Time to Consider

Staff Writer: Jaiden Palys

Time is something that is always on our minds. What time to wake up, what time to go to sleep, what time this thing is due, how long before this event, how much time has passed since this happened and so on. Time remains a constant in our lives. Funny considering it doesn’t truly exist.

You read that right. Time isn’t real. It is something humanity completely made up. It only exists in our minds. Consider this; had we been on any other planet, or if we only ever had either day or night, or if the seasons didn’t change, or if people aged faster or slower, how would time be measured then? It’s hard to say, but to say the least, our measurement of time along with our view of time would be very different. Time is an illusion that people made up to measure change.

WHS junior Jaeden Olivo believes, “Time, for all intents and purposes, exists as much as text or stories or meaning exists. It only has any real value when people agree and set a value on it. Basically, time is only as real as the meaning we put behind it.”

Time is subjective. How each individual experiences time is different from the next. How can a day be so long for someone and that same day be so short for another? Because time isn’t real, and our concepts of reality aren’t objective. I can safely assume that we’ve all had those experiences in which time zoomed fast in moments of joy and went by extremely slow when you were bored. By having had such experiences you already know how others can experience time differently and by acknowledging your former and recent experiences with the passing of time it can help you to realize the false reality of our concept of time.

To further prove time’s subjectivity, answer this question; if a meeting at 4 pm has been moved forward two hours, what time is the meeting? What you answer can tell you of your perspective of time. If you answered 2 pm you have a time-moving perspective meaning you see yourself as stationery and time is moving towards you. If you answered 6 pm you have an ego-moving perspective and you see yourself as moving forward through time. Many are bewildered at the fact that others see time differently, but it is how it is.

“I answered 2 pm and was actually surprised when half of my family said otherwise. I mean, they’d really risk being late to that meeting by thinking that way,” says a student who requested to be anonymous.

As an interesting side-fact, there’s a bit of cool psychology behind what your time moving perspective is too. Ego-moving folks feel more in control of their lives and their future and are moderately more motivated, while time-moving folks feel less in-control and are more inclined to work towards accepting the uncertainty of what’s to come. A whole study on this subject has been conducted by Lera Boroditsky.

It’s been found that people with depression often look at life through a time-moving perspective, and studies say that by getting those people to try and look through an ego-moving perspective can actually be a good step forward.
Artist: Daniela Petrova

The future is a fun topic. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t exist either. It only exists in our minds. You are constantly living in a state of now. We made the future up alongside time. And considering that, I find it so funny that despite that fact, we are raised our whole lives to “prepare ourselves for the future”.

What future? The future doesn’t exist and will never arrive. You will always be in the present. Always. Life tip: Learn to live in the now and try not to stress over what’s to come. If you can apply this to yourself in a philosophical sense, you’re bound to lead a better life.

(I’m not saying ditch your goals. Goals are good and can keep people motivated. But don’t put all of your happiness at stake for something that may never come.)

On that note, you should also accept that the past is nothing more than what has once been and will never truly be again. Don’t dwell on the past. You’ll waste the now. Nostalgia is a beautiful thing but if you let it consume your thoughts you won’t be happy either.

To get a better understanding of the non-existence of time, you may need to think far beyond your own being. By doing that you may be able to see how even the entire lifespan of the universe is just one big now. Everything and nothing is all happening at the same time.

Consider this perspective: pretend you are an immortal, bodiless being. Little more than a consciousness. Like a ghost, or a god perhaps. Time wouldn’t matter to you. It would have no meaning, and therefore would not exist. You’d have little need to keep measure of change. Things wouldn’t feel slow or fast because it would all be the same to you. The day and night would have little meaning other than the sun being up or down. You wouldn’t need to sleep after all and there’s no way in which the day or night could affect you. Same goes for the seasons. Once you’ve lived long enough, physically and mortally detached from a world, you’d realize how little significance our concept of time has.

With all of these facts and ideas, it can be said with confidence that time doesn’t truly exist, at least not beyond our own existence.

This item has no true meaning beyond what we believe it to have.
Photo credit: Amara.com

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