Philosophical Reflections on the Creation and Meaning of Time


A few days ago, I quietly acknowledged my 49th birthday. I, the me, have been in this life for 49 years. My internal clock says so. As I sit here, in this library, I am surrounded by people. Some younger than I am and some older. All according to their own inner clocks. Outwardly, I understand that there are clocks with symbols or numbers to tell me what time it is. Time means nothing to me, but I live in the real world so I have to keep up with time. Or what time it is.

If I had no inner clock, I would not die of old age.

My time is set within me.

The outer clock is an objective agreement between individuals and community that O’Clock is a set time for functions within the community. The community of man. It is a crucial element needed for the rational world of business and societal functioning. Without the outer clock, it would be difficult to catch a train, bus or plane. It would be difficult to know when to be at school or at work or at your son’s musical event. The objective agreement of time allows for the smooth functioning of life. Surely a more efficient society.

Most days, I can tell what time it is, within 10 or 15 minutes accuracy by looking at the sun’s position and shadow casts. But when I am painting, I often “lose” time. That is, I forget that time exists. It is almost dangerous. I become one with some sort of invisible world where time just does not exist. I often don’t hear voices calling to me and I often don’t recall any outter goings on. Clearly, I don’t paint when I keep my 1 and half year old grand daughter.

I think, personally that time is a reminder of my humanity. Of my temporary condition. I am temporary. All living things are temporary. It almost seems pointless. It is like a whisp of a dream. A scathing little joke. An odd commercial which cannot ever produce anything it promises and yet due to sex between the genders, new life keeps taking shape and spending its own time. When I am painting and unaware of time, (I don’t eat much either), I am completely unaware of my temporary position here and I experience a euphoric thing, which is something like being attached to eternity or something.

Even viral cells have their own time pre-programmed into them. Everything on this planet is pre-programmed for a specific amount of time. Sure, that time can be cut short, but experience with the living has shown that all have their own specific time to live. The desk, due to entropy will eventually rot. As will the brick and mortar on a house.

June Bugs have their own time to pass through this place. As does the horse and dog. Yes, I am quite sure that time I brought with me and the clock merely helps me know when to get to the doctor’s office or when to leave the library.