THE SPACE-TIME CONTINUUM, PART 1

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“Newtonian mechanics successfully described the motions of the planets, mechanical machines, and fluids in continuous motion. The enormous success of the mechanistic model made physicists of the early 19th century believe that the universe was indeed a huge mechanical system running according to the Newtonian laws of motion. These laws were seen as the basic laws of nature, and Newtonian mechanics was considered to be the ultimate theory of natural phenomena. These laws held firm the ideas of absolute time and space and of physical phenomena as strictly causal in nature…

This view was very comforting and still is to those of us who prefer to see the world as solid and largely unchanging, with very clear, definite sets of rules that govern its functioning. Much of our daily lives still run on Newtonian mechanics. Except for the electrical systems, our homes are largely Newtonian. We experience our bodies in a mechanical way. We define most of our experience in terms of absolute, three dimensional space and linear time. We all have clocks. We need them to continue our lives as we have structured them - mostly linearly.

As we rush about our daily lives, in an effort to be “on time,” it is easy to see ourselves as mechanical and to lose sight of the deeper human experience within…

In 1905, Albert Einstein published his Special Theory of Relativity and shattered all the principal concepts of the Newtonian world view. According to relativity theory, space is not three-dimensional, and time is not a separate entity. Both are intimately connected and form a four-dimensional continuum, “space time”…

It is time to stop invalidating experience that lies outside our Newtonian way of thinking and broaden our framework of reality. We all have had experiences of time speeding up or of losing track of time. If we become proficient in observing our moods, we can see that our personal time varies with the mood we are in and with the experiences we are having…

Our experience lies outside the Newtonian system. Many times we have experienced meeting someone after several years separation; it is as if we had just seen them yesterday…

Einstein’s space-time continuum states that the apparent linearity of events depends on the observer. We are all too ready to accept past lives as literal physical lives that have happened in the past in a physical setting like this one. Our past lives may be happening right now in a different space-time continuum. Many of us have experienced “past lives’ and feel their effects as if they were a short time ago. But we rarely speak of how our future lives are affecting the one we are experiencing right here and now. As we live our life NOW, it becomes more likely that we are rewriting our personal history, both past and future.

- Barbara Ann Brennan - excerpted from PP 22-24 of Hands of Light

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