Does anyone else have the feeling that they’re inadvertently following some kind of elaborate treasure trail through life?
It’s as if Someone or Something is littering your lifetime with clues and markers that will lead you in a particular direction and towards significant discoveries.
I’ve had that feeling for most of my life. I know all experience is important and all that but, you know, some things have an extra special feel, and some inner mechanism lights up a little flashing LED that signifies, ‘Notice this. You’re going to need it later on.’
I’m going to follow the path – as best I can – of one of my own ‘treasure trails’. You are very welcome to join me on my journey.
Clue 1: I was 17 years old, and had just discovered TS Eliot’s poetry. The Eng. Lit. A-level syllabus involved forensic study of texts, to extricate all possible layers of meaning. Quite a task with Eliot, but a wholly fascinating and satisfying one.
I can vividly recall the shock waves that ran through my body on first reading the opening lines of Burnt Norton:
“Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.”
The next line spoke of time being “eternally present”. He was quoting (according to our English teacher) the ideas of Heraclitus, founder of Metaphysics and believer in eternal flux.
I was stunned, amazed, numbed by the significance of those words. For me the world had changed. I wasn’t sure how or why, but I knew I’d just been handed a valuable pointer, and I’d find out more one day.
Clue 2: Fast forward about 30 years. (I’m sure there were other clues between – some I’ve forgotten and many I missed – but the wonder of this system is that no matter how many hints and tips we miss, there will always be others dangled in our path, until we finally notice.) Even with my sluggish and myopic way of moving through life, I realised that I was being pushed towards reading a particular book. References to it were cropping up everywhere.
To be honest, the title was putting me off a bit. It was called Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch. I was expecting something earnest, slushy and religious. Fortunately, the book was none of these. It was a channelled work, quoting a ‘God’ who differed markedly from the one Sunday school teachers had tried to fob me off with. This God was authentic, witty, fun, always wise and often outrageous. Many parts stood out, but the words relevant to my present trail came near the start of Book Two:
“There is no time. All things exist simultaneously. All events occur at once.”
There it was again! First a poet and an ancient philosopher, now God – all telling me something that seemed impossible and yet perfectly right at the same time.
Now the indications started to come thick and fast – mainly because by this point I was actively on the lookout for them.
Clue 3: A lifetime’s disinterest in science became a fascination when I discovered the space-time continuum, relativity and fractals. True, I needed all this to be delivered in the most basic form for it to be intelligible to me, but gradually it opened my mind to time being, at the very least, something wobbly and variable rather than an absolute.
When things start to go blurry at the edges, I begin to get interested; that’s the place I want to explore.
Science also had some helpful quotes. Einstein said:
“People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
and he had a still more pithy explanation for that illusion:
“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”
Clue 4: More channelled material. It didn’t seem to matter where it came from – the messages were the same. Jane Roberts, channelling Seth, was stating that yes, we all have many lifetimes, and spaces in between, but that these events were/are/will be all happening at once.
So for ‘past lives’ should we read ‘alternate present lives’? Oh good grief!
Clue 5: I met the boy. I had an unusual but very close friendship with a youngster who had been in a class I used to teach. Not only did he share my fascination with the bendiness of time and the existence of alternate lives – he personally experienced them. He had the most brilliant mind and for several years was kind enough to share his thoughts and experiences with me.
He told me of experiencing involuntary – and highly confusing – ‘slips’ between one reality and another. (Readers of my book will perhaps recall the train ticket story as an example of this.)
He told me of the 4th dimension where “time becomes fractal and there is no distinction between past, present and future”. He explained that once someone could interact with this dimension,
“…they could eliminate the normal journey time involved for travel between two points. As if time is the same at somebody’s destination as their origin, the move between the two points is instantaneous.”
Finally, I had enough information to put my book – Life: A Player’s Guide – together, including plenty of material on time, and the curious way in which it only exists in our imagined reality. Like taste, sight and smell, it seemed to be no more than a helpful feedback system for exploring corporeal life, and one that would cease to have any meaning or importance once we shed this mortal coil and moved beyond. Possibly it was even something we could warp and bend a bit while still here…
I wasn’t finished yet. The treasure trail clues kept coming.
Clue 6: As I mentioned in another post, I was recently handed a copy of ‘One’ by Richard Bach. This, too, explores the idea of parallel lives which could, if we knew the way, be accessed from ‘now’.
Clue 7: Attending one of those ‘evenings of clairvoyance’ that come up every now and then (so to speak) , I watched as the medium connected to various people’s grannies and parents, giving detailed accounts of their lives that were obviously deeply meaningful to the recipients.
One member of the audience asked why these ladies and gents were still hovering around ‘beyond the veil’, waiting to give accounts of their – it has to be said – rather trivial ailments and idiosyncrasies. “Why haven’t any of them reincarnated?” she asked.
The medium didn’t answer. She side-stepped. She began talking of her own past lives. The questioner had a good point, though. The thought of spending eternity queuing up patiently on the other side of the veil at seances to get the chance to tell your great-niece how happy you are and that the tummy spasms no longer affect you doesn’t appeal much, does it?
It only makes sense if we can accept that we can exist in all places and times, all the time… and that tends to send us a little crazy.
I still have plenty of unanswered questions. Where does all this leave karma, for example? Can there have been a beginning – Big Bang or whatever – if there’s no time?
I wonder how many more clues the mysterious treasure trail organiser will drop in my path before I figure it out …
If you’re one of the people who is holding any of those clues for me, do let me know, won’t you? 🙂