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Derek Tachiyama

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what is time?

i think Time is just a creation of humans in our attempt to bring order to our world. so is time an idea, some thing tangible, or something you can travel through???

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Closing Statement from Derek Tachiyama

Thank you for all the comments. So I pretty much reached the conclusion that time has an incredible variety of definitions, none of which are adequately explained using the english language as Frans Kellner said, because you cannot define a word using the word or factors of it. For example, you can't say time is the past or present, because that doesn't say what time is, rather a form of time. sort of like saying a peanut is a type of nut. doesn't really give us a better understanding of a peanut. Also, time is heavily reliant on human perception. I'm not here to play god and tell people what time is. I still don't know. However, I stand by my BELIEF (not truth) that time is the perception of the order of events that take place in our lives. It is an idea, not tangible in any way. You can travel back in time through memories, but the past cannot be changed because it is a perception. The idea of time is our way of trying to bring order to the chaotic world around us. If you would like to continue this discussion with me, you can e-mail me and i will gladly reply to your opinions, I'm very open minded. Just put "time discussion" as the subject header and leave your name at the bottom.

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    Dec 16 2011: Always a good question Mr. Tachiyama.
    I submit that time is a unit of measure.
    Much like inches are a unit of measure for quantifying physical dimensions of a material thing, time is used to quantify what we call change.
    If change is not present in a system there is no need for time in that system.
    If, however, components of a system do not remain exactly constant in all of their attributes then time is a necessary measurement to quantify those excursions from precisely repeated exactness.
    A system that is infinite, eternal and unchangeable has no use for Time.
    Thank you for your question.
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      Dec 16 2011: Yes, time is a unit of measurement. Just like inches. That is exactly my point. Now wouldnt we really be screwed if we ran time like we did units of measurement? The U.S. and everyone who uses the metric system would be making mistakes left and right with the conversion. yet, we can convert the units. So time is not something that truly exists. It is a mere idea that everyone else lives by. Say tomorrow i decided to live by degrees of the sun rather than hours. Then i said hey, meet me at 50 degrees. If you knew my system, you could tell when to meet me. If you didnt, you'd be lost. If the world didn't believe in using the hour, minute, and second it wouldnt exist anymore. you kinda get my drift?
      I think time is used to bring a sense of order and schedule to the chaos of our world. Without the idea of time, we wouldn't know how to communicate when to do things, when things happened, etc. There isn't a good definition for time, because time is forced to define itself.
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        Dec 16 2011: Derek,
        I agree with most of what you've written...and I'm not sure what you're saying with this statement..."If the world didn't believe in using the hour, minute, and second it wouldn't exist anymore". You mean the world wouldn't exist any more? Or time wouldn't exist any more? I believe the world would still exist...we simply wouldn't know what time it is according to the existing human "time program".

        Edit:
        Helen,
        No reply button in the appropriate place..
        I've read quite a bit of Tolle...years ago...I agree...good information:>)
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          Dec 16 2011: Sorry, i was reffering to time. Time as a system of measurement would not exist. Kind of like money, money is worthless paper and ink unless we give it value.
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          Dec 16 2011: Colleen............You must read Tolle like I do. I think he is great.
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          Dec 16 2011: Colleen, this is a reply to your post below to me which begins, "I agree Edward. . ."
          Defining the boundaries separating Now from Past and Future is to me a Gordian Knot.
          That is why I embrace the concept of there being only a Past and a Future. The problem goes away.
          Memory and documentation are the vehicles to the Past. Hope and wonder prepare us for the Future.
          The best my mind can do is imagine what is commonly called the Present to be nothing more than the boundary between Past and Future.
          What would you do if I challenged you to do something in the Present/ Now? No matter what you do I will only be able to perceive it by remembering what you did because by the time the light (vision) of what you did strikes my retinas there will have been some, not much but some, Time elapsed while the light traveled from your location to my eyes. Thus, I can never experience anything in the present, only in the past.
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          Dec 18 2011: This response is to be referred to as EL1.
          Apparently this forum is not designed to serve prolonged conversations.
          Colleen, this is a response to your latest post for me.
          You are evolving the subject onto the slippery slope of SIMULTANIETY, which asks the question; "Can two or more people experience the same NOW?".
          I don't want to talk about that because it hurts my brain :--).
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        Dec 16 2011: Native Americans used moon cycles; stone-age tribes use(d) seasonal weather changes; kindergartners carefully observe the daily routine; first-world countries use the frequency of a Cesium atom; everyone trying to do the same thing. . . measure the passing of Time.
        If we define "exist" as being that which has physical characteristics like mass, density, temperature, length, height, etc. then Time does not exist any more than a meter, or a pound exist.
        Like Julius says (below) there is no Now, or Present. There is only that which has happened and that which is yet to happen. The transition between past and future consumes zero Time.
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          Dec 16 2011: I agree Edward that there are various methods to keep track of time, and many people in less developed countries still use some of the methods you mention.

          Then there is our "internal clock". I haven't used a watch for over 25 years, and generally listen to the internal "time piece"...eat when I'm hungry...sleep when I'm tired...etc:>) I'm retired, so it's a little easier than if I was working in a situation where keeping track of time was a little more important. I can see myself showing up for work when my "internal clock" decided it would be "time"...LOL:>)

          I don't agree with the perception of "there is no now, or present". To me, there is ONLY the present/now. The past "time" is gone by, and the future "time" is not yet a reality. With the information I have at this moment, I believe this moment is the ONLY existing "time".
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          Dec 16 2011: alright, now this brings me to the point where i have to ask-- do you believe time travel is possible? I need to know before I say what im gonna say-
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          Dec 16 2011: Go ahead Derek...be brave:>)
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          Dec 17 2011: Hi Edward,
          This is in response to your most recent comment to me...sorry I cannot get it any closer!
          I respect your perception of there being only a past and future, and I percieve "now" as the most important moment for me.

          You write..."That is why I embrace the concept of there being only a Past and a Future. The problem goes away".

          What "problem" are you refering to?

          You say..."The best my mind can do is imagine what is commonly called the Present to be nothing more than the boundary between Past and Future".

          I think I understand this perception, and I don't agree. I believe time is a perception, and we may all percieve it differently.

          You say..."What would you do if I challenged you to do something in the Present/ Now? No matter what you do I will only be able to perceive it by remembering what you did because by the time the light (vision) of what you did strikes my retinas there will have been some, not much but some, Time elapsed while the light traveled from your location to my eyes. Thus, I can never experience anything in the present, only in the past".

          I agree with this statement Edward, and I also believe that we each have our own "NOW".
          Of course if you challenged me to do something "now", by the time my action got to you in another location, then it would be YOUR "NOW", or present moment....in my perception:>)
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        Dec 16 2011: Hi Derek !

        I do get your drift...!

        Here is a copy of a rather lengthy posting I made recently which might be of interest to you ... or maybe not... doesn't matter !

        from Dec. 02, 2011

        "Just a thought :

        What has always puzzled me, from childhood onwards, is the feeling that the "past" and the "future" are somehow contained in the present moment.

        In my twenties, I discovered writers such as Henri Bergson ( The Perception of Change ) and T.S. Eliot ( Burnt Norton ), to name just two, who confirmed that I was not alone in my view point. In fact, writers such as these challenge our cultural assumptions about time.

        Here is an idea that I have used to express my own views around this topic :

        Just because our language conceptually distinguishes between past / present / future, our reality may be occuring quite differently.

        For example : When does this moment end, and the next one begin ?









        If you cannot find a limit, then the idea of two separate moments is just that...an idea, nothing more !







        The present does not become the past...
        the present becomes the present,
        based on immediate sensory evidence,
        and not simply intuition.

        The present is simultaineously disappearing and appearing.

        The present is not becoming past.
        The future is not becoming present.
        The present is becoming present.

        This moment is a single event, which of course we can divide conceptually with several labels, thereby allowing us to think and communicate... but as with every map we use, it is NOT the territory... as Korzybski noted ! "
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          Dec 16 2011: HA!!! Here you are Denis...stimulating the senses again:>)

          If we are "flowing" with the passage of time, then each moment can concievably be the past, present and future all at once. It is a matter of perception...is it not?
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          Dec 16 2011: Denis you are my hero. ahaha!

          Now, im gonna go out on a limb here and tie in the tiny little miniscule amount i know about string theory. That there are strings which vibrate in what 11 12or 20 something dimensions? What if "time" is one of these dimensions, meaning it is something which can be traveled through. So it is ppossible to go back, or forward.

          The other lovely thing about perception is that we past, present, and future can be warped by distance and light itself. To us, the present lightyears away is actually their past. So are we "traveling back in time?"
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          Dec 16 2011: I think that for us past, present and future exist in our minds
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        Dec 16 2011: 'If the world didn't believe in using the hour, minute, and second it wouldnt exist anymore.' - what would not exist? time or the world?

        As with always words 'time' has no intrinsic meaning beyond what we choose to imbue it with. In our framework time constitutes the passage of experience, the gap between the sunrise and sunset etc, but time as a word is simply a means of describing it. If we did not use the word time and used 'potato' for example, the concept would still exist and the sunrise/sunset, earth's turn around the sun would all still take place, we just wouldn't call it time anymore, we'd call it something else.

        To a certain extent the nuances of time can be lost in people's individual perceptions -- but things like ageing are irrefutable as humanity itself is proof that ageing takes place. Ageing takes place over the passage of time and thus the passage of time is demonstrated by ageing and death.
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          Dec 16 2011: aha, yes Colleen brought me to my little grammar problem as well. I was most definitely reffering to the system of time. i hope the world still exists without a time system... or else my argument sort of falls apart.

          So i like what you're saying. So to clarify my arguement into one compact area, I believe time exists, but only, as i use part of your definition, "as the passage of our perception of what we experience using our senses in the 3 dimensions of the Universe we live in."
          The system of time, however, is the product of the human mind. It is like money, ando nly works if we believe it works. People ask. "what time is it?", and they are reffering to the system.

          The fundamental problem with time, is that we must use time itself or properties/qualities of time to define it. Brings me back to the perception bit that Denis was so nice to add. Time is simply a perception, but it is not a system. Time is the word we gave to describe passing, "present", and future event

          Ive been trying for four years now to develop this statement below. If it confuses you, don't worry it confuses me too.
          Time does not truly exist. Time is the result of intelligence attempting to bring order to the chaotic world around them. Rather, it is the result of Life in general. Time is a concept that describe the order of events. Other organisms do not run on "time", but on their natural body cycles and those of the natural world. The natural world gave us the basis for time, as it runs on pretty consistent intervals. It is impossible to imagine there not being time.
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          Dec 16 2011: Derek,
          Mostly, I agree with your last statement. What do you mean by "it is the result of life in general"?

          Since I already said that I "run" on my "natural body cycles" and those of the natural world, I guess I must be one of those "other organisms"!!!...LOL
          (Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused)

          I CAN imagine there not being "time", simply because I do not usually rely on it, nor am I attached to it while living the human experience:>)

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