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Moments in Time

moments in time book cover

Moments in Time

Paul T Kidd

ISBN 978-1-901864-18-2 (Paperback)
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Extract

 

Chapter One

 

Out of order comes disorder: this is one of the most fundamental laws of the universe, contrary to what some, being those who are inclined to say that the risks can be managed, mistakenly believe. Yet within the disorder there is order, but this, one might say, is hidden in plain view, so few see it.

 

As for the proof of the fundamentality of this law, this is there, waiting to be discovered in the everyday features of the surrounding world, left, so to speak, to enlighten and inform those who seek truth, rather than the reinforcement of faith – no matter in what form that manifests itself, be it science or religion, for in reality, both are, when stripped bare, but dogmas carried on by different means.

 

Care we to look, to examine, and, in the case of some – those who, similar to me, have been conditioned by education, training and practice, to think otherwise – to put aside beliefs, we would see a completely different universe from the one that presses for our attention through that which is obvious, that which can be seen, or that which can be explored through the limited tools that science has chosen as the means of investigating the mysteries of life.
And there we were, Helen, my fair and beautiful wife, and myself, another moment in time, similar to the many gone before, and the many to come, together, happy, looking forward to the future. This is how it was, how it should have remained, but then there was a change in my life; an alteration in my circumstance that came about by means that defy full understanding. Whether in the telling of my story I will shed further light on what I encountered, this I cannot know as I begin to record my tale.

 

In reality, though, it does not matter what I may learn, for I am where I now am; my present conditions are entirely my creation, being the result of beliefs that, so ardently held for so long, brought me to that which, had I been more knowledgeable and wise, could have been avoided. This, if you have not already realised, is one of the great lessons of the human story, but few seem willing to learn.

 

Change is, as Buddhists will tell you, and if you care to ask, the only constant in this world and the universe. The great river of life flows forever onwards, unstoppable, washing away the old, bringing with it the new and with the passing of time everything returns to its constituent parts. Decay is everywhere. Ageing is all around. Beauty fades, sharpness dulls, memories are lost, and mobility declines. There is no escape from this endless process. The world is transformed, acted upon by forces over which there can be no control. Wind, rain and frost; they weather the rocks and turn them into dust. Leaves, once green and young, lose their brightness and fade, turning to brown, disintegrating. Seasons, they come and go, and of human life the same applies. People are born, they live, and they die. Elemental in their beginnings, embryonic cells divide and multiply to create the whole, but in the end to atoms they all return. Time will not halt nor wait for anyone. All are doomed to fade. Time is always the victor.

 

This is an irrefutable characteristic of creation, of life, yet there is a very old house in my village where not all these truths seem to apply – or is it the case that this building is actually a window, with glass all hazy and slightly distorted, through which a glimpse can be obtained of the true nature of the universe with all its unknown and, perhaps, unfathomable complexity? The Time House is what I have come to call this structure. Why such a name? I hear your unspoken question, to which I will provide an answer, but not just yet, for my tale is my response to this query. What I have to say at this stage is that this house has always been a place of great mystery; a puzzle.

 

Many have talked about this building, as people are inclined to do, gossiping and speculating, but only a small number, I later discovered, have taken the time to find out more, to enter in and to learn some of its rather surprising secrets. For these few, those curious enough to have explored its history and its peculiar capability, the Time House has revealed some of its secrets. I am one of these people – a rare breed, thankfully, for curiosity concerning this house has its dangers.

 

There will always be those who will speak about that which they know very little, not taking time to research their subject – this, alas, is human nature, with many being willing to condemn, to judge, to arrive at conclusions, knowing little or, worse, not wanting to know. This, I am afraid, is the backcloth against which life proceeds and such ignorance and blindness hold back human development. History is, sad to say, the story of a constant battle, with the quest for truth set against that which people want to believe, with education and intelligence being no guarantee that truth will prevail; often the worst offenders are those who are too smart to think themselves so ignorant; this is arrogance, a trait that, in the modern world, can be found in abundance.

 

I am, I like to think, not a person who can be called ignorant or arrogant. Such was the extent of my delusions, shared in common with others; a person of good intentions, but afflicted by certain beliefs and participating in a collective delusion that made me more dangerous than I realised. And somewhere in my not too distant past I was a researcher, that apparently most highly educated type who, alas, all too often knows a lot about very little.

 

I will not delve into my past too much. All I will here report is that I am well acquainted with research techniques, not least of which is making oneself the subject of an experiment and experiencing directly the consequences; this being the truest test of the purity of the quest for knowledge. And this is what I did when, naïve and filled with a sense of being in control, believing that the risks can be managed, I became involved with this old house; a gateway to, perhaps, different laws of nature; ones that have, until now, not been contemplated, or maybe these are the laws of nature as they actually are, rather than as we perceive them using the narrow viewfinder we call science.

 

This building, this construction of man, is, it appears, a house built by two different builders – one working on the physical features, shaping it within the bounds of what is physically possible to meet the needs of those who would live there and make it their home, and the other, unseen, forming it into that which I will, in due course reveal. For the moment all I will say is that the result is that, within this abode, in this normal-looking building, time is not always the master. All around, this invisible and formless feature of our world, that which we call time, works its endless changes, but not in this dwelling. Here time seems to have been conquered; its ceaseless action has been subjugated to the will of …? Precisely what? That is the question and what a question! But beware, for nothing about the Time House is as it seems! It holds surprises for those who venture in, and often proves assumptions to be incorrect.

 

Of the others who went before me, those whom I have already hinted at, those who have explored the puzzle of the Time House, of these there is not a single trace – swallowed up by time itself and lost forever, somewhere in the great continuum of eternity. Of course, I did not know this at the beginning; I only discovered the likely fate of these poor folk very much later in my adventure. Had I known in advance about these people and what most likely happened to them, I might have acted differently and I would not now have a tale to tell. Such is hindsight! Such is the delusion that the risks can be managed! It would have been better, though, to have exercised foresight, but I, similar to many in the contemporary world, do not take note of the warning signs and do not know when to stop.

 

The building in question is a few hundred years old. In the surrounding countryside there are other properties of similar age, all built by the well-to-do gentry of a bygone era that quietly slipped into history long ago, becoming first nothing more than memories to people who, with time ...

 

 

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