Imagine that in the future we would have the possibiliy to travel back in time. If someone would do this in order to prevent me from coming up with a specific idea which would lead me to start a company that would make me into a big competitor of his company, would he be able to succeed?
If my future business rival would travel back from 2030 to 2012 and successfully prevents me from getting the idea he would change history. However in the altered future there would be no reason to go back in time to prevent me from coming up with the idea which in effect would make me come up with the idea anyway. So it’s impossible to go back in time to prevent the thing that led to you going back in time in the first place.
However, this leads to the following question: Imagine my competitor would indeed travel back from 2030 to 2012 to try to prevent me from coming up with the idea for company-X. Whatever he tries, the result will be the same, but not knowing this he tries anyway. He could do this by trying to get me to come up with a different kind of idea or project in the hope I will focus my time and energy on that, like writing a book about positive laziness. However, writing this book could be very the thing that causes me to come up with the idea for company-x. In this case my competitor has made me come up with the idea he tried to avoid me to get by creating the perfect circumstances.
This inevitably leads to the following question: Did my competitor travel back in time to prevent me from coming up with the idea for company-x, which I would have come up with anyway, or did I came up with the idea for company-x because someone traveled back in time to try to prevent me from coming up with it? Did my competitor travel back in time to prevent me from getting the idea I got because of his failed attempt to stop me? Did the time-traveling competitor try to prevent that which was caused by the time travel itself, or would I have gotten the idea anyway?
If we don’t know the answer to this question, how could we ever know if we come up with certain ideas because someone in the future is unintentionally influencing us, or that we come up with those ideas ourselves. How do you know your life isn’t unknowingly influenced by the future?
Do we and the world around us really exist? I would like to introduce you to one of my theories about the possibility of this world around us just being an illusion. I will do this with a small thought experiment.
Imagine for a moment that you are a ‘god’. You are immortal and you only have to snap your fingers and your thought will manifest. You never have to put effort into anything since everything you want done just happens. You live in a world/ dimension which you share with billions of other gods like you, which is not a problem since the dimension is endlessly big, and everything you need can be manifested at will.
However, there are some downsides to being this godlike. Since you never have to try to achieve anything there is no challenge whatsoever. On top of that there are some limitations to your manifesting powers. You can only manifest what you can imagine. So what if you had all the time in the world, but don’t know what to do with it? What if you get bored?
Mortal life 2.0
Luckily, a new game came out recently which is becoming a huge hit within the community of bored fellowgods. In just a few thousand years (which is quite a short time when keeping in mind you’re immortal) the amount of players has multiplied from just a handful to 6 billion. It’s an interactive video-game, which can be best described as a virtual world where you can ‘step’ in. Once connected to the system you can experience this virtual world from the perspective of your avatar. You feel, hear, smell, see and taste what your avatar experiences. This whole game is played from first person perspective, in the most literal way.
This game called ‘Mortal Life’ is based on a somewhat wacky idea that everything is finite – which is ofcourse a ridiculous thought since everything has always been, and will always be. However this weird notion of finitely is the whole joke of the game. The setting of the game is a fictional planet called ‘Earth’ and you play as a fictional character which is being referred to as a ‘mortal’. The moment you start playing you’ll be born into this world on a random place and from there on the game starts.
The goal of the game is quite simple: Try to stay alive as long as possible and try to find out and achieve your ‘life-goal’ which you entered yourself before playing. You win by achieving this goal. The hard part about the game is that you are limited by set rules. You can’t just make stuff happen by snapping your fingers. If you want to get stuff done, you will have to figure out a way to get it done.
You have 2 options for this:
1. Working really hard and being lucky (before you know it you’re stuck in a dead-end job) or
2. Playing it smart and search for ways to hack the system.
This second option, which requires a lot of rational insight, is being made harder by a new feature in the game: emotions(these where missing in the first version of the game ‘mortal life 1.0’ which made the game too easy and boring). Even though emotions give color to the game, it also makes it a lot harder to play. Emotions can limit your ability to think clearly and rationally when they get out of control.
There is one other catch which makes playing the game a lot harder. As soon as you start playing it you will get into it so much that you forget that you are really an immortal god who is just playing a game to fight off boredom. You will be sucked into the game so far that you’ll start to believe that this (fictional) world and mortality are the reality. Before you can go any further with the next step of the game you first need to find out what the goal is you are supposed to achieve since you won’t remember it. A lot of players never make it past this level.
The other inhabitants of the world, fellow gods who are playing the same multi-player game, have also forgotten that this is all just a game and can make your (fictional) life even harder. They will try to stop you from progressing further in the game by recommending you to avoid risks. Once they have convinced you that this life is hard, and you can do nothing about it and you have no chance in fulfilling your dreams: you will be as good as game over. The only way to be be helped is to be woken up before the timer runs out.
Luckily there is a way to complete the game anyway, dispite all the challenges. You can do this by realizing this is all just a game. As soon as you’ll realize this it will become a lot easier to put things in perspective and achieve your goal. You will stay limited to the rules of the game (this is not the matrix), however, at least you know what you are doing and why you are here. You will have it a lot easier than your fellow players since they won’t take this great risks because they take the game way too serious.