You state "Each person is made up of four bodies; the physical, emotional, mental, and astral" using astral in place of "spiritual" to avoid offence. (I would rather read "spiritual" in place of "astral" the latter having too close a connection with New Age jargon. Spiritual is generic enough not to carry the N.A. baggage.) But, for the nonce, astral will be used.
Your reading of the physical, emotional, and mental elements of our makeup generally ring true. We experience limitations in time (linear) which affect our whole being. There is a progression through and in time, though that progress may not always be constructive or positive. Admittedly we move from birth through life to decay and death. Our desire to travel through time simply acknowledges our awareness of our continuing being and our ultimate end.
On the other hand, your contention is that we have the desire to travel in time otherwise than linearly. We are denied movement backwards in time. We must then be able to travel in time otherwise. That means travel "sideways" into other "present" or "now." That leads to alternate time "dimensions" or tracks. More on this later. In addition to "sideways" there is travel "forwards" into the "future" or "yet-to-be-present-which-already-is" (or "wioll haven be" according to Dr. Dan Streetmentioner, quoted by Douglas Adams in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe p.213).
The vehicle or means by which this time travel is made possible is the astral body. Your contention is that the astral body is a separate being from our other bodies. Indeed you describe it as "a symbiot." This implies that there is a cooperative relationship between two bodies, working in concert, but able to thrive one without the other. This is implied by your description of the limitations experienced by the astral body. It can only change location when connected with the physical body (mechanical assistance). It can travel in time only when freed from the physical dimension. That makes the desire for time travel possible, effortless in fact.
My question is, if what you state is correct that: "In its efforts to return to its native state, the astral body creates the desire to travel through time", what connection do our other three bodies have with the astral? One might see the astral body as a mere passenger hitching a ride and contributing nothing to the rest. If the astral body can come and go at will, and this creates a negative impact on the other bodies, we no longer have a symbiot but a parasite. Better to have done with it than be burdened by it. But to have done with the astral body, as described above, is one thing. I contend that there are four bodies; physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Bodies, yes, but with this understanding, that they exist as an integrated whole. The separation of one from another is possible in an intellectual manner. We can talk and study and speculate. But the person is a whole, more than the sum of the parts.
The spiritual aspect of the person cannot be separated from the rest. It may be harder to study and observe, but it is as real as any other aspect. The understanding of the human person found in the Jewish and Christian scriptures maintain the unity of the person. This unity may take a simpler form: body and soul. (One might equate soul with spirit for this discussion.) The mental and emotional "bodies" are manifestations of the working body/soul together for a particular purpose or in response to events or circumstances. The "interaction" of body and soul/spirit is life. The separation of body from soul results in death.
The Greek, Buddhist, and Hindu understandings (this is a generalization) of the person see the body as a temporary and ultimately undesirable vehicle for the spirit. When the body is cast off the spirit is freed from its vehicle the ultimate goal is achieved. The consequence of this understanding is the deprecation of the flesh/material/physical world in favor of the spiritual. The heresy of Donatism, which reflects this deprecation of the material creation, arose in the early church. It was condemned as contrary to the teachings of scripture and the Church. It denied the fact of the Incarnation of Christ. The integrity (wholeness) of the person was (is) affirmed. (An exception to this, by the way, is Christian Science.)
It has taken some time (sorry) to get to this point. But it does relate to travel in time. If we concede that the astral body can separate itself from myself, travel in time to its native state, then it has done what it has done. But how am I to know that? How will this affect my mental body in particular? How is the information or experience to be transmitted?
What would happen if I changed physical location when the astral body was absent? It cannot move in physical space, only in time. This would mean staying in place, immobile. But what if the earth moves about the sun and the sun about the galaxy, and the galaxy in relationship to otherwhere? What happens to me if my symbiotic body gets lost? What happens to the astral body if it is unconnected with other bodies?
Or does the astral body move in time instantaneously temporally? Does its experience of time become atemporal with the wholeness of pastpresentfuture compressed into a "black hole" of chronons? The astral body would not have to move "away" from my body(ies) but simply dissociate itself temporally?
All this implies that there is a standard time dimension or dimensions which are of a whole. The connections move together. The image of time lines developing in a geometric pattern is appealing. Given the decision making process we can see how this could create parallel existences or universes: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16,...4,294,967,296 (232). It doesn't take long to see how soon the expansion grows to fantastic proportions. And this number is based on just my making 32 two choice decisions. Those are the possibilities. This does not account for decisions others make which impinge on my decisions, whether or not I am aware of their presence. If, for example, 8 other persons make 32 decisions that affect my (232) decisions we end up with something like 4,294,967,296 times 1,099,511,627,776 (328) possibilities. My calculator would not allow me to factor these numbers.
These are the time shifts. And if these few (232)(328) possibilities constitute parallel continua how can time travel take place? Any decision, even by the astral body, would create a new continuum. And, as has been conceded, movement backwards in time is not possible. The line cannot be retraced. This theme occurs in a number of future time travel stories. A person from the present travels to the future, learns of present (in the future) events, picks up items of the time (coins, bills, books, etc.), and then returns to their own time. Upon arrival discovers that memory is blank, the items are gone, and there is no positive proof of the travel itself. Or, if there is memory, or items are in hand, their presence in this present changes the history of the future and what would-will-have-be is no longer. They become the present, not of the to-be-then.
This unretraceable time line is, in your words, a boring continuum. It is mono dimensional, the line from point A to point B. Straight and narrow. The image of the moiré pattern is appealing, but still lacks depth. One can move about on the moiré, but it is still just a surface movement. We may not be on the straight and narrow A-B path, but on a limited plane, like Flatland. Linear barriers existed in that two dimensional country. One could move forward or sideways, even backwards. But Up and Down were inconceivable. Though sideways movement in time may not be possible if we admit to the planar form (two dimensional). Movement from A to B in a straight line would be movement from present to future. The reverse, again, is not possible (from the future present to the past present). But what is the temporal "direction" of sideways movement? It would be in present(now)present(now). Like the doppelganger it would be in the present present in two nows at the same when. The moiré pattern might appear to allow this sideways movement, but like similar magnetic poles a repulsion effect is in operation. Two present nows repel one another. The astral body is bound by the temporal self-limiting realities. It cannot be in two places/times differentially.
To that end, then, under these circumstances time travel is not possible. Time travel to the past is denied initially. Travel to the future with return to the present is bound by the same rule: movement to the past, regardless of time of origin. Sideways movement in time is a self-contradiction. There cannot be two present nows. The separation of the astral body from the physical/mental/emotional is a violation of the integrity of the person. Death is a very real probability. If one grants the possibility of time travel by the astral body there is no way of knowing this took place as the memory of such could not exist.
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