Time – Is it real or is it a construct of our mind?

What is Time?

This deceptively simple question has been a very difficult for physicists to provide a simple answer and definitely crosses into the world of philosophy. In this article, I will write a short piece in trying to explain what makes this such an interesting topic and how we as humans can view this entity from an alternate viewpoint.

When it comes to Time, we as humans generally tend to believe that it is some kind of entity that moves forward, and I would assume that most of us would go through our everyday lives without ever questioning this assumption. It is after all, where the idea of past, present & future rests on the belief that time moves forward.

However, what if time is just a product of that fact that we humans have the ability to store memories which allow us to reminisce about the past and use those memories to think about the future and know we live in the present. As a thought experiment, what if humans had lost the ability to store memories? Without the ability to store memories, we would not know that time is passing since we would have no recollection of the past, present or future states. This would effectively make it so everything we see would just exist at that moment.

I find it really amazing how Time; something that we deal with every moment, something that we’re so intimately close with –  might turn out to be something that exists in the mind!


2 Replies to “Time – Is it real or is it a construct of our mind?”

  1. I understand the path of your thoughts, and it is true — the phenomenon of time is very mysterious and difficult to grasp once pondered upon. I think the way you phrased your final idea can lead to a confusion, however, when you say time might exist (only) in the mind. Two possible confusions. 1) That this implies somehow that time lacks realness because it seems to be mind-mediated. But this mind component does not imply that time does not actually form an aspect of reality (without us); it simply implies that mind is too subtle a thing to apprehend without the use of a certain type of mental capacity. Mind, of a certain sort (not inchworm minds for example), is necessary to be able to perceive the reality of time. And 2) One might think this is a fairly unusual thing: a phenomenon requiring a certain level of mentality to experience. But not so. It is the same with blueness, and the scent of flowers, and the sound heard of rustling leaves in the wind, or the sense of humidity. All these qualities also require some form od mind to apprehend. But this does not argue for those things unreality. These are the thoughts your post has brought to me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Stolzyblog, I appreciate the time you spent to read through this blog post! Regarding your commentary, I completely agree with your notion that time, or other things that we are able to sense do not cease to exist just because we stop sensing it. Give further clarity, the idea I am trying to get across is the lack of measurement in the event we lose our sensation of time passing. To put this another way, if an able seeing person suddenly goes blind, they still know that the stars exist – despite their inability to see or touch them.

      Liked by 1 person

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