The present is the fleeting point in time in which the future is about to become the past…there is only one past although there are many different interpretations of it, but there are multiple futures and the present is the moment when that future happens and the others don’t, and the moment that happens is over and is consigned to the past.
Niall Ferguson on the John Batchelor Show
Our present is determined by the past and by the future
Jacques Vallée, a theory of everything else, TEDX
Physicists as renowned as John Wheeler, Richard Feynman, Dennis Sciama, and Yakir Aharonov have speculated that causality is a two-headed arrow and the future might influence the past. Today, the leading advocate of this position is Huw Price, a University of Cambridge philosopher who specializes in the physics of time. “The answer to the question, ‘Could the world be such that we do have a limited amount of control over the past,’ ” Price says, “is yes.” What’s more, Price and others argue that the evidence for such control has been staring at us for more than half a century.
George Musser, The Quantum Mechanics of Fate, Nautilus, 30 January 2014
In front of me I saw the space of all possibilities, that is, all states of affairs that can possibly happen. They were lying in front of me there like objects in physical space…thus, I concluded, there is no contradiction between determinism and free will.
Benny Shanon, Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience, Oxford University Press, 2002.
For every choice we encounter in life, a new timeline is spun off until another choice comes along, and then the process is repeated again and again throughout one’s lifetime.
Parallels, season 7, episode 11, Star Trek: The Next Generation
Casey Newton: There are two wolves who are always fighting. One is darkness and despair. The other is light and hope. The question is… which wolf wins?
Eddie Newton: The one you feed.
In the long run, today’s prevailing “serve nobody by yourself” mindset is suicidal.
We are all in this together and we co-create our interpersonal reality and our future via the butterfly effect.
My evolution is your evolution is our evolution.
Angry, greedy and fearful people driven by pain, guilt, resentment and desire to control, punish and hurt others, are too self-absorbed and narrow-minded to see problems as opportunities for cognitive and moral regeneration and maturation.
They tend to see them as obstacles to be removed and cleansed.
This is why the societies and timelines they build are dysfunctional, uncreative, selfish, inhumane, inelegant, tribalist, rapacious, chaotic, impotent, sterile, morally bankrupt, isolated, manipulative, violent and, ultimately, doomed.
Cynical, nihilist, and apathetic people do not score much better in terms of civilization- and future-building skills.
Conversely, sensitive, compassionate and creative people aspiring to wholeness, capable of owning up to mistakes, shouldering their responsibilities and facing their shadows instead of projecting them upon a scapegoat, are far more likely to build graceful, brighter, soulful and peaceful, more coherent, self-respecting, resilient, caring, eco-friendly civilizations and timelines that flourish and thrive (From a sociopathic civilisation to a socio-therapeutic civilisation, WazArs, 15 October 2014).
All in all, it’s about self-fulfilling prophecies: what you see and what you ask for is generally what you get.
Everyone is bound to mostly perceive corroborating evidence and act accordingly, thus strengthening their worldviews.
This is what makes the mentality of right-wing armageddonists and zombie/Mad Max survivalists, or left-wing deep ecology extinctionists, cosmic rebootists and climate change catastrophists so toxic for everyone else: they are an evolutionary dead-end of human thought that may well lead to an evolutionary dead-end for humankind.
They are driven by necrophilia and misanthropy, not by life-boosting and evolution-accelerating aspirations and sentiments (The first human revolution and creative explosion – a prelude to another possible Great Leap Forward? WazArs, 24 October 2014).
The thing is, our future is not a foreign, exotic, mysterious, alien country.
It is one among many possibilities, the summation of our individual choices and visions, and this means that we have an important say in its making.
We are sovereign individuals and we are not to be mere pawns.