Time is a very dense and dynamic subject that has been visited and approached from a myriad of standpoints, ranging from physical, to scientific, to metaphysical and beyond. For that reason, this blog will deal with the subject less from an academic, objective standpoint, and more for the sake of discussion based on the realm of possibility. Because there are no right answers and at the same time so many right answers and even more wrong answers on such a boggling topic, this is a subject that will be revisited multiple times in the future on our blog.
WHAT IS TIME?
Before we get into the affect of time on humans, let’s get a general perspective of time itself, from the relative and practical stand point of humans here on earth. Everything in the physical universe is constantly moving and shifting and expanding and contracting. An observation of these dynamics will reveal patterns. These consistent patterns, after a considerable amount of patience and research (and maybe a little bit of faith), can be relied on to occur in its apparent due “time”. Some of these consistent occurrences exert an affect and therefore an influence on earth and its inhabitants. Thus, these patterns need to be studied and, for lack of a better term, cooperated with, so as to not cause conflict or discrepancies (we can’t fight the natural forces of the universe). The same is true for biological patterns here on earth. For example, if after a certain amount of “time” passes, the weather consistently manifests itself a certain way, perhaps in a dangerous fashion, we need to cooperate with that so as not to bring harm upon ourselves by ignoring these patterns (I’ve just described to you seasons by the way). Thus said observations of patterns can be used to measure our activities here on earth. “Time” itself is therefore an entity created by humans, since we make everything about us.
HOW WE SEE TIME
Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way. As humans we’ve always felt the need, whether it be an intrinsic element of our nature, or out of an environmentally practical necessity, to measure everything around us, we’ve always established for ourselves reference points. Over time these reference points have “improved”, or at least have changed to some significant degree. Said changes have only come about a few times in history in accordance to change in cultural and society. Points of reference vary still today, being relative to geographical culture. Centuries ago, men used measurements like cubit lengths, for example, to measure distances, while today depending on where you are, we use feet, yards, miles, kilometers, etc.
Time has been no different. As a civilization, we’ve felt that it was a necessity for communication, direction, organization, societal and cultural growth, and even survival to be able to measure basically the time we’re awake and the time we sleep; day light and night time.
The way we’ve measured this has obviously changed over the years. I won’t get too deep into the history of it because I don’t know it and I’m certainly not going to research it. The point essentially is that a series of changes and “improvements” has lead us to how we measure daylight, night, and more today: centuries, decades, years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds.
WHAT ROLE DOES TIME PLAY IN OUR LIVES?
However, these established reference points have lead to purposes beyond that of survival and basic organization, and for that reason can be arguably debated as being impractical. Now, these measurements of essentially astrological cycles and once again, day and night, have become the primary means by which we base all of our actions, plans, and most if not all other primary functions of our private and secular lives. It seems like people throughout history have always done this, but not so. The means by which people in more ancient times designated their actions were all concrete and tangible, e.g. the sun being is certain parts of the sky, shadows, moon placement, and other astrological or biological patterns; these were all set in stone and out of there control, and none of them created these environmental reference points.
The way we see time today is much more invented and therefore to a degree superficial. It’s still out of our control, but it is less sincere and true. To base our lives off of something like that is quite the thought to ponder. Take the seasonal day-light savings time that takes place in most states in America for example. Basically, every fall, we set time an hour back, and at the start of spring move all of our clocks one hour forward. This simple occurrence in and of itself creates (non-existent) paradoxes and alternate realities. Because this shifts something that determines the flow of our lives so intimately, what would normally happen before said change to our superficial view of the entity of time drastically changes, because our establish measurement of time is still and always will be against the backdrop of consistent environmental and astrological shifts.
A very small, superficial example is our setting all of our clocks an hour forward. This results in our planning around the changed hour, which doesn’t seem to be the case since 8:00 pm is 8:00 pm. But 8 pm after the time change means the sun will still be out at that time, which results in a shift in our activities during that time. And not only that, but what we would normally do at a given hour is now happening at a different point in space time after the change to physical time. I wouldn’t be here typing this *RIGHT NOW* at this moment in space time if the given hour was different. Our realities and the “stream of time” that we know changes drastically just from a subtle shift in a very small, cosmetic aspect of our measurement, like an hour.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
As I said at the outset, this is a very dense topic, and I’ve only scratched the surface here. We’ve dug ourselves very deep into this hole of time and space with our own invented perception and therefore reality of time, which are all concepts of the mind. Therefore, the purpose of this article is not to find answers or come to any kind of conclusion. As is the case with all metaphysical conversations, this is purely for observational purposes. I just wanted to incite curiosity to examine and dissect this fascinating topic, using our imaginations and intuition. What do you think time is? Is there really a such thing as a constant “moving forward”? Are there factors or entities beyond our physical realm that influence “time”? How should we measure time? Please comment below!