Interstellar: A Reflection on Time

Interstellar: A Reflection on Time

“Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.”

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“Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.”
Joseph Cooper, Interstellar (2014)

Life is typically defined by the number of days passed and the number of days remaining to a specific milestone in the timeline of a person’s life. And once it is reached, the timer records a lap, and keeps counting up until the next milestone arrives. But there are moments in a person’s life when time does not follow the traditional meaning assigned to it by the status quo. A normal timeline starts with birth, has tick marks at major events (the first birthday, growing teeth, speaking the first sentence, starting school, joining the track team, graduating, getting a job, getting married, having a baby, traveling the world, getting into a car crash, falling into a coma, etc), and comes to an end. The only real measurement used to define this timeline is time itself. Time that travels in a linear, defined pattern and follows a set rule. But that is not life. That’s a countdown to death. And humans were never meant to die.

Mankind was meant to discover life through select moments that race ahead of the timeline to show us that which we do not know. As we live our lives walking along the trajectory this timeline has drawn for us, sometimes we become aware of a presence that we were unaware of before. As we are smiling during those happy moments, as we are stressed for those life-changing situations, and as we anticipate future success, our attention is diverted toward a sudden event that doesn’t seem to fit in with what the timeline seems to have predetermined.

It is during these very moments that we stop in our tracks, and look beyond. Something has caught our attention that’s quite peculiar. We humans, as much as we enjoy a life of comfort that follows a set pattern with predictable events, have been created for the unexpected. We have been made for moments that beat time, moments that throw us off track, moments that defy the rules -- disaster. Chaos. Struggle. Trial.

These moments defy time. And once time is defied, the timeline spell is broken. The human now enters a new dimension, one that is not calculated by time. Time becomes meaningless.

Ask Joseph Cooper, father of Tom and Murphy in the movie “Interstellar”, a NASA pilot who travels through a wormhole and across the galaxy to find a new home for mankind. What led Cooper on a journey that uncovered secrets to what humans define as time?

The Dust Bowl: a tragedy that threatened the very existence of Earth as we know it.

A timeline can not comprehend the unexpected. The unexpected does not comply with timelines, set patterns, or norms. The unexpected calls for the unexpected. It’s a call of life. A call to discovering life. The Dust Bowl became the phenomenon that led Cooper on a discovery to unveil the unexpected, and he surely did. When he finally awakens in Cooper Station, the new home of humans that orbits Saturn, Cooper realizes that the very tragedy that threatened human existence became the reason he embarked on a mission that transcended time and space to discover a new home for a population bound by a set timeline that was about to reach its end.

While we do not live in a world of science fiction, we do live amidst moments that defy the conventional concept of time. Disasters are opportunities. They are often once-in-a-lifetime occurrences. They are wake-up calls. And when you hear the call, you are drawn to its source. All it takes is a sign.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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