[...] I submit to you that such alterations, the creation or selection of such so-called 'alternate presents' is continually taking place. The very fact that we can conceptually deal with this notion - that is, entertain it as an idea - is a first step in discerning such processes themselves. But I doubt if we will ever be able in any real fashion to demonstrate, to scientifically prove, that such lateral change processes do occur. Probably all we would have to go on would be vestiges of memory, fleeting impressions, dreams, nebulous intuitions that somehow things had been different in some way - and not long ago, but NOW. We might reflexively reach for a light switch in the bathroom only to discover that it was - always had been - in another place entirely. We might reach for the air vent in our car where there was no air vent - a reflex left over from a previous present, still active at a subcortical level. We might dream of people and places we had never seen as vividly as if we had seen them, actually known them. But we would not know what to make of this, assuming we took time to ponder it at all. One very pronounced impression would probably occur to us, to many of us, again and again, and always without explanation: the acute absolute sensation that we had done once before what we were just about to do now, that we so to speak, lived a particular moment or situation previously - but in what sense could it be called 'previously,' since only the present, not the past, was evidently involved? Such an impression is a clue that at some past time point a variable was changed - reprogrammed, as it were - and that, because of this, an alternate world branched off, became actualized instead of the prior one, and that in fact, in literal fact, we are once more living this particular segment of linear time. A breaching, a tinkering, a change had been made, but not in our present - had been made in our past. ...Conceivably this could happen any number of times, affecting any number of people, as alternative variables were reprogrammed. We would have to go live out each reprogramming along the subsequent linear time axis. ...Thus, too, this might account for the sensation people get of having lived past lives. They may well have, but not in the past; previous lives, rather, in the present. In perhaps an unending repeated and repeated present, like a great clock dial in which grand clock hands sweep out the same circumference forever, with all of us carried along unknowingly, yet dimly suspecting.
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