Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Sleep (And/As) Time-Travel.


During sleep (as well as other medical conditions such as the so-called coma), one undergoes a process wherein there is little if any concept of time in the real sense, but rather, a dimension by which imagination and a chaotic twist of or on all things normally tethered by reailty. When one awakens, sometimes they do not or cannot comprehend time until they are told or discover by visual means how long their travel had been. Consider the exceptional cases such as this.

Is this, then, therefore, essentially time travel? Are there any other rules by that standard, other than an arbitrary emphasis placed on eras or centuries of travel, rather than hours or minutes? Would that not be a victory for time-travel, then, however small? Perhaps it is because it is a mundane form that no one gives it consideration.

Why do so many scienficitonal narratives and portrayals assume such things in so meticulous a process as the persistence of an atemporal rift within the machine or device used to travel time? That is, why is the traveller spared from manifesting within a rock, between walls or underwater? Is such a precise calibration truly possible, even within a realm of nigh-inifinite possibilities such as that of literature?

Indeed there is also the phenomena of space-time, but it is usually assumed in many of these fictions that the traveller does not travel through space, but in fact remains stationed in an approximation of the same place that they had started in! This causes all sorts of continuity problems, such as the fact that the precision required to maintain the x, y, and z axes would certainly create an additional wrinkle...combine this calibration and one has a precision of ultraspecific magintude.

On another note...

Did not Plato, in his cave parable, realize how similar his "Shadows and Dust" synchronises with the concept of the human vision process (called simple by some), or by that token of any process that involves sensory datum? Perhaps it was simply a less scientfic and more cynical description of these selfsame processes. After all, rods and cones are nothing but a collection of light sensitive cells.

~Dain Quentin Gore


craig said...

existence itself is indeed time travel! it just happens to be linear and extremely common and therefore no longer spectacular. which is why, i believe, no one ever delves into the sleep:time-travel concept. but i do find it interesting!
the film groundhog's day actually dealt with sleep as time travel. instead of waking up in the future though, phil connors woke up in the past. quite frustrating at first, but he made the best of it! he basically acquired all of the wisdom of solomon in one day!
i would contest that its not just sleep, but any type of distraction that keeps you from being self-aware. music, television, driving, internet, conversation, etc. 'time flies when you're having fun' after all.

Dain Q. Gore said...


You present a most excellent edification of the proposition I extended, and closed with a remark that is so engrained in the popular conscience as to be thought of as commonplace, but upon further introspection, is quite relevant and still holds true.

Well met!

p.s. I hadn't yet considered the film Groundhog's Day, that could very well be an exception to the norm of the time-travel concept in a filmic portrayal as being reliant on a contraption, but rather is almost metaphysical/spiritual (perhaps even just mental or within the mysterious dream realm), hence his invulnerability to death, among other things!


DADICUS said...
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Hattermad said...

"...and I laid the blame on the malice of time,
the devourer and consumer of all things..."

Senior Quixote