The Paradox of Time

As a child, I constantly thought about time travel. At times, it consumed my mind for days on end. Being glued to computer games, this wouldn’t come as a surprise — I was exposed to the concept of travel in spacetime regularly. I questioned the fact that we, the superior human race, had not come up with an apparatus with the ability to transport human beings as independent entities in spacetime just yet.

It’s a hard thing for a child to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Even as an adult, I find this problematic. There most definitely are moments where my fantasy dominates the real world. At times, the distinguishment itself feels like a mere formality.

Naturally, I found some astonishing ways on how travel in spacetime could improve my day-to-day life situation. The most promising one being able to travel directly from the school bench to my computer desk, so I could conquer the digital world more efficiently — without the delay in time for transportation.

As the years pass by, dreams are altered through experiences and changes of paradigms. Today, I would much rather use time travel to make the world, and my personal life, more beautiful and rich.

To go back in the past and undo actions that brought one nothing but pain. To experience what is written in the history books. To go into the future and experience what is to come.

Every day that passes by seems to increase my cluelessness of the concept of time. At times, it feels like nothing but an abstract and unnecessary concept. Thoughts wrap around my mind like moving water soothes the bottom of the ocean — leaving it untouched but altered at the very same time. Nothing but time itself can reveal that accumulated impact of my thoughts on the concept of time.

It is everything and nothing. When life feels like an endless loop, time seems to be nothing but the closest thing to nothingness — and still, consumes one’s mind at every moment. When life flies past with intense velocity, one does not even recognise its persistent presence — although, its grip is tightening for every second.

The inability of the human mind to store and display memories as clear and sound images with accurate playback strengthens my questioning on the concept of time. How can we view time as linear if we ourselves are incapable of storing the mere memories of the past in a linear manner?

At times, the past is nothing but the blurry afterglow of what has been, and I’ll argue that this it is its main constraint and main purpose at the very same time. Reassessing memories, and breaking the blurry loop of one’s memories, would arguably cause a lot of confusion. In the end, it would become problematic to distinguish between what is real and what is not in a time where travel in spacetime was possible. If memories could be viewed as a present reality rather than an intellectual concept, the concept of reality itself would be distorted.

In some ways, our urge and need to capture the surrounding world in pictures and movies could be seen as a desperate effort to relive our abstract memories. They are used as tools to sharpen the blurry pictures in our memories, consisting of small glimpses of what was real in the past present.

But what if we were able to go into captured images and movies, and live in the memories themselves? How would this impact the present reality that you’re physically living in? If you were able to relive your most adventurous, happy and loving moments once again — would you?

I argue you would. And that’s the paradox. With travel in spacetime available for the masses, the present reality would have to rival with everyone’s most loving memories. How could the blunt reality of everyday life battle with our most precious memories? It probably can’t. And this is problematic — as we then would never strive to create even more beautiful memories, but rather relive the ones we are sure will give us nothing but pleasure.

Maybe, it’s better to limit time travel to the nature of our minds — and instead, discover the beauty of the present moment.

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