TIMECONSCIOUSNESS IN VERY LONG LIFE
Manfred Clynes, Ph.D.
Counting is not time there is no time to count.
In the following essay, I will leave immortality to the Good
Lord, and will try to be absolved of some hubris by dealing
with individual life of only a few million years long. I hope
not to disappoint readers through this, at least not for their
first million years.
What is time? We have been all too much influenced by
physicists, who have described it as a dimension: an infinitely
thin straight line, or somewhat curved if you consider Einstein,
along which events move. What happens is that t moves from
t1 to t2, two points along that line the beginning and the
end of the event. Time as an infinitely small point goes from
its place at t1 to the place t2. And we additionally have been
brainwashed to consider it going from left to right. Under
quantum level conditions, at the scale of Plancks constant,
time may even reverse for very short instants. To ask how fast
does it move along that line? is a meaningless question for
the physicist. Yet the relative rate at which time goes depends
on the coordinate system; the frame of reference.
What is missing from this view is the present. In physics as in
human life, time converts potentiality to actuality. Einstein was
uncomfortable too in banishing the present from his theory
(or not encompassing it). But I have yet to find a physicist