I’ll begin with a quote which was stated by the extraordinary Carl Sagan- “What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is a proof that humans are capable of working magic.” [Cosmos,part 11, The persistence of memory]…quite something, isn’t is? Yet its the simplest form of observation possible. True…only a few pages to connect humans dead and alive. Thoughts, ideas, creativity and passion…all delivered through those thin sheets which were brought into shape from distant trees in far away lands.
Also, something I derived from such great words is the fact that most things present in the human world, strive to bring the lost messages of the ancients back to us. These “things” that I talk of are random everyday stuff…only yesterday, I happened to stumble upon a speech by Swami Vivekananda delivered in the World Parliament of Religions, Chicago. I listened intently to every word and every sound…not because of the great words themselves, not even because I was hearing a legend speak.
I listened intently because I was gradually realizing, how an ordinary combination of waves, was sending me miles and centuries away from my present location in time and space. One simple voice clip…and I was suddenly in September 11th, 1893. I heard the host welcome the Swami, and then there was the thunderous sound of claps and finally came the clear and booming voice of the Swami himself. The exact sequence of all the sounds that occurred that day was occurring again…centuries after that! I was in the hall of the parliament and in my room at the same instant of time!…and this definitely wasn’t anything short of magic.
Indeed, “humans are capable of working magic”…and its so common now, that we simply don’t observe it. When I was a kid, unlike all other kids, I never believed in Santa. In fact I secretly laughed at those who had faith in this “fairy tail-ish” stuff!…and now, unlike all other grown ups, I believe in Santa’s existence. Definitely not the one who jumps from one chimney to the other delivering gifts…but that Santa who jumps from one mind to the other delivering the gift of idea and faith- “Yes, there is magic. You live in a magical world.”. I wish the kids never stopped believing…
Coming back, other than voice clips, images and books, our very own mind is one of the major factors which helps us warp time. Now you’d of course say, “I was never able to turn time with my mind!!”…but that’s what we always do- we go back. Remember those moments when you felt nostalgic?…or had memories which made you feel exactly the way you did while living those images? If you cannot remember, then think of some strong experiences now…did you feel those similar vibes? (They can be much weaker or stronger of course.) Well, also, if you didn’t feel a thing, I’d have to say that your brain is not that great in firing up sequences!
Our brain is the most efficient time machine that we’ve got…our own personal time machine! When we live a certain moment, our mind registers it (physically and chemically) and stores it in a proper sequence. When we select one file from the deep vault of memories and bring it up for observation, the same sequences in the brain get fired up. The memory (or smell, or house, or…you get it, right?) is sort of like the start button perhaps! Thus, as the same sequences function in the mind, the brain commands the body to act accordingly and in response the body releases the same set of hormones or triggers certain physical feelings (pain, etc.) in non-injured parts of the body…and voila! you’re back to were you were years ago! Well, all of it is a mixture of fact and theory but still our mind remains the most innovative part of our being. Just like the voice clips or books or even films, our mind make us live the moments which are years and miles apart from the present. I do not really know if time is an illusion, but sequences definitely create the illusion of warping time.
Its time to believe now , and with rational thinking, humans CAN travel time, and humans HAVE traveled time. Believe in the magic that’s around you…and inside you.
Authored by: Samadrita Ghosh
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