chair.
But, it still holds up...both are valid experiences and the reality of each exists within that expanded matrix of NOW.
Let's take a short break to try and absorb what we've been talking about. I realize that we've covered a lot of ground in a short time. During the break let's think about what all this means.
Understanding everything we've visualized so far enables us to begin to comprehend things that are beyond our "normal" perceptions.
LEVELS OF AWARENESS
There exists the possibility that there are a number of levels of awareness. This has nothing to do with "intelligence" or life and death. It has only to do with levels of awareness. For example, I think we might all agree that a frog is not on the same level of awareness as a mosquito, and that neither is on the same level as a human. But then, not all humans are on the same level of awareness either.
An infinite number of levels of awareness exist within and outside the matrix of moment points, and each level has its own perceptions.
THE BIG CONTAINER
Our 3 dimensional universe is composed mostly of "empty space". The solid (and other) matter scattered within the empty space is composed of molecules (also composed mostly of empty space) and the molecules are composed of atoms (also composed mostly of empty space).
When viewed through a powerful microscope, atoms have a strong resemblance to tiny solar systems. There is a nucleus in the center (visualize our Sun) and there are electrons whirling around the nucleus (visualize the planets in our own solar system), and there is a lot of empty space within the atom and between each atom and the next.
It is beyond the scope of our most powerful instruments to magnify these pictures much further, but I think you see where I'm going with this picture. Could it be that each atom actually IS a solar system, and that the "universe" containing that solar system is composed of all the molecules within the object under observation.
Let's pretend for a moment that this is the case, and further, let's pretend that there might be "life" on some of those electron planets? Now, let's pick an object to observe. How about an extremely old tree in a virgin rain forest. Now, let's pick out a random molecule within the tree and examine one of many the atoms within it. What is life like on a tiny planet like that?
Beings on this planet are, obviously, subject to some of the same "laws of nature" that govern our own universe -- gravity being one of them. Their planet revolves around their sun like ours, so gravity must be an active force in that universe, although they may have a very different experience of it. Also, because WE are perceiving them, we bring to the perception our concept of TIME (linear sequential moments), so they too must have an experience of TIME.
Assuming there are levels of awareness on this tiny planet, I very seriously doubt if they realize how immeasurably small they really are. Our own universe is so far removed from their range of perceptions that they probably don't have words to describe the concept of us.
But, activities in our universe play a major role in the very existance of their own.
For example, let's say that one day one a lumber company comes into the forest with bulldozers, cranes and other equipment and clear cuts the entire forest. Suddenly, the entire universe that is our tree is changed. The molecules begin to behave differently as the tree dies.
These changes alone might be enough to cause the extinction of their dinosaurs. Centuries later on that world (in their experience of time), a new species arises, and just as it's getting started another cataclysmic event takes place again changing their world as our lumberjack's saw cuts through the fallen tree (missing their solar system by only inches) and the tree is loaded onto a truck for transport to another place on our world.
Okay, let's suppose that the tiny planet has survived the eons of upheaval, during transport, jostling and further cutting of the tree. This tiny planet is now in a totally different kind of universe. The tree is no longer "alive" (in the usual sense) and the universe that was the tree has inexplicably shrunk to the size of a log in a cord of firewood that has just been delivered to our house.
Just their luck, this log universe is on the top of the pile and it's the first one we pick up and put into our fireplace. It might take centuries (in their perception of TIME), but slowly their entire universe and all the life forms in it are extinguished as the comforting warmth of our small fire spreads throught our house.
Global warming is just one of the symptoms.
But, at the same time that all this is happening, on another level "above" our own, that lumber company never went into the forest in the first place.
In our visualiztion of the infinite tabletop, after rotating the entire plane 360 degrees around each point in all direction, and after having done that an infinite number of times on each of the resluting planes, it is is possible to see that at some level all of the points intersect with one another.
Think about that.
All the points intersect with one another. This is a tough one for a 3 dimensionally oriented being to grasp, but I believe it's true. Everything not only exists, not only simultaneously, but also in the same spot as well. The entirety of existance takes up NO SPACE.
Distance is another very convincing illusion created by our various levels of awareness in order to enable portions of the "greater self" to experience events within 3 dimensions. But, distance is not the only illusion. The concepts of "up", "down" and "sideways" are also illusions that help portions of the "greater self" make sense of the 3 dimensional experience.
(Click Here, maybe this will help.)
I'm not going to go any deeper into this for a number of reasons, but mainly because I don't feel like spending the next 20 years typing, and also because much of the terminology needed to describe the concepts is in the realms of quantum physics and wave dynamics (in which I am not trained) or is simply beyond words. In either case, I can't handle it right now.
Many people assume that the main function of the brain is to enable us to think. Although that is one of its functions in humans, it's not the main one. Lots of animals have brains, but we rarely allow for the possibility that they can THINK. They do, however, have levels of awareness, and many animals are "self-aware" (that is, aware of their own individuality). Most animals know when they are hungry or full, or when they are in danger, or safe, and they also have a lot of other perceptions.
If a human consciousness were suddenly embedded in a dog's brain, most of the perceptions would be totally foreign. But after a time of adjustment, the human would notice that it can hear sounds that it couldn't hear before. It would also notice that it can not talk with the same kind of voice -- it can communicate, but using methods other than words. It might also notice that colors look different and that the sense of smell is much more important than previously imagined. It might also notice that it can see things that it wouldn't have seen as a human. (Have you ever watched a dog or cat sit and stare in fascination at "empty space" across the room?)
This creature is living in the "same" world as before, but the perceptions of it have been drastically altered. No problem...you're there...get over it and live your new life.
The point I'm trying to make is that I believe the main function of the brain is to act as a "level of awareness filter". This explains why humans "use" only (what is it?) 10 percent of their brain capacity. The other 90 percent is not really un-used, but used for things other than thinking.
With all those gazillions of moment points all around us at every moment, each being as real as all the rest of them, and with no "real" space between them, how is it that WE stay focused on a single path? The "un-used" portions of the brain are acting as a filter, allowing perception of only one single path through the moments.
Without properly functioning filters, one would be able to simultaneously perceive (and maybe even experience as real) some alternate NOW moment points. To further compound the situation, one might even have filters that are intermittantly working and not working. At first glance, this may not sound too bad and it might even be fun, but upon closer inspection and comprehension we can see that this woud be extremely confusing to the 3 dimensional body and to other people around a person with this condition.
What's going on? How can two (or more) things be happening at once in the same space? Where did my keyboard go...it was here a moment ago? Why are you yelling at me?
Why am I locked up in this padded room?
That's what we do with people who have serious problems with their level of awareness filters. The filters allow us to focus and function within the confines of our 3 dimensional world. In order to perceive and experience ONE world, the others must be filtered out.
Dreams are "close encounters" with our "greater selves".
While sleeping, in dreams, our level of awareness filters take a break. We experience our dreams as if they are real because they ARE real.
In dreams we often perceive and experience events and emotions that we can identify. Often they are so real and identifiable that we are forever changed by the experience. We are taught that "it's only a dream" and that "it's not real", but there it was -- just as real as anything we've ever done while we were awake.
When our filters take a break and our bodies go into that limbo land of sleep our consciousness is free to travel wherever it chooses. Those of us with very active dream lives (and accurate memories of our journeys) can verify that the range of experience is truely astounding. We can visit places and do things that are totally impossible in "normal" life.
We may not LIKE all of the experiences and perceptions, but that's where dreams very closely resemble our waking lives. We don't necessarily LIKE all of those experiences either. Nightmares are just as likely in a dream state as they are in a waking state, but again, it all depends on your own point of view -- where you're sitting at the table.
Many people do not remember their dreams, or may even say that they do not dream. I don't believe that anyone does not dream. The sleep state is partially used for processing the information and perceptions gathered during the waking hours. Dreams are part of this processing process, and one might not remember dreaming, but I believe the process occurs nonetheless.
We may not remember dreaming because the experiences may be so far beyond one's normal perceptions that "bringing it back" would require images and concepts that are unavailable in the waking state. For example, in a case like this it's possible that TIME did not operate in the usual moment to moment sequence. Maybe it went backwards, or maybe there were simply too many moments happening "at once". Experiences like that are very difficult (if not impossible) to integrate with 3 dimensional being, but they represent very close encounters with the "greater self".
Sometimes we are fortunate enough to bring things back from dreams. My own personal experience tells me that. I have awakened from dreams and brought back entire songs, complete with all the lyrics and music. One of them was SO complete that I was compelled to write it down immediately and then run into my studio and record it on the spot. (And, it's a pretty good song, too.)
In dreams we get a glimpse of the other possibilities. In the dreams where TIME is experienced and we are able to remember things, we often remember parts of the dream where the entire scene "shifted" and we were suddenly in another place doing other things, perhaps somehow related, perhaps not. This is another close encounter with the "greater self" when you are able to jump around on the tabletop.
While dreaming we actually experience other portions of "reality", however due to the fact that our "normal" method of interpreting events may not apply to the experiences (especially if our journey took us on a path very far removed from "normal" reality -- on a distant part of the tabletop), our memory of the events is often inaccurate. Our 3 dimensional brain with its level of awareness filters does its best to interpret those events and make sense of them, but often in vain. Rather than remembering something that makes sense (in "normal" terms), we often get jumbled memories of "nonsense".
Time travel is easy. We're all doing it all the time. There's nothing to it. We are "natural" time travelers, each of us traveling from moment to moment within the matrix of NOWs.
I know that's not what most people mean by time travel. Jumping from this NOW to another NOW in the past or future is what you really want to know about.
Again, it's easy, and we do it a lot in dreams.
Time travel in the "real world" does not require a machine like the ones we're used to seeing in the movies. All that's needed is a method of altering the way the level of awareness filters work, but there are a few questions that a time traveler needs to consider. Those are not the usual things like altering events in the past that change the future, because as our tabletop model shows us, altering events in the past (on one time line) do not necessarily lead to altered events in the future because all the NOWs are already there on the tabletop.
The questions a time traveler must consider deal with the effects of altering the level of awareness filters in the brain. What does one really expect to experience when this happens? Does one expect that the consciousness will suddenly find itself in another body on another time line, or in the same body on another time line, or in no body on another time line. And, while the journey is taking place, what happens to the "real" body on the "current" time line? Not only that, but when the journey ends and one returns to the "real" body in the current time line, will TIME have passed during the journey, or will one return to the same moment...and if not, why not?
Remember, your 3 dimensional consciousness can only deal with ONE moment "at a time" on ONE line through TIME. So, if you want to travel in time to a point in the past or the future, you're probably going to find it difficult to take your body with you because your level of awareness filters in the brain are hard-wired connections. It may not be possible to take that brain, and that body with you.
But, let's suppose that you can take that body with you... The questions still remain, what happens to your body that's on your current time line? Does it simply disappear while you're away? Well, it must disappear because it's going somewhere else. But if that's the case, then it must re-appear when you get back. OK, but when do you get back?
If you're doing it correctly, you won't get back in your future or past because you might meet up with yourself and that would be very upsetting. So, you'll probably arrive home at the very same moment you left. In which case, an onlooking watching you, but not traveling with you would never see you leave. Your body would disappear and reappear at the same moment, and no one would ever know that you left. Not only that, but you'd never be able to prove that you did actually go.
So, that leaves us with the possibility that while you're on your journey, your body actually stays in place on the current time line. OK, so what's it doing? If it's awake, your level of awareness filters are filtering out the other moments with the result being that you don't realize you're actually in another time period. OK...so that doesn't work.
That leaves us with the other possibility...your body goes into a suspended state. Duh, this looks an awful lot like sleeping to me.
Guess what...? We are all time travelers to other time lines in many pasts and futures while we sleep. It's a natural by-product of the sleep process when our level of awareness filters take a break.
You might not agree with all of the above. You're convinced that you can take your body with you on a time traveling journey. Well, show me.
The only way to prove that this is possible is to take a trip and not come back.
I believe this has been done by many. There are hundreds (thousands) of documented cases where people have simply disappeared. There are cases of individuals disappearing and there are cases where groups of people have disappeared together. Alien abduction...? Maybe. Time travel...? Maybe. Something else...? I don't know.
I prefer to believe that we all just do it all the time, but our brains and our level of awareness filters make it very difficult for us to realize what we're doing. We're simply not taught to think this way.
PRE-DESTINATION AND FREE WILL
Our discussion might lead one to believe that I'm saying that everything is pre-destined, and that we can't change anything. This is totally off the mark, in fact exactly opposite of what I'm saying.
We all have free will to choose our perceptions, however those choices are often made without our conscious knowledge. The "greater self" decides where to sit at the table and what part of the table to look at. On any given life line at any given moment, we also have the free will to decide how we will perceive events around us.
Not only do I believe that we have the free will to choose our moments and our perceptions, but I also believe that at some level of consciousness we also CREATE each of those moments.
This is another spot where words fail in an attempt to fully express this concept. There are so many things going on "at once" in the processes of the nature of reality that it's hard (maybe impossible) to get it all into words.
It's like a nutrino, a small theoretical particle (in quantum physics) that is both here and not here at the same time.
At the very moment of perception an event is actually also simultaneously created. And, conversely, at the very moment of creation an event is also simultaneously perceived.
See, this is very difficult to get your arms around. But what it means is, several things:
Yikes! I may have to put this off for another article, but it makes sense if you've been able to fully understand everything we've talked about so far.
The topics we've discussed are necessarily complex and the discussion has been extremely simplistic, but the visual images I've provided MIGHT help some people understand what I know (or believe) to be true. My picture of the nature of reality has come into focus over the past 51 years of my current existence on this particular path, and the more it comes into focus, the more sense it makes and the more it holds up to the light of events in my life.
I find that, using the model of reality I've described I can make sense of anything.
My perceptions are mine. I choose them, and I do so consciously as often as possible. By making conscious decisions about my perception of events I have found that I'm able to "see the best" in anything and make the most out of any situation. The old cliche, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" is appropriate. One is not forced to EAT the lemon, rind and all. One can choose to make it more palatable.
If I were so inclined, I could look at my life and see all the missed opportunities, all the things I might have or should have done and I could choose to be very depressed. My mind is so creative in so many ways and my abilities are so widespread that one would think I should have been famous as a Rock & Roll star or a songwriter, a poet, or an astronaut, a philosopher. Truth be known, I am not famous (yet, might be appropriate), but I am all those things and more. The fame and fortune that I did not encounter on this path, but which I sometimes dearly wanted, did come my way along other paths.
I COULD look at this in several ways, couldn't I? That could very easily make me very depressed. But, instead I'd rather move my chair and have a glass of lemonade.
In closing, I'd like to quote an old childhood song that everyone knows the words to. Some very wise person wrote this song and taught it to children everywhere in the English speaking world attempting to teach us about reality. But, somewhere along the path of growing up we forgot the lesson.
Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream.
Understanding Time | Expanding The Picture | Cause & Effect | Reincarnation | Good & Evil | Wellness & Disease | Life & Death | The Beginning & The End | God & The Devil | Heaven & Hell | Intermission | Levels Of Awareness | The Big Container | Distance | The Brain | Dreams | Time Travel | Pre-Destination & Free Will | Summation