From Groundhog Days – Intercourse on Time
By Melina Costello & David Arthur Walters
October 2, 2003
I, too, had a dream about a clock, a clock and death. There were two time realities following very different laws: one governed the physical body, the other the spirit body. In this dream they overlapped, as represented by a clock behind a glass case in a perfectly dark room. My father, who has passed away, materialized in the dark room and pointed to the clock behind the case as if to say, “The clock is on my time – you are witnessing time outside your dimension.” You see, the clock was also representative of a dimension into which no one can venture except through death. It was a weird dream.
Yours, Madame Melina
Dear Madame Melina,
What happens after death is a mystery, and even more so because of dreams such as yours. Dreams may represent wishful thinking, but the ancients accepted dreams as bona fide awareness of the spirit world, a separate reality as it were, perhaps where the spirits of the dead reside – death in this world is a sleep from which one does not wake up. You know the stories.
Since almost all of my dreams are pleasant, often extremely pleasant, I only wish they would come true during my waking life. We know dreams have in fact come true in an uncanny fashion; many of them have been dreams of disasters. For instance, I am aware of a dream a mystic had of a tragic fire at a certain hotel in a foreign city a thousand miles away, a city the dreamer had never visited before. The fire took place some time afterwards, just as he had dreamed. The mystic was said to have had a clairvoyant dream of a future event. That future was a future of the time series of his own waking life, the objective world he and his contemporaries were familiar with. However, who can say that the fire did not take place in a separate reality having another time series, its present being the future of his normal series? Likewise, who is to say that you did not in your dream meet your father in another reality having its own time, or in a “hallway” somewhere between your separate realities?
As you are aware, Groundhog Days has uncovered a few of the ideas of Ouspensky coincidental to his fascination with the occult doctrine of eternal recurrence. He noted that eternal recurrence involves a return to the past, therefore involves time travel. He pointed out that we really know nothing about the subject, and that we must investigate the nature of time in order to gain any understanding of it at all. He speculated on matters appertaining to the subject you have raised, proposing so-called parallel time lines or time series’ besides the one-dimensional time-line we are seemingly stuck in. His obsession with the idea of sequential repetition ran him headlong into the problem of how people are going to die at different times and meet up at the point of death/birth with people who are still living – for instance his mother – at older ages in the world just left behind. He brought in a creative accountant to reconcile the times, each one which might be moving at a different speed. We ridiculed all this for being illogical or absurd and contrary to common sense based on experience. Besides, Ouspensky, although he clearly stated that he was engaged in somewhat dubious speculations, seemed to want to accept them as reality and to build up some sort of cult about them.
However, to give Ouspensky the benefit of the doubt, we must admit, like he did, that we really know nothing for sure about the mysterious subject of our discourse except that we are uncertain. What was contrary to common sense several years ago is now a matter of fact. Now there are several ‘logics’ or ways of thinking.
Our static logic based on affirmation of identities, or non-contradiction, has certainly come in handy, but it has given way to a dynamic logic that seems absurd or awfully hazy at best yet has had extraordinarily practical applications. If it were not for the useful inventions flowing from the neoteric sciences, we might dismiss leading-edge scientists as mad mystics. Whatever crazy idea that consistently works is good enough, and whether or not it is based on or is in itself some ‘objective reality’ is something the metaphysicians can speculate on pending empirical evidence.
I am not trying to confuse the issue here so that you might better believe that you met your dad or that he is waiting for you because we do not really die forever so we can feel better now and so on. But there are the possibilities, and, when we are speaking of the unknown, the imagination runs wild. But still in ordinary conversation we try to adhere to the old argumentative logic and we tend to fall back on common sense.
Ouspensky, who was a mathematician, seems to be a sort of curious ‘crackpot’ or eccentric occultist. But we have not delved into his biography: we are curious about his doctrine of eternal recurrence as he stated it, and will not accept any authority on time simply because of their credentials or personal background. Other more prestigious philosophers with several doctorates – as opposed to ‘crackpot’ spiritualists – have taken up the weird ‘oriental’ doctrine of eternal recurrence; of course almost all philosophers have explored the general concept of time; most idealists deny its existence.
Ouspensky suggested the possibility of parallel worlds and mentioned time travel. But time travel would not be needed if we considered his fifth dimension, which is a series of repeating cycles along the time lines of different dimensions, each period of the fifth dimension being vertical to the fourth dimension line. One could hypothetically get out of her line by stepping into the present of some other time series, that moment being any time before or after the present of the point of origin. Most of us are stuck with metaphors derived from our everyday experience with time and space in this world, and when we hear talk of five or more dimensions we shake our heads uncomprehendingly. Ahead, behind, above, below, is about all we can handle. Nonetheless, as incomprehensible as our subject seems, I think we simpletons can get a bit of a grip on it if we stick with the subject for awhile. Ouspensky challenges us to the task, and we turn elsewhere for assistance.
I trust you will be amused by my presentation, in Groundhog Days, of a few ideas of the highly credentialed mystic and philosopher, the late John McTaggart Ellis McTaggart, Doctor of Laws and Literature, past Senior Lecturer at the University of London. He insisted on the unreality of time; of course he discussed the concept of time at length while doing so. Several of his remarks led me to believe that Ouspensky was not so irrational after all, or at least that he had esteemed company in Merry England.
Anyhow, please stand by for the next edition of Goundhog Days. It may put you to sleep.
Graphic Art Credit: Drawing by Darwin Leon