Bit Depth 117 - Sample Rate 3 - Time
Hello, and again, welcome to Bit Depth.
You are the most important person in the world. You are! You may feel as though everything in the world around you is telling you how worthless you are. That you won’t be beautiful unless you have this product. Or that you won’t be successful until you make this amount of money. That you’ll never be as good as this person or that person. Maybe you’ve been made to feel like you should have been born somewhere else, or sometime else. Or that you’re not valuable because of the body that you possess. The world can be pretty overwhelming at times, and it’s hard to feel like you have a place within it. But you are the most important person in the world.
In the second dimension, there are two sets of directions - up-down, and left-right. Like on a graph or a drawing. There is a horizontal axis and a vertical axis. The second dimension can still exist within the third dimension, but at one point of depth at a time. For example, if you were to imagine a sphere moving through the second dimension, you would see a dot appear and grow into a circle, then shrink back into a dot and disappear, like how MRI scans are shown to be animated and moving through a person’s body at one point at a time, only seeing a sliver cut out at a time. You are currently in the third dimension. That means that there are three sets of directions that this space has: up and down, left to right, forward and backward. Now try to imagine the fourth dimension. The next axis above the third dimension is time. You only experience time from a single point, ever. There is no way to behold the past, or witness the future. This present moment is what is available to you. Your senses are absorbing only a single moment. Sounds can only be heard over time, not in an instant. In the fourth dimension, time is a direction, like all other directions. There is length, width, depth, and duration - ever present as forwards in time, and backwards in time. In the same way that you can see in front of you and behold your environment as a constant, duration is a constant in the fourth dimension. Your first day of elementary school, your first kiss, your first car wreck that definitely wasn’t your fault, your retirement checks, your home fully paid off, et cetera., all omnipresent. Each moment a fixture in time, contributing to every other moment. But not just your timeline, but everyone else’s timelines. You’d see how that nice gesture for a coworker made their day better, or how a friendship grows over time, or the ripple of suffering from a cruel person’s effect on people. If you could see how your actions and behavior affects the future, would you change anything?
When involving time travel in science fiction, travelers often refer to the “butterfly effect”, which states that a single, insignificant change in the past can cause a cascade of effects that greatly change the future. The example used is if you kill a butterfly in the past, it could cause a great deal of changes for the future. Ray Bradbury wrote a short story called “A Sound of Thunder” that explored this idea. Starting in the future, a man by the name of Eckels goes on an expedition to hunt a T-Rex from sixty million years before, through a company that does time travel services. This is taking place just after an important election where the winner was not a militaristic, domineering man. The guide for the expedition goes through a litany of explanations stressing the importance of following the rules, since the effects of violating the past could be incredibly vast. The reason they’re able to hunt a T-Rex at all is because a team went back there in the first place to see when it would die, so they only hunt animals who were about to die anyways. In this case, the gigantic dinosaur was going to be crushed by an even more gigantic tree. The company goes so far as to lay out a path that floats above the ground so that not a single blade of grass is disturbed. Unfortunately, Eckels changes his mind at the sight of the terrifying T-Rex and runs away - accidentally off the path. When they return to their present, they came to find that Eckels had stepped on a butterfly in prehistory, and to their horror, the winning president in the future was the militaristic, domineering candidate. The lesson here is that every single thing in the past contributes to the future. In the story, the safari guide spoke at length about how killing a single mouse could cause millions of future generations of mice to not happen, causing other generations of predators to not feast on those mice, which could upset an entire ecosystem. Everything in your life has unfolded in this way because of everything that came before that, and everything in the future will unfold in that way because of everything right now. Everything is exactly where it needs to be.
In the great vastness of the universe, you are here now. Billions, trillions of stars have lived and died in the vast network of the universe to create the extremely complex organism that is you. Every atom that makes you up, every nucleotide that determines who you are, is the result of a universe that so intricately developed over time to make your being.
You are a ripple in time, affecting everything. You’ve made your family’s life brighter. Your friends are better people because of you. Rich, fun, memorable experiences have happened with you and through you, and the impact of your life is of immeasurable magnitude. Every decision you make can make the world a better place in the future. Making someone smile will make someone else smile, and soon enough, millions of people will have smiled from the chain reaction of your existence. Your timeline is forever intertwined in the timelines of others. You make the world a better place. You are a butterfly of the universe. You are the most important person in the world.
Love never fails.
It’s going to be ok.
I might be wrong.