Can Imagination ‘Fix’ the Past?

time machineLynne McTaggart seems to think so.

And I have to say, based on personal experience, I do too.
(I played with the ability to alter what’s already done after reading The Intention Experiment, and had amazing results on a highly-charged prior event.)

Here’s an excerpt from a blog post by McTaggart well worth reading (I added the bold emphasis):

Recently researchers at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, studied patients using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In this study, people were asked to both recall and imagine common events, such as a birthday party or the experience of getting lost. To the surprise of the researchers, identical areas of the brain were activated whether the participants were recalling or imagining.

As was noted in a recent issue of New Scientist: Not only is our personal past and future tightly ‘linked’ in the brain, but both are handled by a ‘universal module for mental time travel’. Even more fascinating, when the brain is not focused on anything in particular, researchers have discovered that the very same mental time-travel ‘network’ is still operating.

These findings pose many interesting questions regarding time and our relationship with it.

If the brain is simply an antenna and transducer of quantum information and it doesn’t distinguish between past and future, imagination and recall may well be interchangeable. Imagination could be used to ‘fix’ those past events that are still unsettling you.

Experiment with some of the following ‘retro-intentions’ with your partner or loved one. But first, make sure to ‘power up’ before you begin these exercises.

* If you’ve had a large bust up or disagreement of some sort that was never resolved, try having the two of you cast your minds back to the point where the event started. Carry out an intention for it to resolve itself at that time. See if it now feels resolved for you both.

* If you are still not getting along with someone, have both of you cast your minds back to the point where you first had the disagreement, and send your intention to change it there. Remember to be very specific.

* If you and your children argue frequently, try casting your mind back to a specific time when you were getting along. Imagine the same event with them at the age they are now. Try this frequently and see if it stimulates you to get along with them better in the present.

* If you cannot get along with someone at your place of work, imagine future events in which you are both working together harmoniously. See if that helps to resolve past issues.

* If you and a parent have unresolved conflicts from your childhood, go back to a really difficult moment. Imagine the same event in the future, with you and the parent as you are now, but ending up harmoniously. See if this alters your negative memories.

Has anyone here worked with this concept? What are your thoughts about doing so?

Since it’s more than just theory, I think this is an important concept for deliberate creators to consider!

PS – if anyone here is familiar enough with the “power up” process to share it, please do.  Thank you!

  • November 29, 2009
  • Mitch says:

    Kim – That article is blowing my mind! Thank you so much for posting that!
    I especially got goosebumps when I read the part about retrocausality in terms of the Big Bang. They speculate as to whether living consciousness created the unfolding of the universe after it already unfolded. Or to put it more like they did, life creating the universe to support life. Hee hee! Too much fun!

  • Desi says:

    I just found and adore your blog! The possibilities you outlined in this post brought on tears and I am so excited to try out this technique. So many times the past does hold us back from making a better future – what if there was no such thing as a negative past? Then what would be our excuse for not living out our dreams? 🙂

  • Gemstone3 says:

    I love that quote Kim. I’ve got it on a post-it in front of my computer so I can look at it all day! Thank you for sharing!

  • Kim Falconer says:

    Gemstone3, Thank you!
    The Lake House! It was a beautiful and subtle time line shifter! It’s actually a remake of the Korean motion picture Il Mare (2000) which I haven’t seen.
    Another great film on backward causation (retrocausality) is Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes (2001)
    You might like this quote to help the realist in you. It’s by one of our most respected thinkers of the 20th century. At the quantum level, it is understood that “what the observer will do in the future defines what happens in the past.” –John Wheeler 1977
    For a good historical overview of the physics of retrocausation (the future changing the past) have a read of ‘Science hopes to change events that have already occurred’ by Patrick Barry.

  • Gemstone3 says:

    I feel like a broken record when I come here, but I have to say it again:
    Great topic Jeannette!
    Thank you everyone for sharing your insights on this. One of my favorite movie genres is time travel romances (Somewhere in Time, The Lake House, The Time Traveler’s Wife)…
    It’s such a profound concept that we can go back in time and change the way we feel about an event, and in the process, change our future.
    Sometimes the realist in me makes it difficult for me to contemplate alternate futures, but I’m working on it!
    Coming here makes it easier for me to let go, so thank you all!

  • Tshombe says:

    I love these examples of manipulating time to suit you!
    Also, I never even thought of approaching a future event as if it had already happened and then feeling and expressing gratitude that it went so well! I guess this is similar to the “remembering the future” concept, but (for me, anyway) takes it deeper and makes it more compelling, practical and useful.
    Thank you!

  • Kendra says:

    I love this post! I have a couple of things to share on this one.
    First, I looked this up all over the web, and found this article ( by Anisa Aven, and it gave me the confidence to try this on something that actually happened.
    I went to a general audition at a very big and very successful theatre in the area. I got called back, and when I thought about it later, I wasn’t so excited about my audition. But I knew that thinking I did badly would only make that contribute to the truth more. So I revised the image by opening up a blank document (I WAS at work, after all, and couldn’t just sit and close my eyes) and writing about the situation as I WISHED it had happened. A lot of it was emotion–feeling confident, grounded, free, etc.
    Writing this I started to feel freer, too, and then, AS I’M WRITING, I see I have a new email, check it, and it’s from the casting director who isn’t offering me the role, but lets me know the director wants to see me again, this time for a different role. I was floored.
    I didn’t get that role, either, but it was a huge success in my book. And I’ve had better successes since (like dreaming, TWICE, about when I’d get a call with some good news and having it be accurate).
    The other time thing I like to do is really just to calm nerves–if I’m about to do something that makes me anxious, I pretend it’s in the past, thinking things like, “I’m so glad that went so well! It was so much easier than I thought!” NOt only does it shift vibration, it also literally calms anxiety.

  • Ooh, I like this, Tshombe: “What is time but a convenient way to measure a day that we’ve all agreed upon?”
    And Madisen, glad you’re as excited as I am about the resource list from Kim & Janette!
    Thanks for posting you, two!

  • Madisen says:

    Oh thank you so very much for all those fantastic suggestions! I’m looking forward to getting my hands on some of those books and movies soon!
    Thanks again!!! 😀

  • Tshombe says:

    This whole concept blows my mind! Thank you and Everyone who commented here. Can’t wait to try this stuff out!
    Kim, I love your personal example of you and your dad….just the simplicity and allowance.
    I think it was especially poignant and revealing to me in an “Aha!” sort of way because what came up for me the question “When does revisionist personal histories become an avoidance mechanism or a smokescreen for not dealing with issues considered too painful?”
    But this post and your example, Kim — as well as all of these other comments — ask us to go beyond what we may think we know.
    I remember an exercise I offered in a group coaching program earlier this year where I asked students to go beyond just visualizing and to “remember the future,” as we easily do when recalling past events.
    What is time but a convenient way to measure a day that we’ve all agreed upon? How empowering to bend it conveniently for my own purposes!

  • Way to put into practice, Brenda!
    Thanks for joining the conversation and showing us how it’s done!

  • Brenda says:

    Love this discussion! I too, want to watch all the movies–NOW!~ As I lay in bed last night . . . I pictured my mom and dad being loving and supportive parents . . . in my imgination I saw my mom was supportive and happy, my dad was attentive and paid the bills. Mom took me shopping and we laughed as we tried on clothes together. She signed me up for acting lessons and encourge my writing. Their eyes were so full of love for me and the world . I saw myself absolutely radiant as I basked in their love.. At first it made me quite uncomfortable . . . and then I realized that I too conveniently used them as an excuse for staying small. I kept at the visualization (warrior that I have become) . . . as I found myself getting used to seeing myself as worthy of that kind of love and attention . . . I think I have to do it many more nights so that “poor little Brenda” can fully flow downstream . . . Thank each and everyone of you and most of all you, Jeannette for your posting!

  • Ooh! Nice additions, Mitch!

  • Janette says:

    Oh Kim, LOVE your list! And very happy to see a few I haven’t read yet – yummy!
    Here are some movies and a few TV shows that involve time travel or alternate realities – in no particular order. Stand by to order in DVDs and have a few movie marathon weekends 🙂
    It’s a Wonderful Life
    Jimmy Stewart experiences what history would have been like if he’d never been born: the BEST ‘what if’ story of all time – a MUST SEE alternate reality and feel-good rolled into one.
    Back to the Future (I, II and III)
    “Wait a minute, Doc. Ah… Are you telling me that you built a time machine… out of a DeLorean?”  Take a weekend and have a BTTF marathon!
    Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
    A little dated – but has the best advice on how to live the good life: “be excellent to each other; and party on, dudes”.
    Donny Darko
    Amazing exploration of time, causality, etc. Not for the faint-hearted but will certainly open up those neural pathways! Try and get the director’s cut.
    Family Man 
    Nick Cage finds himself living an alternate version of his life (disclaimer – haven’t seen it yet, but the premise is interesting).
    Groundhog Day
    Bill Murray experiences the ulimate in deja vu – living the same day over and over, and trying to get it right.
    50 First Dates
    Not strictly speaking time travel – but for Drew Barrymore the loss of any ability to form short-term memory means it SEEMS she is living the same day over and over. Interesting to contrast with Groundhog Day.
    Meet the Robinsons
    Animated adventure – good fun time travel romp with a great positive twist at the end. Borrow a kid to watch it with, if you feel the need.
    Gorgeous movie exploring how to reframe your own reality when you think another one would be better – a young Tobey Maguire wishes he had an idealised 50s suburban family. I LOVE this film
    Time After Time
    Cracking good time travel thriller featuring Malcolm McDowell as H G Wells (author of “The Time Machine”), David Warner as Jack the Ripper and Mary Steenburgen as the love interest.
    Time Bandits
    Terry Gilliam (of Monty Python fame) directed this 1981 classic – A young boy accidently joins a band of dwarves as they jump from time-period to time-period looking for treasure to steal. Patchy but FUN.
    Twelve Monkeys
    A very different (much tighter plotting!) Terry Gilliam movie. Bruce Willis is sent back to the 1990s from the far future, to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet. Considered a classic of the time-travel genre.
    I put off seeing the original Terminator for years because the trailers made it look brainless. Turned out to be one of the best time travel movies. The sequels don’t seem able to make up their minds about whether the future is ‘set in stone’ but Number 1 is worth watching.
    Minority Report
    The tagline says “What would you do if you were accused of a murder, you had not committed… yet?”. Another challenge to the notion that the future is set.
    Somewhere in Time
    Love story made in 1980 featuring Christopher Reeve as a young playwright who travels back in time through self-hypnosis.
    The Time Machine
    There have been a few versions of H G Wells’ classic time travel novel. IMHO the 1960 version is the best.
    An accidental cross-time radio link connects father and son across 30 years. The son tries to save his father’s life, but then must fix the consequences of changing history.
    Butterfly Effect
    Another approach to changing history. Well-done but I found the resolution unsettling and unsatisfying. What do you think?
    Philadelpha Experiment
    1984 movie about a US Navy Destroyer Escort which disappeared from the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in 1943, and sent two men 40 years into the future.
    Dead Again
    A great thriller/whodunnit spanning time zones and past lives, cause and consequence – Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson.
    Star Trek
    … has played with time travel several times, most notably Star Trek IV (‘The Voyage Home’ – the one with the whales…) and the recent ‘reframe’ directed by Josh Abrams. Also the episode “City on the Edge of Forever” explores the concept of destiny.
    which leads me to… TV shows
    Dr Who
    Of course! Although most storylines are set in one particular time and place (he just travels to get there), some episodes deal with the concept of time travel. Most notable in recent years was the episode “Blink” by Steven Moffat.
    Life on Mars
    There are two very different versions of this – the original UK series and the USA version based upon it. In both, a modern cop finds himself thrown into the 1960s and the only way home is to solve the mystery (the difference lies in the solution). The UK version was followed by an almost-sequel called Ashes to Ashes. Loved these!
    Time Tunnel
    Who could forget this classic sixties series? NOT to be confused with the attempted 2002 remake.
    Quantum Leap
    One man’s personal journey through time, ‘fixing what once went wrong’ – interesting concept, that one can travel back in time (only within one’s own lifetime), by swapping places with someone else. A classic hero’s journey series featuring Scott Bakula as the travelling physicist and Dean Stockwell as his dysfunctional offsider.
    Classic British 1960s kids TV show about a druid who is accidentally sent into the twentieth century, and the poor kids who have to keep him out of trouble. Truly silly 🙂

  • Mitch says:

    Ack! Overload! I want to see/read all of those now! Good thing time’s just an illusion, huh? 😀
    I wanted to add to the TV list.
    “Lost” has tons of time travel in it.
    “Flashforward” plays around with time quite a bit as you could guess from the title. I’m having a blast watching this one from a deliberate creation point of view!

  • Oh my gosh, you two rock! Thank you, Kim and Janette!!

  • Well written, Sue. Thank you for that.

  • Sue says:

    One who is connected to the stream has the power of millions, so it does not matter if it is one or both parties.
    Just think of the one who is not taking part as the necessary contrast who put you into this creative spot.
    I would not imagine kissing my son in law on the forehead, if he had not sent me into a frenzy by yelling at my daughter. These little, and sometimes big “thorns in our sides” raise us up to be MORE of who we truly are.

  • Kim Falconer says:

    Here is an eclectic mix of stories that play with notions of Time. Please add more as you think of them! Janette is listing films!
    Novels About Time
    Arrows of Time by Kim Falconer 🙂 (email me if you’re looking for the best shipping rates overseas)
    Time Machines Repaired While You Wait by K.A. Bedford
    The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    The Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett
    Origin by Stephen Baxter
    The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
    Cenotaxis by Sean Williams
    Time’s Eye by Arthur C Clarke
    Dragon Riders of Pern Series by Anne McCaffrey
    TIMELINE Michael Crichton
    TIME AND AGAIN Jack Finney

  • Oh boy, Stacy, that’s perfect! Thank you so much for posting it here!
    It reminds me of Penczak’s first step in Instant Magick.
    This is cool stuff – to be getting reinforcing info about how to best do this!
    woo hoo!!

  • Stacy says:

    I love it! For months I have been wanting to read The Intention Experiment but do you think I could find it? Then last weekend it quite literally fell into my hands and I’ve just finished reading it 🙂
    I will try give a brief description of Lynne’s powering up exercise – quite frankly I have had many successful intentions work out perfectly without doing this, but I am sure it adds greater intensity to every intention so probably something we should all do.
    Lynne says that to power up we need to slow our brain waves down to a meditative/alpha state – she suggests sitting comfortably, breathing from the diaphragm, focussing on the breath. Do this for a few minutes, quietening the mind – then she says to use some form of “anchor” to keep the mental chatter away, something like a mantra, drum or other repetitive music. Practise until you can do this for 20 mins or more.
    From there, Lynne says powering up involves developing the ability to be mindful in our daily lives and in our meditation – this helps to heighten our perceptions. She differentiates though between mere concentration as in keeping the thoughts away from actual mindfulness which is a non judgemental, unattached observation of thoughts that come up, and letting them go.
    And it is from this point of being powered up, that our greatest intentions can be let loose.
    I hope that helps 🙂
    Kim – what stories that play with time (other than Arrows of Time ;-D), can you recommend? Thanks!

  • Brenda says:

    Oh gee!! I do love this stuff! It makes so much sense . . . stories are so healing . . . they always were and always will be. We never were taught we could make up our own to heal us . . . how lovely! Thanks!

  • Berta, this will definitely be a topic for us to cover in depth at Good Vibe University!
    But in the meantime, here’s what I was thinking.
    Well, I just typed up and deleted a long thing that doesn’t feel like I’m doing it justice in a blog comment. Maybe this is a topic for Wednesday’s free call!

  • Berta says:

    The perfection in the past? What a concept! I am trying to wrap my head around that.
    I am really wondering if I am on board here or not with how I understand changing the past.
    I cannot vacuum any of our words back into our mouths and erase the chain of events that followed. But I can change my perception of the outcome.
    1-They finally see my view vs. They’ll always see me as wrong
    2-They see their part vs. She doesn’t do it our way
    3-I see their perspective vs. They’ll never accept me.
    So I am changing my memory from “I totally effed up everything’ to ‘about damn time to clear the air and start the healing.’ In my imagination I see my spouse’s parents, sibling & spouses, etc. at peace with a new understanding of the dynamics from all points of view. I see acceptance and unconditional love among all of us.
    The past is the past, but our perception of the past is what we can change? Is that it?

  • Pure Potential says:

    Time is definitely an illusion if I can be definite about an illusion. LOL

  • Pure Potential says:

    Since reality is a story we tell, the ability to edit, revise, amplify and re-direct our story whether past, present, or future forms our thoughts, feelings and actions.

  • Mitch says:

    Kim – “I don’t carry a torch for linear time.” LOL! I love that!
    I woke up with sort of a strange feeling this morning and couldn’t really pinpoint what it was coming from. But then I read this post and all the responses so far, and I had all these overwhelming feelings about my family. I think this is just what I needed to hear today. (But doesn’t Jeannette’s blog *always* work that way? :))Just think about how different my life could be if I went back and reworked some things, and/or imagined them turning out better.
    Ah, yeah, that butterfly in my chest is my guidance shouting that this is exactly where I need to be focusing. I’m gonna have a nice trip in my time machine today. 🙂

  • I think that’s what I did, Bridget. I’m pretty sure the other party in my case didn’t have the same intention in mind.
    I’m surprised no one’s yet questioning this “changing the past” idea. I thought there would be more arguments about why it was perfect just the way it was, and how it would be foolish to want to change any of it.

  • I love this word “cast”! Casting back…It is the ultimate opportunity to put right! With two people and the good intention to change the past, healing gets so much easier.
    I wonder, what to do if there is only one person who wants to change an outcome. That seems a bit more sticky.
    I’m sure there’s an answer for that, somewhere in this blog!

  • Well put, Susan. In fact, I would even add that “time” is a story we tell! This ability to change the past makes much more sense when we look at time as just an illusion. Of course we would have power to shift all of it – “past,” “present,” and “future.”
    Madisen – Kim’s Arrows of Time is FABULOUS! Takes some persistence to get your hands on a copy if you’re ordering from the U.S., but well worth the investment!
    (Maybe Kim will pop back in with the best U.S. customer link.)

  • Madisen says:

    What a great post! I want to read all of the Intention Experiment now, I’ve started it but have misplaced it since! Thanks for the reminder!
    Kim, what books do you suggest with the topic of “time travel?” Any in mind?
    This is awesome, I’m going to do it so often that it becomes habit! Thanks for the post Jeanette!

  • Great quote, Patricia!
    Berta, I predict you are going to have some serious fun with your new tools!
    You, too, Melissa. Do keep us posted!

  • EngagingtheMagic says:

    All I can say is that I really like this and cannot wait to try it for myself. So interesting! Thanks for bringing the topic to light Jeanette and Kim!

  • Berta says:

    I feel like the carpenter who has been going to work without the right tools. I have the saw and have things cut apart. But I can’t put things back together without the hammer and nails.
    A little over a year ago I had a very distressing outburst with my in-laws, which slowly has been getting better. But now this post has given me the right tool to use. I have my imaginary hammer and nails to build a warm friendly cabin; one that brings peace to all. I really am excited to see what, how and when it happens after I see it in my imagination.
    Thank you for new tools. I have learned so much since I stumbled onto your blog, Jeanette, from you and all who reply.
    Here’s to learning, loving and living,

  • GREAT topic!! It brings to mind one of my favorite quotes: It is a poor sort of memory that only works backwards – Lewis Carroll

  • No doubt you’re right, Toni – changing the vibe of the “past” also changes it for the present and indeed what unfolds next.
    That reminds me of someone who said that the work we’re doing in our present lives is affecting our past lives as well. That’s all making more sense to me now.
    Noelle, I’m hearing Abe in the background reminding us that nothing needs “fixing” – it’s all a perfect part of our step one process. But still, whether the contrast inspires us to a new future or an alternate past – either way it’s cool, huh?
    Thanks for pitching in you two!

  • Noelle says:

    Wow….thank you Jeannette and Kim for this topic! You reminded me that I don’t have to “suffer”(just went through a very “challenging” week with family that was feeling like it might not be “fixable”) with regret and disappointment, that I can actually “fix” my relationships all by myself! Sometimes I forget my power when I get so upset…..:(
    Anyway I do know the power of the imagination with people from past experience! I have done it many times with my husband, not so much with past stuff though; mostly I just mentally take the charge off of those things by focusing on what I do like and admire about him, and then looking for understanding from his mindset, and it usually works…..but sometimes he does something that just feels so “wrong” that I can’t even get there, and that is where Kim’s “shaman tool” will come in very handy!
    And, like I said I do this a lot with him successfully; for instance when I leave the house and he is in a bad mood, on the way home I will picture him smiling and laughing or just think about some good time we had and poof!, I come home and he’s happy.
    Or when we’ve had a disagreement I will sit down and write about things I like about him, or of good times we’ve had, and usually within minutes he will start talking or joking nicely with me…..all past events seemingly forgotten! It’s like knowing “magic”! Sooo cool!
    Well, thank you again for this… brought “happy tears” to my eyes! Yes, there is ALWAYS a solution to everything, thank Universe :)!
    With Much Appreciation,

  • Toni says:

    Kim, this is a wonderful story – I love it. In general, I think I could be practising this much more than I do – so far I’ve merely used the technique described by Lynn Grabhorn (hugging somebody mentally) and been amused about the results produced from it. But I’m absolutely convinced that a strong intention to change the outcome of the past will indeed change your mindset about the future with the person in question. Great topic to start this Monday morning – thank you!

  • Kim Falconer says:

    I still have goose bumps, Jeannette, about this though by know you’d think I’d be used to such things.
    Anyone who knows me (and has read me !Ha!) knows I don’t carry a torch for linear time. ‘First, then, finally’ is a way to perceive; It’s just not the only (or always the most creative) way. You can really loosen up on reality (and hone your manifesting skills) when you get on board with non linear time. Here are some examples that work for me:
    Read stories that play with time. While you immerse in the characters and plot you are also creating new neural pathways for understanding time (and yourself) differently. Like McTaggart says, the brain can’t tell the difference!
    Experiment with different futures. This is easy because we do it all the time when we imagine anything. Take a relationship, job, physical goal, anything and imagine it the way you want. I did this with my dad–
    We had a difficult relationship (since birth…both of ours I think) and for me to think about the past with him in the picture was too traumatic, so I thought of the future. A specific technique was taught to me by a shaman but the gist is simple: Take a moment and visualize the outcome of choice. I saw my father and I talking lightly, feeling warm, caring and kind. That was all. After doing this for a month I traveled around the world to visit him (after ten years away) and to this day I get tears thinking about it. For no explicable reason other than my imagination we were at peace (not a cold war, not a surface accord but deep down to the bottom of the soul peace). It was profound.
    This forward imagining shifter is brilliant for situations too raw to return to because you don’t have to imagine HOW it was fixed up…you just see it fixed up.
    The other way is to go straight to the past and revision. I do this often when I feel I could have said something ‘better’ (or less inflaming 🙂 acted differently or simply want to release a ‘yuck’ and turn it into a ‘yum’. I did this recently with a first date. I, on reflection, was a tad judgmental (of him) and although I wasn’t up for a second date I didn’t like the feeling I had. By revisioning it, the charge was off in a matter of moments.
    There is no need to stay stuck in a repeating time loop you don’t enjoy (where you remember things exactly the same over and over again). Loosen up. Let go and experience the spirals! See what it brings!
    🙂 Kim

  • omg is right! Wow, huh? Something must be up that we’re both on this topic, along with the stars!
    Off to go check out the rest of your writings …

  • Kim Falconer says:

    OMG, did you read what I wrote this morning on Facebook?
    North Node exact on the midpoint of Mercury/Chiron is the perfect TIME to change the past! Huh? Change the way you perceive it! See what happens in your future when you get light and easy with the past!
    I put a link to The Tale of Two Vibrations as an example (all the while you were writing this???)
    I’m going back now to read the post (I just saw the title and flipped!!!) And to share this on my facebook page!
    Wow…. Synchronicity at its most elegant!
    You are so tapped in! (do we share the same mind at certain times of day? The witching hour?) he he he

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