We’ve talked about how we create our own reality and how time is something we’ve invented ‘to stop everything happening at once’ to paraphrase American scientist John Wheeler. Theories such as the holographic universe point to our consciousness existing outside of our own bodies as part of a universal consciousness – in other words, a benign version of The Matrix. Now, in an intriguing series of experiments, scientists appear to have uncovered evidence that what we consider our consciousness, does in fact exist outside of time – or perhaps more accurately, what we consider time to be.
Our brains create our own version of reality but what this really means is that we are actually living outside of time! The fact we think we live in the present, that the past is gone and the future is yet to happen is in fact an illusion. Einstein told us that ‘past, present and future exist simultaneously’ and these new experiments appear to show that this genius was once again, correct. Think about it. Information reaches us at different speeds. Let’s say you see a flash of lightning. By the time you register that flash it is actually in the past but you think it is in the present. Another example is a ‘live’ television broadcast. There is actually a lag between what is happening ‘live’ and you watching it on TV of about a minute. This allows channels to censor it if necessary. Our experience of ‘reality’ works in exactly the same way. There is a lag between what is actually happening and what our brain tells us is happening. In other words, what you think of as happening may never have actually happened.
Scientists found evidence of this in a series of experiments called the ‘flash-lag’ illusion where a screen displays a rotating disc with an arrow on it and a spot of light flashes every time the spinning arrow conjuncts it. Yet, this isn’t what we see, The flash lags behind, apparently occurring after the arrow has passed. Then David Eagleman of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and Terrence Sejnowski of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California took this experiment one step further. They started the arrow and moved it after the flash but participants perceived its movement in whatever direction it went in before the flash actually happened! How could they predict which way it would go if tit didn’t actually start until after the flash? The answer to this paradox appears to be that what we perceive to occur at a certain time is influenced by what happens next – in other words we are observing the present from the future!
We go through life on the basis that we exist in the present yet it would seem that at the very moment you are reading this you are in fact ‘out of time’. Not only that the implications just go on and on. Not only do you not inhabit the present moment, the ‘you’ you think is inhabiting it doesn’t exist there either!
Science, spirituality and consciousness studies appear to be converging but the exciting message for us all is that we are all far more than we ever dreamed possible and part of an inter-connected creation that exists forever – outside of time.
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