One subject I keep coming back to in my reading is quantum physics. I have a perpetual interest in what is ‘real’ and what is not, again linked to meditation and Buddhism. Also being a big fan of postmodernism and critical realism, I have been interested in the concept of all meaning created by language, and there being nothing outside that.
Of course if that is true then quantum physics is as socially constructed as everything else and everything is true from someones perspective – adds a new angle to subjectivity! Putting that aside for a moment and focusing on one aspect of quantum physics, the possibility of alternate realities, I noticed how this permeates film and literature. the subject of time travel and multiple time frames in a common theme in the fairly macro world of media. One film that immediately comes to mind to illustrate this is Sliding Doors, where the MC splits into two alternative realities that run together and eventually collide.
I recently read a book called ‘The Time Travellers Wife’ and the stunning use of timeslip in this novel and the success of the marketing campaign shows how eager people are to buy into this notion of being able to live in two places at the same time. In this book the MC has a genetic condition which makes him disappear into another part of his life. It deals with ‘what would happen if he changed anything?’ and ‘did he see his own and others death?’. It also deals with who in his life believed him and how some people though he was mentally ill or just plain bad.
From a scientific point of view, this is pure fantasy, something that we cannot observe in the real world and that is being written about to provide escapism. However, in the world of quantum physics, the notion two thing being in the same place at one time, and that it is only our observation of them that confirms that they are in one place, is a theory that is provable. Honestly it is!
This question of consciousness as a benchmark of reality, with a whole different world operating outside our consciousness may seem unlikely, but is that because we are so egocentric? Science and string theory are beginning to unravel ‘missing link’ in matter (what emptiness is made of) and this will affect every theory of relativity. Psychology and sociology are moving from Cartesian dualistic pseudo medicalised sciences towards an explanation of implicit social structures and social constructions.
I don’t think there will ever be a time travelling car or a matter transmission machine as depicted in the movies or described in books, but if we can just let our mind roam a little freely, we can understand probability, step outside our own consciouness and welcome a less structures reality that exists outside schemas.