"There is in life only one moment and in eternity only one. It is so brief that it is represented by the fleeting of a luminous mote through the thin ray of sunlight - and it is visible but a fraction of a second. The moments that preceded it have been lived, are forgotten and are without value; the moments that have not been lived have no existence and will have no value except in the moment that each shall be lived. While you are asleep you are dead; and whether you stay dead an hour or a billion years the time to you is the same." ~~Mark TwainCivil War reenactor Jonah Begone tells us how to do it.
"Try this: find the most authentic surroundings you can. Go someplace where nothing makes any fingerprints on your window into the past. Sounds are important. You need the clanking of pots and pans and the murmuring of troops in the field. (Some sounds, like old bits of music, cause me to travel back mentally in an instant. A moment later, the effect is gone.) Smells are evocative, too: leather, black powder, sweat, wool, campfire smoke, straw, the smell of a field in the summer. Now, do something that is universal to the experience of humanity. Kiss a young woman for the first time. Or, run until you are overheated and badly out of breath. Or experience the kind of pain that makes you oblivious to anything other than your present condition. For the moment that you forget the past and the future and live just in that moment, you are experiencing exactly the same thing that someone 135+ years ago has done, and it no longer matters what year it is.
"Reenactors do this all the time; we call it time-tripping. But it only lasts briefly. As soon as you think, "Wow, this must be like it must have been," you have taken a subjective stance that ends the moment. It takes a high degree of delusion to sustain the moment, and I'm not even sure we would want to. Fooling others is acting; fooling ourselves is folly.
"In the seventeen years I have reenacted the American Civil War I can add up all those moments from each season, when the black powder smoke blows forth from the muskets in the first events in April to the last smells of the camp as it is being taken down in October or November. I would be hard-pressed to figure out which moment was supposed to be First Manassas and which was Gettysburg, or Antietam. But it doesn't really matter, and I am glad for them all. I suppose the Civil War veteran's recollections of the war is much like my recollections of reenacting it, which goes a long way to a claim of authenticity, despite the fact that I was wearing modern underwear all the while."