What is this time? Where is it? What is it made of? Just how it is so deeply interwoven in our perception of reality and the way reality operates? What is the nature of Time?
In the beginning, tens of thousands of years ago Homo Sapiens, a most peculiar specie of the higher mammalian family, began to rapidly develop analytical abilities in their progressively increasing complexity of thought processes that were assembling in this specie’s minds. Our distant, earliest predecessors began to incorporate dimensional-type of thinking in their lives. They began to analyze and think in advance, trying to predict what ways a situation could develop and to follow a cause-and-effect thinking pattern in their risk-estimation, say, in hunting. These ancient people also with their progressively increasing awareness for themselves and their environment around, began to observe and gather collective-experience data that was passed through the generations in the form of teachings and tales. So that each consecutive generation had more and more information and knowledge about how their environment worked and what it was all about.
People observed and noticed all the cyclic movements and changes that occurred in nature around. Days were followed by nights and nights by days, the cyclic movement of the moon across the night horizon and the positions of all the more noticeable bright blinking lights in the black sky. One season was changed by another and then another and then back the same again, they observed how nature was guided by a closed-cyclic principle that was universally applied in all levels. Every movement seemed to follow a certain cycle that was repeated on and on and on again until the object that moved existed. From the movements of the stars and the Sun for the span of a year and again the same cycle, the seasons, the rain, the migration of the herds and the cycles of human life. The cyclic nature of seasons and all the intrinsic changes these had on the surrounding environment left a permanent impression in these early human minds. Rains fell more during a certain time of the year and nature flourished, while it was hottest during another time all in a constantly moving cyclic nature.
Ancient people long observed all these ever-going patterns and gradually integrated these cycles of nature in our mental ability to think dimensionally and navigate through time and space in our minds. But there was more, human memory evolved to work as a fully integrated dimensional structure that was composed of layers spaced apart in time.
People had evolutionary brilliant minds that were rapidly developing with the increasing collective knowledge and experience Homo Sapiens gained.
Humans had the ability to remember and recall stored information by will. What’s more, we developed the mental ability to operate with and analyze this information we have gained in our memory and combining different pieces of it humans could come up with entirely new knowledge that they in a way “remotely” gained, by mental simulation in the alchemy of thinking.
Humans vividly remember their emotional experience during their lives as. So These ancient humans began to develop a mental map for the world around that was constantly spiraling forward, which spacial model we needed in order to develop our dimensionally-thinking ability better and organize our collective experience, as well as the personal one.
People began to make predictions for a possible development of a certain event based on gained experience and knowledge in the past that was stored in their memories. After all, if you are to make a prediction, you must have a certain set of values that define what it will be about, that is a certain knowledge of how the object of prediction behaved before.
So, this defines our dimensional-thinking ability – to gather and analyze information we have accumulated in memory and use it to understand even more by combining and synthesizing it, so that we can come up with an understanding without the physical moment of experience, and of course to predict how tomorrow could develop in order to do better. In other words, Homo Sapiens progressively evolved and were using their minds more and more.
Human memory is a dimensional structure that stores information, experience and knowledge in a chronologically progressive order. That is, thanks to the way our memory worked, those earliest humans gradually created a dimensional perception of themselves, for they had memories way back from their childhood. The perception of childhood memories, for instance, is a perception of a memory that is now located at a certain distance away from where we are today at the moment of recalling it. So, this memory spacing gave human consciousness the perception of a past time. And the analytical ability of human mind to make predictions for the future based on our present knowledge and information, gave humans the sense of a future that is out there and could be accessed through the mind, but has not yet come to pass.
The nature of human memory and the amazing way it worked gave rise to one of the greatest inventions of humanity – Time. After all, how can you organize your memory without the perception of Time?
At a certain point, humans began to feel the need to store certain information outside of their heads, so that it could be preserved and accessed even when the individual is long gone. This mostly practical necessity to share information through distance both in miles and days was needed by the ever increasing in complexity early human societies.
So, writing was developed out of this fundamental necessity for human societies in order to organize and function better.
However, humans needed and wished to record their personal experience as well and be able to measure it with a certain scale, so that they could refer to it with preciseness, say in a dialogue or when you want to share a certain memory associated with experience or knowledge you gained in your life.
For you see, imagine back then some 30 thousand years ago when people measured their time simply by counting the most basic cycles for their personal orientation in time-and-space. So, when they referred to their past experience they were saying something of the kind “Many moons ago” or “Some sunsets ago” or “Many days ago”, “Eight winters ago”. In the distant time back then before humans even had numerical classification as a primitive counting tool.
Obviously, if Homo Sapiens were to organize their memory and spacial orientation in their experience records, humans needed a system to measure and count the cycles of nature, so that this system could give a basic framework for human experience to wrap around and organize itself better.
The yearly cycles of the Sun and monthly cycles of the Moon gave the basic beacon to serve as an orientation for a time-measuring system.
Humans from different civilizations apart in both time and distance all observed these cycles and created their calendar systems more or less quite alike. For, they were all Homo Sapiens and perceived reality in alike way.
Thus, Time was born out of human Memory, the structure of which defined our perception of reality and guided by the cyclic nature of everything around us we established this dimensional perception of time and space that served as a framework to wrap our knowledge and experience around.
However, these first calendar systems as a basic orientation created with the notion of time were quite primitive and not with the second precision that quartz crystal and neutron stars provided at a much later time. These were time-keeping devices for larger chunks of time ment to preserve and pass knowledge and historical information on to the generations and as a basic orientation through the days and years. Wrist watches along with Scientific Time was to be born much later on.
Time was gradually invented and integrated in the very structure not only of our cognitive perception but in the very structure of human society, since Time was now recording human history. When people began to invent writing systems that is.
Ancient calendar systems are an intriguing object of exploration and raise interesting questions. We can find some information about the genesis of the seven-days-week division for instance, in the apocrypha text “Book of Enoch”, an ancient manuscript that preserved the thoughts of a human who pondered reality and marveled at the world some 2000 years B.C, who divides the year into 52 weeks each made up of 7 days, which resulted in a 364 day year. These ancient calculations were quite close to the actual precise mathematics that estimate a full cycle of Earth on its orbit around the Sun that guides our contemporary calendar.
Our perception of time was so profoundly embraced by the early human minds and civilizations so that time-measurement and calendar systems became central to advancing human societies and integrated in our whole perception of reality, which of course included our spiritual perceptions as well. Even Moses says that “God created everything in six days and on the seventh He rested”. Have you ever thought of why Moses or the original mind that created the mythological conception with which the Bible begins, why would he say or write that God created heaven and earth for a total of seven days, including the rest which completes the cycle? Namely seven? Why seven? As if Moses had read these ancient wisdom teachings' texts and was amazed by this mythological person Enoch as one of the very first thinkers in human history. The writer of Genesis was even so influenced by the teachings of this Enoch that he embedded the seven day Enochian calendar in his Story of Creation. Enoch is also mentioned later on, as a commemoration to this great ancient thinker that the writer felt deep respect towards. To preserve his memory in the generations to follow, indeed thousands of years later. But this is not so surprising however, because all founders of great religions had knowledge of all the previous teachings and concepts before them and they bettered the original concepts that developed them further. Alongside our intellectual advancement, human spirituality also developed and ancient tribal shamanism and divine pantheons evolved into the monotheism of major human religions today.
So, if you closely followed the unfolding thought-chain of the above conversation you now have the answers to the questions with which this analysis began - What is this time? Where is it? What is it made of? Just how it is so deeply interwoven in our perception of reality and the way reality operates? What is the nature of Time?
Time is a construct of human mind which we use to organize our memory, thoughts and cognitive perceptions for better orientation. Time also served as an orientation for quite a lot of activities in human life. Until, at some point we declared it Universal and applied time to every aspect of our perception and understanding of reality. Just think about the role the notion of Time plays in human society! Without our notion of time and its measurement our civilization could not exist in this structurally organized way!
Indeed, time is a fundamental factor in human mind. IF you exclude time, our perception of reality simply crashes.
The analytical abilities of human mind also gave birth to mathematics, which rather evolved from the calculation systems adopted in counting the different cycles observed in the calendar system.
Nowadays, the notion of time has underwent a tremendous development in both complexity and increasing abstraction. Today, time has its own dimension in reality and it is also an intangible, for both senses and technology, force that is deeply interwoven with reality itself. Time and space were inseparably joined and the notion of time turned into an autonomous entity.
But if we are to search for it, it is nowhere to be found. We can see movement in cyclic fashion, we can see the constant transience and unfoldment of everything there is, but it is only movement that is measured by time. So, as our collective experience grew and the amount of knowledge passed on the generations people increasingly developed their intelligence and peered ever deeper into the very fabric of reality and meaning of it all.
In order to orientate we need a measurement system that provides us with a set of values to guide us.
So this is where scientific notion of time comes in. With time, humans measured speed, which was to play a crucial role in our everyday lives in advancing civilization. The faster you could do something you want to get done, the more other things you will be able to do in the span of a day, a month, an year and during the span of your life.
Here is where transportation comes in. Efficient transportation from one place to another plays a crucial role in human civilization development.
Even long before the internal-combustion engine, philosophers have pondered speed and medieval mathematicians enjoyed themselves with ever more precise and abstract calculations. As abstract as it was, mathematics worked and could be applied to human inventions. It worked so brilliantly even that it began to seem as if everything could be explained with pure mathematics. As if at a certain point Homo Sapiens simply began living in their minds so that the whole reality complied with the way human mind worked and perceived.
For instance, the modern String Theory is entirely based on pure mathematics raised to the highest levels of abstraction. Also the Multiverse speculations in the theoretical science sphere and the adored by the public greatest speculation with the notion of time – Time travel.
Mathematics seem to work no matter what you apply it to. And time is an inseparable element of mathematical calculations. Time, essentially, is a measurement tool which we use to estimate and orientate. Time is a construct human mind needs in order to operate the way it does.
In reality, time does not exist. And our mathematics are all from our perspective and apply only to the understanding of our minds based on the unique environment we have developed in. Why environment? Because the notion of time evolved through our observation of the cyclic movements of nature around as well, as we discussed earlier. Imagine, if there is another intelligent self-aware form of life on a completely different planet with a different orbital period and, say, a larger Sun. And if their planet has entirely different planetary processes that fuel the habitat these alien beings have developed into, so that their calendars could be quite different than our Earthly ones. Even to such an extent, that ours would have no meaning to them at all. The same goes for mathematics. If these creatures, say, move faster than humans and operate in different frequency ranges their whole perception of reality would be extensively different than ours and their measurement tools would make no sense to us. Imagine if these creatures are to look at our mathematics, which may very well turn out to be a complete nonsense for their minds and perceptions.
This is the subjective nature of science, especially in theoretical physics and mathematics. On the whole, as self-aware as we are, human mind is quite subjective and somehow narrow. Where we enter the realm of human psychology, with depths unseen, this creative source that humans refer to as “Soul”. And it is, the depths of your psyche are the depths of your soul.
Religion is the great product of this psyche and its intangible mechanisms that shape our spiritual perceptions.
The “time concept” is deeply integrated in our minds and society, in our expressions, grammar, personal time-keeping devices and your daily schedule you organize your life with in its cyclic nature.
Without the notion of time as a distance measurer through the eyes of speed, the mental travel we took earlier in the beginning with the speed of light would have been a dimensional model impossible to draw and frame into mental perspective.