Time Travel has been used in story telling media to create stunning narratives, from Mark Twain’s Connecticut Yankee to the Terminator this trope has captured our imaginations.
The excellent adventures into history and bogus journeys into our future that can be taken allow us to be free of our present reality and ponder realities glimpsed but beyond our grasp.
All of space and time comes accessible when step from our limited present into a much larger world that is bigger on the inside.
Sometimes the possibilities can be so infinite that our linear brains struggle to comprehend how it might all hold together, so in this blog I’m going to try and draw some of the best explanations of the genre.
The time line is fixed and no matter how those in the story try to change events they will always turn out the same. It is as if the universe itself resists and change to the timeline forcing the characters into choices that will result in the eventual end. The time travel in Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban also follows this understanding of time which is reflective of the Greek legend that gives us the Cassandra Complex. Cassandra was able to see the future but tragically could not do anything about it as there was agency in the timeline to affect a different out come.
Back to the Future
The timeline can be changed but each change results in a new parallel reality being formed in which from the point of change the future takes a variant course. The future then is only different if you can either cross over to different realities or go back and reenter a timeline before a change was made. The movie Sliding Doors follows this understanding of time variance as does the MCU series Loki. Change is possible but only if you can track the complex branches and then only in the time line branch you have chosen.
In this setting there are really no rules, it is full of chaotic inconsistencies where those aware of time travel and the who have capacity to move freely through time to any point can do so with out consequences. Bill and Ted and Doctor Who use this understanding of time which is the easiest to write for but is the hardest to hold together. A large suspension of disbelief is requires to remain immersed in this reality as the logical inconsistencies will create dissonance.
God and Time
These are just three possible groups each with their own sub-groupings embedded. leave a comment about your thoughts. Time in Theology is fascinating as any being that has created the universe must have also created the construct of time. The Greeks have the God Chronos and Egyptians have Heh. With Creator Gods being beyond the bounds of time it is interesting to ponder what it might be like for non temporal linear beings to view the universe considering how much of our existence is wrapped up in this perspective.