We’re taught to think in terms of linear time. Our whole lives are guided by the concept that one event precedes another and that consequences come from causes. We tell our life stories from the beginning and only in middle age do we look back connecting events in new ways to retell our story. Even this perspective, binds us to linear time. And yet, we all have experienced time’s peculiarities which open us to wonder. Why is it I can lose time in a favorite activity and that last hour at work seems like a month?    Dispenza

Einstein said, “…the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one.” Here we see Einstein speaking like a mystic and why should that surprise us? I’m reading Dr. Joe Dispenza’s book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself (How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One). Dispenza takes on the notion of linear time by examining an experiment done in 2000 by an Israeli doctor. Watch for the zinger!


Leonard Leibovici, MD conducted a double-blind, randomized trial of 3393 hospitalized patients all suffering with a sepsis infection. Leibovici was interested in whether prayer could affect patient outcome. The patients were divided with half being prayed for and half not being prayed for. Dr. Leibovici collected data on the length of fever, length of stay in the hospital, and death as a result of infection. Turns out the prayed for patients had an earlier reduction in fever and shorter hospital stays. The death rates for both groups were not statistically different. The results may shock some, but science has been doing prayer studies for quite a while ( Healing Words-The Power of Prayer & The Practice of Medicine by Larry Dossey, MD). The truly mind- numbing thing about the study is that those praying in 2000 were praying for patients who were hospitalized in the period 1990 to 1996. The conclusion drawn here was that patients who were prayed for in 2000, actually got better in the 1990s.

So what is going on and how should it change our ideas about time? What if Einstein is right and time is just a persistent illusion, an artifice created by the brain? We’re used to thinking that prayer or focused attention might be able to affect our future. But what if I can do something today to affect my past? Can I pray for a better childhood? Can I heal a fractured relationship from decades ago? Can I send myself strength to get through a rough career change I’m making now? Can I? Can you?


Filed under Book Review, Books, healing, Spiritual/Mysticism

62 responses to “STEPPING OUT OF TIME

  1. I love this although having trouble processing. I need to go back in time and pray for myself and others too. I just don’t know how far to go back. Pre-womb maybe. Another fascinating concept. Thank you again!

  2. I struggle with prayers and my faith ebbs and flows. I read this book – devoured it actually 😊 – just last month and highlighted this section, meaning to get back to it later. Terrible thing with e-readers is, that’s not easy when one has the habit of highlighting EVERYTHING 🙄
    Thank you for such a beautiful homage to this passage from Dr. Joe Dispenza’s book.
    I hope it’s changed your life too as it has mine 😊
    I have linked this beautiful blog post to my account because I can’t imagine saying it better than you have – I hope you don’t mind; but if it is a problem, please let me know and I will take it down immediately

    God Bless!

  3. Pingback: Fold time –

  4. I often use the concept of sending love backward in time with my clients. It is quite effective. Thank you for drawing my attention to this book.

  5. What an interesting and thought provoking idea. I will need some time to get my head round this. Thanks

  6. equinoxio21

    Linear time is essentially a thing of the “North”. One thing at a time! Most of the rest of the world (South and East) use circular time, no particular order, everything is jammed in the same time slots. You have a meeting with someone, somebody barges in (urgent) you take care of the second problem, while the first one’s on hold, a third person comes in, etc… At the end, everybody comments on everybody’s issues. Saves monday status meetings! 🙂 See Edward T.Hall Beyond culture for more on that! 🙂
    Thanks for the visit by the way. Have a great week-end!

  7. Fascinating post… one that logic cannot be applied to yet one whose truth is able to be considered though unknown. If the past is no different, is prayer from the future like a backwards superstition? If you want X to happen, you do Y because it seems to work. What is superstition if not a prayer? Is wearing a particular tie to work every time you have a presentation not a prayer in itself? It doesn’t have to be prayer in the religious sense we think of, and I think there is too much stigma tied to the term “prayer.” This seems more easy for my human brain to wrap its head around because there is a cause-and-effect dynamic I am familiar with. I’ve been taught this.

    But rarely is the plausibility of an effect-and-cause dynamic ever considered. I too think time is one hell of a hallucinogen. Everything is an illusion. I’ve no idea what this world is. That’s the terrifying fun of it all. I suppose the main reason I hope this theory isn’t true is because it has me seriously considering whether we have free will. If there is an infinite ???-cause-effect-cause-effect-cause-effect-cause-repeated ∞ amount of times), how can we possibly have free will? If there is no distinction between past, present, and future, I think free will is a specialized illusion of the grander illusion of time and space.

  8. Reblogged this on Sindy's Saturday Satsang and commented:
    Another exceptional post. This is by my new blog friend. Ellis Nelson.
    Enjoy your expansion, I sure am,


  9. Oh yes, I have been experiencing and writing about this same topic. Seems many have. So nice to meet you.


  10. Enjoyed reading. Very thought provoking.

  11. Hi Ellis really enjoyed this post – have in fact used the Einstein quote in one of my own pieces of writing. And was just thinking to recommend Mircea Eliade’s: “Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion” which is a wonderful book dealing with ‘sacred time’ when I came across Otto’s comment mentioning that very book! Also – have just this very day realised I need to do some healing on a period of my life from a long time ago. This post reminds me that that is indeed possible….

  12. There’s a correlation between certain concepts of spiritual philosophy and scientific theories that’s a bit disturbing and beautiful too. Your post was thoughtful and powerful.

  13. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative.
    I am going to watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future.
    A lot of people will be benefited from your writing.

  14. This really has interesting implications for me. I adopted my sons when they were 4 and 6 years old. My older son suffers from Reactive Attachment Disorder and as part of his treatment at different stages in his development I told him the birth/childhood stories that I wish we could have shared. It greatly improved his behavior at those times. He is now a young man and won’t let me hold him in my arms and tell him stories of what I wished for his childhood, but the thought that I could meditate on the stories and have an impact brings me great joy.
    Also, if you like this freaky time idea you may just love Einstein’s spooky action at a distance. And may I recommend The Universe in a Single Atom The Convergence of Science And Spirituality by the Dalai Lama.
    Great post.

  15. This is fascinating stuff. And I want to go back in time to say I enjoyed learning a bit more about you from the interview you mentioned in the last post. And, I enjoyed reading Into the Land of Snows, which I finally got a copy of this spring. Now, how do I go back in time to recall what I liked as a teenager, so that I can write a useful review?

  16. A real wide opener of a post. I used to play with the idea that my “future” reaches in and pulls me along … like concentric waves from there/here; and the same goes for healing one’s childhood and relationships. What a very interesting story about the prayer. Time let go, goes all ways. One can think of time as a sphere. But it stops the mind! One cannot think that far. Thought is based on linear sense of time. Time present is not thought, it is feeling and intent. And TS Eliot on time’s “intersection, is an occupation for the saint …” Thanks for this post, Ellis.

  17. I’ve been experimenting on my own with the healing work I’m doing now could actually be the reason I was able to do amazing things inspire of great odds as a young person. It’s convinced me of parallel multiverses.

  18. And I have definitely worked on healing relationships that were far in the past, to excellent effect.

  19. Glad you mentioned that prayer study. There are other studies that also show that our thoughts in the present can affect past or future.

    The Seth entity always used to say, “The point of power is the present,” and that we could affect everything from this moment. While praying for/intending for a happy childhood, trying to clear whatever bad things happened, may or may not change the past– I don’t pretend to understand these things– it will certainly affect how you are now, and that’s worth something one way or the other.

  20. If we could speed up the earth would we age slower and would we usher in another Ice Age? 🙂

  21. Pingback: Stepping out of time by Ellis Nelson | Financial and Health Coach

  22. you’re speaking of relativity, which einstein explained something like this: one hour speaking with a pretty girl will seem like one minute, and one minute sitting on a hot stove will seem like one hour.

    it just falls back on the fact that fun things don’t last long enough and bad things last too long. it’s kind of like the old riddle, “what weighs more – a ton of feathers or a ton of bricks?”

  23. Reblogged this on rigzenchomo and commented:
    For those contemplating the issue of time, you’ll enjoy this.

  24. Interestingly, this is the second blog I’ve read this week touching on time. And also, those questions you raised at the end have been going through my mind recently as I’ve been reflecting on a book I want to write. Thought provoking post.

  25. Thought provoking ! Thank you. Pam

  26. Maybe you would like to find out about the use of “sacred time”.
    Here in Germany the masonic Ritual (AFuAM) makes use of such a time. During the Ritual the time works different to mark events. It is a very powerful experience when you have to dive back to normal time when the lodge is closed again.

  27. Yes! You can, I can, we all can! I love this. We are only bound by what we believe binds us.
    Have an amazing day and week-end!

  28. brianlragsdale

    this example or comment about time occurred to me from two quite different perspectives; one is the movie making of julie dash, “daughters of the dust”–( whereby she suggests cinemactically, as well as many africentric psychologists have asserted this concept, that time for African Americans can be collapsed into no distinction between past, present, and future. My interpretation of this is that my grandfathers life will be mine but only in differing degrees. The second experience I had with exploring these concepts was at an advanced statistical training and the concept of auto correlation was introduced to our class– Correlations that are not time dependent. As I look backwards, now being 54, I see things very differently–what once appeared as dark and dreary, black and white is now to me a beautiful mosaic, a kaleidoscope full of brilliant, awe inspiring color.

    • Interesting ideas! I do think we look back on life to create a sense of purpose and that mosaic (as you call it) is not visible as we go through it.

      • brianlragsdale

        Yes, I think w have to make it beautiful, no matter how painful it may be. With all of these shootings of Black men I am hoping that some peace can be made from all of it.

  29. Reblogged this on Making Good and commented:
    Check out this post by Author, Ellis Nelson- it’s fantastic and so relevant to trauma survivors! Love her question- “..I can do something today to affect my past?” Yes we can! For PTSD and DID survivors, the past lives on alive and well, but we need to organize it for ourselves and gain control from the here and now. Sounds like our brains Einstein understood DID 🙂

  30. Reblogged this on Mirrors of Encounters and commented:
    A highly recommended post

  31. Enlightening. I’m definitely going to pray for a better childhood!

  32. This is mind-blowing.

    I have been near those insights, but never dared to go all the way, as that would seem totally far-fetched…

    Thanks you for posting this!

  33. Fascinating, as usual.

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