Time Travel: a Mirage or Verity?

Traveling through the realms of time… we have all imagined it at least once, haven’t we?

As kids, maybe when older… wanting to do it for the same reasons; and quite different. Love, regret, guilt— excitement, discovery, adventure.

As a kid, I watched the parts of Back to the Future and I loved every bit of it. How could a kid not? It had everything: action, love, time travel, cool new gadgets— hoverboards, modern technology)… but perhaps its best attraction was the idea of time travel. As a result, I loved to watch movies that had time travel.

For a long time, I believed time travel was possible. But even in 2018, we haven’t had any breakthroughs because perhaps there really is no time travel possible. I have read about the possibilities of traveling into the past or future but that’s all they are: nothing concrete because nobody can still build a time machine.

back to the future,
No rights reserved. Original artwork by gavcam on DeviantArt.

To move into the past, we’d need to travel faster than the speed of light which is possible for an infinite mass only. The other option is wormholes but one would only, theoretically be able to travel to the point of its creation. Fascinating is the fact that this could be used by the people in future as a starting point.

Traveling to the future is easier: time dilation. Astronauts do this kind of. They travel at such high speeds, that they do age less than those of us down here at Earth. But it’s not really significant because of the limitations of travel speed.

That’s funny because every now and then someone shows up claiming to be a time traveler from the future. *Sigh*. Good for you.

Now to discuss the idea of time travel.

If it were actually possible would we ever make mistakes? One perspective is.. d’oh, of course. You’d be more fearless as you’d have the “key” to correcting a fatal error. But would you ever really make a mistake then? The mistake would simply be nonexistent then. You’d not have done it.

Maybe people would get bored of it— aren’t we bored with our social lives, phones, and laptops? Why do we crave something new, again? Why are we never satisfied?

If time travel was actually realized, you’d just go kill Hitler, hmm? That’s a popular answer. Sure, you could face the possibility of inability to interfere with the space-time continuum, or changing the past, but hey, I’m not cynical at all.  You could just relocate him to a jungle? Maybe get him into swimming? Perhaps a life in the South American unexplored territory and he’d be an amazing explorer we are still talking about. Sadly, we can’t and he was what he was: the man responsible for the Holocaust– a mass murderer of innocent human beings; a coward. That’s just the history, nothing of my own accord.

We do forget other people just as evil, if not more than him. No, by no means am I defending him. I would never dare. But over the course of human history, we have had men try to eliminate most of, if not all of the human population. We keep redoing our mistakes and it keeps getting more violent.

I don’t find time travel that alluring anymore.

It’s a way to shed ourselves our responsibilities, to be reckless.

It’s a way of missing what is really important in life: the journey, the turns, undulating pathway, the loss and pain and joy, and love and the lessons.

I don’t mean to be insensitive. I understand when you lose someone to an illness or murder, or breaking ends to a loved one, losing a part of you in a war or accident, being unable to function properly mentally… those are all serious issues. Kidnapping, sexual abuse, rape... I cannot defend any of these abhorrent and detestable crimes. There is a plethora of injustices and evils and pain in our world. But how can we, mere mortals, lift it off? We can try, I think, to take one step a day. Not an excuse for any suffering, but because of it, we grow stronger than we had any expectations from ourselves.

An interview with Nikola Tesla by John B.  Kennedy

Here Nikola Tesla at 68 years, talks of the future. The clarity he has for what is to come is astounding for the time of this interview– 1926.

What follows is a bunch of quotes that felt uncannily true, and just amazing to have been said almost a 100 years ago. It’s pretty unnerving if I am honest. I probably would have chosen 2 at most but it felt important to include the others.

tesla, tesla industries
No rights reserved. Original artwork by PaulRomanMartinez on DeviantArt.

The life of the bee will be the life of our race, said Nikola Tesla, the world-famed scientist, back in January 1926.

Not only this but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone.  A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.

Wireless will not only make possible the supply of energy to region, however inaccessible, but it will be effective politically by harmonizing international interests; it will create understanding instead of differences.

Belted parking towers will arise in our large cities, and the roads will be multiplied through sheer necessity, or finally rendered unnecessary when civilization exchanges wheels for wings.

The acquisition of new fields of endeavor by women, their gradual usurpation of leadership, will dull and finally dissipate feminine sensibilities, will choke the maternal instinct, so that marriage and motherhood may become abhorrent and human civilization draw closer and closer to the perfect civilization of the bee.

You can read the full interview from the link. There is a lot of great content.


“The angels and the Spirit will ascend to Him during a Day the extent of which is fifty thousand years.”

-Qur’an 70:4

Religions often speak metaphorically which is why we cannot definitively conclude that there is a correlation between the wording and the exact science, as this may have been a metaphorical allusion. Still, it is intriguing to explore that field and ascertain the veracity, at the same time, allowing us to kind of know wormholes do exist?

The verse above mentions Angels and the Spirit (Isra and Mi’raj?) traveling using “wormholes”. Perhaps that’s all it is meant to be used for? Maybe–surprise, surprise- it is not for Man as we anticipate?

wormhole, interstellar,
No rights reserved. Original (stunning) artwork by EricShoemaker on DeviantArt.

There is one good explanation of what is our wormhole: “Do you remember how a frictionless roller coaster works? That is, you start high and slow then you go down and fast but when you come back up again to your previous height you return to your previous slow speed? Well, the wormhole is the most efficient roller coaster you can imagine. Energy is not required to move through the wormhole, that is, you can simply switch off your rockets. Gravity accelerates you and pulls you through and then expels you the other side. You will feel like being swept by waves at the beach; nothing more. On your way through, gravity causes your clock to run slower and your ruler to shrink. Distant observers see you accelerating to relativistic speeds; as a result, your energy (and mass) increase dramatically in their view; but when you get out the other side everything returns back to normal (your clock, ruler…)” Now, this is only a theoretical assumption that is far away from experimental confirmation.

I found this to be an extremely useful and easy to understand the analogy to help people who are not super into science or such. For people like me, who are interested yet sometimes it can be hard to understand all the physics behind a concept as huge as this, at least.

This article linked is a convenient read to help you explore and see a new light on this concept.

At the end of the day, I suppose we will just have to wait to see if time travel is possible, let alone in our lifetimes.

Personally, I do not believe we will ever be able to travel through time. If that were the case, time would no longer be seen as linear. And if time is not linear, we are all alive and dead and happy and sad and angry and excited and awkward and confident and ugly and beautiful and rude and proud and sensitive and careless–– at the same time! You could just go back and forth and maybe never even die? I mean, there is a plethora of questions one wonders: could you change your past or future? Could you replace you in the past or future? Could you stay in a time? Could you be stuck? Could you prevent world disasters and what kind of auxiliary effects would that carry?

I remember watching About Time… when Tim is hit upon by the realization of the present; what he’s missing. The ending monologue, is him attempting to make the ordinary days extraordinary… which is not exactly convenient in the long term.

But it did make me chuckle for one thing… We are traveling through time, every second of our lives. Just not the way we imagine it to be.

Time travel is a quagmire. And in my opinion, even if theoretically possible, even in 2018 we are no closer than years ago. I do not really want to travel through time. I used to want it as a kid.

time traveler, dweller, maybes
No rights reserved. Original artwork by xetobyte on DeviantArt.

The future, for example, held a great mystery and I would have done anything to know how my life turned out. Or maybe go change my mistakes in the past, prevent heartbreaks or betrayals. Maybe I could live in the Renaissance Era, or stopped the apple from falling on Newton’s head? Maybe I could have

Maybe I would have fallen in love for life. Maybe I would have had someone stay? Maybe I would have been beside great men or written a “classic”… 

Maybe I would have

But here I am. Living in the now. Living in the present which is not ideally a happy place. The present may not be perfect, for me or for any of us… but it carries a great privilege to not shun ourselves the chance to live in this juncture of the world history. I am a believer of things ultimately being for the greater good, although it can be extremely arduous to see that in our tough times. I believe our Creator made us and didn’t abandon us: He is always nearby. We are blessed with the prerogative of free will.

I have found solace and made peace with my past and have learned to not worry about the future incessantly. No, I wouldn’t not be curious to want to know how I end up about 10-15 years later or if I am even alive then? I think there is a certain charm in accepting what has happened as the past, and what will happen, as the future. Yeah, obvious! But it is not. I’m not exempt from worrying about things I have done things I literally cannot change anymore… but the worry is a funny thing and hard, extremely so, to shake off.

If we live in the present, we will find a sense of gratitude. I believe being grateful is essential to any form of lasting happiness—- fleeting as it is its nature, though.

I am content.No.

Of course, there are days when all of this feels like a lie. Days when I wish to change everything—- past, present and the future. Then there are days when I want to alter my past. Still, seldom days filled with the apprehension for the future.

That is not all.

I wish to know. I wish a lot of things.

escape, apprehension, fear, anxiety
No rights reserved. Original artwork by HenriqueFrazao on DeviantArt.

I want to escape my vessel. I want to escape my body, leave everything of mine.

I want to escape? 

I could use that time machine any time

I would go anywhere it took me, or maybe just that one place.. that one time… that one night…

One of the leading researchers in this area is William A. Hiscock, a professor of physics at Montana State University. Here are some of his thoughts on the matter of obtaining a wormhole:

“-but where does one obtain a wormhole? Although the theoretical properties of wormholes have been extensively studied over the past decade, little is known about how to form a macroscopic wormhole, large enough for a human or a spaceship to pass through. Some speculative theories of quantum gravity tell us that space-time has a complicated, foam-like structure of wormholes on the smallest scales–10^-33 centimeter, or a billion billion times smaller than an electron (basically so tiny we cannot comprehend seeing it). Some physicists believe it may be possible to grab one of these truly microscopic wormholes and enlarge it to a usable size, but at present, these ideas are all very hypothetical.”

It can be said, a century ago, most of what we find ordinary was unbelievable or in laymen terms, impossible. But odds were defied and humans did inconceivable things (to each other) to attempt to reach a level of monolithic cutting-edge technological advancements– 3D printers, holograms, AI. The “ordinary” device that encompasses most of our life now, smartphones are indeed smart, and beyond belief to someone 50 years ago even.

What the future holds, none of us can say with a certainty although we all try.

maybe, chaos, apprehension, cosmic causeway,
No rights reserved. Original artwork by LukeOram on DeviantArt.

John L. Friedman of the physics department at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee has also given this subject a great deal of consideration:

“A recent surprise is that one can circumvent the ‘grandfather paradox,’ the idea that it is logically inconsistent for particle paths to loop back to earlier times, because, for example, a granddaughter could go back in time to do away with her grandfather. For several simple physical systems, solutions to the equations of physics exist for any starting condition. In these model systems, something always intervenes to prevent inconsistency analogous to murdering one’s grandfather.

“Then why do there seem to be no time machines? Two different answers are consistent with our knowledge. The first is simply that the classical theory has a much broader set of solutions than the correct theory of quantum gravity. It is not implausible that causal structure enters in a fundamental way in quantum gravity and that classical spacetimes with time loops are spurious–in other words, that they do not approximate any states of the complete theory. A second possible answer is provided by recent results that go by the name chronology protection: One supposes that quantum gravity allows microscopic structures that violate causality, and one shows that the character of macroscopic matter forbids the existence of regions with macroscopically large time loops. To create a time machine would require negative energy, and quantum mechanics appears to allow only extremely small regions of negative energy. And the forces needed to create an ordinary-sized region with time loops appear to be extremely large.

“To summarize: It is very likely that the laws of physics rule out macroscopic time machines, but possible that spacetime is filled with microscopic time loops.”

Remember the famous, and universally loved Back to the Future trilogy? Many of us grew up loving that movie and dreaming to have the capability. I guess that is why we all kind of wondered this, or maybe not for only that reason. But yeah, I would have liked to know how it worked…
But the future could be as callous and degenerate as depicted in 12 Monkeys.

12 monkeys
No rights reserved. Original artwork by MaxRomanchak on DeviantArt.

It kind of reminds me of Schrödinger’s paradox. It could be flowery and happy, or it could be hideous and debauched.

At present, it is both and neither.

Because maybe it is entirely different than we comprehend.

Right now, it is a conundrum.

Here are some bonus interviews I conducted (not in person):

A first-year medical student:

What do you think about time travel? 

Time travel shouldn’t be possible because there are two kinds of people: stuck in the past or overcurious about the future. If it’s accessible to everyone, people will forget to live in the present. I’m a staunch believer of the fact that everything happens for a reason, which is ultimately for our good.
Is it possible? 

I think so, yes.

Where’d you go, and why?

I’m the past kind of person, I don’t want to be.. but sometimes you cannot help obsessing over what you did. I made a few mistakes a couple of years ago, in my final year of college which I would like to go rectify.

I can’t handle knowing the future. What if I find out I will die by a car accident? Then I wouldn’t be able to live. I would avoid all cars maybe stay at my home forever. I don’t know but that scares me!

An athlete, football fan working a white-collar job:

What do you think about time travel? 

I’m addicted to time travel stories. I love reading about complex, twisted tales of heroic braveries and selfishness and having the ability to make your own destiny, literally: in the past or future. Oh, what’d I give to change a few things I have done over the years.
Is it possible?

I wish it were, but I don’t think it is, no.

Where’d you go, and why?

14 years ago. That was the year things started changing for me. I made really monumental change-your-life decisions that were… I shouldn’t have made them. I should have known better. Maybe I’d be really happy today if I had been wiser. Maybe.

A high school junior, aspiring journalist (and writer):

What do you think about time travel? 

I think it’s a cool concept but I don’t think we’ll ever have those machines.  If we did, I don’t know what would happen to us as a species or race. It’d be a fish market out there. Just blind-trample-everything-in-sight mess.

Is it possible? 

I don’t think so, no.

Where’d you go, and why?

I want to say I would have the self-control to not see my future but that is just wishful thinking. Although I would arrange a meeting between myself and J. R. R. Tolkien while he was still writing Lord of the Rings.
And I would go 2 years, 5 years, 10, 20, 50, years into the future. Check me in all those important phases.

Oh, and I want to know if the Jonas Brothers’ Year 3000 song is true, hahaha.

A Vlogger, studying media for his Masters (also an engineer):

What do you think about time travel? 

A very intriguing topic. To travel through the domain of time and have that opportunity, should the need arise…  At certain times, I feel like I could have helped manufacture a time machine, haha. But seriously, I hope to help people “travel” through time through films, which I know for sure actually is legit.
Is it possible? 

It might even be possible, but maybe not. Not sure.

Where’d you go, and why?

I’m not sure I’d use it. I probably would not want to go to the past or to the future. I love my life right now. I feel blessed to be chasing my dreams and doing what I love. I have met wonderful people who are my friends, and my family… life is meant to be the way it is, full of uncertainty and mysteries, I guess. Yet… an actual time machine could tempt anyone, haha.

A professor, studying for a doctorate in Political Psychology (and a poet):

What do you think about time travel? 

I am comfortable in the present but I yearn to see the past.
Is it possible? 


Where’d you go, and why?

A lot of places actually. I would have loved to go to Turkey.. Italy.. France.. Scandinavia… Syria and the Middle East.

The Middle East in the Golden Ages or what is known as the Medieval Era. The West in the 1800s— the period of Renaissance, the baroque beauty.. artists like Vivaldi and Bach. And going to the 1920s, and the 1960s. To witness the roaring 20s and the famous civil disobedience (1920-22) and the ignition of the global “left” on world politics.

An artist & writer:

What do you think about time travel?

I don’t think it should happen. It’s not something I think we should be allowed to do. The past is the past, learn from it and move forward.

Is it possible?

I don’t know if it is possible or not.

Where’d you go and why?

I wouldn’t go. At all, Ever. Everything that has happened has done so for a reason. I am not to change that.

A poet and writer, with a Masters in Management Studies and a Bachelors in Creative Writing & Literature, another in Cultural Management; currently working as an accountant:

What do you think about time travel?

I believe in it, but in the spiritual sense that our spirits travel through time and space, and between dimensions. I think we are not supposed to time travel unless we are spiritually enlightened and most of us are not, as a result of which, everything would be chaotic.

Is it possible?

With today’s technology, I think everything is, so yes.

Where’d you go and why?

I would travel to Ancient Egypt. And if possible, to the afterlife (I know that is far-fetched..) to visit my mom, only if there is a return route.

Disclaimer: Please note that the people included here gave their full consent to use their data. I chose to let it be anonymous so the focus is on the answers, rather than the people. It is a small sample but I tried to choose diversity over quantity. Some of the answers obtained were edited (comingled or compressed) for the sake of narrative coherence.

© Essentially Donut, All Rights Reserved™ 🍩

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