Sunday, September 12, 2010

A theory

My relationship with time is a one-sided affair. It has no awareness of me and I think about it constantly. Perhaps time infatuation is an identified disorder. It is really a matter of where we look for meaning. I find meaning in time.

Last Sunday's Los Angeles Times Book Review section offered, on the same page, an interview with historian Sean Wilentz on his new book, Bob Dylan in America, and a review of The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, here.

The page featured a quote from Wilentz about Dylan, "He had this sensibility that the past wasn't the past, that the past was the present." He further said of Dylan's early days in New York, "He was living in this world where Edgar Allan Poe was living around the corner...a phantasmagoria of American history." Times reporter Charles Taylor referred to Dylan's CD of holiday music, Christmas in the Heart, as Dylan's love letter to the holiday music that was part of the American popular music he grew up hearing.
A time slip.
When Dylan returned to the Newport Folk Festival in 2002, where his electric debut elicited boos and jeers in 1965, Wilentz said, "There were ghosts all over the place. You could feel them." Wilentz told how he sensed the ghosts take form, many of the pivotal musicians from the American tradition, "...they were all kind of assuming shape again."

My interpretation of this information is that others, including a respected historian who teaches at Princeton, find that the past lives in and through us. We bring it forth in our thoughts, in works we create. It is not a dead thing, immobile in some unreachable long-ago, but alive, its influences at work on us through memories, either individually or collectively.

In his review, Michael Moorcock said that the Hawking-Mlodinow book suggests that physics and metaphysics are growing closer. Robert Oppenheimer is said to have proposed that physics and poetry were indistinguishable.

Moorcock described, "In an environment that includes black holes, super black holes, dark matter, dark energy, string theory, M-theory, alternate pasts and alternate futures, we can no longer assume there is one universe or even a set of universes with a single group of natural laws applicable to everything from the domain of atoms to that of astronomy.

"Models of the universe are changing radically. We now live in a world in which many physicists have come to believe there are not merely three dimensions (plus time) but 10 or possibly 11.

"Even laws we have taken for granted, like those relating to the speed of light, might be at odds in different realms of a near-infinite set of universes."

Those review excerpts and the remainder of the article suggest to me that anything is possible.

What I believe is that, if we pay attention and look inward frequently, we learn to identify our truths. They don't need educated, scientific validation to be true for us, but it does take some of the lunatic self-labeling away to have credible sources appear to think along similar lines. What I feel, what I experience, is the fluid quality of time (yes, I HAVE mentioned this before) but also the real yet intangible way that what has gone before is not gone.


RachelVB said...

I've never understood why some people think ghost don't exists ... many live even within ourselves do they not?
Something about this post is eerie to me, unknown. It can be hard to face your truths, even when you know they are there in whatever dimension they hover in. Truths and ghosts. I wonder if they reside in the same places?

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rachel - My thinking has always been that more ghosts live within than without, though sometimes we may project them to the point of sitting down, having a conversation.

Eerie and unknown...I subscribe to the "It's all a mystery" theory and, if there are no answers, it makes my not having any feel less defective. And maybe I draw a line between reality and truths...reality can give you a rash, while truths are more like a balm.

Likely, it all resides in the same places.

RachelVB said...

Yes, truths are more soothing. They are usually discovered after a burn. Reality seems to be the burn itself.

Radish King said...

Marylinn, ah yes, right down my alley. The Tearful Dishwasher posted on this on my blog this morning. Einstein said time wasn't linear and I have no reason not to believe him. I think of my passage through this life as passage through a series of portals wormholes if you will. Present and parallel universes coinciding and sometimes one can enter the right portal that takes us to a parallel universe. Perhaps this is where Rachel's ghosts come from.

And déjà vu and presque vu and jamais vu and any number of fascinations of the human mind.

Perhaps artists and madmen and well trained to enter and pass through these portals and observe though they don't always know it.


Marylinn Kelly said...

Rachel - Eww, image, the cockroach in the whipped cream. (and not whipped topping)

Rebecca - Being here and there at the same time...I wonder if I volunteered for this or was I screened and recruited, unbeknownst. It is good to have an assignment for which one is suited. Happily, they didn't tell us not to talk about it.

RachelVB said...

I like the idea of being summoned in the womb. It does feel very much like a purpose. I, too, love being suited for the assignment. I wonder if this is how other people feel when they've found their passions in life?

very eew. Cockroaches give me the heebie-jeebies. But not sure why. They survive most assassination attempts and should be given a little credit at least.

I'm not sure where my ghosts come from. Sometimes they feel too deep to even be mine. As a little girl I used to imagine I was Judy Garland in a past life - you wanna talk about ghosts?! =)

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rachel - I believe we end up carrying things that don't belong to us. Maybe they come from other incarnations, maybe they were foisted upon us growing up..."here, take this" and in time we forget that it isn't ours. I think shame is a good example...plenty of this to go around.

Being suited for the assignment is essential. What a wretched First Lady I would make, what a sub-par bookkeeper (I have proof), what an impatient sixth-grade teacher. How glad I am not to have been called for any of those gigs.

Anonymous said...

I smirk to read these kinds of things.

What indidginous folk have known and lived for thousands of yers is news to us.

Us - somewhere along the line we lost our spirit.No wonder our Australian aborginies are perplexed by us.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Though I have not read Hawking's book yet, I have some familiarity with the concepts. We have waded into an ocean of knowledge literally unknown to previous generations. And though it is all very exciting, much is still unknown.

Yes, this information increases possibilities, but what is most likely "probable" to be reality?

Marylinn Kelly said...

Denise - For me, life is mystery - and that's the good part. The Hawking book, for example, takes another step we even know what, other than things are much, much bigger than we thought and much less predictable, with current information. All of which goes in support of, I believe, living a life of the spirit, for being open, period. For being open.

Robert - I have Hawking's book in hand and am going to start reading it this afternoon. Skimming through, it looks as though we may have some revisions to make in our thinking on such matters. At least we can consider revisions. And as to what may be probable, I think your question mark says it for us. I am a great fan of possibility.