Me in my home office in March 2021 with Amelia, the time machine in my closet. Photo by my husband Brooks Palmer.

I dreamed I was shown a room with a desk and a chair. A voiceover in the dream calmly told me, “Time is like a room. If you want to avoid bumping into the chair when walking across the room, you can do that — but you have to know that there is a chair and where that chair is in the room.”

I asked a graphic artist to show how our perception of events relates to time as a landscape. In this conception the landscape exists, it is our perception of “what is happening” that moves across it. This kind of conception has been used to support the idea that events are predetermined, but this also could be one particular timeline that, while it exists perpetually, is not the only possibility.

My father couldn’t figure it out how ball lightning worked, so he resolved his cognitive dissonance by proclaiming that my mother didn’t actually see it. Like an attempt at retrocausally influencing the past, the theory simply didn’t allow the observation to have occurred in the first place.

I saw all my younger past selves lined up in front of me, and all my older future selves were lined up behind me. Their hearts were lit with a powerful glowing light. When I invited them closer, we connected at the level of our hearts and they walked into me. I felt strong, whole, and fully myself, containing my own multitudes.

A current-day map of time-travel technologies

Three types of time travel can fulfill these requirements: mental, informational, and physical time travel.

Figure 1: Results by ACEs scores (blue = adverse childhood experiences or ACEs score < = 2 [n=34]; diagonal stripe = ACEs >= 3 [n=26]). Improvement in physical symptoms of stress, feelings of unconditional love, overall wellness as well as the five factors from the Zimbardo time perspective inventory. Note that for “present fatalistic” the change was negative (less fatalistic) but negligible for the low-ACEs group and positive (more fatalistic) but negligible for the high-ACEs group; here absolute value of the changes are shown. Error bars show +/- 1 standard error of the mean (SEM) within participants. *=p<0.05, **=p<0.01,**=p<0.001 for paired t-tests. Asterisks above each error bar refer to that group alone.

For example, using photons to retrieve information about random future events seconds or minutes before they occur is an example of real informational time travel. That’s where Amelia comes in.

Figure 2. Baselined data from 3 combined experiments with error bars (+/- 1 S.E.M.). Purple = 0 observations post-decision, blue = 20 observations post-decision, green = 30 observations post-decision, orange = 60 observations post-decision. Each observation was 11 seconds long. Note that the decision about the ongoing duration of each run was made after the first 30 seconds, but the mean number of photons for the longest duration experimental run is significantly higher than the others throughout the pre- and post-decision period, even though there is no clear way that the photon detector can “know” about the duration of the the run until it is turned off.

I’m not a physicist — my background is in cognitive neuroscience — so I think about these things rather like a trained musician trying to paint.

The past recipients of a message or resource sent from the future via mental, informational, and/or physical time travel have to believe it was sent:

1. by those who have our best interests at heart, and

2. with knowledge of our current situation.

Otherwise, the message fails. That’s the critical juncture where the time wars come in — or not.

A visualization of a photon spread through time , which conveniently doubles as a visualization of unconditional love. Painting by Brooks Palmer.

How to avoid the time wars

Here’s the proposal I’m offering in all seriousness. We avoid the time wars by accessing unconditional love on a global scale.

In this way, discerning what it feels like when a message or resource is wrapped in unconditional love becomes a built-in self-correcting process; the key to avoiding time wars. Coincidentally, it’s probably the key to avoiding all other types of wars too, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves.

Affiliate Prof., Dept. of Physics and Biophysics at U. San Diego; Founder, The Institute for Love and Time (TILT); Fellow, Institute of Noetic Sciences

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