I couldn’t write for the past few days due to my frame of mind, not in the beautiful space I need to be in, to put my heart into what I do. Today, I’m planning to write about the perception of time and some contemplation on some of my recent thoughts on this theme. Welcome to another slice of our Ponder Series. You won’t be bored with a long read while we explore together on the wonders of time and its perception.
The perception of time and its intricacies are keys to several extraordinary secrets about the world we live in. A baby does not come out in a moment, but takes almost 9 months. A seed could have become a huge oak in a day, but it takes hundreds of years. We don’t eat the fruit on the same day that we plant a tree. Fruits of labor may not be seen right away. All things take time. There are certain things that cannot be fast-tracked. We often wonder about the magic of time and how it’s perceived.
In a wonderful article with regards to time on the brain, George Musser writes,
“It’s not that our memory is a glitchy wetware version of computer flash memory; it’s that the computer metaphor just doesn’t apply. Roediger said we store only bits and pieces of what happened—a smattering of impressions we weave together into feels like a seamless narrative. When we retrieve a memory, we also rewrite it, so that the next time we go to remember it, we don’t retrieve the original memory but the last one we recollected. So, each time we tell a story, we embellish it, while remaining genuinely convinced of the veracity of our memories.”
This is very profound. What we know and perceive as “past” is really a smattering of impressions we weave together as the author articulates it. All the experiences, events happening truly runs as “stories” in our minds and we only have impressions of them as they pass us. When you read an article on my website, for example, that’s a story weaved in your mind when you think about it later. We “perceive” time by usually comparing a “story” or a “moment” with a previously known moment or event if we think about it. When you’re reading this blog on your phone or on your computer screen, just clap your hands once and you’ll hear a sound. If you clap once again, you’ll hear another sound. Now, we call this interval between these two claps “time” by thinking that there’s an interval between them. When you clap the hands for the second time, the first clap sound you heard is only nothing more than a memory that’s formed in your mind, sort of like an imagination. You see, this comparison of moments and events and correlating with each other is what we perceive as time in our lives.
Before reading this post, let’s say you came to the room that you’re in now from a different room and let’s say you sat on the couch/chair or on the bed that you’re in now and once you sit and read what you’re reading now, the images of how you came to the room before opening this website are now only information in your memory. That’s how we perceive time. Hence, the perception of time is heavily tied and if not only tied to the sequence of memories and stories running in our brains. It’s sort of like a movie being loaded with us being the actors in that play. Without these correlations of memories, there wouldn’t be any perception of time. I turned 32 recently. I determine it so because I have my mind being accumulated with memories and events related to those 32 years. If my memories do not exist, then I wouldn’t have any clue of a so-called “preceding period” and would only be having an experience of the single moment in which I’m living. In case if you haven’t thought about it before, pause for a moment and ponder on this reality.
Reels are being played in our brains and stories and perceptions are weaved on and on. That’s a true wonder only for minds who think about them. Deep thought is the key to gratitude. Thank you for reading. I’m planning to write some other chapters on the same theme. It’s actually one of my favorite topic that I can write on and on with a hot cup of tea. Do write your thoughts to me.
Some of the chapters from the Ponder Series that you can read on :
> Ornate Blossoms
> Visual Narrative – Ponder Series
> Reflecting on Shadows
> Stumble over Pebbles
> Ethereal Quality | Petals
> Golden Ratio
> Vision – Pondering on the intricacies
> Ruminating on Bird Nests
> Living Embellishments
> Pondering on Birds
If you are reading this series for the first time, have a look at the intent post.