what then is time

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“What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know”.           Saint Augustine

There are many definitions and categories of time. Standard, local, universal,  cosmic, linear, circular, spiral, absolute, residual, retarded, proper, historical, ancient, modern. Sciences, like physics, still have questions about time unanswered and we can’t have a common perception of it.

The truth is time is devided to objective and subjective time. Subjective time is influenced by thoughts, feelings, memories, expectations of activities (Zakay & Hornic, 1991). The duration of an experience can be perceived differently for each of us and this perception is unique, like our fingertips (Zimbardo & Boyd, 2012). 

Someone could think that it’s alright to understand time as we want or as our brain can perceive it. It’s like all other characteristics and preferations that we have. But, in this way we accept time only as a continuing present state. We let it pass, while we are occupied with activities of the presence, trivial or important. Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd in their great book, The Time Paradox: Using the new psychology of time for your advantage, compare the way we perceive time with the way fishes may “understand” water. Its presence is perceived by its absence.

Yet, once and then an event, major and irreversible, happens to remind us the limits and force us to reschedule life timing.

Philip Zimbardo; John Boyd, The Time Paradox: Using the new psychology of time for your advantage, Random House, 2012. 
Mark van Hagen, Waiting experience at Train Station, Delft: Eburon, 2011.

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