Time is nothing more than a way to describe our complex mind’s ability to conceive and experience memories from the past and project ideas of a possible future in the present. Time is not a thing and doesn’t exist, in and of itself. Our linear perception of time “marching on” is our mind’s effort to organize our present thoughts into something that has meaning. It is a function of the ego, to create meaning. But what we call past and present don’t actually exist.
Our perception of the passage of “time” changes, depending on our feelings, and the meanings we assign to them, about what is happening. If we are having fun, time flies; if we are bored it seems to stand still. As we get older our memories confuse decades. Something that happened twenty years ago may feel like last year. Some memories are so real that we seem to relive them as if they were happening right now. But our experience of time exists only in the present, the only place we truly are.
It is my hope that understanding the unreality of time may help us to better release our regrets and fears surrounding the ideas we call past and future. Does this mean that we cannot learn from our past or hope for a better tomorrow? No, but recognizing that the past and future are subjective ideas and understanding that others may have a different set of meanings around past, future and even the shared present, may mitigate misunderstanding and improve our connections to the world around us.