Principles of Time

“Time After Time…”

Time is of your own making;
its clock ticks in your head.
The moment you stop thought
time too stops dead.

~ Angelus Silesius, 17th Century Philosopher & Poet ~


We are all aware of the passing of time. We are born and we die and during the interim we live by what has been measured out for us in days, months, and years, hours, minutes and seconds. We know there is no “turning back the clock” and time is a remorseless inevitability. Yet despite all of our manmade measurement tools that help bring order to life and assure the maintenance of routine, we cannot avoid certain phenomena associated with Cosmic Universal Time.

Cosmic Universal Time (CUT) produces temporal situations of an entirely different nature to that which we are accustomed because these situations are in direct defiance of mundane order and routine. An example of this is the timeslip. During a timeslip experience, the individual may live in the present and past OR the present and future simultaneously. Needless to say, it can be an extremely upsetting and disorienting experience. Often the concept of a timeslip is relegated to the realm of the supernatural since scientists believe that whatever happens in the natural Universe in which we all live must have natural origins. There are however some commonalities amongst those who have experienced timeslips that may align with some of the laws of physics. These common denominators are:

  • Each occurrence is set in motion by a trigger factor often an object. Some individuals experience a “tingling” reminiscent of an electric current and/or nausea just prior to the onset of the event.
  • The onset of the experience is abrupt.
  • The sensation of living in two times zones – present/past or present/future exists.
  • There is a feeling of being an integral part of the experience or of being part of the ensuing action but a disorientation or detachment also exists where the subject sees or hears abnormally.
  • There is a noticeable absence of sound from the beginning to the end of the experience.
  • There is a difference in the quality of light which is described as ‘silvery white’.

Enter Quantum Physics which proposes that the concept of electrons in atoms move both backward and forward in time equally. If so, then it is quite possible if information is transmitted from the past or future to the present then it must already be in existence somewhere by means of waves. Once transmitted the information is then absorbed by surrounding matter and when the conditions are right the information is rebroadcast by the receiver. A human being caught in the crossfire because his or her brainwaves are operating on the frequency being transmitted registers the audio/visual of the original broadcaster. No one knows what these “waves” are but they seem to be tied to the electromagnetic waves radiated by all objects. A consideration of this theory is that every single component of the world in which we live is continually broadcasting information about itself and constitutional make up – form, color, texture current situation etc by means of these unknown waves. This includes high emotional states or stressful states that could be broadcast out into the atmosphere now only to be picked up by some sensitive individual in the future. Can this actually be the basis for haunting?

If it is to be accepted that such information can be ‘returned’ from the future, then it must also be accepted that the future must exist somewhere in some form. The human brain operates electrically using several frequencies and of course not everyone’s brain operates on exactly the same frequencies. Is it possible that those individuals who are sensitive to psychic phenomena are simply tuning into these transmissions and wave patterns from the past or future by being on the same frequency for reception at the time? Are some of these experiences currently being defined as hallucinations of the mind? When all of the factors such as hysteria, imaginative responses, drug usage or even illness have been eliminated there still remain a great number of actual experiences that remain unaccounted for and qualify for time dislocation.

Two of the most publicized time slip cases are the Ghosts of Versailles case and the Vanishing Hotel case. In the Ghosts of Versailles case two English women, Charlotte Anne Moberly (16 September 1846 - 7 May 1937) and Eleanor Jourdain (1863–1924), the principal and vice-principal of St Hugh's College, Oxford,  claimed they slipped back in time in the gardens of the Petit Trianon at Versailles from the summer of 1901 to the period of the French Revolution. A widely publicized case from October 1979, described in the ITV television series Strange But True?, concerned the Simpsons and the Gisbys, two English married couples driving through France en route to a holiday in Spain. They claimed to have stayed overnight at a curiously old-fashioned hotel and decided to break their return journey at the same hotel but were unable to find it. Photographs taken during their stay, which were in the middle of a roll of film, were missing, even from the negative strips, when the pictures were developed.

 According to Wikipedia, timeslips are a popular subject for pop-culture:

  • The idea of the time slip has been exploited by a number of science fiction and fantasy writers. Notable stories using the theme include John Wyndham's short stories Odd and Stitch in Time in Consider Her Ways (1961). Chronoclasm and Pawley's Peepholes, included in the collection The Seeds of Time (1956), explore the subject from the point of view of those being visited.
  • 1990s sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart saw its main character Garry Sparrow walk down a passage in 1993 only to find himself in 1940. He was able to go back and forth at will, with the time in the past running concurrently with the present day. The series finished in 1999 with the 'past' year being 1945.
  • The 1990 novella The Langoliers by Stephen King involved a jet airliner which had passed through a timeslip into yesterday, and the crew and passengers' desperate attempts to return to today before being consumed by the eponymous Langoliers.
  • The 1970 children's TV series Timeslip explores the notion of two children who are able to slip through time. In the series the children are able to travel backwards to visit their parents as young people and forwards to meet themselves as adults.
  • Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist of the Kurt Vonnegut novel Slaughterhouse-Five, experiences a series of time slips throughout his life after becoming "unstuck in time".
  • Martian Time-Slip is a 1964 science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick. It advances the idea that the flow of time can change or even be reversed from place-to-place. Time on Mars is much more malleable than time on Earth or at least there are more portals and loop holes on Mars.

The Gothic daytime drama series Dark Shadows (1966-1971) was notorious for time
travel segments including visitations to the past, future and even parallel time.
  • The Moberly and Jourdain story was filmed with Wendy Hiller and Hannah Gordon as Miss Morison's Ghosts in 1981.
  • In The Sandlot: Heading Home, Tommy "Santa" Santorelli gets hit by a baseball during a mis-firing of fireworks and ends up in 1976 on the Sandlot when he was almost 13. At the end, he gets hit by a ball again landing him back in his 40's where the future's changed. (e.g. Benny's his manager, he stayed on the Dodgers, etc.)
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock hints at the theme of a time slip, though it is more of a film about unexplained disappearances. The ones depicted in the film are entirely fictional.
  • The Long Love Letter is a Japanese drama that focuses on students who have been sent years in the future along with their entire school building. Not knowing a time slip has occurred, they must traverse to survive in such a dismal situation.
  • In Operation Love, another Japanese drama, Ken Iwase (Tomohisa Yamashita) attends the wedding of a childhood friend while filled with regret for never having confessed his feelings. While at the reception, Ken is given the opportunity to slip back in time to make her his girlfriend.
  • After Benjamin Linus moves the island at the conclusion of Lost's fourth season, the island's inhabitants begin slipping through various times in the island's history while remaining in the same physical location. However, it is unclear whether they are the ones moving in time, or if the island itself is sliding in time "under" them.
  • The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time video game series by Ubisoft and the 2010 movie of the same title use time slip and more broadly the time travel element as their major plot device and gameplay mechanism.
  • In Jessamy (1967), a novel by Barbara Sleigh, a little girl staying in an old house falls asleep in a cupboard and wakes up in 1914.