So, a couple days ago was officially Back to the Future day. It was on the projected date of 10/21/15 that Back to the Future II was set. The only reason I know this is that was all over Facebook. I never saw these 1980s movies in a theater, but I’ve seen part of one or both on TV and so I know the basic story and characters. These movies seem to have an enduring appeal and that’s probably because they reflect the culture of the 80s—less kinky, less profane, less cynical than today.
One of the things about being an old fart—at least in my case—is that I spend more and more time in the past. I guess that’s what old people d0—they reminisce. But truth be told I’ve always sort of been that way. In the sunniest of projections over 80% of my life is behind me. I don’t dwell on the bad stuff in my past. I think more about golden memories that bring me a warm glow. That’s human nature. Our brains generally tend to wash out painful memories—the good ones retained because recalling them is reinforced at some neural level. The unfortunate exception being traumatic events so painful that it gives one PTSD.
Though its difficult for me to understand or explain the quantum physics involved I tend to believe in the multiverse. This theory has great support from many respected physicists and cosmologists. What the multiverse implies is that there are an almost infinite number of Carls out there living lives: (a) almost exactly like mine (b) quite different than mine (c) somewhat like mine. And a multi-dimensional multiverse means that we may tend to slide back and forth between lives. It helps account for strange phenomena like ESP, ghosts and possibly UFOs—they’re there and then they’re not there—and because of that they really don’t lend themselves well to scientific study. Also, in some sense Heaven and Hell are right there beside us just another dimension away. In other words, Heaven is not some distant pie-in-the-sky place we go up there, it’s right there beside us just half a step away.
I also tend to believe that the passage of time is an illusion. In a sense everything exists all at once. I’m not sure but that may be one of the implications of the multiverse. I guess I justify my focus on the past with that—the past being as immanent as the present or the future. I just prefer to live more and more in the golden memory lives of my particular multiverse—my parents young and healthy, my marriage happy and every Christmas as when I turned four.
For some, this focus on the past might seem an unhappy or pessimistic thought—as in eschewing the possibilities of Hope for the present, etc. But we are not doomed to relive over and over a painful existence as in Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence. According to the physicist Frank Tipler our universe began in a singularity 14 billion years ago (the Big Bang?) and will end in a singularity in about 20 or 30 years when machines are smarter than humans and bombs developed that will make the hydrogen look like a firecracker. At that point Jesus will return and this universe will end. He demonstrates all this in The Physics of Christianity with various equations and lines of reasoning that are well beyond my ken. He also gives scientific rationales for miracles, the incarnation, the virgin birth and the resurrection.
Oh, now me dwelling a lot in the past doesn’t mean giving up on this present life. I still know that my basic job description is to love God and my fellow man (Matt. 22:37-40), and to put that love into action thru service.