Retrocausality, flower before seed

The-Time-Machine

This is for what was and for what could be. For what could have been and what it could have become. For what I miss and for what may come. But more importantly this is for now, as this instant is the anchor for both past and present. Now is all we have.

So, it is now my pleasure to invite you in another journey of thoughts. An exploration of time, with a different dynamic than what we are used to. A different natural order of events, or better said an alternative perception of time. A journey so strange which may potentially stretch, bend or break our current paradigm of thinking. After all, the consciousness stretched by a new idea may never return to it’s previous dimension.

We have been conditioned to perceive time as a linear process. A one way street on which we all pass through in our life journey, leaving behind an irreversible collection of events. We are thought that no one and no thing can escape time and that everything is bound to it’s temporal orientation (past > present > future). As might be expected, one can think of some things which may prove to be an exception to this rule. The gravitational pull of black hole is so powerful that not even light can escape it. It is said that time slows down as one approaches a black hole, ultimately reaching a stop at the event horizon. But slowing down time and potentially stopping it, does not really change the orientation of it’s linear continuum. A more interesting concept is that of the hypothetical particle called Tachyon. Such a particle may travel faster than the speed of light, thus making time travel (backwards or forwards) possible. If Tachyons really exist one could possibly build  a tachyonic antitelephone which is a hypothetical device which could be used to send signals into one’s past.

Of course, these are just theories which are backed up by consensus knowledge of theoretical physics. These theories and concepts are not consistent with the known laws of physics and may cause paradoxes in our understanding of causality. But just because we are not (yet) able to comprehend such ideas doesn’t necessarily imply impossibility. After all, most of the things which we perceive as absolute sources of truth are substantially based on conventions. Consensual agreements based on mind made theories which are based on our perception of logic. Our collective belief systems shape the way we perceive reality and our sense of true or false, of right and wrong. But does that make it real? Not so long ago most of us believed that the Earth was flat. As our collective mental faculties evolved over time we came to realise a deeper truth. Is this set in stone? Of course not, it’s not implicit that our mind processes will continue to evolve. There are a lot of debasers out there (check this out). Who knows what might become of this absolute truth or others of similar regard.

One may argue that reality is something that never changes after you stop believing in it. But is that true? Or does that even mater in the context of our experience? If we believe in something strong enough, what is becomes worthless. Many theories in science but also in religious or spiritual texts promote the idea that we shape reality with out thoughts. It’s a very empowering idea, one of my personal favourites which I incorporated high up in my own web of belief systems. But with great power, comes great responsibility.

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.

Gauthama Buddha

So, can you have a flower before the seed? Can you do something now and affect the past, or do something in the future that would alter the present?

In theoretical physics there’s a concept called retrocausality which is basically a hypothetical phenomena or process that allows and effect to occur before it’s cause (retro-causation). This term is regarded as a philosophical idea but it is based on elements of physics. Paradoxes in time travel theories address a similar topic which is also mentioned in retrocausality discussions. A good example is the grandfather paradox which is the most popular paradox of time travel theories.

grandfather_paradox

There are also more wacky theories linked to it, like the Mandela effect (see Collective false memories topic) which (in some theories) uses retrocausality to explain why the Mandela effect is happening. The Mandela effect refers to collective false memory, in which a large number of people share false memories of past events. There are a lot of people thinking that there’s a big conspiracy going on and that our current timeline is being tempered with. The most viral and funniest of examples refers to the popular Star Wars quote:

Oh, snap! You thought Vader is going to say “Luke, I am your father”, didn’t you? It turns out we got it all wrong haha. There’s even an official website where you can find many other Mandela effects.

But leaving monkey business aside, I still think that retrocausality is an interesting thought experiment. Even if it proves to have no scientific base whatsoever, it is still a valuable philosophical exercise because it has to do, most importantly, with how we perceive time. Time is nothing more than a conventional metering of natural or mechanical processes. One day is the process in which our planet completes one rotation around it’s axis. One year is the process in which our planet completes its orbit around the sun. Because we live to see a limited number of sunrises and an even shorter number of seasons in our lifetimes, we attributed a deep meaning to time.

More importantly, time is the most indispensable convention by witch our society functions. Having this universal convention has helped our evolution since the earliest of times. From the earliest stages of sedentary societies, which used time measurements for agriculture purposes to the complex technology we have today.

the-disintegration-of-the-persistence-of-memory

The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory – Salvador Dali, 1954

Culturally, time has a similar notoriety associated to it, being everlastingly present in our art, lifestyle and technology. From Dali’s melting clocks, to the very materialistic saying “time is money” our minds are bound to it.

Having all this backlog of mental conditioning, it is very difficult to snap out of this paradigm of thinking and try to reconsider or reformulate it in a non-confusing way. Everything that we experience and everything there is, just happens. There’s no master clock watching over everything. In the grander scheme of things, there’s just one manifestation of something, which I believe has no particular end or beginning. We know too little about existence in general and those who claim to know more may actually know less.

If you would ask me if it’s possible for a flower to blossom even before planting it’s seed, I would say yes. Even more so if we (all decide to) believe it to be true. Life is what we make of it. I prefer to be a romantic myself and indulge in this type of ideas and enrich my imagination with endless possibilities (even if just in my mind), instead of limiting it with theories of right and wrong. Doest that make me loony? Maybe.

time-machine

P.S.: Because it like to dip my mind in all sorts of places, some time ago I came across this documentary: Athene’s Theory Of Everything. It’s on the subject of conscious experience and perception. Although it’s not peer reviewed and not scientifically nor philosophically rigorous, many of it’s conclusions are supported by links to articles and papers in the field of neuroscience. Also, please note that this documentary is made by an online celebrity, most commonly known for being a professional gamer and poker player. It’s still and interesting documentary nevertheless, but just treat it as one’s personal opinion or rant.

My meditation experiment

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I’ve been experimenting with meditation for more than three years now. Since I came across the idea and read about it a bit, I developed a curiosity for it. So I started doing it myself, but it was always on and off, and I felt like I didn’t really had a clue what I was doing. How can I know if I’m getting there if I’m not sure what I am supposed to experience. My impression of it was mostly of what I read about it. And of course you have some many variations and flavours to it, which may confuse a beginner.

So I decided to just find the most basic and simple way of doing it and thus I reduced my practice to only a few basic principles which I found reflected in most texts. Over time, as I continued doing it, I started feeling some positive effects in my body. I felt a passing feeling of mental clarity and a release of tension in my body. My problem was that I was unable to commit to a daily practice or (not even) a constant one thus I could not feel any actual “progress”.

Before we progress with my story, this is the part where I give you a word before about meditation. A state of meditation happens when one focuses his or hers attention on a particular object, most commonly focusing on one’s breath cycles and the sensory stimuli of the body. Other forms may involve chanting, repeating a mantra or a prayer. Most having a common goal of achieving a clear mental state and calm feeling in the body. Other more higher goals of meditation are seen as a path to awakening or nirvana.

There are also numerous health benefits associated to meditation and many other more spiritual and with less scientific base that evangelise around the subject. It’s one of those subjects that you can spend a lifetime researching and you would still not get to the bottom of it. That’s why, dear reader I prefer to break the circle of evangelists of any kind and let you dive in if your curiosity thirsts for it.

My reasoning for practicing meditation can be contoured in many layers, however curiosity seems to be the most reoccurring theme. So I’ll just pin it to that, curiosity.

As part of my personal development, I do weekly sessions of psychotherapy. I think it’s a good way for me to connect inwards and get to know myself better, ask better questions. Another cool part of my weekly sessions is that we sometimes try out cool stuff, like hypnosis or try to measure that if by practicing meditation I can increase my happiness levels.

The experiment was designed to take six weeks. In these six weeks I was supposed to meditate on a daily basis, or at least try to get close to a daily average (and no, meditating multiple times in a day to make up for last days doesn’t count). Each week, I would have my therapy sessions and at the end I would complete two short questionnaires. The questions were designed to measure my personal happiness level and how I evaluate the therapy session I just took.

The happiness questionnaire would measure happiness metrics related to satisfaction in different interpersonal relations (friends, family, colleagues etc.) as well as general satisfaction with life.

The therapy evaluation questionnaire would ask if I felt understood and listened to, if I feel the advice given is helpful, if I felt the session helped in any way.

Forming a habit is not that easy, at least for me. I managed to get an average of 5 days a week, usually skipping it in the weekends when I have no structure in my schedule and I like to be super lazy. So, six weeks later after I started my meditation experiment, the results looked like this:

Screen Shot 2017-12-27 at 10.30.55 PM

*The circles refer to my happiness metric and the squares refer to my satisfaction with the therapy sessions. 

A few observations:

  • I started a bit depressed as I just ended my six year relationship this summer;
  • On the 31st of October it’s probably good to note that I was particularly depressed about something, it’s interesting to see how pleased I was with my therapy session as opposed to my emotional state;
  • When I first started the experiment I used to meditate at the end of the day, after my third week, I naturally switched to a morning routine;
  • I made up my own mantra at the advice of my therapist and it helped me to regain focus during my practice;
  • After my third week, some evenings, I had a natural desire to meditate again as a craving for relaxation of some sort;
  • At the end of the six weeks I was indeed happier.

Was I more happier at the end of the experiment? It seems so. Does this matter as much as it did when I started? Not really. Why? Because during this experiment I came to understand that meditation is not about making or measuring “progress”, or about doing it well, or for long periods of time or multiple times a day or being a zen master. I must admit, I went through a few paradigm changes to arrive to this conclusion. I came to realise that meditation is about taking care of yourself, taking a moment for you, to stop, relax and just be.

Namaste

slow breathing

omega-to-the-omega

let’s breathe slower, stretch time with our breaths

going lower and deeper as we progress,

in this process of time alteration

for eternal contemplation

of this momentary blissful connection

images

who cares how long it will last

if it burns away fast

with our magic super powers

we can make minutes last for hours

and turn seconds into eternity

and kisses times infinity

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our love will last forever, condensed

in this moment, like a passing season

like summer before autumn, suppressed

from eternal liberation, of this time limitation

our mortal condemnation, our godly adaptation

to this gruesome situation, a true challenge

for our minds to cope with this knowledge

151007110920_1_900x600

life is bitter and sweet

choose wise who you will meet

is better to make your journey feel good

that actually getting where you should

because it is too short

to wear shoes that hurt

1

creative jizz

hey young man

don’t throw away your creative jizz

in a moment like a sneeze

without thinking what it is

jizz2

go on an exploration

channel passion in inspiration

desire in motivation

jizz3

discover your creative land

don’t do it with the palm of your hand

it’s not a wise way to use a magic wand

jizz5

paint your forests

sculpt the mountains

carve the waters

light your stars

jizz4

open up your universe

make it a multiverse, written like a verse

it’s yours, written with your own words

in the vibration of your own cords

jizz1

seed of mind

energy of hearth

suave por fuera

Seed-of-Life.svg
mi pulso es fuerte, se escucha
mi alma es calma
no me da guerra, ni lucha
m1
me siento diferente
tengo algo en mi mente
,m2
es una obsesion mental
una addcion del corazón
una atraccion sin razón
m3
es nuestra naturaleza
que emborracha la cabeza
la simbiosis de dos seres humanos
que juntos dan más calor que mil vulcanos
el mantel mas caliente
totalmente diferente
de lo que conoci siempre
m4
de nuevo, mi mente es distraída
mis piensamientos no tienen vuelta
solo ida…
una vez mas, por mis venas corre vida
m5
queres bailar tango,
con un mango?