Sunday, June 13, 2021

A New Kind of Time Magic: inspiration & spark

This post is Part 8 of a series to augment the Author's Manifesto available for free download. Start with Part 1 here.

This and other inspirations of mine are gathered in the Spark Directory for you to explore.

Find more mystic content in my Magic Directory.

In Part 1 of this series, I started working on my magic system, but I was struggling with the nature of time magic. Western culture tends to think of time as linear, which I think is the root of the problem with Western-based time-travel stories.

If time moves in a straight line, then hopping backward on that line causes a divergent line, and then there are two timelines instead of one. So the stories tend to focus on resolving that problem, restoring the original timeline or deciding the new timeline is superior in some way.

But other cultures, such as the Hopi tribes, view time as a circle -- what once was, will be again. The past and future are both the same, not happening in the present moment. How might a time-travel story work from this perspective? What would happen if you suddenly shifted from the present moment to the non-present? How might a character experience this shift?

Check out this Author's Manifesto for more of my inspirations!

Time can also be conceptualized as a spiral, something like a coil that both moves cyclically and linearly. Life lessons from your past rise back up in your present, and will arise again in your future. Each occasion makes a deeper and more meaningful impact on you, since you have grown as a person since the last occasion.

These similar experiences mark a stacking point on the coil itself, demonstrating the same position in the coil's cycle, but spanning multiple rungs of the coil. Could time-travel involve transcending different rungs on this time-coil, as opposed to moving up or down the linear aspect of time?

Ultimately, there is the notion that time itself is a human construct, and that outside the confines of our physical time-space reality, time isn't really a factor at all. Rather, all moments (and come to mention it, all realities, alternate dimensions, and multiple universes) are all happening at once. There is no causality, so there can be no paradoxes.

From a state of unified consciousness, such as the enlightenment attained by monks and sages, time does not exist. Instead, everything is happening in the eternal Now, which can be leveraged to address the fallacies of both past and future.

Alongside all these ideas, I have the added complexity of the prophetic Gift that is already well-established in my Magic Codex. A time magic based on spiritual transcendence would resolve a lot of the tired old paradox stories, and it opens up a whole new realm of complex and thought-provoking situations. But how do you explore the cause/effect relationships of a magic spell, when the spell only functions because causality itself is an illusion?

Until I find more clarity on the nature of time itself, scholars in my Tales of the Known World saga will continue to struggle with time magics. At the very least, their linear approach will make little headway, since my time magic will definitely incorporate the concept of time being non-linear. For a breakthrough to happen, a paradigm shift is required, and a whole new school of thought must arise before the magic taxonomy can incorporate time magic on any meaningful level.

That's it for this post! Up Next: Weighing ideas about gravity magic...

Download the Author's Manifesto here, or start your adventure below.

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