Baby Boomers,

As promised, I am going to continue this week to talk about "Time."

Can anyone explain why time can appear to move faster or slower depending on the situation?                                                                                    Time has always existed.  It is man that created parameters to categorize when certain lifestyle changes are to take place.  It is man that built complex structures to organize our lives to live in harmony with nature:  

  • The seasons to coordinate with planting and harvesting food
  • Months to coordinate with the phases of the moon
  • Weeks to define the "market day" when we needed to go to town for supplies and the "Sabbath" a day of rest and worship
  • Days to honor the 7 major Gods
  • Hours to control how long our favorite TV shows should last and
  • Minutes to delegate an appropriate amount of time for Superbowl commercials

OK,  I made those last two up, but you get my point.

I think we all can agree that time existed before man in some undefinable form and has always behaved the same (whether we are approaching the speed of light or not).

Since man has put a definition to the way time should be measured it has become clearer that there is a very strong relationship between how we view an event or activity and how we perceive the "time" that surrounds our involvement in this activity/event.

Are you following me?

There are several theories and personal philosophies, that, when looked at individually, do a good job in explaining the ability of time to move differently.

1.   In a concrete, scientific manner the Theory of Relativity does a good job (OK, I guess it does a great job) of explaining how time moves based on its relationship to matter and the speed of light.  I accept that time can physically change based on absolute, defining universal parameters.

2.   But something is missing and this is the addition of the more philosophical, emotional and psychological perspective that man gives to his definition of time.

3.   Now stir in a mixture of the electro-chemical brain and muscle impulses that build our "Mental Relativity" that dominates everyone's individual behavior and you have created "Time Warp Soup."

As the great philosopher Yoda would say: "Somewhere in this mixture the answer lies.... hhhmmm."

For instance, have you ever heard of the phrase "Time flies when you are having fun"?

When you tend to enjoy something, you feel that time passes by very quickly, but, on the other hand, when something isn't very pleasing at all, time seems to slow down to a crawl.

I read an article somewhere on how Albert Einstein explained this theory to Charlie Chaplin:

"When you keep your hand on a pretty girl, an hour seems to be like a second.....but when you keep the same hand on a hot pan, a second seems to be an hour.   That's the relativity of time"

I'd say the relativity of time is just a scientific explanation of what's observed in philosophical terms.

In fact, I'd say most of the scientific theories of life have a philosophical basis.

For example:

Newton's third law - "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction" can only be accepted in a connected relationship with Aristotle's "Law of Causality" and my favorite Buddhist Law of Karma.

Time and space are relative to each individual because our minds don't restrict themselves to one time and/or one space.

Depending on the situation our minds jump to different states of time and space repeatedly.

Take the Einstein explanation to Chaplin above:  When your hand lands on a pretty girl (OK Gals, follow me by putting your hand on a stud muffin type of  guy) your thought process probably redirects itself rather quickly to visions of nakedness, groping and carnal activities.

Microseconds later you are thinking about your wife or girlfriend and whether or not having your hand on a pretty girl is the right thing.

Instantly your back to visions of nakedness on the beach.  The pretty girl's husband walks up and your mind goes into a raging fear mode and reviews multiple defense and flight mechanisms.

OK, one last millisecond of carnal thoughts and then you react by removing your hand.

All of that takes place in the smallest instant of time and based on whether that event was pleasurable or dangerous, you will judge that you had your hand on the pretty lady for hours or just an instant.
What about when you hand lands on a hot pan?

I bet there is only one thought racing through your mind........move my f*#@ng hand !!!!

There's no pleasure here and your mind is probably not racing from one thought scenario to another.

it's pretty damn focused so it appears that it takes way too long to get your hand off of the damn hot pan.

Even days later, when you look down at your poor blistered and bandaged hand you will still have the perspective that it felt like you had your hand on that hot pot for an eternity when in reality it was probably just an nanosecond. 

Now roll this simple example out into your lifetime of experiences, activities and personal events.

You may think it sound's simplistic but I am convinced that time does speed up or slow down based on your current stimulation when reviewed against a combination of the three theories offered earlier.

Time flies when you are having fun.

Not so much when you aren't.

I guess the bottom line is make sure that you are enjoying every minute of your life on this planet.

Yes, it will appear that time is "flying" by all of the time but hell, it's worth it.

And maybe, just maybe, if you can keep time moving at a really fast pace because you are having so much fun then the reality of the time-space continuum will appear to slow down to a crawl because your "mentalrelativity" perspective has gotten so used to time moving quickly that it's all a matter of perspective.


Wait, that's a theory for another day.

Have fun and let time fly.