The Nature of Time -- Physical Time
Until the early 20th century and the publication of Einstein’s special theory of relativity, scientists believed that time was absolute and the events in the universe all ran as if the universe were a giant clock. Time was considered absolute. The measurement of the duration of events would be the same for everyone. Thanks to Einstein, we now know this is not the case. Scientific time is more subjective than previously thought. Two observers in motion relative to each other can obtain two different measurements for the duration of the same event. And what is occurring in the present for one observer may be occurring in the past or future for another observer.
Scientists now view an event in time as a point in a 4-dimensional space-time continuum. A point in the future is just as real as one in the past. Whether that point is the present, future, or past for you depends on its position relative to you in your coordinate system. For you it may be the future and for someone else in motion (extremely fast) relative to you, it may be perceived as the present. The accepted view is that one could actually travel into the distant future if the speed were sufficient. In fact, we are traveling into the future all the time, although it often seems to be painfully slow. However, due to paradoxes resulting from a violation of causality, most scientists do not believe that travel into the past is possible. We would have the inevitable question: Can one travel into the past and change the future? There is the famous ‘grandfather paradox’ in which someone travels back in time to keep their grandparents from meeting, thus preventing his or her own birth. There is speculation that with wormholes it might be possible to travel into the past, but if the past were changed, would it be the same life path or a different one. Maybe an alternate reality would be created in which you were never born, but the current reality also still exists. Actually, within certain limitations, we may be able to change the past as well as the future. However, this is a subject for another posting.
At this point, you may wonder what this has to do with dreams. I wanted to present the scientific view so when I write about visions or dreams of the future you will not think that it somehow violates science. It does not, but that does not mean that science understands how this occurs. Models have been proposed by eminent scientists that could potentially explain how one is able to see the future. However, currently there is no accepted theory. And not all believe it is possible, even if it does not violate scientific principles.
As I develop my perspective in these postings, I will describe my understanding of the mechanism that allows me to see the future with the understanding that the future seen is one that exists at that moment in time. As I live my life and make decisions, I am now at a new moment in time and the future I saw previously might have changed. So I can only say that I saw the probable future, the future that would occur if I did not change something that would affect the future I saw. You may think that I have reduced it to something that is meaningless because we are constantly having thoughts and making decisions. This is true but most people establish a course in life with very definite opinions and beliefs and seldom make substantive changes. Their beliefs and desires create a future that is quite determined, even if it is hidden from the conscious mind. They are following a very predictable course. Their conscious mind cannot hold enough information to enable them to see the consequences of all their beliefs, and often they are also blind to what is readily seen. I am sure you all have seen people, often family members, who you are certain will end up a certain unfortunate way later in life. And often they do, to their own dismay. They simply could not see what others could see. Now apply that to yourself with a subconscious mind that remembers everything you have ever done and said, and with a seemingly perfect ability to reach logical conclusions from the data it contains. It can indeed show you the future because it not only contains everything you have ever said and done, but it also can telepathically tap into others’ thoughts and desires and see potential future meetings and relationships.
The metaphysical view is that thoughts are things with a very real existence. At any point in time, we are on a path that extends far into the future. That path with all its encounters is very real. If we embark on a road not traveled before, we experience the buildings, people, and events on that road in time as we travel it. They already exist, but are not part of our experience yet. Now if we reach an intersection and leave that road, we encounter a different landscape and events. That intersection represents a decision point, and so it is with our lives. Visions can give us the broader view where we see what is coming on the particular path we chose. The path exists, but time does not because time is a construct that is part of our physical existence.