Time's pencil

Lynne McTaggart

One of the most vexing problems to most physicists is the notion of time and its absolute relativity, depending on the subjectivity of the observer. In the normal course of events, we experience time as a flow, or arrow.
But during extraordinary experiences — during a mystic revelation, while taking a mind-altering drug, in a moment of madness, or even during a near-death experience (NDE) — all of us experience time rather differently: as an eternal moment of now or even, in the case of clairvoyants, as a moment in the future.
To a person on a hallucinogenic drug, time can even feel as
though it is flowing backward. However, mainstream physics does not have a theory able to embrace either our ordinary or extraordinary perception of time.
Time as a cube
Time to the physicist is still described in accordance with Einstein’s concept of space–time, where time and space represent one giant cube, and the moments we experience are dots residing somewhere inside it, a bit like a Christmas pudding (or a chocolate chip Brownie, to you lot in America).
There is no physics equation to account for the ‘flow’ of time or, indeed, for those anomalous moments when time stops, speeds up, or even suddenly jumps backward or forward. Indeed, to most physicists, time as a forward arrow is an illusion.
Frustrated by the Einsteinian view of time, a Slovakian physicist has come up with another model that embraces both our conventional notion of time as an arrow as well as the subjective time experienced by humans undergoing extraordinary anomalous events.
A new model of time
Metod Saniga, an astrophysicist at the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava, studied the NDE research of Dr Raymond Moody and others, and came up with his ingenious mathematical model of time.
Saniga began by poring through a batch of accounts of people who’d described extraordinary moments of time.  After gathering a large sample of these data, he began to construct a mathematical model of time elastic enough to represent time as either a flow or a moment, as an ordinary experience or an extraordinary state of consciousness.
But to do this, he required something more sophisticated andthree-dimensional than a linear model.
Conic pencils
He played around with fractal geometry until, in the mid-1990s, he discovered a picture in a book of what is known as a ‘pencil’ of conics, where each different conic section has four points in common.
Once he saw this pencil, Saniga realized that he had his model—something pliable enough to create a unified representation of time.
Saniga then resorted to a specialized branch of mathematics called ‘algebraic projective geometry’. Rather than delineating each event in time as a single point, he considers it more accurate to represent it as a curved line within an infinite series of curves arranged in a plane.
These curves are called ‘conic’ sections — circles, ellipses, parabolas and hyperbolas —formed whenever a circular cone is intersected by a plane. Geometry, which describes the mathematics of curves, and algebra, which describes the mathematical relationships between the curves taken together, could most accurately portray this new sense of time.
In the eye of the beholder
This is how Saniga’s model works. When you draw a pencil, each curve represents a moment in time. A dot on one of the curves is your own perspective, your place in the present moment as it is to you. The infinite number of conic sections outside of the point represents the past, and the infinite number of sections that the point lies inside of represent the future.
To represent an altered state of consciousness, take a point (your place in time) and place it on top of one of the four points in the pencil where all the curves meet. From that perspective, every moment exists as the present, so time is experienced as an eternal ‘now’.
To represent time standing still, says Saniga, you move the point (your perspective) to one of the two lines which cross at the centre of the picture.
Saniga has devised a similar description of space as an infinite set of lines that all pass through one point. To represent three dimensions, he has created three pencils of straight lines over three planes. At the point where all three pencils intersect, you are standing at the place where all space feels like one big
Spaghetti junction
Now, to create a complete model of space–time, as Saniga
describes, draw your pencil of conics, then draw three more pencils of straight lines on three other sheets of paper. Slot them into the pencil of conics so that all four pencils share the points where the lines intersect.
Then take a piece of uncooked spaghetti (representing yourself) and
slot it through the entire model. If you place yourself on one
conic and straight line, you are in a position of ‘ordinary’
perception of time and space.
But if your spaghetti lands in a place where more lines intersect, you may be at a point where you experience time as an eternal ‘now’ or space as a giant stretched-out ‘here’.
According to Saniga, there are 19 possible places to put your
spaghetti—analogous to 19 different possible experiences of
time and space.
If we can adopt this all-embracing science of time, all of our experiences outside of time — near death experiences, forecasting, retroactive intention — begin to make perfect sense.

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Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the worldwide international bestsellers The Power of Eight, The Field, The Intention Experiment and The Bond, all considered seminal books of the New Science and now translated into some 30 languages.

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37 comments on “Time's pencil”

  1. WOW - that was a bit over my head, but so interesting to entertain alternate views of time. I've always thought of time as a man-made construct mostly - and so believed there were other ways to view time. It seems science is beginning to come around to that possibility as well - how exciting for us all!

  2. Hi Lynne and all reading this thread. I worked with a physicist friend back in the eighties on a 4D maths project, formulated in a geometrical form. The models were based on bi-directional vectors and the premise of 'the real component' of the fourth dimension (time), being 'a direction in space'. I illustrated a pen stand that sounds remarkably like the 'pencil' you are speaking about in your article. Time is omnidirectional. This work would be labeled under torsion field theory today, however in the 80's torsion field theory was little known outside of Russia. We called the work the Yin of mathematics as the models worked with the qualities of relationships and connectivity. A copy of the book can be downloaded from my website from the group 'can anybody understand Bob's book' Sadly my scientist friend passed away a few years ago. I am doing what I promised, circulating the work. Please check out the site and give me some feedback on the book. It contains 35 years of research and it took me five years to illustrate and publish.
    Best intentions to all

  3. Lynne: Something that might help people visualize this is to take a piece of paper and put two dots on it - anywhere on the page is fine. Now ask yourself, "What's the shortest distance between these two points?" Most people would say the answers is to draw a straight line between those two points, but that's not the answer. The correct answer is to fold the paper so that the two dots are touching.

  4. I actually think Mike nailed it. They are proving more everyday that time and space bend.
    The article was a bit over my head, too, and I love physics. I do know, though, that time does slow down during extaordinary events. It has happened to me several times.
    I equate it to my car accident. I was pushed off the road, my car spun around and then rolled four times down a cliff. In real time, it took mere seconds from beginning to end. In my mind and memory, though, it was at least an hour. All of the details and events that happened could not have happened in the seconds that onlookers saw.
    It happened in the opposite direction when I had to climb the embankment to get help. I remember being at the bottom, then I was at the top. It felt like no more than a minute. As soon as I got there, though, the ambulance was pulling up, so it had to have taken me twenty minutes or so.
    So I get it. Time is fluid, not rigid. Whether it will ever be explained in a way that everyone can get is another matter. As for me, I know.

  5. Since the universe does not recognize the word "not", I have reworded your intention for the Gulf of Mexico to the following, which I say each day with the intention that it join the energy of all of those around the world who are saying it too.
    "My intention is for BP’s engineers to immediately and successfully divert and stop the Deepwater Horizon oil leak and the environment and beings which have been impacted to heal quickly and completely."

  6. Thank you for that.Time has always seemingly been in abundance at some points and insufficient at others.There's not enought when you want it and too much when you want it to pass more quickly.
    Time , for me, has been one of the more perplexing aspects of my life and Im sure for alot of others peoples lives as well.
    There doesn't seem to be any clear definition of what time realy is.Just concepts and theories.We can write out a formula for what air is and what gravity is but not time.What the heck it it?
    John Ellis McTaggart had his A,B and C series analysis of time.The past, present and future and future aspect of time is constantly changing,future events are moving are moving present and into the past and then further back into the past.
    He also felt that time was "unreal"because distinction of past present and future is more essential

  7. Time does not slow down or speed up during an accident. Your perception or processing of space/time changes. Time is not a thing, a noun, a series of moments that the clock, atomic or otherwise ticks off for you. The measuring math that cuts shapes in time/space is the very instrument that creates the relationships we then attribute to "it".

  8. Lynne,
    Most of us live by our watches, phones and PDA’s, and these are all carefully kept in sync with the world clock, because that is what time has come to mean to us; a ticking clock. Well, what else could it be?
    Time is actually a very elusive thing.
    The concept of time is not the same thing as a watch or a clock. These are simply instruments of measurement.
    Remove the mode of measurement, and time takes on some very strange qualities from a physics point of view. According to the General Theory of Relativity, there is no absolute time.
    What does that mean to you? Time is relative to you!
    The theory of general relativity has several predictions, one of which is that time slows down when you are near a massive object like the Earth.
    Because of Earth’s gravitational field, light waves are slowed down, so for someone looking down on us from high up in space, it would appear that things were unfolding slower down here.
    This idea is best expressed in the example known as the Twins Paradox.
    Time affects you differently depending where on the earth you are!
    If you separate two twins at birth, and put one with a family living at sea level while the other lives with a family on a mountain top, the twin at sea level will age more slowly than the one living on the mountain top.
    The amount of age difference would be very small in this instance, but the point is, we all experience time relative to where we are.
    Yes, your feet are aging more slowly than your head!
    Thus each person has his or her own personal measurement or experience of time passing, based on where they are in the physical universe and how quickly they are moving.
    You’ve seen examples of this concept in sci-fi stories and movies where people travel in space at the speed of light for a few years. When they return to Earth, they find that decades have passed in their absence.
    That’s because they’ve escaped the gravitation which slows down the light energy. They are experiencing time relative to them, so they age differently than those of us caught in a gravitational field.
    I know it’s bizarre….that’s why it’s called a paradox.
    In Kelly's example of experiencing a slowing of time at the physical layer, the brain is perceiving time differently as it tries to protect the consciousness from the trauma...it's perception of time is relative to the experience...
    Write On!

  9. Nancy Millers correction of wording to the Intention for the gulf IS CORRECT and is IMPORTANT... The Universe does not process negative wordings such as " no" and "not".
    LYN PLEASE ADJUST YOUR WORDING FOR EVERYBODY TO FOLLOW.... so that the power of united intention is not undermined or negated.
    Love and blessings to all

  10. Many years ago I read that your dreams move ten times faster than reality. I can't verify or supply the source but I have sometimes dropped off and had a full dream with complex stories and emotions later to find that my dream had lasted only a couple of minutes.

  11. The problem I have with the 'Eternal Now' is that it requires the future to be already mapped out. If that were the case there would be no point in Creation because every decision would already have been made. However, it is certainly the case that predictions on the future have been made and have occurred. I suspect that the future is a network of multiple universes, which exist in potential, and that our choices bring them into reality. How does this work with so many entities making choices? I can only guess that each of us exists on the physical level in his/her own universe, and that these all blend together, much as the molecules of water do in the sea. Clairvoyants have stated that they see in the future 'the most likely outcome'. Ultimately that still depends on choice, and this view is supported in the Edgar Cayce records.

  12. Cayce's view is also supported by the "Seth" books, in which time is purely subjective, experienced by a state of consciousness, personified in a "personality"; of which, for each soul, there are many. Each of these personalities function to exemplify and resolve states of consciousness within a soul and each functions within a potentiality, or "universe".
    Shifts in consciousness are described as "movement" from one potentiality or universe, to another, and are fascilited by conscious choice.
    When I was in my early 20's and suffering tremendous angst, I wrote down the idea that "time is a tool given to souls to develop their faith so they can make use of the Earth School". I've always thought that "time" informed the nature of the third demension and that has always helped me understand the statement "there is no time", as in refs to the experience people describe when they have near death experiences. I believe that part of the subjective experience of "time stopping" or slowing, as during a car accident, may be a function of the soul's "loosening" from the body and thereby, expanding their consciousness past the boundaries of the third dimension.
    Of course, the "real stuff" is about efforts to mathematically describe time; which will lead us to the "portal" through which we exit such.....

  13. I've thought about the problem what time is for a long time(Though A.Einstein even didn't give people exact answer.)I think time is just like space,it is eternal and regular,it is a measurement recording things or people's changes,so in my opinion time is relative to differnt person or things,and it never pass,and I think time doesn't truly exist.

  14. This is a comment on BP oil spill and time. I suggest an intention for a future where we use energy in balance with the needs of the earth as a whole. There are endless renewable and alternative sources of energy that if developed and used in harmony could provide for all our energy needs without compromise for future generations or wildlife. Many studies have shown this is possible. The Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, UK for one. Yes, those who currently profit from oil production would no longer be able to profit as they do now. Many many alternative jobs could be created in clean green energy production. We would no longer have a need for super tankers, deep sea oil drilling or Tar Sands thus averting the risk of further accidents.

  15. I only read the initial blurb on the email. Looked at the full blog and decided that I don't need to see another confirmation of how far science lags behind. I suppose people feel the need for science to confirm true reality, I for one, don't, seen it for myself and not on drugs.

  16. Dear Everybody. I plead tremendous ignorance about the subject of time and thank you Lynne for providing me with a chance to prove it. The miracle of seamless transformation of any moment into its offspring, the next moment, however long or short, inclusive or exclusive the moment may be, is stunning to me. And yet, whenever I check, this marvelous expanding and melding of my generally relative experience into endless senses of presence can be related to a digital clock, ephemeris, sun dial etc, and filed specifically in a conceptually linear sequence which relates to waking up with a sense of having another day of responsibilities and surprises. Having Universal Coordinated time as a communal reference allows everyone participating in an intention experiment to entangle with Lynne in a coherent moment of enhanced effectiveness. And the data analysis can then be presented for participants to review at their leisure. Further, any unusual experience of time is or can be related to our regular, shared referensable(sic) clock and calendar time. In fact, it makes little sense to me to talk about unusual experiences of time unless there is some agreement about a normal or regular map of time, however arbitrary it may be. Given enough time, I may find a hundred monkeys who think they shared a past life with Shakespeare and are willing to reveal his unpublished manuscripts on the natural history of time, monkeys with cell phones dreaming they remember life before the big bang. Disentangling for now. and now. and...

  17. Nessie asks what is real if that that can be measured is not real.
    One example might be Love.

  18. How does one measure one's faith or spiritual connection?
    Where does the Universe begin, or end, or does it?
    "As viewed, so appears." (Tibetan saying)

  19. Madaleine's and Nancy's comments about rewording the intentions I believe is correct...as Lynne's books point out, what you focus on is what you get so anything NEGATIVE in the intention wording will perpectuate that negative. This is true for the cancer intentions as well. The intention and focus must be 100% POSITIVE.

  20. I must share a story that has always puzzled me, and never made any sense.
    A few years ago I was waiting for a bus in London where I live. I was standing at the bus stop, casually watching the passing traffic and those who passed by on the pavement. A woman passed, pushing a pram, two men were walking behind her. I barely noticed them. Then, a matter of seconds later, exactly the same woman, pushing the same pram, followed by the same two men, came round the same corner. Once again they walked past me at the bus stop. It was just as though time had had a hiccough, gone back a matter of seconds, and then repeated exactly what it had done before.
    My faith in the stability of time has been shaky ever since!

  21. HI Mike Nelson Peddy!
    Folding the paper so that the two dots touch! Yes !!
    And that's alsp hpw I sometimes experienced time.

  22. Mary - that's amazing. I think things like that are what the term "mindblowing" was invented to describe.
    I was at a bar in my twenties when I saw a woman going towards the restroom. For an instant I saw her face and it was like looking in a mirror. Beyond that, her body looked like mine, moved like mine, everything about her was me. I got another glimpse of her and saw her smile and laugh and it sent chills. I was watching me. Another me. I went into the restroom she had gone into to get a closer look but she was gone. It was like two dimensions had accidently been connected and whoever or whatever controlled that jumped in quickly to correct it.
    I never saw her again. It's been twenty years. It changed the way I viewed many things and opened me up to the fact that we don't know as much as we think we do. I haven't thought of that night in a long time. The pram experience reminded me. I don't know why.
    Carry on.

  23. Hi
    The way I described time to an amazing eight year old who was having issues with Ground Hog Day type dreams was that the illusion of time is not a straight line, but more like a plate of cooked spaghetti, all tangled up and where the strands touch each other, in those places, like in some of the ancient sites,and in his magical mind, the suggested barriers are weak and it is possible to transcend the illusion of time. More pasta theory.

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