TIME FOR A TOTAL MIND SCREW
From Groundhog Days – Intercourse on Time
By Melina Costello & David Arthur Walters
14 October 2003
Dear Mister Groundhog,
You’re absolutely right. McTaggart’s time is a total mind screw, but I love it! And yes, thank you for putting it all so directly about his omission in The Unreality of Time of a cogent framework for pondering his abstruse meanderings. Was he smug, or what?
Actually, I think he’s onto something (or was onto something, or is that ‘will be onto something’), but I can’t comprehend it well enough yet to say one way or another. I can buy that time doesn’t exist, but what in the hell does that mean? You and I know that the chair in which I’m sitting doesn’t exist by itself, either, but here it is under my tush, otherwise I’d be sitting on the floor, which also doesn’t exist. What is the practical application here, then, or must all of this remain intensely abstract?
Once I was dreaming and found myself in North Carolina flying over treetops on the street where I used to live in the early ’70s. It was a lucid dream, to be sure. In fact, I thought I was astral projecting while in the dream. Anyway, I ended up flying over some field and saw an old-fashioned ’40s glass baby bottle sitting on an old wooden fence. I thought to myself, “If I can grab that baby bottle and fly it home (Ohio), then when I wake up I’ll have ‘proof’ that this wasn’t just a dream and that I really did project astrally.”
I grabbed the baby bottle and flew back to my “then” kitchen in Ohio and stuck it in a cabinet under the sink. Of course when I woke up, I looked in the cabinet and the ’40s baby bottle wasn’t there. And yet I put it there in some other dimension of time/experience–didn’t I? Or did I put it in my “astral” kitchen in “astral” Ohio? Ugh, all these confounded correlatives in weird overlapping dimensions! You see now why we need to account for astral time and experience as well.
I guess I got carried away. Does McTaggart have that effect on everyone?