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You thought quantum mechanics was weird: check out entangled time

In the summer of 1935, the physicists Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger engaged in a rich, multifaceted and sometimes fretful correspondence about the implications of the new theory of quantum mechanics. The focus of their worry was what Schrödinger later dubbed entanglement: the inability to describe two quantum systems or particles independently, after they have interacted.

Until his death, Einstein remained convinced that entanglement showed how quantum mechanics was incomplete. Schrödinger thought that entanglement was the defining feature of the new physics, but this didn’t mean that he accepted it lightly. ‘I know of course how the hocus pocus works mathematically,’ he wrote to Einstein on 13 July 1935. ‘But I do not like such a theory.’ Schrödinger’s famous cat, suspended between life and death, first appeared in these letters, a byproduct of the struggle to articulate what bothered the pair.

The problem is that entanglement violates how the world ought to work. Information can’t travel faster than the speed of light, for one. But in a 1935 paper, Einstein and his co-authors showed how entanglement leads to what’s now called quantum nonlocality, the eerie link that appears to exist between entangled particles. If two quantum systems meet and then separate, even across a distance of thousands of lightyears, it becomes impossible to measure the features of one system (such as its position, momentum and polarity) without instantly steering the other into a corresponding state.

Image – Wikipedia

Up to today, most experiments have tested entanglement over spatial gaps. The assumption is that the ‘nonlocal’ part of quantum nonlocality refers to the entanglement of properties across space. But what if entanglement also occurs across time? Is there such a thing as temporal nonlocality?

The answer, as it turns out, is yes. Just when you thought quantum mechanics couldn’t get any weirder, a team of physicists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reported in 2013 that they had successfully entangled photons that never coexisted. Previous experiments involving a technique called ‘entanglement swapping’ had already showed quantum correlations across time, by delaying the measurement of one of the coexisting entangled particles; but Eli Megidish and his collaborators were the first to show entanglement between photons whose lifespans did not overlap at all.

Here’s how they did it. First, they created an entangled pair of photons, ‘1-2’ (step I in the diagram below). Soon after, they measured the polarisation of photon 1 (a property describing the direction of light’s oscillation) – thus ‘killing’ it (step II). Photon 2 was sent on a wild goose chase while a new entangled pair, ‘3-4’, was created (step III). Photon 3 was then measured along with the itinerant photon 2 in such a way that the entanglement relation was ‘swapped’ from the old pairs (‘1-2’ and ‘3-4’) onto the new ‘2-3’ combo (step IV). Some time later (step V), the polarisation of the lone survivor, photon 4, is measured, and the results are compared with those of the long-dead photon 1 (back at step II).

Figure 1. Time line diagram: (I) Birth of photons 1 and 2, (II) detection of photon 1, (III) birth of photons 3 and 4, (IV) Bell projection of photons 2 and 3, (V) detection of photon 4.

The upshot? The data revealed the existence of quantum correlations between ‘temporally nonlocal’ photons 1 and 4. That is, entanglement can occur across two quantum systems that never coexisted.

What on Earth can this mean? Prima facie, it seems as troubling as saying that the polarity of starlight in the far-distant past – say, greater than twice Earth’s lifetime – nevertheless influenced the polarity of starlight falling through your amateur telescope this winter. Even more bizarrely: maybe it implies that the measurements carried out by your eye upon starlight falling through your telescope this winter somehow dictated the polarity of photons more than 9 billion years old.

Lest this scenario strike you as too outlandish, Megidish and his colleagues can’t resist speculating on possible and rather spooky interpretations of their results. Perhaps the measurement of photon 1’s polarisation at step II somehow steers the future polarisation of 4, or the measurement of photon 4’s polarisation at step V somehow rewrites the past polarisation state of photon 1. In both forward and backward directions, quantum correlations span the causal void between the death of one photon and the birth of the other.

General relativity time and space distortion – Wikipedia

Just a spoonful of relativity helps the spookiness go down, though. In developing his theory of special relativity, Einstein deposed the concept of simultaneity from its Newtonian pedestal. As a consequence, simultaneity went from being an absolute property to being a relative one. There is no single timekeeper for the Universe; precisely when something is occurring depends on your precise location relative to what you are observing, known as your frame of reference. So the key to avoiding strange causal behaviour (steering the future or rewriting the past) in instances of temporal separation is to accept that calling events ‘simultaneous’ carries little metaphysical weight. It is only a frame-specific property, a choice among many alternative but equally viable ones – a matter of convention, or record-keeping.

The lesson carries over directly to both spatial and temporal quantum nonlocality. Mysteries regarding entangled pairs of particles amount to disagreements about labelling, brought about by relativity. Einstein showed that no sequence of events can be metaphysically privileged – can be considered more real – than any other. Only by accepting this insight can one make headway on such quantum puzzles.

The various frames of reference in the Hebrew University experiment (the lab’s frame, photon 1’s frame, photon 4’s frame, and so on) have their own ‘historians’, so to speak. While these historians will disagree about how things went down, not one of them can claim a corner on truth. A different sequence of events unfolds within each one, according to that spatiotemporal point of view. Clearly, then, any attempt at assigning frame-specific properties generally, or tying general properties to one particular frame, will cause disputes among the historians. But here’s the thing: while there might be legitimate disagreement about which properties should be assigned to which particles and when, there shouldn’t be disagreement about the very existence of these properties, particles, and events.

Image – Wikipedia

These findings drive yet another wedge between our beloved classical intuitions and the empirical realities of quantum mechanics. As was true for Schrödinger and his contemporaries, scientific progress is going to involve investigating the limitations of certain metaphysical views. Schrödinger’s cat, half-alive and half-dead, was created to illustrate how the entanglement of systems leads to macroscopic phenomena that defy our usual understanding of the relations between objects and their properties: an organism such as a cat is either dead or alive. No middle ground there.

Most contemporary philosophical accounts of the relationship between objects and their properties embrace entanglement solely from the perspective of spatial nonlocality. But there’s still significant work to be done on incorporating temporal nonlocality – not only in object-property discussions, but also in debates over material composition (such as the relation between a lump of clay and the statue it forms), and part-whole relations (such as how a hand relates to a limb, or a limb to a person). For example, the ‘puzzle’ of how parts fit with an overall whole presumes clear-cut spatial boundaries among underlying components, yet spatial nonlocality cautions against this view. Temporal nonlocality further complicates this picture: how does one describe an entity whose constituent parts are not even coexistent?

Discerning the nature of entanglement might at times be an uncomfortable project. It’s not clear what substantive metaphysics might emerge from scrutiny of fascinating new research by the likes of Megidish and other physicists. In a letter to Einstein, Schrödinger notes wryly (and deploying an odd metaphor): ‘One has the feeling that it is precisely the most important statements of the new theory that can really be squeezed into these Spanish boots – but only with difficulty.’ We cannot afford to ignore spatial or temporal nonlocality in future metaphysics: whether or not the boots fit, we’ll have to wear ’em.Aeon counter – do not remove

Elise Crull

This article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons.


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The old New Age, hippie saying “Be Here Now” taken to the extreme

Today’s tweet caught my eye not because I believe it. Cummon. The idea is that a large chunk of history never happened and we’ve just artificially filled in the gaps.

From a commonsense perspective this is rubbish. A quick web search brings up all sorts of historical persons and acts during this “phantom time.”

We have lots of records. Physical records.

However, I mention the idea today because, well, it did give me pause over something maybe related.

Some schools of metaphysical thought claim that we can’t be sure of anything but the present. For all we know, they say, the universe is huge, flickering bunch of “presents.”

So this present that I’m writing in is really – according to the theory – just a present with a lot of true, false or simulated memories.

The next flicker could be an entirely different present (with an alternate set of history and memories) and I wouldn’t know the difference.

This next present would be just as real as my current present. And then in the next flicker, who knows… an entirely new set of memories, history, beliefs.

Image –

For those adhering to this idea, each moment is just as true, false or simulated as the next. And there could be countless flickering streams, all happening or possibly alternating at once.


Yeah, a bit.

But I think the notion is intellectually impossible to disprove.

If you find it hard wrapping your head around this, consider a computer processor. When multitasking, the processor alternates bits of data at super high speeds. Data flies through the processor so fast that tasks appear simultaneous to the user (for example, streaming music, transferring files and blogging).

But again your data is alternating at great speeds.

Could we be the same?

Obviously this is not a question to make the headlines in a 21st century where we’re mostly worried about lunatics with bad haircuts bombing us into oblivion.

But in the 91st century, who knows?

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How Einstein’s general theory of relativity killed off common-sense physics

David Lyth, Lancaster University

Gravity ties our bodies to planet Earth but it does not define the limits of the soaring human mind. In November 1915 – exactly one century ago – this was proven to be true when Albert Einstein, in a series of lectures at the Prussian Academy of Sciences, presented a theory that would revolutionise how we view gravity – and physics itself.

For two centuries, Newton’s remarkably simple and elegant theory of universal gravitation had seemed to explain the matter well. But, as is increasingly true for physics, simple just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Einstein’s starting point for general relativity was his theory of special relativity, published in 1905. This explained how to formulate the laws of physics in the absence of gravity. At the centre of both theories is a description of space and time that is different from the one that common sense would suggest.

The theories explain how to interpret motion between different places that are moving at constant speeds relative to each other – rather than relative to some sort of absolute ether (as Newton had assumed). While the laws of physics are universal, it says, different viewers will see the timing of events differently depending on how fast they are travelling. An event that would seem to take 1000 years when viewed from Earth may seem to take just a second for someone in a spacecraft travelling at great speed.

At the centre of Einstein’s theories is the fact that the speed of light is independent of the motion of the observer who is measuring the speed. This is strange, because common sense suggests that if you sit in your car alongside a railroad track, a train passing by will seem to be moving much faster than if you followed it in the same direction. However, if you instead sit and watch a light beam go by, it would move equally fast regardless of whether you were following it or not – a clear indication that something is wrong with common sense.

Einstein’s special and general relativity.

The implication of this theory is that we need to give up the idea that there is a universal time, and accept that the time registered by a clock depends on its trajectory as it moves through the universe. This also means that time passes more slowly when you’re going fast, meaning a twin going to space will age more slowly than their sibling back on Earth. This “twin paradox” may seem like a mathematical quirk but it was actually experimentally verified in 1971 in an experiment taking atomic clocks on commercial flights.

Special relativity works only for inertial frames moving relative to one another if they are moving at constant speed – it cannot describe what happens if they are accelerating. Einstein wondered how to expand it to include such acceleration and allow for gravity, which causes acceleration and is, after all, everywhere.

He realised that the effect of gravity disappears if one doesn’t try to overcome it. He imagined people in an elevator whose cable had broken in free fall and worked out that since the objects would either float motionless or at constant speed, the people wouldn’t feel gravity. But nowadays we know this is true as we have seen it ourselves in people at the international space station. In both cases there are no forces counteracting the effect of gravity and the people experience no gravity.

Curved space-time.

Einstein also realised that the effect of gravity is the same as the effect of acceleration; driving off at high speed pushes us backward, just as if gravity were pulling us. These two clues led Einstein to general relativity. Whereas Newton had seen gravity as a force propagated between bodies, Einstein described is as pseudo force experienced because the entire interwoven fabric of space and time bends around a massive object.

Einstein himself said his path was far from easy. He wrote that “in all my life I have not laboured nearly so hard, and I have become imbued with great respect for mathematics, the subtler part of which I had in my simple-mindedness regarded as pure luxury until now.”

The evidence

As soon as Einstein discovered general relativity, he realised that it explains the failure of Newton’s theory to account for the orbit of Mercury. The orbit is not quite circular which means that there is a point at which it is closest to the sun. Newton’s theory predicts that this point is fixed, but observation shows that it slowly rotates around the sun and Einstein found that general relativity correctly describes the rotation.

Einstein’s general relativity

“I was beside myself with joyous excitement,” he wrote a few months later. Since then, general relativity has passed many observational tests with flying colours.

You are using general relativity whenever you invoke the GPS system to find out your position on the Earth’s surface. That system emits radio signals from 24 satellites and the GPS receiver in your phone or car analyses three or more of these signals to figure out your position using general relativity. If you had used Newton’s theory, the GPS system would have given the wrong position.

But while general relativity works well to describe the physical world on large scales, quantum mechanics has emerged as the most successful theory for tiny particles such as those making up an atom. Just like the theories of relativity, quantum mechanics is counter intuitive. Whether it is possible to unite the two remains to be seen but it is unlikely to reintroduce common sense into physics.

The Conversation

David Lyth, Professor Emeritus of Physics, Lancaster University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


Time Travel Novels : Arguably The Most Fascinating Topic

Time dilation in transversal motion. The requi...

Time dilation in transversal motion. The requirement that the speed of light is constant in every inertial reference frame leads to the theory of relativity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Gary J. McCleary

Time travel is arguably the most fascinating topic in all of science fiction. If you are a fan of science fiction consider for a moment your favourite movies, books and episodes of television shows.

Which were the best episodes of Star Trek for example in all of its incarnations? Which episode would you consider to be the absolute best out of all the series? Think about your favourite movies and decide which is best out of straight adventure and exploration, fighting off monsters or the mind bending stories involving time travel.

There are two directions of possible travel, namely into the future or into the past. The truth is that travel into the future is not a problem and can be accomplished in a number of ways some of which are practical and others which are theoretically possible given future advances in technology.

We have…

Time dilation as proposed by Einstein as velocity approaches the speed of light. This has been verified even here on Earth by clocks travelling in high speed flight or in orbit and also by observing cosmic rays.

Suspended animation by freezing or even hibernation which the bears regularly do.

The normal aging process which takes our consciousness into the future at the steady rate of one second per second.

Now factor in things like black holes, wormholes, folded space, string theory etc and we have many possibilities to consider.

time travel using parallel universe.

time travel using parallel universe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now time travel into the past looks on the surface to be impossible because of the many paradoxes that it implies. However the laws of Physics are symmetrical and there is actually nothing in the laws that prohibits backward travel in time.

It is the exploring of the paradoxes that breathes life into the whole concept of time travel. The best known one is of course any variation on the so called ‘grandfather paradox’. This is where the time traveller goes back in time and murders his own grandfather before he gets around to fathering his father which means that the time traveller was never born which means that he never went back in time which means that he never killed his grandfather which means…well you get the picture.

In my Time Travel Novels I have explored many variations on this paradox and others. One explanation is that there are an infinite number of universes so every possibility is allowed for. Another is the theory that an event becomes its own cause so that whatever the time traveller does in the past it was meant to happen in the first place in order to set his existence in motion.

Think about any time travel story that you have ever seen or read and you will realise that they all involve a giant circle which appears to close on itself. The trick is in trying to pick where the break is in the circle.

Article Source:

About the Author

I had a good childhood as childhoods go. I didn’t like school very much and yet I went on to become a high school Maths teacher. After five years of that I returned to university to finish my own full-time study in Applied Mathematics IV. Around this time I began a part-time career as a lecturer in Engineering Studies at the University of Western Sydney.

The groundwork for the person that I am today was always there though because I have always had a love for anything to do with science fiction. After Life Novels


Farewell to karma

your karma is leaking by Robin

your karma is leaking by Robin via Flickr

© Michael Clark 2013

Can you hear me (can you hear me)
Through the spaces (through the spaces)
Wondering in this wonderland…



Reincarnation is an ancient idea that some folks love and others find dangerous. Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Taoists and many New Age enthusiasts from around the world believe in reincarnation.

Theories about reincarnation take several forms but, generally speaking, the idea can be summed up as follows: The soul enters creation like a spark from a fire, beginning a long journey through life with only a rudimentary level of awareness. As the soul passes through repeated cycles of bodily death and rebirth, it gradually increases in knowledge and goodness until it eventually achieves perfection. Once perfected, the soul is liberated from worldly suffering and desire as it breaks free from the chain of death and rebirth. At this point, the soul is no longer unique nor bound by time—instead, it merges with the eternal godhead.

But again, there’s more than one school of reincarnation. Some Indian schools of philosophy differ on its finer points. Ramanuja (1017-1137 CE), for instance, forwarded the notion of ‘qualified monism’ where the soul retains a sense of individuality and rests – as opposed to merges – within the godhead. And most schools of Buddhism say there never was any reincarnating soul in the first place, only the illusion of one. Buddhists believe that enlightenment means ridding oneself of a panoply of false beliefs, including those of self, soul, God and individuality.¹

Karma Defined

Karma is a Sanskrit term that means “deed.” Essentially, karma is the accumulated merit and demerit of one’s past life actions. Morally good and bad deeds add up on a kind of cosmic balance sheet. Good deeds bring future benefits. Bad deeds bring misfortune and suffering.

But it’s not quite that simple because in theistic religions (religions that believe in a deity or deities) God’s grace can mitigate the negative effects of bad karma. And even though Buddhists see God as a mere conceptual construct instead of an all-powerful being, some Buddhist schools claim that the compassionate gaze of the bodhisattva is similar to the idea of God’s grace. Not unlike an all-powerful creator God, the bodhisattva may lessen the negative impact of bad karma.

Karma Transfer

Many Indian gurus claim that negative karma can transfer from a disciple to a teacher. Karma mystically “flies,” they say, from less to more pure souls. This transfer of bad karma may be experienced by the pure soul in various ways. Spiritual “pollution” is a term many gurus use to describe these impure spiritual elements that they’ve reportedly picked up from their disciples.

One of the more well-known examples of an Indian holy man who claims to have picked up bad karma from his disciples is found in the figure of Sri Ramakrishna (1836-86). Ramakrishna claimed that his subtle body became festered with sores after receiving spiritually impure visitors. In essence, Ramakrishna believes he took others’ karma onto himself.²

Demonic Deception

Some people are convinced that they have had past lives and it is conceivable that they have. But it’s also possible that they interpret unusual experiences so as to believe in reincarnation when in actual fact they haven’t had any past lives at all.

In addition to alleged ‘flashbacks’ and ‘past life regressions,’ we hear stories about individuals claiming to have located objects in distant countries they’ve never visited. And some speak of esoteric but seemingly rational connections from a past to a present life, as if there’s a great mystical thread weaving everything together, time after time.

But none of this proves their belief in past lives. Another explanation is that these believers are being deceived by a demonic influence. The idea of demonic deception probably sounds a bit less weird today with the success of TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural. And if it does sound weird, it’s arguably no less strange than the idea of reincarnation, which so many seem to readily accept.


One of the most valuable ideas found in theology is that of discernment. In one sense discernment is described as a gift and developed ability where one learns to differentiate among

  1. Evil spiritual influences
  2. Divine spiritual influences
  3. One’s true self

Father Edward Malatesta, S. J. writes on the deeper, fuller meaning of discernment.

By the discernment of spirits is meant the process by which we examine, in the light of faith and in the connaturality of love, the nature of the spiritual states we experience in ourselves and in others. The purpose of such examination is to decide, as far as possible, which of the movements we experience lead us to the Lord and to a more perfect service of Him and our brothers, and which deflect us from this goal.³

However, a very real problem arises. Many people claim to discern but their alleged messages from the Divine often prove to be false or at odds with others also claiming to discern the true light and will of God. In fact, ‘discernment’ may degenerate into nothing more than taking an alarmist view of issues one doesn’t understand, projecting bad habits and transferring unsavory psychological contents onto scapegoats. Needless to say, this has little, if anything, to do with mature discernment and is arguably the dynamic of an overzealous, hypocritical or underdeveloped personality.4

But to return to the idea of reincarnation, many believers say that destructive personality traits carry over from past to present lives. Within Catholic mystical theology, however, bad things experienced in one’s present life could be taken as evidence of demonic obsession or possession. In the Catholic sense, obsession is the unhealthy and significant influence of evil spiritual powers or beings, whereas possession is a permanent, temporary or sporadic loss of self-control due to spiritual attack.

Catholicism has no need to postulate past lives when obsession and possession explain just as well, if not better, what reincarnationalists attribute to bad karma.

Keeping An Eye On Time by Ian Foss via Flickr

Rethinking Space-Time

Another way to explain the unusual experiences often taken as evidence for reincarnation involves recent theories in subatomic physics. Instead of falling prey to demonic deception, it’s possible that sensitive individuals might be piercing through the veil of space-time and wrongly interpreting this as proof for reincarnation.

According to recent subatomic cosmologies, past, present and future don’t necessarily follow a one-way vector nor do we experience linear time at a consistent rate. Instead, past, present and future apparently exist in an interactive field. That is, space-time is regarded as a continuum.

In his book Deep Time the physicist and astronomer David Darling says that questions about the origins of the universe are misleading because past, present and future exist in a unified loop.

Surely there had to have been some special point of origin? But no. What was needed was a more panoramic view in which the universe, past, present, and future, was seen as having always been there–a permanent, all-encompassing, space-time eternity. Of course, it was natural for man, whose left-brain consciousness produced the illusion of “passing” time to think of past and future as somehow different in status. To dwell, moreover, on that elusive moment called now which transformed the potentiality of future events into the actuality of the past. But “now” was, in truth, only a chimera. Every point in space and time coexisted with equal importance. The future was there from the beginning as surely as was the past.5

Like Darling, many theologians, mystics, philosophers and artists speak to the possibility of intimate connections among space, time and eternity. The German mystic Meister Eckhart (1260-1327) wrote:

The now wherein God made the first man, and the now wherein the last man disappears, and the now I am speaking in, all are the same in God, where this is but the now.

But to say, as Darling does, that the past still exists and the future is already ‘out there’ doesn’t sit well with most theologians. For them it’s more sagacious to say that God simply knows the past (which no longer exists) and the future (which does not yet exist). And we can only wonder if these theologians are merely regimented and afraid of change or whether their caution is merited.

Part of the problem here relates to how one defines God. Natural pantheists say that God’s mind is the universe, while theistic schools maintain that the mind and creation of God are very different.

Reason to Believe

Roderick Main, a leading scholar on Carl Jung, says Jung “concludes that under certain psychic conditions time and space can both become relative and can even appear to be transcended altogether.”6 We can’t know for sure if the past and the future exist right now, but we can at least consider the possibility that they do, and moreover, that they influence or even interact with our lives as experienced in the present.

Individuals perhaps genetically predisposed for a different kind of sensitivity could be more attuned to other time periods and souls living therein.If all events potentially interact within space-time and eternity, this would mean that, along a horizontal axis,  the present influences the future and the past.

But another axis is needed to account for the moral dimension. Choices made in the present could also impact not just the past and future (horizontal axis), but those choices involving ethics could perhaps influence various heavens and hells, which could be represented as a vertical axis. For instance, when we do bad things Satan and his demons are devilishly delighted while the angels and saints in heaven are struck with sorrow. Traditional, maybe. But possible.

This notion of horizontal (time) and vertical axes (ethics) helps to conceptualize things but shouldn’t be taken as an absolute or complete schema. We could, in fact, simplify this model by hypothesizing that each aspect of space-time-eternity has a potential influence on all other points.8

This interactive, multidimensional model no doubt challenges conventional assumptions about life, the afterlife, past and future.9 It cannot be proved through conventional forms of experimentation10 but those experiencing unusual psychological phenomena could interpret their experiences according to this model. Along these lines, the Protestant theologian Paul Tillich distinguishes experiential from experimental verification.

In experiential verification we cannot quantify data and construct repeatable experiments, but we can make observation, accumulate knowledge, and learn from our experience.11

Of course, there’s a problem here that might never be fully overcome but only improved upon. This is the problem of extricating oneself from one’s current beliefs and related theoretical constructions.

In such a reflection on the ultimate in hermeneutics of the subject matter, the writer will be undoubtedly influenced by his/her own hermeneutics and idea of ultimate reality and meaning. This may lead to an unwarranted conclusion specially if one’s own hermeneutic of ultimate reality and meaning is not consciously differentiated from that of the other. But one-sidedness can be remedied in certain degree by inviting more than one specialist to study the same topic.12

Taking this into consideration, the multidimensional model still seems more current and flexible than the ancient belief in reincarnation. Although some people try to justify their religious beliefs by saying they’re ancient and predate other religions, this argument doesn’t make much sense. Just because something is ancient doesn’t make it true. And from the standpoint of ethics, the current schema doesn’t allow for the avoidance of personal responsibility on the basis of hypothesized karma from equally hypothesized past lives.13

One of the most striking features this author has noticed when trying to have intelligent conversations with some believers in karma is their complete unwillingness to step away from their belief structures and consider alternatives. Some believers in reincarnation seem just as dogmatic and intransigent as extremists of any kind, be they materialists, environmentalists, fundamentalists, liberals or conservatives. However, the history of science demonstrates time and again that this kind of clannish unthinking and following the crowd rarely paves the way for better theory.


The above may seem to focus on esoteric points of little or no practical value. But considering human evolution and our existence within the extended universe, can we really afford, morally and economically, to stop developing cosmology? Old, outmoded models usually hurt innocent people and waste collective resources. Perhaps the only way to change this sad state of affairs is to change our deeply ingrained ways of looking at things.

Instead of clinging to the past, multidimensional theory combines science, religion and philosophy in a new kind of holism more appropriate to 21st-century challenges. This new approach could have a tremendous impact on education, psychiatry and religion, to name a few areas. But first, the keepers of the keys must be willing to see that change is sorely needed.

1. Buddhists speak of becoming ensnared in cycles of rebirth but anatman theory says that the very notion of the soul is illusory. Therefore reincarnation doesn’t really occur. It only seems to occur until one is liberated from a false belief in individuality.

2. The subtle body is described as an inner spiritual body. For more about Ramakrishna see In Christianity we find a similar idea to karma transfer. Saint Kowalska (1905-38) writes that she received the sins of others, suffering dearly to prevent their ending up in hell. In Catholicism this brings to mind the idea of “victim souls” who suffer mostly for the benefit of others, an idea popular in certain Catholic circles. The main difference between the ideas of victim souls and karma transfer is that most Christians don’t believe in reincarnation.

3. Thomas H. Green S. J., Weeds Among the Wheat – Discernment: Where Prayer and Action Meet, Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1984, p. 41). If we’re all imperfect, the development of true discernment is probably a lifelong process. Some believe that the Holy Spirit can override personal biases–i.e. an imperfect person makes a perfect discernment. We can also differentiate between (a) the initial discernment and (b) one’s reaction to and interpretation of that discernment.

4. Those political and religious figures behind the Inquisitions and the cruel torture of so-called witches in the Middle Ages would fall into this juvenile and horrific personality type.

5. (a) David Darling, Deep Time (New York: Delacorte Press, 1989), pp. 187-188.

6. Roderick Main. Jung on Synchroncity and the Paranormal (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997), p. 18.

7. Subjects whose brainwaves are measured during meditative states reportedly feel as if they travel though time. However, it’s possible (if one is willing to consider that departed souls could influence the living) that one could confuse the presence of a departed person for the presence of a person living in another historical time period, and vice versa.

8. By way of contrast, the Cambridge biochemist Rupert Sheldrake says in Dog’s That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home that past habits, not the future, influence the present (New York: Crown Publishers, 1999: 305).

9. The idea of multidimensionality was forwarded by Jane Roberts with some interesting differences, most notably Roberts’ advocacy of interactive parallel universes and correspondingly rainbow-like variations of the self.

10. (a) This would not upset the Austrian philosopher of science Karl Popper. Popper says that scientific statements cannot be proved, only disproved. Of course, Popper’s assertion is open to various avenues of debate, beyond the scope of this article.
(b) George P. Hansen recounts a lab experiment that could be taken as support for the idea of the future influencing the present. See George P. Hansen, The Trickster and the Paranormal (Xlibris, 2001: 328-336, 342).

11. Tillich cited in Andrew J. Peck, Tibor Horvarth et. al., eds. American Philosophers’ Ideas of Ultimate Reality and Meaning. URAM Monographs, No. 1. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994, p. 7. Several branches of Western philosophy challenge the distinction between experimental and experiential verification–for instance, Solipsism, Berkeley’s Idealism and, to some extent, John Locke’s critique of “secondary qualities.”

12. Ibid., p. 10.

13. It should be noted that conscientious believers in the idea of reincarnation say we must make positive choices to overcome bad karma. And, again, most believe that God’s grace can lessen the negative effects of bad karma. But still, the idea of karma is often abused around the world in a unforgivable attempt to legitimize disparity and other social problems.

Further Readings about Time

Benford, Gregory, Timescape (Bantam, 1992). A sci-fi novel informed by scientists.

Flood, Raymond and Michael Lockwood (eds.), The Nature of Time (Blackwell, 1988).

Hawking, Stephen, A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (Bantam, 1990).

Paige, Huw, Time’s Arrow and Archimedes’ Point: New Directions for the Physics of Time (Oxford, 1996).

Farewell to karma © Michael Clark, 2013.

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FBI investigates time, mind warp in new TV series ‘Flash Forward’

Time on my hands by Temari

Time on my hands by Temari

By Steve Hammons
May 13, 2009

A new TV series at ABC will explore human consciousness, weird physics and the mysteries of time.

“Flash Forward” is based on a 1999 novel by respected Canadian science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer.

Sawyer’s novel and the TV series seem to explore fascinating topics that are actually being investigated by serious scientists and researchers.

The series begins on a seemingly average day when every human in the world has a blackout of some kind mixed with altered consciousness for two minutes and 17 seconds.

As a result, there is widespread loss of life, injury and damage.

In addition, during this strange event everyone seems to have had individual visions of their lives on a specific day several months into the future.

It turns out that some physicists were conducting experiments that warped time and human consciousness.

An FBI agent, played by Joseph Fiennes, is one of the people we see having the blackout-premonition flash. Later, he and other FBI agents investigate the phenomena.


Is it just a far-fetched sci-fi plot or is there a basis in current knowledge about a scenario like this?

Extrasensory perception (ESP), anomalous cognition, remote viewing and other phenomena associated with human perception and awareness have been investigated by credible scientists and found to be something other than science fiction.

The physics of time also seems to be a topic that is much more mysterious and uncertain than we generally believe.

When we combine some of the current investigations into unusual human consciousness and research about the nature of time, it becomes evident that “Flash Forward” is not so far-fetched after all.

Elements of U.S. intelligence community and military conducted decades of research and operational activities in Project STARGATE using unusual human consciousness approaches.

In these activities, certain personnel were able to use a specific technique called remote viewing to perceive people, places and things at a distance using only their consciousness.

These kinds of perceptions reportedly were not limited to the here and now, but could reach out into the past and future.

Another aspect of “Flash Forward” that has a basis in theories from psychology and physics is the idea that a common field or common consciousness, at some level, connects us all.


There seems to be very rich material for this new series, based on real developments in scientific discovery.

In addition, there appears to be widespread recognition among the public, both nationally and internationally, that things like premonitions, the human sixth sense, anomalous cognition and ESP are actually real phenomena, although we don’t quite understand them completely.

This would seem to help provide a solid audience for “Flash Forward,” if the writers and actors can convey these concepts in ways that take viewers into a real investigation, like the one FBI agent Fiennes and his fellow actors portray.

When the first episode airs this fall, viewers will have a chance to explore and ponder these kinds of unusual aspects of human consciousness, time and the nature of reality.

In published reports, ABC’s Suzanne Patmore-Gibbs, executive vice-president of drama development, described the pilot episode this way: “Our FBI agent, played by Joseph Fiennes, appears to be in an FBI chase. You think he has a car crash. He has a flash of all sorts of things and he wakes up on the freeway and subsequently discovers that everybody else in the world has had a blackout that lasted the same amount of time. This resulted in a lot of devastation across the world.”

“Everybody talks about their flash and they realize they were all dreaming of the same day – which is a day in the future. You can identify with the different people and have that sense of global import – we’re all in it together …”

Yep, we probably are in it together. But what are we in? What is the true nature of human consciousness, time and the realities around us and within us? These remain evolving and emerging mysteries.

Other “Flash Forward” cast members include Sonya Walger, John Cho, Jack Davenport, Brian O’Byrne, Courtney B. Vance, Christine Woods, Zachary Knighton and Peyton List.

The show’s executive producers and writers are David Goyer and Brannon Braga.

ABC Studios has ordered 13 episodes. The series was developed at HBO, but after vigorous bidding with a competitor, ABC obtained the show.

Steve Hammons writes on many topics. For more information, visit these websites: Joint Recon Study Group, Transcendent TV & Media and American Chronicle.

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From sub-atomic physics we hear about the hypothetical possibility of wormholes and so on. But here’s a concrete example, perhaps, of the shape of things to come.

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