I have formed my own theory about the creation of the universe and all that we know. I think everything we know, have experienced and will experience has its foundation in layers. Everything builds on what has been before. Life is simply one big onion.
In my theory, if an archaeologist digs deep enough at a site he will eventually discover not only the past, but the present and eventually the future. I mean this literally as well as symbolically.
In my own experience, I have frequent flashes of the past as if it was occurring now. I assume this is because the chemical reactions in my brain are dusting off the memory synapses of past events and making them seem as though they are happening concurrently with the present. Or, perhaps all of my experience is happening at once in a microcosmic mirror of the multiple realities theory of Quantum Physics (I am not going to explain this theory to you...use Google like everyone else and sift through the bull shit to find something that seems reasonable).
I touched on the concept of human knowledge building on the layers of knowledge left by the generations before in my post Shoulder of giants back in September 2008. Layering on that post (ha, ha, ha...), I firmly believe our own lives are forged by layer after layer of experience that collects like silt on our consciousness. We are who we are based on who we have been.
At times, though, I get very weary of the sifting through the murkier layers trying to recall when a layer happened (or if it is happening now). When I was 13 or 14 and there were quite a bit less layers, I remember wondering what my life would be like at the turn of the century and I was a feeble old man of 42. At 42, after the layers had really piled up, I didn't so much wonder what my life would be at 50 as wish I was 13 or 14 again with less layers. Now, at 51, I just feel the layers piling on. I'm too weary most of the time to think about being 60 or 70.
Occasionally, the layers merge. I play with my children and find myself in the layer where I was a boy who climbed the apple tree in our back yard and stared at the clouds dreaming of great adventures and marveling at how blue the sky could be. But the fragile thread that holds me in that layers breaks when I glimpse myself in the reflection in a mirror. Then I find myself back in my middle aged man layer.
Okay, the layer theory isn't perfect. But it is interesting.