You can meet your past going toward your future or try to travel to the future and end up in your past. That, dear friends, is a premise of non-linear time and the theory of Godel.
Within Torah thought, past actions impact future and vice versa. In this week’s Torah portion, we see the Jewish nation told to go even out the score with the Midianite nation for their role in trying to get us to sin. Yet, the Moav nation which had instigated it was left unscathed. The reason for allowing Moav to continue onward at this point of time was that the holy Ruth would come from the King of Moav.
Here we go into the age old philosophical question that had seemed unanswerable until applying these concepts, namely, if G-d knows the future, how can there be free choice?! Predetermination vs. Bechira.
The answer can be that with non-linear time, all time is happening at the same time.
Ruth was making a free decision to convert to Judaism and do kindness for her mother-in-law. Her predecessor, the King of Moav, who had plotted to have the Jews annihilated by G-d, he merited life based on the merit of his future descendant.
But, wait, there is more to the narrative. He brought sacrifices, didn’t he, in an attempt to “bribe” G-d to curse the Jews. Even a wrongly-motivated sacrifice has a spark of holiness. And our sages say that spark of holiness stayed alive to make its way to Ruth, his descendant.
Ah, but wait, there is even still more to the narrative. You see, Moav is from Lot, the nephew of Avraham. Father Abraham poured lessons, love, guidance and even risked his life for his nephew Lot. It seemed all that nurturing went nowhere when Lot moved to the corruption of Sodom. Yet, even in that corruption, some of Avraham’s goodness remained with Lot, for we see him welcoming in the angels to his home and trying to feed them. Hence, the spark lit by Avraham, stayed dormant in Lot, flickering occasionally in his soul. That spark, carried generations later through descendants, burst into full-flame of Ruth’s majesty and holiness, eventually sparking the Davidic line.
Which epoch of time period influenced which? Will the deeds of the future Messiah, who will be from the Davidic line, mothered by Ruth, impacting the past? Or is the past dictating and shaping the future of the world? With non-linear time, both can be happening simultaneously.
The “original sin” of man eating from that forbidden tree shouldn’t, in a linear time frame, be that relevant to us as his descendants, other than the sad fact that we are being punished for his sin with death, hard childbirth, the difficulty in making a living, etc. Yet, none of us has righted the sin. If we go with the non-linear time thought, each time we do the same sin of Adam, which is what almost all of us are guilty of doing in our own lives, we are doing it at the precise moment he is doing it. And, if in the future, we set it right, it might even set the past right.
Yup, folks, I believe in something more important being gained from the study of non-linear time than time travel. I think we can learn that if we, the future of the past, set a sin wrong by rectifying a flaw in mankind’s nature by overcoming that rebellious nature, we can undo the past. This is why in an esoteric view of Jewish history, world history is depicted as a full circle, with the Messianic age bringing us back to Adam in the Garden of Eden.