What is time?
The following article examines how we view time. How we interpret time depends very much on the environments we inhabit.
Time Tense: This looks at how we process time, not so much via linear time as measured by a clock. But by our perception of time which is very much ingrained into our psyche.
The Past: Here the focus is on what was. Those people with an interest in history, give a lot of attention to what has happened. There is a sense of feeling and nostalgia for what went before.
The Present: This is where the focus is on what happens now. People who exist in the present are very much aware of what is going on around them Now. There is an acute sense of awareness.
The Future: The focus here is on what could or may happen. People are thinking in concepts or ideas. They use intuition to guide and create working definitions for their future plans.
These are also people who don’t give much thought to or about time.
There is a series of conditions which reflect and play on these concepts.
In that as we move through linear time. When as youngsters our concept of time is very much in the moment. As we mature into adolescent and early adults. The outlook is very much on the future. In early to mid adult life there is a balance between all three states. The further we move along, the more we start to look back.
Time Experience: This examines how we sequence time. As events occur we process them and place them in sequence. When looking at that sequence, we learn to understand the time periods between these events. When we code events in historical time, we create what is in essence an internal time line. There are two ways this is done,
Through Time: This method of evaluation is where we organise memories in a sequenced and structured manner along an internal time line. This gives us the ability to move back and forth along the this sequence, and view events as they are coded.
In Time This approach is more emotionally involved as the experience has a far greater emotional impact. Subjects are completely involved in, and are part of the experience. They exist very much in the present The past is stored behind them and the future stretches before. The timeline is not a structured entity. Experience is located based on emotional content and similarity to other events.
Time Access: This examines how we access memories. Having stored memories, we need to find them again. There are two methods we use to accomplish this.
Sequential Access: This is the Through Time approach, where the memory structure has been formulated as a sequence. Individual events are found by going along that sequence until the required memory is found.
Random Access: This is the In Time approach, where memories can be located simply by jumping from one to another. Memories are connected in ways other than time. As an example a certain smell, may trigger a memory of a specific place, event or person. There is no need to do a logical search through the sequence to find the memory, as experiences are located based on similarity to, or are indirectly linked via sensations and emotions.
Time is many things to many people, however we are all subject to it. Life is a cycle and the concept of time is the means by which it is measured.