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Past, Present, and Future

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Past, Present, and Future

Postby Apotheosis » Thu Apr 29, 2004 10:59 pm

Alright, this is something that has plagued me for a long time. As we all know, there exists this little thing we call time. Now, there are many different kinds of time. There is absolute time, apparent time (solar time), astronomical time, sidereal time, and space-time. All of these are different kinds of times, but one thing they all have in common is that they all deal with the concepts of past, present, and future. By definition, the past is the time before the present, the future is a period of time after the present, and the present is a moment or period of time perceptible as intermediate between the past and future. Now, it is my belief based on what I have read and what I have experienced that time is always "moving". What I mean by that is, we are always living in the present. The future is slowly becoming the present and the present is slowly becoming the past. Here is a visual interpretation:

<=========O=========>

In the diagram above, the past is everything to the left of the O, the future is everything to the right of the O, and the present is the O itself. Now, I think that the O is constantly moving to the right on the timeline. Thus, we are always living in the present. The present is always becoming the past and the future is always becoming the present. Now, this may sound like what many people and physicists have already theorized, and it almost even suggests the concept of fate. However, I believe that the future is not predetermined. Instead, I think the future is there, just we have to forge it by our actions. What I mean by that is the following:

Explanation Starting

According to the laws of quantum mechanics, all particles in the universe have an attribute called quantum information. This "information" tells you everything about the particle such as where it is, when it is, its motion, and where it has been. Now, quantum information is something that we can change but at the same time something we cannot change. For instance, we cannot "access" quantum information on a computer or something and change it; however, by our actions, we can influence objects and other matter. For instance, if I kick a soccer ball, the quantum information of the particles in that ball has just changed. I changed the information indirectly. Anyways, so what's my point? The point is, I think that the future is pretty much a clay model which has yet to be molded. The reason why I say this, is because the quantum information of any particle is not pre-programmed, meaning the only information that exists is the information in its current state and its less probable states. Therefore, the future cannot be predetermined because the information simply isn't there! However, all of the quantum information from a particle's past still exists. Anyways, now that I have explained this concept, I'll go back to the mainstream of my initial topic.

Explanation Ending

Ok, so the question I pose now is, does time flow in such a way that if the events in the past were to change, would everything after that change as well? Is time in our universe just a single line, or are there multiple overlapping lines? What do you guys think and why?
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Postby threewood14 » Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:34 pm

In the diagram above, the past is everything to the left of the O, the future is everything to the right of the O, and the present is the O itself. Now, I think that the O is constantly moving to the right on the timeline. Thus, we are always living in the present.


Bravo my friend!

To give my opinion, I must say that I agree somewhat. I do however think that the future is predetermined. I think that the past affects the present. Since the present is slowly becoming the past, the past also affects the future. In a way, past, present and future are the same thing, but we are talking relative time...

So now we have a ball. The ball is dropped from a height of 10 feet. The 10 ft is 10 ft from the surface of the earth. This would suggest tht the ball will fall 10 ft towards the earth by means of graivty (gravito...ablative of means. sorry, just had to do that :lol: )

What causes the ball to drop? Gravity. Its physical. The laws of physics govern everything in this example. Its pure gravity and mass. The gavity waves or gravitons attract the mass of the ball towards the earth. The very existance of the two clumps of mass, the earth and the ball, affected the future of the ball if the relative time is before the ball is dropped. The future of the ball is to fall to the ground. Of course now we are excluding all interference if you know what I mean. The future is already set. The ball will hit the ground. Therefore the future in this example is not really a molding of clay but a nice sculpture. It is predetermiend by the laws of physics.

Now human decisions are very much more complicated. If we drop that ball again, it has no choice but to fall and hit the ground. If a human starts to fall over, he can stop him self by grabbing onto something like a tree branch. He has made a decision to stop falling. His future, if the relative time was before he started falling, is to stop falling. No for some reason, he could fall down like a weirdo, but I'm assuming that most human beings would not fall flat on their face if they were falling down. But this creates conflict. The future may not be set until he makes a decision right?

Lets say that the cause of his falling is somebody pushing him. He lets himself be pushed so we're assuming that he well inevitably get pushed. What will influence his decision to stop himself from falling? What causes humans to make decisions? Well could say that past feelings of him could do that. He knows that if he falls on his face it would hurt quite a bit and he could bleed. Assuming that he is of normal inteligence, he would probably not want to feel pain. We knows from his observation of pain that it is not a good feeling. In the present, meaning during his fall, he sees that he is about to fall and pain will be inflicted upon his face. So he grabs onto the branch or whatever. He stops falling and no pain is inflicted. In this example, the future is set before the man is pushed. Past experience and information plus current experience and information governed his decision. So in theory, his decision is already made before he starts falling meaning that past events cause events in the future. Not all events in the past cause an event in the future. The future is already set in this example. Now, many many human decisions go on in our lives. These examples may involve changing the quantum information of things like the soccor ball. The observatoin of the quantum information of objects influences the decisions of humans. A light cone is a good example of events and such.

Is time in our universe just a single line, or are there multiple overlapping lines?


I do not have a definite answer to that mainly because of quantum mechanics...but if I had to choose one, I would go with the straight line.
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Postby Apotheosis » Fri Apr 30, 2004 3:19 am

It sounded like you were describing free choice in your post though... I mean, the man's destiny was not predetermined in such a way that on Tuesday, December 3, 2004 3:36 PM Billy was to fall to the ground but grab onto a branch. Billy decided to grab onto the branch. It wasn't just fate... I mean, human actions are decisions made by our higher consciousness. They weren't predetermined from day one. If you can provide some proof of your beliefs, then you may be able to make me believe differently...Anyways...until that time comes, have a nice day!






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Postby threewood14 » Fri Apr 30, 2004 2:16 pm

It sounded like you were describing free choice in your post though...


It wasn't just fate...


If you look at the Free choice or Fate thread, I believe that it is neither free or of fate. I think it is determinism.


I mean, human actions are decisions made by our higher consciousness. They weren't predetermined from day one.

Of course they were not predetermined from one day. His decision was influenced by his past experiences and information of his entire life! I look at the situation as a cause and effect.

Billy (i guess) was born
Billy falls down and gets hurt
Billy feels pain on his face
Billy does not like the pain because pain is a natural dislike of humans and organisms
Billy grows up feeling pain sometimes from falling down
Billy's brain learns that if he falls on his face he will feel pain.
Billy is about to fall
Billy realizes from his memory that he will feel pain unless he stops falling
Billy does not like pain
Billy knows from past experience that if he stops from falling, he wll not feel pain
Billy stops from falling

And of course observations can be of physical things like watching a baseball game. If you watch the ball, if moves (duh). So if you see a batter get hit with a pitch by accident, you would know that he feels pain from his reaction. We do not like pain so if you were a batter, you would move out of the way so the ball would not hit you so you would not feel pain.

Now there are literally countless amount of reactions and decisions from humans going on in the universe in every point in time. So all these decisions can influence more decisions and physical reactions can also affect decisions.
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Postby Apotheosis » Fri Apr 30, 2004 3:03 pm

Ok, I must have missed something along the way then...So do we all agree then that fate doesn't exist? Because what we have described is clearly free choice. Anyways, have a nice day!


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Postby threewood14 » Fri Apr 30, 2004 3:22 pm

Yes if we had to chose one, it would be free choice. But our decisions are not chosen, they are dictated by the past. In other words, humans perform the decisions based on past experience, but they are only reacting to the universe.
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Postby Apotheosis » Sat May 01, 2004 12:29 am

I think everyone already knows that though...Hasn't that been uderstood by all of mankind since the beginning? Not to sound rude, but it seems like that entire free choice thread went in a giant loop...lol
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Postby threewood14 » Sat May 01, 2004 6:52 pm

think everyone already knows that though...Hasn't that been uderstood by all of mankind since the beginning?


Also not to sound rude, but if this is already known and the solution to your thread, then why start this thread in the first place?
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Postby Apotheosis » Sat May 01, 2004 9:16 pm

lol this had nothing to do with my thread. It simply came up. I'd re-read my original post if I were you...
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Postby threewood14 » Sun May 02, 2004 12:27 am

Ok, so the question I pose now is, does time flow in such a way that if the events in the past were to change, would everything after that change as well? Is time in our universe just a single line, or are there multiple overlapping lines? What do you guys think and why?


I do not have a definite answer to that mainly because of quantum mechanics...but if I had to choose one, I would go with the straight line.



I do however think that the future is predetermined. I think that the past affects the present. Since the present is slowly becoming the past, the past also affects the future.


I think that events in the past affect the present, which in turn affects the future. Your question was if events in the past were to change, would that affect events in the future. If you read the 3rd quote, I say that I think the future is predetermined, pre- meaning before. Before what? Before the present meaning the past. Therefore, the statement and my belief that I gave you was that the past does affect the future entirely. Not all events in the past affect the future, but some events affect future events. This also says that if events in the past were to change, the events in the future would change. Its like a big domino board with multiple paths. There is really only one path the dominoes can take (now of course a domino could start 2 paths going but we'll use one for these purposes). If the domino is knocked forwards, a pattern of fallen dominos would emerge and each domino representing an event in time. If the domino were to go backwards, a different path would probably emerge than if it went forwards. Something like that should have been infered from when I said...
I think that the past affects the present.


If the past directly affects the future and the past changes, then the future would probably change. It is inevitable.

The second queswtion that you asked was...
Quote:
Is time in our universe just a single line, or are there multiple overlapping lines?


I do not have a definite answer to that mainly because of quantum mechanics...but if I had to choose one, I would go with the straight line.


I believe in the straight line but its a little jagged. I think that all the different paths are possible, but the most probable path is reality which is kind of like quantim mechanics, but not quite.

Yes if we had to chose one, it would be free choice. But our decisions are not chosen, they are dictated by the past. In other words, humans perform the decisions based on past experience, but they are only reacting to the universe.


This clearly reads that our decisions, which happen in the future, are dictated by the past decisions made when a point in time was the present. Remember that again...

In a way, past, present and future are the same thing, but we are talking relative time...


The human factor is the big issue in your question; the role of human decision. If human decisions were to change in the past, then the future human decisions would also change.

I don't know about you but I think I did answer your questions. Although they are not proven, I ahve given my opinions whether they are right or wrong.
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Postby xon » Sun May 02, 2004 3:51 am

Ok, there are two possibilities:

1. Human decisions are part of a process.

If human decisions are part of a process, then they are part of the same ongoing process that caused gases to attract together and form stars, which formed further elements such as carbon and nitrogen, which formed further compounds in puddles of water on rocky spheres, which began to self-replicate, and began to form life, and then form life capable of making decisions...or are these decisions simply part of the process, as I pose as the first possibility? Is there something to be achieved by the processes? Yes. The survival of the human race and continued evolution, evolution to an advanced state of being which is the Unknown.

2. Human decisions result in processes.

Or, are human decisions not part of any process, but independent. "Raise my hand off the table", as I have just done, I thought about doing. Did I think about that for the first time, or was that just part of the process to create beings such as myself that could use such an action to describe how or if decisions are being made.

NOTE: I am not a philosopher in the classic sense, but a follower of science... for that, I am inexperienced as a philosopher
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Postby benissimus » Sun May 02, 2004 12:43 pm

2. Human decisions result in processes.

Or, are human decisions not part of any process, but independent. "Raise my hand off the table", as I have just done, I thought about doing. Did I think about that for the first time, or was that just part of the process to create beings such as myself that could use such an action to describe how or if decisions are being made.

NOTE: I am not a philosopher in the classic sense, but a follower of science... for that, I am inexperienced as a philosopher

I wish I had more biological parallels, but this will have to do...

Example: To keep oxygen at the proper levels in the body would seem like a very complicated procedure. It is, of course, but the basis of it is quite simple. In humans, the tool for doing this is little more than a bunch of tubes with fluid circulating throughout them (blood vessels). Simply by having the oxygen-rich liquid moving throughout the body, every cell that needs oxygen can just pull it out by a simple law of nature that says that oxygen will move from the high-concentration in the blood to low concentration in that needy cell. The cell is low in oxygen, the blood is high in oxygen... BINGO, oxygen goes from blood to cell.

At the same time, the carbon-dioxide in those cells is at high-concentration and leaves them to go to the low concentration blood vessels. So, the cells get what they need, and get rid of their wastes. A very simple mechanism can do a very complex job, without superceding the laws of physics or developing free will.

The crux of determinism is just this: the brain is no different from the rest of the body. It uses a multitude of simple, natural laws to create this complex consciousness, but that consciousness is tied to the form of the brain. That is, the mind is directly tied to the form, electricity and chemicals of the brain, and whatever else may contribute to the mind that we do not yet know about. It is as limited as those gases in the blood. How can people actually think that the human being has surpassed the confines of physics and logic and developed independence from its physical environment?

It seems that to allow for free will you must either...
1. believe that the brain is not utterly connected to the physical (as opposed to conscious) features of the brain
2. believe that man's ability to reason follows irregular rules, or no rules at all
3. believe in man's superiority to other beings (an old-fashioned religious belief)

I think most people choose #2. But to say that something cannot be predicted is to say that it is random or has random elements. How can something as precise as reason be random?

The moral implications of determinism are enough to create prejudice against it. As people have said in other threads, we have trouble blaming someone for their actions when they were literally bound to those actions. Yet, we must draw a line somewhere... People can be spared in court because of insanity, traumatic childhood, drugs, all of which defined their decision until they did something wrong.
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Postby benissimus » Sun May 02, 2004 1:32 pm

As for changing events in a past time, I am not sure if that is even possible. Perhaps things would continue in the same timeline and overwrite all the previous events, eventually obliterating the time traveller himself. From there we have yet another paradox of whether it would reset the whole thing back to the original (and the time-traveller would just do it again), or if that would create yet another timeline.

I propose a theoretical time travel would look something like this:
Image
In this diagram, the red line is the uninterrupted timeline and the blue one is the time traveller's. The blue and the red share the same time until the blue separates, intersects a single instant of the past timeline, and then continues to make a parallel timeline. In this way, paradox is avoided, but there is of course no way to test it (nor should anyone wish to considering the risk).
Last edited by benissimus on Wed May 05, 2004 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby threewood14 » Sun May 02, 2004 2:24 pm

I think the movie, "The Time Machine," pretty much sums up what I believe. Not that I disagree with you bennisimus, but all sorts of weird things would happen if one traveled back in time.
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Postby xon » Mon May 03, 2004 2:50 pm

"The Time Machine" was good for illustrating some of the implications of Time Travel, along with some good special effects. However, the dialogue was shoddy, though the actors still might have been okay themselves. The worst part is when the time machine get jammed and is about to blow up, and the evolved apelike thing goes "huhh?" with a confused expression.

benissimus, I agree with you. In fact, it might be possible that our "conciousness" evolved for the purpose of survival.

Traveling in the future obviously not harmful. In fact, would it be safe to say we are constantly moving from Present to Future to Present to Future...and so on? This process can be delayed, also, as proven with the airplanes that circled the earth carrying an atomic clock. When they landed, the atomic clock on the ground was ahead of the atomic clock on the plane.

If the future can be slowed down from happening, can it be sped up?
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Postby threewood14 » Mon May 03, 2004 8:14 pm

IT had the basics at least.
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Postby primitive » Tue May 04, 2004 11:37 pm

If the future can be slowed down from happening, can it be sped up?


In which ever way you slow down the future, if you do the exact opposite, you will speed it up.
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Postby Mongoose42 » Wed May 05, 2004 6:45 pm

The future is slowed down by approaching the speed of light. It is not possible to approach a negative speed of light because that merely changes physical direction. Also time relative to a perspective can be sped up but the future is an infinite outcome that can not change its relative speed.
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Postby Muasumirtapretsev » Wed May 05, 2004 7:14 pm

I have been reading your theories of time and have the following comments: Time only has meaning in the future. The past has happened and can not change. The present is happening now. The future is the only thing that time applies to because it is unknown. So the line that was shown earlier

-------------o--------------->


should only be


---------------->
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Postby Apotheosis » Wed May 05, 2004 8:19 pm

The zero was to signify the present. That's all. So basically, I agree with your line.
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Postby threewood14 » Wed May 05, 2004 8:31 pm

I think the line going to the left shuld still be there even though it wont be used. ITs good to know that the world wasnt born yesterday if you know what I mean. But I do agree with you that only the future matters. Im just saying put in the past so we do not confuse whether the past exists or not.
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Postby Muasumirtapretsev » Wed May 05, 2004 8:44 pm

threewood14 wrote:I think the movie, "The Time Machine," pretty much sums up what I believe. Not that I disagree with you bennisimus, but all sorts of weird things would happen if one traveled back in time.



how can you believe in a movie?? that is just hollywood ... once time has gone by there is no way to go backwards. There are theories, but they are only theories. No one has proven it.
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Postby Muasumirtapretsev » Wed May 05, 2004 8:46 pm

threewood14 wrote:I think the line going to the left shuld still be there even though it wont be used. ITs good to know that the world wasnt born yesterday if you know what I mean. But I do agree with you that only the future matters. Im just saying put in the past so we do not confuse whether the past exists or not.


The past only exits in History books and in our memories.
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Postby threewood14 » Wed May 05, 2004 8:59 pm

The past only exits in History books and in our memories.


That does not change the fact that it exists tough...

how can you believe in a movie?? that is just hollywood ... once time has gone by there is no way to go backwards. There are theories, but they are only theories. No one has proven it.


I do not believe entirely in that movie. I think the writer however got most of the concepts of time correct. I didn't watch the movie and believe it, I had my own beliefs about time and this movie showed them in a blunt way.
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Postby Muasumirtapretsev » Thu May 06, 2004 8:24 pm

threewood14 wrote:

I do not believe entirely in that movie. I think the writer however got most of the concepts of time correct. I didn't watch the movie and believe it, I had my own beliefs about time and this movie showed them in a blunt way.


Do you think that time can change? Do you think that we could go back in time and change what might happen in the future even though there is no evidence to prove it!
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Postby threewood14 » Thu May 06, 2004 8:31 pm

Do you think that time can change? Do you think that we could go back in time and change what might happen in the future even though there is no evidence to prove it!


No! I strongly believe that the past cannot be changed. In that movie, he tries saving his girlfriend. He finds that he cannot. However, that concept is kind of contradicted at the end when he changes the future. I think that time is unchangable.
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Postby Muasumirtapretsev » Thu May 06, 2004 8:37 pm

threewood14 wrote:
. I think that time is unchangable.

if that is true then that would mean that time past is only a memory. It means nothing other than that fact that you can remember it. Taken that then how do you (we) explain how people can predict the future?
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Postby threewood14 » Thu May 06, 2004 8:54 pm

people cannot predict the future. i tihnk they guess based on their memory and come to their most logical conclusion
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Postby Muasumirtapretsev » Mon May 10, 2004 7:54 pm

threewood14 wrote:people cannot predict the future. i tihnk they guess based on their memory and come to their most logical conclusion


do you really think they guess??? even someone as famous as Nostradamus who predicted some of the most horrific times of our modern era, and he lived back in the 1600s!

He even predicted his own death.....
"On July 1, 1566 Nostradamus offered his final prediction to his priest. In response to the priest's farewell of "Until tomorrow," Nostradamus is said to have answered: "You will not find me alive at sunrise."

Nostradamus died that night."
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Postby threewood14 » Mon May 10, 2004 10:10 pm

I did not say how good educated the guesses were. What you descirbed still resemble guesses to me.

I think I goofed there. What I meant to say was that people cannot predict the future with absolute certainty.
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Postby Muasumirtapretsev » Tue May 11, 2004 6:20 pm

threewood14 wrote:people cannot predict the future with absolute certainty.


I will agree somewhat. Most of Nostradamus' notes were very cryptic to the point where they could be interpreted as almost anything, but he was very close on a lot of his predictions. Which bring us back to your original thread "you can't be sure of anything"
Although you can be sure about one thing, the sun will rise tomorrow. If it does not then we won't be around to argue about it anyways. :lol:
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Postby KohlyKohl » Thu May 13, 2004 3:18 pm

I believe the future is predetermined because of one simple fact. Many people have all experienced this phenomin, the dreaming of the future. Explain to me how one can dream about the future before it happens, and sometimes some are even able to attempt to stop the future from happening but cannot? Many have tried to say that you are not really dreaming about the future only because they are scared or don't understand what just happened. I for one can say i've had a few that have convinced me that our futures are predetermined and no matter how hard me might ever try to change them we simple cannot. I'm not sure why our lives are predetermined but if there was ever any question I would like answered it would be that one.
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Postby Muasumirtapretsev » Thu May 13, 2004 5:35 pm

So would you say that dreaming like this is like unconsciously being in the future? Time travel when you sleep? I can never remember a dream vividly. Only very fuzzy, and i could imagine that a fuzzy interpretation could be applied to something that just happened. For example, if i dreamed that was falling and then a couple of days later tripped and fell i could make the fuzzy connection that I foretold to this accident. But then there are times when i trip and fall and never had a dream before it. Or if i did i did not remember it.
as for life being predetermined. I would have to think about that.. i can not think that tomorrow is already planned and i can not change it.
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