So why should time be discussed from a relative standpoint? Because of the time/space continuum of course and our ability to discriminate on events personally while others hold different views. We owe the very basis of understanding of relative time to Albert Einstein, both in General Relativity and the Special Theory of Relativity. In order to get to grips with everyday consciousness also, we have to view things from a relative perspective as we are doomed to do so by our human nature. Things always looked better in the past as we generally perceive them. And things always look like they do in accordance to our dependence on other's perspectives too. If one party falsifies an event and the other decides that the event holds true to the best of their relative perspective, we cannot prove so otherwise without evidence as humans have a tendency to fancily depict their earlier lives (in my humble opinion) If someone started to describe an event I had no familiarity with however or didn't quite like to admit to, and then claimed I was actually there (and sober) I would have to say they were delusional as I hadn't witnessed it, unless of course there was evidence to prove it, or enough collected relative experiences to account for it. Events that involve others only happen in relation to themselves and ourselves along with the actual truth of the matter along with their willingness to corroborate. Anyway, enough about that for now.
Physical Time Travel:
According to the laws of relativity, light travels at 186,000 miles per second and because of this finely tuned law, we view things as they are in the present so long as they are not at a distance so far as to be already expired, providing there is no barrier between us viewing them and light showing there whereabouts. It's also possible through particle acceleration to reach 99.99999% the speed of light, but not possible to reach the fullness of this speed. I'm not sure the scientific explanation why exactly, but you can judge me if that makes you feel better about yourself :P It's not humanly possible to reach this speed or faster than light can travel as it seems to be the natural barrier in our human relative experience that we can witness things up until. So in short it would fall short of qualifying as an actual MIRACLE to witness anything past the present moment in scientific terms as the present includes the constant of the speed of light. This would qualify as a physical impossibility by modern physics. (please correct me if I'm wrong here folks and I shall correct it) Imagine, because of the speed of light, it would take us 8 minutes to discover if the sun had burnt out, relatively speaking, 8 minutes ago. Fascinating. If I were to travel 186,000 miles in a second, I would be 186,000 miles away in the present, or if i did so on earth, I would be 1 second ahead of you. We are all human and age the same way. But If i were traveling to Mars away from you at a certain constant speed, I would remain younger slightly in relative terms while you got older. I wouldn't be in pique physical fitness however, as my environment must be the same as yours in order to survive. So I might age in one way and you the other. Reaching the speed of light for any physical object means this body is in danger of increasing in mass to almost infinity, so this adds a further obstacle to traveling in time physically. Anyway, this is not the basis of my discussion and I'm not a physicist so I'll continue on before I go into worm holes. (not literally of course, though it does feel, as I'm typing this, that my words are falling into a black hole) :P
Physical Past and Future Time Travel
Time travel to the past would mean a physical re-tracing of the path of the Big Bang singularity, the most popular theory behind everything. It certainly puts a believable edge on things rather than everything just "appearing" from nothing, though technically they are one and the same. To digress slightly, A man would be nothing without his consciousness and vice versa, and as they both exist in the same reality, then neither theory is disprovable at present. But when talking of time travel, we are talking of something that links directly to physics, so therefore we must discuss it scientifically. It may be possible to view our past from a relatively distant object. This would mean an object that was moving away from us at a constant speed. We have to assume that the universe is expanding like a balloon in order to assume that time is moving in a particular direction. So a distant object moving away from us at a particular distance may be able to see us at a point in the past, relating to distance and time. It may also be possible that if a giant mirror was set at a great distance from us, we may also view our past if we had a telescope powerful and accurate enough to make this observation. However, to exist at any point in the future, ahead of everyone we know at the present, we must be able to move as fast, or faster than the speed of light. A twin who is moving at the speed of light for 10 years away from his brother may return to find his brother had aged 32 years in relative time. However an object moving at such speed gains mass and could theoretically gain infinite mass by the time they ever reach the speed, so it's a physical impossibility scientifically, at least at present.
Spiritual and Conscious Time Travel:
The only way I can see Time Travel in relation to the scientific methods that I have explained in brief, is that of projecting the conscious mind into the past or the future. One can be quite enjoyable and the other can prove detrimental at best, relatively speaking. So it seems possible, due to scientific evidence and human nature that the only way to reach a different time would not be ruled by physical limitations or bound by the laws of physics. Seeing as light is ever present except within the event horizon of a singularity (arguably there is light in a singularity, but it cannot even escape the pull of gravity on the photon) I would say it's not possible to project sensory consciousness further than the speed of light (into the future) would allow, seeing as consciousness is only present in the physical beings that possess it in the first place. If such a thing were possible, would we not already be in heaven for example? I would think that the conditions needed to do so would require a person actually being in a black hole but then time would not be necessary, as time if reputed to stop when one reaches the event horizon. Here we can see a physical paradox. My next argument is that the only form of time travel we can witness as humans in our current evolved form is that of sensory projection. On one hand we have the mind desiring to make a future in the form of fantasy and suffering much stress as a result of things not going their way and on the other we have nostalgia, which links the mind, the heart and our senses directly to an event in the past. Imagine if you will, the smell of cut grass... a person can unite a thousand summer days previous into a single moment in the present. All time becomes united and we can actually feel, for a moment like we are witnessing it again. It's fair to say that nostalgia is sensory time travel. Feelings and senses are what make us human and we surely cannot exist without a direct link to them. The senses, and mind must be present to the experiences of our past in order to realise the past. If we could physically exist in the past it would be necessary to consider parallel universes and the existence of more than one of every person there is. The universe is as it is and contains everything in it. Why would a parallel universe be any different? Would it not then be a separate universe? If we are considered able to travel to the past, then why wouldn't we be able to change it and why would everyone else outside yourself have no control over how their lives would go depending on your changed actions? Why would you be the center of this universe? The only thing that can defy time in any way is our senses coupled by our mind. But they exist within the confines of our being which exist in our relative existence, so it becomes heavily debatable.
But do we not already hold the power to change the past by altering the present? The matter becomes relative yet again. If we become relatively aware of the moment we're in, there would be no need to time travel to change or realise anything again. Our choices would be dependent on "well, am will I be pissed off at this X amount of time in the future?"We could set about making a past we could appreciate by acting how we felt like we should. But it could never dictate how we will feel when that moment of judgment comes. Our senses at that time will be able to recount that moment due to certain stimuli. we must become relatively aware that at some point in future we may want to change the past!
In my opinion, the reason we cannot physically project into the future is because we have nothing physical to relate to it. Simply put, our senses and our physicality cannot exist outside the present moment. Neither senses nor mind can exist outside the physical body and the body cannot survive at light speeds, so it is impossible to have a physical existence outside right now. All we have is fantasy and the will to make it succeed without obsessing over it too much. Effectively, the future is moot unless we make it happen every moment we can by concentrating our efforts. No future exists for you as a slim person unless you are willing to do it now, so now amount of projecting will change how you are in the future. Imagine a depressed person on perfect anti-depressants moving away at light speed for 10 years away from his brother. When he arrives back, his brother will be 32 years older and he will still be depressed unless he tries not to be.
A sensory existence in the future requires an experience "build up" of sorts. The "cut grass" sensory memory cannot exist without the previous sensory memory to back it up. To be "placed" in the future would be to have no sensory memory of the "time" leading up to it. It would be like being born to a new reality. There would be no physical memory available to say we were ever anywhere else. To be in any time, one must have the awareness and experience of a previous time scale in relation to where they are now. You cannot project your sense to say what something will be like 100%, you can only speculate. It's like smelling cheese instead of tasting it. It smells bad, but when you taste it, it's delicious and becomes relative as a result. What if one had to awake in the year 3110 to find the human brain had evolved to perceive things differently and different stimulus was needed to achieve full awareness of it? What would be the point? It could be an emotional, sensory, spiritual or intellectual reason, but the time we find ourselves in is purely relative to the experiences we had leading up to it. Even if you traveled at 186,000 miles per second for 20 years, you still develop as normal because you take the present with you, but depending on your atmosphere, you may evolve differently. Humans develop socially and environmentally, so to travel away from earth could be detrimental to our evolution on a large scale. And seeing as it's not possible to travel at such speeds here on earth and that any possible worm-hole or black hole lies at such incredible distances in relation to our paltry life-spans, it's unlikely that we'll ever time travel or ever have the physicality to survive the process.
I will rest for now on the idea that time travel is purely sensory and physically relative and purely projective and that in order to exist in any other "time" we must posses at least the very basic things that make us able to experience the concept in the first place... physicality, spirituality, senses and awareness to the experience.
This has been Theory of Time part 2