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What is Time?

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posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 07:05 PM
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I've often wondered about this... what is time?

I usually answer this in my head by saying "time is a second, minute or hour..." BUT these are simply measurements of time. It's like asking "what is water?" and answering it with "a cup or glass"

We seem to have no control over time (besides slightly slowing it down by travelling at immense speeds) but it has complete control over us. Time ensures that every life on the planet comes to an end and there is no escape!

If the past is simply a memory and the future is not yet into existence, then do we live forever in the present?

Man, I'm confused today


So, I present the question to my fellow ATSers...

What is Time?




posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 07:14 PM
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reply to post by NeverAcquiesce
 


You're right, it's a confusing topic. Asking about "what is water" and showing a cup of it is like asking "what is time" and pointing to a clock. I think one of these days we're going to ask "what is time" and someone is going to point to something amazing. When I say amazing, I mean something like if you were to ask, "what is water?" And I pointed and said, "THIS" and all of a sudden a mile high wave rose up out of the ocean and stretched overhead in slow motion.
edit on 25-1-2011 by Mapkar because: added slow-motion for emphasis.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 07:17 PM
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Eternity is not a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is the here and now in which the perception of time cuts out. Time in my eyes, is a dimension. Like our 3 spatial dimensions, but completely different at the same time; it holds hands with us. It guides us. It's a string which extends from it's conception till it's "end". It's the measurement of our human existence, by way of conscious observation/awareness. And to be honest....I don't even really know what it IS haha. Contemplating time itself, eternity, and what exist outside of time perplexes me. But perhaps someday when we exist in higher dimensions we'll understand better.

Welcome to the forum!



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 07:23 PM
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Time is an illusion brought about by the confines of our temporal perception (from an eastern--and integral--perspective).


This book was a Eureka moment for me. Ken Wilber: The Spectrum of Consciousness

Because we are bound by our five senses, we perceive time as linear, not as a unified whole. We are *in* time and cannot perceive it objectively.

Oh, and welcome!


edit on 25-1-2011 by Liquesence because: for welcome



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 07:31 PM
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Thanks for the contributions guys!

It is definitely a tricky concept. It's something that concerns us everyday but we become desensitized to the idea that time is forever moving, like being on a constantly moving train. We may only be passengers and have little effect on the destination.

Do you think we that certain substances eg cannabis can slow down our perception of time? Even stranger are near death experiences, or times when we are in danger; everything seems so slow down (or the speed at which the brain processes information speeds up).

So, it could be argued that time is a perception?



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 07:33 PM
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I view life as a process, and time is a part of that process.

There is always a space to time, varying from the smallest measure to infinity.

These spaces accommodate the actions of us all.

Therefore, I believe time is a record being made of every action in every life.

I am trying to totally understand why there needs to be such a record.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 07:43 PM
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Time is merely a measurement. A tool, like a ruler.

Without it we would be clumsy, but free.

You cannot stop nor start time... it is an illusion.

The earth revolves around the sun, and the moon to the earth creating a divine divinity which is night & day. Duality. life & death. Black & white. Calm and rough.

If there were no sun, no moon, and you but lived upon a square block, floating in outer space ... Time would be almost non-existant.

What is time to an animal? Any creature whom needn't worry of a schedule outside its natural lifestyle and habitat?

Time... is our position relative to the sun... a figure/number corresponding to the area of the globe you are dwelling.

PS: the current date, "2011" AD... How many people are still truly Christian? The number should be more in the realm of 20,001.

*I was just inspired of a great idea for a movie or book. It'd be called "i'll follow the sun"... & the protagnist would be at odds with the puzzling question of time... and depending on the age/setting/ TIME of the book... he would use aircraft to literally follow the sun and NEVER experience night for however many years to achieve the point of the plot. (which i'm not sure what is yet... but it's a very neat and interesting idea)

Or you could do the opposite...
edit on 25-1-2011 by MavRck because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 07:44 PM
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reply to post by Liquesence
 


Thanks for the Ebook link, I will surely check that out when my brain stops oozing out my ears



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 07:46 PM
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Time is this.

Think about this point or full stop . < there.

Now think about this one . < there.

They are exactly the same, but you experienced two different thoughts.

The space between the two thoughts you had is time.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 07:50 PM
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reply to post by MavRck
 


I like the idea that time means nothing to an animal. It's like that old saying: "If a tree falls in the woods and there is nothing there to hear it, does it still make a sound?".

Similarly, if there is no one to measure or understand the concept of 'time', does 'time' as we know it still exist?



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 07:53 PM
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I feel you, i think time is the first obstical we must surcome.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 08:00 PM
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I guess celebrating annual events like Christmas, New Years or birthdays gives some kind of meaning to our existence. It's like way of acknowledging that time has passed so we can place as something significant into our memory banks.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 08:29 PM
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Originally posted by NeverAcquiesce

We seem to have no control over time (besides slightly slowing it down by travelling at immense speeds)

What is Time?


uh no. It is PERCIEVED as slowing down at immense speeds.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 08:48 PM
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reply to post by fordrew
 


Thanks for the correction! My knowledge of physics is not exactly up to scratch these days


Is time perceived uniformly across the world? Wouldn't it be strange if time was perceived to go at different speeds in different areas of the world?

This link is about Einstein's theory in relation to time:

www.sciencedaily.com...

He says that time goes quicker (or perceived to be quicker) when you are higher up because there is less gravitational force.

So it would suggest that people living on top of a mountain would seem to live and age quicker than those living at a lower altitude when compared to each other. But the difference in time would be so tiny that I guess it would be irrelevant.

Strange stuff



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 09:08 PM
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Time, I think, can be viewed from two angles, first there is the physical aspect that can be viewed from a scientific standpoint and maybe one day can be quantified and "measured" as a force of some sort. In this regard I like to think of time as a metronome, every time the metronome makes a tick, things move and are able to "happen" the speed at which this metronome ticks is constant but also local as in it might tick faster on earth then on mars because scientists mostly agree that gravity influences time and with that said the speed at which this metronome ticks might even differ from place to place on earth but in the end it's prime function is to keep things from happening all at once, future, present and past is happening and has happened all at once but time spreads it out nice and organized.

Now the second aspect of time is really quite interesting and that is the perception of time or the passing of time. As the metronome ticks we get to perceive motion or change at a rate probably defined by some part of our brains or maybe even a global or universal "beat" not necessarily in-sync with the first metronome because we do not perceive every movement in every thing every time it moves or at least not in any way that would make sense to us because it takes time to see movement and most things move so fast it takes longer to process inside our brains so our brains basically ignore or only show us glimpses. For instance we do know bullets move because we can see the gun firing an the hole the bullet made but we cannot see the bullet move basically because our eyes are too slow. Now, we do not always perceive the passing of time with our eyes but also with extra senses we have not yet defined and with these senses we get the perception of how long a second takes to pass or how long an hour feels. As we all know hours can take forever or no time at all depending on the situation and that leads back to the way wee choose when to experience time or when not to. If there's nothing else to focus on we focus on the passing of time until something more interesting catches our attention then we rather focus on that and loose all track of time.

In conclusion it's not 100% correct to say that time is an illusion as there is a definite physical part to it but our perception of time is actually our perception of the effect of time and so that is to some degree an illusion just as the daytime being light and nighttime being dark and basically anything caught by our sense organs and interpreted by the brain. Just like time so is gravity and all other forms of natural forces, we cannot perceive the force only it's effects.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 09:53 PM
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reply to post by NeverAcquiesce
 


Time looks (perceived to be) slowed down when you are traveling at incredibly high speeds.

Imagine it like this- you are the Flash ( that super fast superhero). You are running in a circle at lightning speeds around your friend. From your point of view, if your friend does anything (picks his nose, takes a step, WHATEVER!) when you view him performing the action he will be perceived as moving in slow motion (or taking more time to complete the action). Of course from your friend's point of view he is moving at his relative time speed while you are moving incredibly fast around him. I guess it matters from which relative point you want to measure the time from. From the observer or from the action taking place (Flash running circles around observer)



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 10:15 PM
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Originally posted by NeverAcquiesce
Thanks for the contributions guys!

Do you think we that certain substances eg cannabis can slow down our perception of time? Even stranger are near death experiences, or times when we are in danger; everything seems so slow down (or the speed at which the brain processes information speeds up).

So, it could be argued that time is a perception?


Absolutely! Cannabis does it slightly for me, but not much. Now shrooms, cause a noticeable time dilation. Depending on the dosage; a higher dose i.e 3.5g+ can produce intense slowing of time, especially at the peak. One time I remember looking at the clock, and one minute felt like hours. It freaked me out and I started to have a bad trip, but fortunately I rebounded. I've yet to try '___', but supposedly that 5 minute trip-time feels like an "eternity". I wonder how one would gauge an eternity, but nonetheless, it's intriguing.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 10:36 PM
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the above image is an attempt i made to formalize my own model of reality.

there are two types of time which are depicted in the drawing. first, there is TIME, which is the state of uncertainty at the "top of the universe", or, which exists in causal forms larger than our human bodies.

then there is regular old time. this is an effect of our own personal apparent stillness. uncertainty passes from TIME downward and we are standing in it, like a river.

we are nonlinearly and causally connected to TIME. in a sense, we are TIME.

but time is a linear progression which is sensed.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 11:06 PM
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Originally posted by MavRck
Time is merely a measurement. A tool, like a ruler.



Maybe it is now, but in the beginning, time was non-linear extremely chaotic and immeasurable.
Now that it's finally had a chance to stabilize it can now be measured using the standard unit of measurement we are familiar with ..seconds, minutes, hours,...



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 11:36 PM
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The funny thing is, it is always NOW.

Time is a human perception of the "Present" (Funny the spelling; as in the "moment" as well as the "gift" are the same)

Time is a human measurement, of "the rate of change" in things, where two or more things are compared.

The only problem is, it all takes place in the Present....



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