Imagine a world, where technology allows to summon yourself from the past to your own body.


  • you can only transfer consciousness from the past and back, no body, no things;

  • you are not conscious when the past version of yourself is in your body;

  • technology cannot reach like 5 days into your past, your past version has to be from at least 15 years before your current time;

  • before the procedure you can choose a time limit, after which the past version would be sent back for you to regain your body;

  • sending it back to the past creates new timeline, so a "younger you" cannot affect your present in any way.

What would be the reasons to summon the past version of yourself and let it control your body for some time?

You couldn't change anything in YOUR past, because of the different timelines.

My thoughts so far:

  • ask past version to remind you something that you have forgot (i. e. code from the safe) (of course you would have to write your request in a letter before the transfer, because you will be unconscious until "younger you" leaves);

  • ask "younger you" to work on something for some time (just so you wouldn't have to work yourself, but have work done), as a reward offering any knowledge of the "future" (because memories are the only thing a "younger you" can take back with him/her to the past) and maybe a few days to look around and explore your present (which is "future" to a younger you).

I feel I am missing something big. Please help!

  • 11
    $\begingroup$ Not a lot, the younger me was an idiot. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Mar 28, 2018 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ Can I ask the Younger Me to invest in Berkshire Hathaway? $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Mar 28, 2018 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ Reminder to close-voters: The problem cannot be fixed if the OP is not made aware of it. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Mar 28, 2018 at 12:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That being said, welcome to the site, DBC. Please note that the Worldbuilding SE is dedicated to providing detailed answers to specific questions you are having while building your fictional world. While we would be happy to answer questions about time travel mechanics, how those mechanics are used is an issue for a story and not a worldbuilding issue. Thus, I am voting to put this question on hold for being too story-based until an edit is made identifying the worldbuilding aspect. If you haven't already, feel free to take the tour to get a better understanding of the site. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Mar 28, 2018 at 12:24
  • $\begingroup$ Adding to what Frostfyre already mentions; this is a good example of what once was called idea generation. "I have xyz, what can I do with it? Why would I use it for something?". We cannot relieve you of the task of being creative and coming up with ideas. We can just help you to make them foolproof and work out in the way you want them to... $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    Mar 28, 2018 at 12:47

5 Answers 5


You could do that if you lost important skills.

Let's say you are a "has-been" artist who lost his creativity and inspiration, and you want to reproduce the success you had 15 years before. Because nostalgic stuff is trending in the society and people are talking about you again, you feel this is your chance for a come back. But you are unable to create anything good. Then you may use the younger (and talented) you to create brand new stuff.

Or let's say you're an old scientist, working on a very important project, but your intellect is not as sharp as before, due to aging. Your memory or logic is not what it used to be, and you struggle achieving the big task of your life. Then you can summon a younger you to find the answers that are slipping away from the older you.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "My wife does not seem to love me anymore, she says I am no longer a romantic. Maybe I'm not, but you are! Can you help me, please?" $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Mar 28, 2018 at 17:20


Something bad just happened (natural disaster, terrorist attack, major accident).

Summon yourself, give details on what happened and how to avoid it, send self back.

Yes you don't help your world, but you help hundreds or thousands (maybe more) of people in another world.

Of course this does open up problems of validating all these claims from people who say they have a message from the future and giving people realistic options but in many cases an anonymous tip telling relevant people where to look would be enough to avert disaster.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Problem with this is that the 'saved' people in the other world wouldn't need saving if you hadn't summoned your younger self - they only come into being when you send yourself back and create the new timeline. $\endgroup$
    – Nick
    Mar 28, 2018 at 9:07
  • $\begingroup$ Assuming that in the new timeline of your younger self the same bad thing will happen $\endgroup$
    – Gianluca
    Mar 28, 2018 at 9:07


If you become overwhelmed, burnt out, unable to get by day-to-day, summoning a (leaner, meaner) more motivated version of your past self might give 'you' an opportunity to clear the decks, so that when you return to you, your day-to-day existence all the things you didn't have energy for are now done. This would probably rely on the things needing doing being things you would have done before - so if you were once really into DIY, decorating etc., but no longer have mental energy for, you could summon your past self, and when you wake up, you house has had a makeover! Same logic might apply to any complex task (re-building a classic car, organising a database etc., depending on what is was you used to be motivated to do.)

All assumes your past self will be cooperative, of course!


Mainly, I would see it as useful to solve problems or make decisions for which I don't feel "neutral" enough to make by myself.

A little bit of craziness

Sometimes, when we are adults, working and being stuck in the routine, we lack creativity and the "out-of-the-box" thinking that our teenage self had. In some situations, I believe that a crazier version of me would dare doing certain things that I'm now afraid to do. Let's make an example:

I'm scared of taking the plane. A strong, vicious fear that paralyzes me as soon as I see a pair of wings taking off. Oh Lord, if only I could be that crazy teenager who was willing to take any risk to impress people... But wait, I have this superpower now! F*ck yes, I can finally enjoy that holiday in Thailand. * Shazaaaaaaamm *

...or being more reasonable.

It can also be the total opposite. We become more confident in certain domains as we age up, and we are prone to bad decisions. But what if a bit of fear was needed to hold back? Once more, let's make an exemple:

I've been offered this super well-paid position at Evil Inc., who kill animals and produce super dirty energy. But hey, I'm a rich guy now, I want to make even more profit to make sure my family doesn't lack anything. I know it's selfish, but... What to do, what to do? My wife advised me to use my superpower. It can't kill... * Shazaaaaaaaam *

Mental health problems

You said we could only transfer the consciousness from the past. One of the best examples of usage to me is someone whose consciousness is sick, and who are willing to get better. As an example, I think this is a very strong tool for people suffering for depression, who would like their younger, happier self to come back for a moment.

A fresh vision on a given problem

As a software developer, I face bugs and problems all the time. And sometimes, it takes me a very long time to solve the issue, because I'm too deep inside the code or the problem, and I lack objectivity and vision on certain aspects of it. It's always good to have an external opinion about an issue when you're not able to solve it yourself. Who better than a younger version of yourself for that?


I think that there is basically nothing that an actual me can want from a younger me, if nothing else because he has way less experience, knowledge and/or he have not yet done all the errors I done.

And since i cannot change my past (so my present) the only thing that remain is that I can try to make a more successfull copy of myself in another timeline summoning the younger me and let him knowing what to do in another way of what I now see as errors or bad decision, assuming that the timeline is not so different.


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