Our Perception of Time
|"Now is the only time there is. Make your now
wow, your minutes miracles, and your days pay."
Mark Victor Hansen
How do we, as humans, determine what time is? Is it defined by the cycling of seasons, the sun and the moon, or the ticking of the second hand on a noisy wall-clock? Does time restrict our lives or help us keep life organized? As young children we encourage the passing of time, anxious to see what’s next in our journey through life. As adults, the passage of time may become frightening as our time on Earth grows short, and years fly by as months once did. How we view time fashions our beliefs about it. Is time circular or linear? Is it relative or absolute? Does it exist at all? These are the questions that many ponder, for “Time, as it turns out, is a stunning complex subject” (Godbey).
Time is difficult to qualify because its definition is based on the way humans perceive it. Time means different things to everyone; a physicist, a philosopher, a poet, an artist, a psychologist, and the average person all see time differently. A scientist will theorize about time and space in the universe. A philosopher will question how time relates to human existence. Time’s effect on the human mind will be the topic of investigation for the psychologist, and the artist and the poet may take the concept of time and turn it into an abstract masterpiece. The world's perspective on time is as diverse as its population since the concept of time is affected by our feelings, our beliefs, our cultures. (see “The Global Value of Time”)
Through the discoveries and theories of numerous experts in the varied fields of time-related sciences, you will be provided with a collage of different perspectives on time. In this section, the reader will find articles on scientific, philosophical, artistic and psychological analyses of time.