Time (part 2)
In the first post on time we pictured time as a series of rooms, one after the other connected by doors. As you walk into a new room the door behind you is locked forever in the past and the future awaits through the next doorway. Now imagine that instead of one exit out of the room or present that there are multiple doorways for you to choose from. Each door leading to a new room again filled with more doors, branching constantly in new directions with new paths to choose from. Now we have options to choose from on which door to take, which room to go into. Instead of being forced along a singular path we have the power of choice. Instead of a singular route through the doors there are always different paths and directions that one can choose to move in with the only exception being the door you entered through. As before in the idea of B-series time all of the rooms already exist and it is up to you to decide which room you end up in.
This idea of multiple rooms simply waiting for you to choose and enter is similar to the idea one of the possibilities of a multiverse, the idea that every branching path of your life exists and you yourself are just living one of those versions. In the many-worlds interpretation of the multivers there are multiple versions of you reading this just as you yourself are and there are nearly other versions of you doing different things. Even the most outlandish acts are being done by some of your doppelgangers, some are robbing banks and committing crimes while others are the President, inventors, celebrities, etc. The choices that they made in their life as well as the circumstances around them allowed them to be something, someone else entirely. The differences can be as small as whether you brushed your teeth this morning or not to even something as different as whether you are still alive or not. Depending on what choices you made you are on a different branch of your life. Small decisions become major ones as each one compounds on one another creating a very different you.
“Anything can happen now that we’ve slid over this bridge, anything at all…”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald,
The idea of the multiverse is pleasing to most people as it creates a version of us with no regrets. A version of us that made the ‘right’ choices in life and is happier than we are with our present version. Unfortunately no matter how similar those other versions of us are, they are not us as the experiences and choices that they have and made, made them different from us. They do not share the same memories and thoughts as we do. So while the idea of a ‘perfect’ version of us is pleasant we are still here, living our own unique lives.
We are in a single room at any given moment and the other versions of us are in different rooms as they chose different doors to go through. We do however have choices in front of us even though there are none behind. Which door will we choose to step through which future shall we make? Most of us lead our lives opening the closest door or the easiest one to step through, the path of least resistance and struggle. We are akin to a leaf floating down the river of time not knowing which direction it flows, where it turns and branches off, but like that floating on a river we can paddle and swim against the current to go where we want to go. If the idea of multiple worlds or universes is true than not only are multiple instances of the past and present true, but also the future. While we may not be where we want to be in our lives in the present the options are all there in the future not as maybes or possibilities but as actual real occurrences that you only need to reach. Not the President yet in this version of reality? It doesn’t matter as there is a future version with you as the starting point who becomes President. The real difference in making an effort is knowing whether or not you will succeed.
“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
In the idea of the future already existing and an almost infinite number of possibilities already existing all it takes is finding the correct doors to walk through. We can however make a difference in the course of our lives. Each new door and room doesn’t have to be a complete mystery. There is a pattern, if you look hard enough and we can map a way to rooms we would like to be in. The rooms that we pass through might not be pleasant and some doorways are harder to enter than others, yet with perseverance we can reach the final destination of our choice.