All right it’s time to scratch your brain a bit. This blog might stretch some grey matter which means you will either struggle around a bit and perhaps agree with me or end up saying that’s all interesting and might work for a novel or two. Some will end up saying, “What a load of bull shit.” and walk away.
I’ve found that when I talk about time more than a few people have trouble with my concept of it. It’s like my image of clowns. As a child, I thought clowns were magical. They pulled laughter out of everyone with their buffoonery. Their appearance always made me smile whether I wanted the colorful morons to or not.
My university studies came along and I took a course on theatrical makeup. I learned that regardless of how funny a clown was, they had to have something in their face that was somehow sad, some kind of tragedy. I checked it out, and there it was – a tear, a grimace, maybe a frown. It was there, except for the clown used for advertising of a fast food chain. Perhaps that’s why that particular clown always seemed, even more, one dimensional than usual.
I also learned where clowns came from. There is a type of theatre that originated in Italy – The Commedia dell’arte. In this art form, all of the actors wore masks that represented stock characters. Punch and Judy were two of them. Another was Arlecchino, a crude and often obscene womanizer who later in France grew to be the Harlequin. This character had softened edges in his later years and had a partner, Clown, who became the comic foil for Harlequin the suave, debonair romancer.
Anyway, I’m rambling.
The clown of today appears most often as a horror figure, one who frightens children and adults alike. This is not even close to the clown I loved as a child. I’m not one of those who clowns terrorize, but I am someone among the many that rejects the newfound image of the much beloved funny character. I know that image is there, but I refuse to be drawn into it.
What does this have to do with time? It’s because several of you will reject my concept of time just as I reject the modern clown.
Most people think of time as a long line of minutes, displayed one after another ad infinitum. However, try to take that line and bend it into a circle and then make that circle into a sphere. That sphere is closer to the visualization I see as time.
Now, as that image soaks in, let me develop it. Things don’t happen one minute after another. They happen simultaneously. Chronology happens to be what we cling to because individual moments tend to connect, much like a series of magnets will connect as their opposite poles attract. That line of magnets seem to belong as that long line, but keep in mind they are still individual magnets and autonomous.
Everything happens at once, says I?
The entirety of time happens at the same instant, one point. Yes. All at the same time. Let us say you stand in the center of a sphere, and in every direction you look (up, down, sideways, forward, or backward) there is another instant of time happening. Each one of these may, or may not, connect with any that happen to exist around them.
The final touch is that since everything happens at once, things are free to move around in their order of that point.
Why would I want to visualize things like this? Because it happens to solve a few conundrums. For example: during all of this, free will can not only happen it runs rampant. But since everything happens at the same time, consequences are also set as if solidly directed like fate. Thus both free will and destiny show themselves to be in full-scale operation.
Another thing it appears to answer, or at least make easy to explain, how do prophets of old (and if you check, every religion has them) how do they see the future? Or if that is not to your taste; how about deja vu. Ever find anyone that has not had that happen to them? I didn’t think so.
Could all of this be as simple as looking across a non-linear timeline that by nature is jumbled in unforeseen ways?
Well, did your brain shy away from things? Can you see time in a new way? If you can you may not be able to un-see it.
What I do know is: I use this concept when I develop my novels. It may not be a focal point of them, but somewhere woven in the fabric of the background story you can probably find my concept of time.
Have you read my first book yet? The Sigma Factor has the time concept bouncing around the chapters that Sibyl is at home with her life. The Zero Sum also has the concept although it is much less blatant. See if you can find it. I think you will enjoy the hunt.
Like it or not, everyone sees time as something different than the person next to them. How do you visualize time now?