I don’t want to sound too contrite. I just don’t think they’ll really understand what I’ve been able to do here. It’s why I went to all the trouble to explain my processes in the documentation I left behind. Well, you are capable of reading through it. What do you think? I hope what I’ve noted presents my case well, because I’ve gone to such great length to make these writings explicit and easy to follow. At least, I thought they would be.
It started a really long time ago – December 6, 1978, to be precise – I’ve gone back to check it, believe me – and I knew there was potential in my plans. I wanted to escape, probably exactly like what a lot of people feel like doing when they’re that age and things aren’t going the way they like. When you’re six and you hate your world, which is so incredibly small to begin with, you just want to get away. You want to turn and flee; you want to punish others, not your own feeble little mind. More than just physically escaping, you want to turn back the clock to when you felt better. Those are the moments you hold in your core as the rationale for hope, right?
So I looked it up. I read all the best; the adventures that H.G. Wells wrote about gave me the best inspiration, to be honest. I’d skimmed them in my youthful fascination with all things Sci-Fi and I guess they stuck. They’re probably what others used before me when they embarked down similar paths. Just that I didn’t stop at the reading, the thinking, the dreaming. I envisioned it. And not just to a thought. To a specific, logical conclusion. What would it really be like, to travel through time? To really make a change in your present dimension and depart the current, real world, and find yourself somewhere else along your life path?
It is not that hard to imagine that these conclusions found their own manifestations in my work, and I was able to achieve what I started. I didn’t want to just rest assured that I, theoretically, could do it. I wanted to achieve something no one else had ever done. And so, just as you see here now in those documents I’ve mentioned, I’ve detailed the whole process, from startup to get go, from the conception to the realization. It’s there, for the taking. Follow the steps, 1, 2,3, and ta-da! I invented time travel.
Logically, I used myself as the first test subject. Because I believed that there could be a certain conclusion to my results, a particular finding in my trials, I thought it best that I be the first to really experience all that I had discovered. And, looking back, maybe that was my biggest fault. But I gotta be easier on myself, too. Who else would try my unproven methods? Exactly. That’s what I thought! No one!
So I went ahead and – trial and error, little by little – I figured out the best method for actually getting time to change for me. It’s not at all like those representations you’re used to. It’s not a bolt of light, or a puff of smoke, or anything overtly like a spectacle. It’s a quiet, basic, simple, procedure. Oh yes, there is quite a bit of warping away of your present circumstances, but it’s nothing like traveling through a worm tunnel or anything. I’m not even convinced we could do that if we tried! The process is what I call “Objective Dimensioning,” and there is a whole chapter laid out there in those documents about exactly how I did it. In retrospect, it was pretty simple, really, and I can’t believe someone didn’t stumble upon the process before me.
Of course, in my trials, I found a pretty substantial restriction that surprised me at first but I’ve grown to appreciate for what it is. One can’t merely jump to any period of the universe’s existence. If you didn’t exist, you can’t be in that time. It really is that simple. The revelation was certainly limiting, to be honest. I had these thoughts – probably from the Sci-Fi, maybe from popular culture’s horrendously inaccurate depictions of this sort of thing – that I could be visiting the stone age, or at least a few hundred years ago! In practice, though, it doesn’t work that way. I didn’t know if it would be worth any further tests when I found I couldn’t go beyond my birth. Hell, you all know that 1972 wasn’t nearly as exciting as, say, 1968. You can basically go back, but only as far back as you’ve physically been around. Your life can’t exactly invent memories from the past, now, could it?! So this was pretty shocking, and frustrating, at first.
The universe works in mysterious ways, and a limitation on how extensive time travel is possible is apparently one of them. It was a sobering thought. The other reality is that you can never travel forward without having experienced those moments first: until you’ve lived your life, you can’t be there in time. It was dissatisfying for me, but it also makes a lot of sense which I’ve grown to appreciate. Why would the universe, with all of its brilliance, allow for its own future discovery? The answer is it can’t. It’s one of its plans, I guess; an unwritten rule that just sort of… exists. I disagree with it, and I think it runs counter-intuitive to some of the secrets I’ve discovered, but, you know, you can’t argue with it. As much as I’ve tried.
So let me tell you what it was like, that first journey. Being six again was quite the profound moment. Okay. Let’s be clear. It wasn’t exactly “being” six, but more like, being “around” when I was six. I was there, and I was quite capable of recognizing my six year old self’s presence. Just that I couldn’t interact in that world whatsoever. I could just, you know, hang out in my six year old self’s life. Be present. Feel. Be there. But not alter it. Thinking about it now, it makes a lot of sense: any interactions I might have made would have royally screwed up my present ability to check in with the past! So the moment I arrived back in that time – in my documentation, I call these periods the Selected Juncture – I hardly knew exactly what I was experiencing. That’s why I say profound.
I wasn’t surprised to see myself sitting alone. I recall a lot of those moments from my childhood. But in this particular instance, I was crying. I saw that little guy – and I knew it was me – not feeling well at all! And then I tried to reach out – only I wasn’t able to, remember – and I wasn’t able to comfort myself. And that was a painful moment. Utterly aggravating, really. There were lots of things that caused trauma for me back in those days. It might have been school, might have been something else. I recall those moments clearly now, especially after checking into the Selected Junctures around that time. I was right there, with this strong desire to say to my six year old self – hey, it’ll be better! Just you wait, you’re going to shine. Brilliantly. And I wasn’t able to. It is a humbling experience of life.
The Selected Juncture is almost like a moving picture, rather than a fully enabling moment where you could move around and really do some serious interaction with your former self. It was restrictive and caused me great internal strife, that first visit. Every time I looked around, tried to feel out what this Selected Juncture actually meant, everything reminded me of all of those feelings once again. The pictures I had drawn that hung on the walls, the assembled rocket ships on my dresser, the socks scattered by the hamper in my bedroom, the sounds of my mother’s television shows drowning out the afternoon from downstairs, the noticeable absence in the home of my father, the unanswered barking of our family dog, Chippy, from the backyard – all of it will draw out these otherwise undetectable depths of our existence. So not only was I living the moment by observing myself, I was also rekindling all of those feelings. It was like a double whammy – the pinnacle of an experience!
It was in this I really grew to appreciate what I had done. By now, I knew the significance of what I had discovered. But I wanted to do more than invent some new process: I wanted to demonstrate the usefulness of this exercise. And I figured people wouldn’t necessarily find such Selected Junctures, these moments of depression, or sadness, or childhood ache, particularly useful to their present mental state. I certainly didn’t.
So I started to stew on the issue for a while. If I was able to tap into these sad moments, these Selected Junctures of pain, and feel nothing but the same tormented emotions, what would I experience if I was able to dial back to the days when I felt total bliss? This idea preoccupied me endlessly. I found a purposeful agenda: just imagine how incredible the emotional rush would be when I can capably reconnect with instances of sheer delight and gratification! Just imagine how wonderful it would feel to not only observe oneself in that euphoric state, but also to be rekindling these feelings from within for the second time! I knew the answer to these questions: It would be ecstatic! Rapturous! Total jubilance! It’d be the best pain killer in the world!
I had a goal, now, you see, that went far beyond my initial discovery and documented process of Objective Dimensionism. It was turning this new potential into something far beyond a mere exercise of rearranging the antimatter and challenging previously held conventions of quantum physics. I was going to save everyone who needed saving by helping them to be in their happy place – whenever and however they felt like they needed to be! Because, I suspect, most people’s happy place is really a state of mind about a how and when and why, rather than a physical location. And we all know that, if we really needed to be there, or if we really felt like bucking reality, there are very few barriers to physical travel to relive those places where we’ve had happiness in the past. I’ve taken those trips many a time, up the coast, down to the beach, into the forest fringe. They sometimes work wonders, I’ll give you that. But what if we could *really* transcend those barriers – and be experiencing again, fully, *how* we felt so good, *when* we felt so good, and *why* we felt so good. Beyond the good fortune of actually having my discovery work, I now had a precise goal for what to achieve with it.
I plotted for a while to figure out precisely when I had been so damn happy. It took quite a bit of effort. You know, when you think back at your life, there are those happy memories, for sure. But what are the ones that trigger immediate moments of pure, unfiltered glee? What are the times in your life when you consciously stop and think to yourself – this is one of those moments never to be forgotten?! And seriously, stop me here if I’m going on too long – but did you make that concerted effort to actually memorize what day, what time, what moment you really were that happy? Did you?
Because I am guessing you didn’t take quite that level of inventory of those moments, now did you? You think now – of course, in my past, I had these junctures where I was able to say at the time, man, this is the life! – but did you actually ever think of when they precisely were? Because what I’m getting at is time travel is no walk in the park. It takes so much effort to really get somewhere and go through these intricate re-experiencing sojourns. So are you going to spoil this splendid opportunity to re-experience your life on some random moment in your past, where you could be doing anything of sorts, or nothing of sorts? What if you were walking to work, or standing outside in the rain in a torrential downpour, or stuck in traffic? What if you were shitting? What if you were listening to the worst lecture you’ve ever heard, or frustratingly waiting for something to download, or sleeping? You don’t want to waste this great exercise on those menial, tedious, boring moments of life, now do you?
That’s what I’m trying to say. You gotta make an inventory.
So once I figured out I didn’t want to be in my six year old Selected Juncture, or any other Selected Junctures like it, I started to actually make a list. What are the moments that make me the most happy? I got them all in a chart. I categorized them from “OK” to “Ecstasy.” And then I started the hard work. What were the years? What were the months? What day of the week was it? What time of day was it? You need precision when time travelling. You need to know it was at precisely 4:13 pm on Friday March 24 1993 when you left your last college class and felt that relief of finishing something so monumental. When the last physics lab wrapped up, the last struggle through the education system, all of that – it ended. At least, I knew precisely that was the date.
But for someone else, that level of meticulous recollection could be mighty difficult. You gotta trick yourself into remembering. Perhaps you remember what sweater you were wearing at the time. If you can, you likely can piece together when you bought that sweater, and maybe gauge the year or the month from that. Or maybe you can remember what the weather was like. If it was summer, that narrows things down a bit, right? Or if you were doing something really specific, like building that model rocket, you can probably guess how old you were, or when your birthday or Christmas had been when that set arrived in your hands. Triggers like that are really important in pinpointing the Selected Junctures that you’re going to need for this inventory.
That’s why making this checklist is so damn important for this whole exercise. You’ll see, in my documentation, I dedicate a whole chapter to how I recommend you flush out your inventory. I picked things that I knew would be easy triggers. Important dates, obviously. When I got my dog, Dirac, in 1996, it was worthy of remembering that moment. But it wasn’t just my memory that came in handy. Some call me a pack rat for my collecting efforts, but I think of my filing as merely efficient planning for moments like these when I need them. So I have a lot of documents of my past. I traced back the ownership transfer agreement and all the veterinarian appointments in 1996 and pinpointed the date – Monday, August 5, 1996 – and guessed I must have picked Dirac up after my day in the lab, so that would have been about 5:40 pm given traffic in the region back then wasn’t nearly as bad as it is now, or so I hear. Anyway, important dates like that. Oh, and for the record: yes, getting Dirac – that is in my “Ecstasy” category. It was sublime.
So I’m describing all this to you for a reason. They don’t want me to share what I’ve discovered. In fact, they don’t want me to talk about it at all. That’s why I need your help. I haven’t really been that open to discussing my discoveries until now. That’s why I’ve given over the documentation. That’s why I’ve gone to great lengths to inform you of the necessary steps to take to follow what I’ve done. As I’ve said, I don’t think they fully understand it.
They came to the lab one night, after I had been to a particular Selected Juncture. It was a really simple one: I was living out Christmas 1998 again, which was really special for me because it was the year I took Dirac home to my mom’s place and we just had a really good time. I wanted to feel that warmth again that night, so I booked myself some time in the lab and started the journey. But they didn’t really understand what was happening, you see. The security guard had come by the lab. This happens a lot when you’re working alone at night, but usually I take my journeys at random times. I think this must have been a new guard. Anyway, he didn’t know what to think, I’m guessing, seeing me in that state.
Oh, I should tell you. In case it happens to you, when you’re following along and trying this out on your own. Your body never leaves the present. That is essential. There must be a linkage with the present. But what happens to you – the mind, the spirit, what have you – it’s not exactly something easy to appreciate to those who don’t know what’s going on.
So, anyway, the security guard came by and must have been a little shocked by my antics. They weren’t my present antics, but a transformation of my antics in the Selected Juncture into the present. It’s the weird way your body reacts in the here and now to what you’re experiencing. Anyway, I figure he must have called my supervisor, or something. I haven’t been able to piece it all back together yet. They really haven’t told me too much since that night.
When my lab supervisor arrived, I was already back from the Selected Juncture, but I think it was too late; he started shouting at me about abuse of my lab privileges, and started to really get in my face about what had happened. I tried to calm him down and explain what was going on, but I guess I wasn’t ready yet to fully relay my important discoveries. So I stumbled, I suppose. I told him lies. I told him I was doing work, but it was obvious I wasn’t. And then, when it was all looking like the evening might have just ended then, I got up the nerve to lean into my supervisor and fill him in on what I had done. And he didn’t react well. I told him all about it; the Selected Junctures, the inventory needed to tap into them, and my plans for creating these happiness journeys for all.
I guess it was overwhelming for him. Because I wanted to leave, but at that point he had the security guards arrest me. And I think I overreacted myself. I started to punch and scream, and I think I might have bit one of them. I fled down the hall to get away but there were more guards there. I don’t know where they get them all from at that time of night but they sure did seem to have a few! And after you’ve been tackled onto the pristine clean floor of a physics lab like that one, with a guard’s boot on your cheek and a forceful grip holding your arms tightly twisted behind your back, you don’t know what pain is. I thought I had experienced my share of pain in life until that point. When you’re forced into such a corner, you find yourself with your back up, ready to charge forward and demonstrate all that you are made of. And I guess that night I wasn’t made of that much.
So they’ve had me here for a while. I haven’t really had access to much, besides those papers, so that’s why I’ve entrusted you with them. It was a big feat to actually get them to deliver them to me. They had the ward’s main counselor in here daily, probably for a week or more, and I was finally able to convince him to get these documents from my place so that I could at least be sure they weren’t going anywhere. He really wanted me to trust him, so I gave an inch, like they say. I told him about where the documents were located and trusted beyond any level of trust I’ve ever held before in life that he would be able to deliver. So I’m happy about that.
I don’t really know what else to do now, though. That’s why I’ve presented this to you. I think you’re going to need to do some convincing for me. I thought I had everything laid out here. I even showed the counselor what I had compiled but he didn’t really seem to notice the significance of all of it. He said – can you believe this – it doesn’t really count as proof. As if he would be able to understand proof, then, when it’s laying right in front of him! When it’s demonstrated to him right in front of his eyes! I asked for some equipment from the lab to see if he’d let me demonstrate but he said there will be a time and place for that in the future, not now. I don’t really know what he meant. It’s a little confusing, honestly.
So see what you can do. And, like I said. I hope I’m not sounding too contrite over the matter. I don’t really feel too much hostility to them, anyway. They are only doing their job. I just hope they realize they are preventing me from advancing us – us all – the longer they keep me here. So. Do what you can. See if you can get it out there, a bit more. And thanks for listening tonight. You’ve been a good friend.