As you know from my previous newsletter, my beloved dog, Oscar, passed away last month. Up until now I’ve not wanted to write too much about it but I now want to share an insight his passing gave me into the nature of time.
Oscar passed peacefully with Elizabeth & I by his side, stroking his ears and kissing him on the side of the head. We lay by his side for a while afterwards.
During this time I had a moment of utmost clarity. It was a sense that we were there with him on the ‘other side’. It all had to do with bendy time. Bendy time?
For us, on Earth, time runs forwards as a series of moments. Our experience of time, in large part, has to do with the way our brains process information as a series of moments. But the reality of time may be something quite different.
Over the past few years, physicists have succeeded in seemingly changing the past. They have shown that choices made in the present seem to affect what happened in the past. If you want more understanding of this and how it relates to us, I wrote about it in my book, Is Your Life Mapped Out? Unravelling the Mystery of Destiny vs Free Will. The experiments are known as, ‘Delayed Choice’ experiments, based on the theories of the physicist, John Archibald Wheeler.
Ultimately, the experiments show that time is interconnected – the past, the present, and the future seem to be all rolled into one and that movements are being made all the time from future to past, past to future, present to future and present to past.
Think of time like a piece of paper. To get from one side to the other you have to move across the paper, which takes time. But say you pierce a hole in each of the two ends of the page and then take those two ends and bring them together so that they’re touching. You can now move instantly from one side of the page to the other simply by passing through the hole.
Space and time both work like that. Such a thing is known in cosmology as an Einstein-Rosen bridge. It’s the idea that Star Trek ‘Warp’ engines are based on.
But how does this relate to our experiences?
In my books and in some of my blogs, I have made no secret of the fact that I believe our consciousness is not constrained inside our heads as a side-effect of brain chemistry. To this end, I also believe that our consciousness survives after we pass away. And I believe the same is true for animals. In fact, I believe that consciousness animates all matter and all life.
The brain acts more like a receiver, just as a TV aerial or a radio receives signals. The movie that you watch on TV is actually smeared out over the atmosphere as electromagnetic information. Your TV simply tunes to the signal and it then appears on your screen.
What you are – your nature, your essence, your being – is smeared throughout the universe. You are infinite in time and space. It only feels like you’re ‘in’ a body because you ‘have’ a body right now. When earthly life expires for them, people who pass away are free of the constraints of the brain and are able to experience themselves as more expanded and not limited in time or space. For them, our future is their present.
When Oscar passed, I had a sense that in some ways he didn’t even notice. That on the ‘other side’ he met Elizabeth and myself. He was freed from the constraints of time. It was as if the paper bent so that the time of Oscar’s passing was the same ‘times’ as our individual passings.
Freed from the constraints of the brain and its experience of time-as-a-series-of-consecutive-moments, our loved ones when they pass are free to move from one side of the page to the other, from one time to another, from the ‘time’ of their passing to the ‘time’ of yours. To them it’s the same ‘time’.
I sensed that Oscar wasn’t missing his Mummy and Daddy because he is with his Mummy and Daddy, even though that ‘time’ for each of us hasn’t occurred yet. Maybe when our time is up on this Earth, we are met not just by deceased loved ones, but by those who are still on earth. Perhaps as families we all enter the Earthly realm at the same ‘time’ and we all leave at the same ‘time.
Maybe my thinking around all this is just my way of coping with the pain of losing Oscar. Who knows? We all try to find a way to feel peace, to be happy. That’s what many self-help strategies are all about. They’re not just about changing your life, earning lots of money, getting your dream job, meeting the ideal partner, etc, but about helping you to find ways to emotionally navigate a course through your life.
Maybe that’s what I’m doing. Believing that Oscar is safe and well and with us on the other side brings me some comfort. I also know that many others see things differently, in ways that bring them comfort. Who is to say that one way is more correct than another?
It’s a little like religion. Who is to say that one path is better than another, or more ‘right’ than another. Each of us need to find paths that put us at ease, that help us to get the most enjoyment out of life.
I think this is why we can get so heated at times about our beliefs. Once we have the experience of a way of thinking working for us, we believe it is The way, that others are missing something. Yet others find enjoyment in different ways, through different ways of looking at life. Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist. There are happy people who call themselves by any of those names.
Personally, I find comfort and happiness by taking a spiritual view of life. Mine is not particularly associated with any religion. I also find comfort in science and thus my views fuse spirituality with science.
Therefore, whether anyone agrees with my view and how I cope with Oscar’s passing doesn’t matter so much to me. I simply felt like sharing my thought process, partly because writing about things brings me greater clarity, and comfort, and a sense that Oscar is OK, and also in the hope that these insights might help some others to find a little comfort when they lose a loved one.