Friday, August 14, 2009

Time Travel

What if the first time you kissed him was not the first time he had kissed you? What if your husband disappeared on your wedding night, but you couldn’t really be mad at him since he was with you the entire time. Of course, the you he was with was only nine at the time. Such is the world of the Time Traveler’s Wife. She met her love when he was an adult and she was just a child. He visited her many times as she was growing up and she fell in love. She spent her life waiting for time to catch up with him. When he did finally meet her—she already knew him, but to him she was a stranger.

The movie is based on a book by Audrey Niffenegger, but it was no surprise to find out that Bruce Joel Rubin wrote the screenplay. Bruce also wrote such wonderful films as Ghost, My Life, and Jacob’s Ladder. I had the pleasure of meeting Bruce in 2005 on the Spiritual Cinema Festival at Sea.

I totally enjoyed this film, but it got me thinking—no surprise—what would happen if time travel really were possible? If it truly were a reality then my future self could come back and tell me if I found my right and perfect church, where it was, and if everything turns out as well as I pray it does. Considering I’ve lived the past year in the void and wondering about my future—it truly would be pretty awesome to have those questions answered once and for all.

I took a class at Unity Village decades ago on NLP (Neura- Linguistic Programming). In this class our future self went back to our inner child to bring them the knowledge that life would turn out okay; that’s a great thing for a child to know. This was all pretend of course. We stood in a constructed timeline and simply moved back in time to assure ourselves that we turned out okay. It’s a wonderful psychological concept.

So, what if there really is a future me hanging around somewhere? That future me would have the answers that I am now seeking. While it might be nice to find out specifics from my future self, it would seem that this is virtually impossible. I have not (as of this moment) figured out how to transport myself into the future.

However, what I’ve realized is, I do know how to travel to my past. The present me can look back at other times in my past when I was feeling stress or indecision and see that I made it through perfectly fine through that stressful time to this now present moment. Knowing this, how can there be any doubt that whatever I am going through now will turn out exactly as it needs to be.

So, it turns out I can time travel—but only to my past. I know we talk in spirituality about ‘being here now’ and living in the present…but I still think it would be pretty awesome to take a trip to the future. Anyone want to go there with me?

The Man from Earth

Can you imagine what it would be like to live for over 14,000 years? What if you began as a cave man or woman and you never grew older. You would watch the earth change as oceans appeared and mountains formed. You would see evolution at work all around you. You could meet the Buddha, go study in India, and then later meet up with Van Gogh. Everyone around you is growing older so you must keep on the move so no one notices that you aren’t aging.

This very premise is explored in an interesting movie called The Man from Earth. The movie was made in 2007, and I would guess it wasn’t in theaters long, if at all, as I’m sure I would have gone to see it had I heard about it. I found in on Netflix…I just love Netflix!

The film begins with Professor John Oldman (David Lee Smith) packing up his things to move. Some of his colleagues have gathered around to wish him well and give him a farewell party. Someone notices a painting he is putting into his truck by Van Gogh with a note on the back “to my friend Jacques Borne” and this begins the questions.

His friends are all quizzing him about why he is leaving. John then poses this question, "What if a man, from the Upper Paleolithic survived until the present day?" Thinking he is working on a science fiction book they play along and keep asking him questions. These professors include an anthropologist, a biologist, a historian, an archeologist, a psychologist and a professor who is a devout Christian. John is able to answer all of the questions fielded to him and finally admits that he is this man. The conversation gets very interesting. Some find this idea interesting and agree that it can’t be proved or disproved. Others think John is crazy and should be locked up, but they have known him for 10 years and he has always seemed sane…until now.

As I watched this movie, I began wondering if I would believe someone who told me such a story. It feels unbelievable, but then I’ve been taught to believe anything is possible. What about you? Would you believe such a story? It’s an interesting film. If you decide to watch it, come back here and leave me a comment and let me know what you thought.