In the TV show “Timeless”, a primary character has ‘writers block’ at the most inconvenient of times – when she’s trying to recreate William B Travis’s last letter to the People of Texas & All Americans in the World.
In the original letter, it says “I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country. VICTORY OR DEATH.”
Throughout my life I have had a difficult time remembering dates and times, but I’ve always been pretty good about locations and geography. I’d often questioned why my memory was shoddy for dates and times.
So in this particular episode of Timeless, a time travel journey which revisits the Alamo and finds William B Travis is shot and killed four days prior to writing that historical passage, Abigail Spencer – a member of the team versed in history is struggling trying to recreate the letter with her otherwise highly accurate memory.
Master Sergeant Wyatt Logan, her time traveling teammate even comments about the peculiarity of her normally highly accurate memory.
With linear time, Abigail has already seen her future timeline change and her once dead mother is now no longer deceased but her sister is no longer around.
And with this linearity in time, it introduces another problem.
Abigail’s mind is already rearranging itself to fit the new history based on William B Travis’s death. The letter he wrote. And the collection of events from that point forward in history are all starting to change to support her linear timeline thinking model, and she’s not doing anything actively to mitigate the risk to her own mind to consider alternative ways of thinking.
Put specifically: The question arises: In what way can Abigail think about the events she just witnessed concerning William B Travis’s premature death and her writing the letter in his absence which:
- Preserves her linear history
- Preserves her world’s linear history
- Preserves her mind
- Supports the deviances she’s experiencing
- Allows her to make alterations to the past without risking disruption to her linear history?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand her writing the letter is a key component in protecting her linear timeline and history up until that point that she went back in time.
So writing the letter is a critical component to the preservation of (1) her linear history.
But in order for her to have the memory of the letter to begin with, THREE timelines have to exist from this point forward.
The first timeline, the timeline in which there was no direct time traveler interference and history happened exactly as she remembered. A new second timeline, a transitional timeline where she’s being confronted with memory issues which creates a sense of urgency for her to write the letter. And a third timeline where she wrote the letter.
By creating multiple timelines – making the multiple universe theory fact – she’s just now accomplished (2) preserving her world’s linear history.
Now the issue is – preserving her own mind.
Put specifically. Prior to this point – she’s been a linear thinker and her mind just accepted the notion of multiple universes to mitigate the risk to her timeline, her planet’s timeline, and her own mind.
Consciously, I look back on my own life – and some things absolutely stuck out when I went through the transition period myself. Call them breadcrumbs – hints throughout my life that time was both linear and nonlinear simultaneously – and relative to me as an observer.
One hint was – remembering Art Muro – a young boy who used to pick on me when I was young who had incredibly and indescribably grew shorter and less intimidating in the year since I had moved away and to Arizona.
Two different versions of Art. This gave me a hint at the multiverse and how there’s not always a perfect alignment between them and there will be glitches and this was one of them.
Another time – where it felt like the world flipped on it’s head and I found myself on my back after kicking a ball – knocking the wind out of myself wondering how I got from a horizontal position to a vertical position faster than was humanly possible.
Again. Glitches exposing the temporal and gravity based nature of time and multiple universes. Just because one universe looks, sounds, and feels the same doesn’t mean it’s a 1 for 1 correlation to the original.
And remembering dying. As my mind saved me from certain death on one timeline and in one universe and shifted me to another universe and reality, this left a memory imprint which invariably my own mind couldn’t hide from me after it had happened enough.
For instance. Let’s say Paul Walker found a world he loved more than mine. He chooses to exit stage left of my universe and into another universe where he’s currently happier than he was in mine. In my world I see him die but does he see himself die? I truly doubt that.
I’ve had numerous memories – imprints – of times and places I died – which previously existed as ‘wow, I wonder what would have happened if xx’ – when that memory was actually my mind’s way of hiding the memory of death from me and instead leading me to believe it was merely a thought.
It HAD actually happened. But my mind leveraged time travel type manipulation and shifted me out of the reality where I experienced this premature exit and into a new one where I was just fine.
In any case. Abigail’s mind is preserved by (a) creating stories to dismiss the multiple universe concept or delay it’s introduction into her life as long as possible until such a point she’s ready to understand and accept it and (b) leveraging her own linear memories of the past to demonstrate the glitches that a crossover occurred.
This accomplishes (3) the preservation of Abigail’s mind.
So now we’re confronted with (4) How do we consciously get her to accept the deviances without a complete mental collapse here and now. This is where it gets interesting and tough.
I can only tell you how I overcame the issue – but it’s not something I would advise.
How I did it was with.
I myself *think* I began imposing artificial limits on my thinking when I began experiencing temporal deviances on a regular basis which might suggest there’s multiple realities ‘out there’ by accepting a ‘thinking cap’ of a 10% usage of my own mind. This limited the questions I would ask as I focused more on work, sex, and an addiction to cocaine.
It wasn’t exactly healthy. And while I don’t really regret the experiences which I did enjoy and wouldn’t mind repeating without the cap, this started me down the process of trying to find out what was going on WITH ME that was causing my body and mind distress?
An addiction’s a behavioral cycle. And somewhere, I realized that eventually I would quit staring at addiction and look at behavioral cycles to understand my problems – and eventually this linked to patterns of thinking. From there, I began experimenting with new thinking models until I found theories and concepts and actively began noodling on the question – how would I go about finding evidence of these alternative and way out theories?
Eventually. Abigail can realize the same thing I did.
There’s infinite potential realities.
There’s one primary timeline she and others like me may come from.
And this primary timeline is ‘home’. Where events occur in a particular and predictable sequence because of our simple desire to experience a linearly manageable existence.
But to this primary timeline are branches.
Where these branches – anything can happen. I can relive past loves and flames. JFK can be saved. The moon landing could have never happened or time travel was invented before space travel. I can go back in time and be a pirate, or I can lead a pirate who doesn’t mind being commanded by someone from the future because he enjoys knowing he won’t ever fail.
Can write a letter.
Remembering the original timeline and the letter she wrote.
And in my universe. I can teach her how to do this.
How to understand her sister’s still safe in the original timeline.
And to instead start enjoying and toying with time as she adventures through time rather than stressing out about doing the right thing all the time.
To me. As an observer.
I’d love to see a television show change right in front of my eyes and a new story unfolds based on time travelers who suddenly begin enjoying what they do.
I’ll find you one of these days in my own way and hopefully you’ll understand who I am and why I’m happy you’re here in my life and playing in time.
Enjoy yourselves. I’ll catch up with you someday.