I have long thought that if we understood time, or how consciousness creates the concept of temporal flow, we would understand religion and all things we currently call paranormal.
I was attending my first, post-Covid church service outdoors at Saint Hugh’s Episcopal Church when I realized that the liturgical calendar (we are currently in the second Sunday of Easter) and the death and Resurrection of Jesus are atemporal events. In other words, Christians cycle around a calendar of Biblical happenings that repeat forever. Conventional wisdom says that the Resurrection is an event that happened in the past, and we are forever paying homage to a particular week that occurred a very long time ago. A somewhat blasphemous thought keeps hammering away at me, however, regarding these Biblical stories: they may have happened as events at some point, but their importance is about the fact that they are continually happening. The death and resurrection of Jesus represent sin and salvation, eternal realities that are always happening, continuously occurring, and the idea is for us to alter our consciousness to experience those events for ourselves. The timing of such Christian celebrations is a mere detail of convenience–as is whether or not there was an original event–for what matters is that we are reminded of the moral and existential lessons of a Savior. The Passion, the Resurrection, the Ascension, are all concurrent and ever existing, always real, perpetually unfolding. Human beings are the time creators, placing everything into order and organizing our experience so that it appears that time is flowing from somewhere, to somewhere. But there is nowhere to go.
Events cannot be perceived as concurrent, or there would be no way to organize our lives or create the illusion of progress. In reality, however, everything that has happened, is happening, or will happen already exists. We simply cannot access events that fall outside of our perspective; we are limited by our awareness. This helps to explain precognition, clairvoyance, ESP, and other phenomena that involve a wider perspective on reality, outside of our normal awareness and time-locked perceptions. In moments of intention, crisis, or suspension of ordinary consciousness, we are able to widen the temporal net and perceive what is about to occur. A small example of this happened to me just this week. I changed lanes while driving on the freeway moments before the driver in front of me slammed on his brakes, nearly causing multiple accidents. Right before I moved to the lane to my left, I ‘saw’ the driver in front of me hit his brakes, and I knew that I had to get out of his way. It was as if the act of slamming the brakes had already occurred and was about to play itself out again.
This brings me to Colin Wilson, whose tome Supernatural is one of my all-time favorites. He writes this in his chapter “The Mystery of Time”:
“What is being suggested is that time is an invention of the left brain. Time, as such, does not exist in nature. Nature knows only what Whitehead calls ‘process’–things happening. What human beings call time is a psychological concept; moreover, is is a left-brain concept.” (432)
I believe that this ‘two brain’ hypothesis has been debunked, but Wilson still writes convincingly regarding time as nonexistent in the natural world, and human beings as bizarre, time-creating creatures who occasionally transcend their (our) clock-bound existence in order to perceive reality as a whole, as a series of unending cycles. It is my personal belief based upon far too much reading on the subject, that ghosts, poltergeists, hauntings, and supernatural powers are all atemporal–slips and glitches in our time constructions that allow us a wider vision of a world where everything is happening at once, and we can–under the right circumstances–perceive the multiple layers of consciousness that permeate the dimensions of our unrecognized and often unseen experiences.
There is, of course, far too much to say on this topic for a Monday night in 2021, where we still occupy pandemic time; days and nights piled on top of one another, in a place where all movement, all momentum, have ceased. It is from that perspective that I say goodnight, and I will see you tomorrow . . . or yesterday.
–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD