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Are We the Masters of Time? (Part 2)

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The mind gives us mastery over our lives far more than people recognize. It's unpopular to make such claims for the mind, because the fashion is to give all credit to the brain. In the first part of this post we argued that the mind, although invisible, is the true creator of reality, including the brain's reality.

Let's see how far this bold statement can take us.

There's no doubt that you possess hidden powers. You have mastered levels of nature you aren't aware of. When you reach for a piece of chocolate, your desire is carried out by your arm automatically. Yet away from your awareness, the motor cortex in your brain sent electro-chemical signals to your arm muscles. You aren't aware of this level of nature, but it obeys you nonetheless.

Going to an inner level, brain and muscle cannot do anything without thousands of chemical reactions taking place in every cell each second. These also obey your command to reach for a piece of chocolate. Since cells operate by creating new proteins and enzymes, we can say that you literally create whatever is needed to carry out your desires. There is no gap between what you want and what your body does. (When there is a gap, some disorder or disease process has created damage in the chain of command.) The quantum world, where atoms interact to form the building blocks of life, is open to consciousness.

Once we get to this ultra-subtle level of nature, more is coming into being than just particles and waves, although that is primarily what quantum physics studies. Time and space also come into being. Are they under the mind's command, also? We speak casually about people who rewrite the past to suit themselves. What if that is literally true?

In the laboratory, isolated experiments have shown that photons can travel from point A to point B without crossing the space in between: this is a rudimentary form of teleportation. In the same vein, when an observer performs the classic experiment that determines whether light will act as a wave or a particle (we discussed this in Part 1 of this post), the so-called observer effect can be delayed. A beam of light can wait until a second observer, using a second piece of equipment, makes a later observation. Then and only then does it "decide" to be a wave or particle.

Without going into complications, what is happening is a rudimentary way of changing the past. By delaying what will be observed, an action in the future is able to change an action in the past. History is literally rewritten. Of course, in both these cases, whether we are talking about teleportation or changing the past, the experiments are isolated and very tiny. Yet speculative thinking carries us to exciting possibilities.

In science fiction time travel is common, but in real life it supposedly can't exist. Why not? Because time travel runs into paradoxes. Here's a familiar one: if you travel back in time and kill your grandfather, you wouldn't be born. Since you were never born, you can't travel back in time to kill anybody, thereby negating your ability to not be born. A paradox. But in the rich spiritual tradition of India, there's a way out. One could rise to a level of consciousness that escapes the limitations of time. This so-called state of enlightenment exists in everyone, potentially. If any person is able to master time, by implication there must be a way to explain how it works.

The observer effect gives us a clue. Simply by looking at light in the laboratory, and doing nothing else, an observer can determine whether the light is a wave or particle. There's nothing special about light being shone in a lab. Ordinary light is affected by the observer effect. In fact, everything you are looking at right now depends upon you to exist.

This includes not just objects and events but time itself. Time didn't create you; you created time. Other sentient beings would perceive time in totally different ways. Why, then, do two people agree when they look at their watches? Because as life forms, we are set up to repeat the perceptions of our ancestors. Our brains are the depository of all the realities that have been experienced over two billion years. DNA makes us who we are, in terms of brain activity. However, our every action alters DNA at the same time.

In this case, we cannot tell the dancer from the dance, to paraphrase the poet W.B. Yeats. His famous line even implies the observer effect: "O brightening glance, how can we know the dancer from the dance?" Sitting here in the present, you and I aren't aware of being the masters of time, but if we knew our consciousness deeply enough, we would see it. After all, before the advent of microscopes, no one would have believe that thinking "I want some chocolate" depends upon mastery of quantum reactions.

The latest Nobel Prize in physics was given for the basic discovery of how photons can carry information through fiber optic cables. That represents the state of current knowledge. The late Herms Romijn, a brilliant Dutch neurologist, surmised that photons also carry consciousness. They interface everyday reality with the quantum world and beyond to the realm of intelligence, information, and awareness.

You aren't aware that you create the scent of a rose by smelling it, or that what you decide today can alter something you did yesterday. None of us were raised to think that way. But as speculative thinkers, backed up by thousands of years of spiritual insight and the most current experimental evidence, we believe that thinking can be changed. It must. As long as we remain prisoners of materialism, destined to obey random events and subatomic interactions over which we have no power, the true nature of mind will be distorted. More importantly, we will postpone the day when we can master every level of nature through no more than the wisp of a thought and the power of an intention.

Published in the San Francisco Chronicle

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