Time Travel. It’s always been something that we’ve found to be fascinating. We may have seen it in a film, we may have read it in a book with words that left you baffled yet excited. It may have even made scientists want to go through countless hours of research to try and figure it all out; maybe to even utilise it one day. But if you ask me, I think time travel, though it may seem like an awesome idea at a first glance, should be left to science-fiction stories and whatnot.
I’m a firm believer that time travel will not and will never be something that we can attain, let alone even utilise because of so many reasons – but I’ll come onto that in a moment. What I wanted to talk about is how time travel can be something that can cause more problems for us than it will benefit us.
Some people may believe that time travel can be something that can help us in life for a few reasons. The most (probably) common one is that, if we can take control of time travel, we can go back into our own timelines and undo the mistakes or bad things that have happened in our lives, be it a hugely embarrassing moment that you can’t erase from your memory or the death of a loved one. But if you think about it, those reasons for going back in time would pose a threat to our own mental wellbeing. No one wants those moments to happen, and some events in our lives that we would rather forget might even live with us forever; it would be nice to get rid of those thoughts, and if time travel were possible, anything we change in the past might even clear our minds completely of those horrible events that took place in the first place. But to erase those events would probably cause more problems than the events did… or would do… complicating stuff, huh? Anyway, what I’m trying to get at is that, to try and erase those horrible things would be to erase the acceptance that you had for those events. In other words, that embarrassing moment you had in your life or that cherished one who faced their time, were like lessons in our lives; lessons that make us stronger and help us to move on from those events. Time travel back into your past to rid yourself from those things would, in fact, wipe away that strength you had to the point when you were at your most vulnerable, making your past self, your present self, and possibly your future self into a figure that can’t progress in terms of their own mental state. It’s like going through your life without one single upset that could’ve made you come out stronger than you were before.
Another point on this matter would be that changing the course of your life in the past would turn you into a completely different person in the present, and you wouldn’t even know it whether you liked the old you or not… because there would be no ‘old you'; just the ‘you’ that existed throughout time with no faults whatsoever. Referring back to the point about strength and weakness, to make your events ‘perfect’ would most likely make you a weaker person than you were with problems in your life. Put it this way: Imagine your life being completely worry-free, where you never encountered one moment of sadness in your life – you would think that that life would suddenly turn brilliant, wouldn’t it? But what would happen when you encountered that first moment of sadness after erasing those bad memories? Because it would technically be your first time experience with that emotion, you would be completely distraught by it. Now, imagine coming across that feeling for the first time in the present time and you decided to go back in time to change THAT event. That would revert you back to more weaker state when you haven’t experienced that same feeling yet, and once you experience the feeling again, the same cycle would want to repeat itself. Then, you’d be caught in a problematic loop where you constantly go back in time to erase bad things in your life without any acceptance for those particular events.
In the case of rewriting your own past, it would be a dangerous move. But if you went to the past to change someone else’s past, or the events that caused an affect to everyone, the consequences couldn’t be any more problematic. To put it simply, the same principles would apply in the same way you would change your own past – changing someone else’s past or the past of the masses would be like rewriting history to the point when everything in the present you know could all change without you or anyone else knowing it. Sure, it might benefit the people in some way. But again, changing aspects of someone else’s past, which could’ve changed their lives for the better in the present day, would wipe that away and put them in a more unconscious sense of vulnerability in the present.
So, that would be the problems for going back to the past. But what about the future? Now, hypothetically, if time travel was invented, going into your own future might be more complicating than it would to change your past, mainly because the future you want to travel to hasn’t been written in stone yet. The trouble with sending yourself into your own future is that, unlike the past and present where you already know what has happened, you cannot tell what will happen, which could make the future a much more hazardous place than the past – you wouldn’t be rewriting your own history, but rather, you would be creating, or to put it more realistically, disturbing the events that would unfold in your future – the events that should’ve been written without you being there in the first place. Because you have no knowledge of what the future holds, you could blindly put yourself into a position where you, the meddler, could put a risk to your own fate, and even to many other fates if you so wished to see the future’s of others. There is no way you will know the effects of what you do in the future because it is the future, and like I said, it hasn’t been written yet, so anything you do there will be completely left in the dark. That is unless you go further into the future to know what happened, only to confuse the pattern even more. Also, what would happen once that future is told and becomes the present? Imagine this: You were the one who travelled to the future and wrote the events that were to come, and when that time comes, who will everyone see in the present. They will see the past version of yourself, the one who wrote themselves in time to write those fated events without any possible means of rewriting your travels to the future – because once you travel to the future (or even the past for that matter), that event is written and locked in time; any attempt to undo that event by time travelling would be meaningless since you’ve just written THAT particular time travel event into the timeline, even if you undid the last time travel excursion. Anything you do to the timeline that disturbs it will literally change everything; even the most minor change of events have the power to do that – that is what I think anyway.
Now, I may have said that the future may be a more dangerous place to travel to than the past, and it might be if we were given the chance to go to either one of those things. But if we go back to talking about the past, there is one thing that might be the most dangerous aspect out of the whole concept of time travel. This is just a home-brewed theory though, so this might not be something to agree on.
Think about going back to the past, to whatever time you wanted whether it would be a recent time or a time long ago. Now imagine changing the events that would’ve determined your present. I’ve already said that many people would utilise time travel to go back in time to undo horrible things in their own pasts or anyone else’s pasts, and this is the thing that makes things a lot more complicated. But imagine changing ONE of those events and you were successful in doing so. Then you came back to your present time. Here is the tricky part: what would’ve happened to the event of you travelling back in time in the first place? Well, quite simply, the event you changed might have had the power to erase that event of you going back in time completely. So, if we were to think more deeply about this concept and disregard what I said earlier on in this post, how could you have changed the event in the past if there was no event of travelling back into the past to begin with? There is one word for that: Paradox. In other words, you would’ve changed the past whilst changing the present in a way that shouldn’t have made these two crucial points in time happen – it’s like you were there, but you weren’t. That is one theory, but here is another, which indeed presents another paradox.
The scenario would be that, you travelled back in time and you successfully managed to change the horrible event. But if THAT had the power to rewrite to event in the present where you travelled back in time to that point in the past, surely there would be no means of getting back to the present, because you had no means of travelling to the past in the first place. Now, that wouldn’t necessarily mean that the event of you changing the past would disappear with it, which in turn will turn you, the person who changed the past, into a paradox. The change of event in the past will create a new ‘you’ in the present time, but because the ‘you’, who changed the past, is stuck in the past, there is one too many versions of yourself within the timeline, which might only mean one thing (this is only a theory)… the ‘you’ that’s trapped in the past will erase itself, and will be replaced by the new ‘you’ in the present, because that ‘you’ that’s trapped itself in the past would cease to exist. So, going back to what I said earlier, if we were given the choice to go back into the past, we can have the ability to change the past, but it comes at the cost of the present we know now – the sad truth would be that we would be unaware of these changes, and continue on in life without knowing any of it happening.
You would probably be struggling with all of this, and I can agree with you; it can be quite a brain-wrecking process to think about it. But… imagine if time travel was invented and everyone was able to use it – think of the seven billion people in the world who would have access to the options of changing the past or looking into the future. It would be utter chaos wouldn’t it? Seven billion paradoxes would be brought about.
Whew! That was a mouthful! If I repeated stuff, or I was rambling on for a while, apologies for that. But yeah… if time travel is something that we would pursue, I would probably be one of the guys who would ask you to think twice about that. And besides, I don’t even think time travel will ever be obtained, purely because we would’ve already seen signs of it in the present day, or even in the past. So, if you’re looking for time travel, it would best just to watch a couple of Doctor Who episodes.