Living Backwards

What we know as Time is the only manner in which our psycho-somatic apparatus is able to interpret the fourth dimension of the space in which we live phenomenally, and we interpret it serially, lineally, as on-thing-after-another. But there is no apparent reason why that lineal interpretation should proceed in one direction only, nor any apparent likelihood that it does. In consciousness it might be expected to proceed in one lineal direction, in the unconscious in the other, whereas in abnormal conditions, such as near-death by suffocation or accident, our 'time-apparatus' sometimes re-registers the whole of our life-experience in a composite flash.

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Is it not probable that we live our lives both 'forwards' and 'backwards' (two arbitrary evaluations) simultaneously? Need we look further for an explanation of foresight, second-sight, precognition, premonitory dreams and all the other not-so-great mysteries?

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In which direction of Time do we live in our dreams? Is their reinterpretation by waking consciousness in its own time-sequence not the most probable explanation of their oddity? Is there then any mystery in a dream whose action leads up to a 'noise' that awakens us at the moment it actually occurs in the next room?

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Is there any reason to doubt that our dreaming mind functions uninterruptedly throughout the twenty-four hours of our time, that is, from birth, or before it, to death? To what extent it is subjected to a time-sequence may be doubtful and in which direction such time-sequence may flow, but it is likely to enjoy a greater freedom in that respect than does our waking consciousness.

(© RKP, 1960)

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