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Time Travel
Odete Martins Bigote

Man, biologically considered, and whatever else he may be into the bargain, is simply the most formidable of all the beasts of prey, and, indeed, the only one that preys systematically on its own species.
William James

We are all cannibals. This is, of course, a figure of speech. We are not really eating each other. What we’ve done throughout history, and apparently will go on doing, is to feed ourselves on the joys, pains and hardships of our fellowmen and women. In short, conflict is what keeps us alive.

Will it help us if we could change the past, and visit the future by traveling through time?

For centuries, time travel has been the dream of many people including scientists. Recently, thanks mostly to 20th century scientists like Albert Einstein, it was announced that time travel may soon be possible.

What will time travel do for mankind?

For example: you wish to buy a car. You visit the future, and see that you’ve an accident while driving the car you just bought. You are crippled for life. Does this mean that you’ll decide not to buy the car, and therefore the accident will not happen?

According to H. G. Wells, you may choose not to buy the car, however the accident will happen in some other form.

In the movie Time Machine, based on a novel by the famous English writer, and directed by his great-grandchild, Simon Wells, a professor watches with horror the murder of his fiancee by a thief. He decides to build a time machine, to go back to the past, and save her life. To his great disappointment, and in spite of the fact that he is able to change some of the events, his fiancee dies in some other accident. It seems that we are predestined. There are certain events we can change. There are others we

Disappointed with his visits to the past, the Time Traveler decides to visit the future.
He finds himself living 800,000 years from the Victorian age, and discovers that there are two worlds: the Upper World, and the Lower World.

The Upper World is populated with simple people that sometimes act like children, seem to have little or no intelligence, but can stand the light. They eat fruits, and surround themselves with flowers.

The Lower World is populated by strange creatures who live underground, cannot stand the light and love machines. They also imprison the people from the Upper World in order to feed themselves.

“We need their meat. How can we survive without their meet?” Says the underground creature to the Time Traveler.

Indeed, how can we all survive without getting fat, hungry, upset, irritated?

Then, the underground creature goes on to say: “We can never be really free. Neither can you!”

In H. G. Wells’ dreams both the Upper and Lower World need each other to prey upon. Light and darkness are in constant conflict.

This may come as a great disappointment to those of us who have hopes that science will help us to travel into the future and improve our lives.

The Time Traveler did exactly that, only to find out that the future is as hard and aggressive as the present. He experienced love and fear when he tried to save the woman from the cage that the underground people had placed her in. He experienced surprise when that same woman, from the Upper World, asked him to go back to his past and take her son with him. He fainted when he saw a world of darkness. He wanted to get out and face the world. He wanted to let go of fear. Love and life became more important to him than his machine.

He even wondered if the Time Machine ever existed, or if it was all a dream. He even asked where did the dream come from.

He learned that if you want to improve your life it is now that you must act. All knowledge is holographic and is stored within you; just like the human figure, in the movie, that shows up in the New York Public Library before, and after, it was reduced to ashes.

“I’M A COMPENDIUM OF ALL HUMAN KNOWLEDGE!” Repeats the human figure to the Time Traveler. The figure appears and disappears. Sometimes it shows up in many places at the same time, other times it is nowhere. It is a reminder that in the human heart are all the answers, and that, in the end, we do not need books. All that science can do is point to our hearts.

In order to save the people from the Upper World (light), the Time Traveler destroys the creatures from the Lower World (darkness), hoping that only Light will rule the world.


As the Time Traveler fought the underground creatures, they started to disintegrate. They were nothing but robots, which means that they were a product of our imagination: darkness is our invention, a product of our dreams. Darkness is within all of us. The Lower World creatures who lived in darkness in the underground were nothing but a mirror of ourselves.

H. G. Wells’ vision of the future shows that nothing is permanent. There cannot be change without conflict. Our role is to learn to face the world. We must fearlessly fight the enemy within – the darkness in our minds – before it completely eats us up.

The future is now.

Article written by:
Odete Martins Bigote
Copyright 2002

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