Experience of time

We can experience time in different ways.

As a human self in the world, we are within time.

As capacity for the world, time is within us, as is space.

If we take ourselves as primarily a human self, then the within-time perspective is what we are most familiar with, although we may shift out of it for a while in flow states and so on. In these flow states, it’s as if the part of our mind keeping track of time is temporarily set aside.

When we notice ourselves as capacity for the world, we find time – the idea of time – happening within and as us, and we function with and within time as well.

The experience of time is created by our mind. Our mind imagines a past and future, and mixes imagination with sense perceptions for the present. We imagine a timeline and events and situations put on this timeline. I cannot find time outside of these images and imaginations. Time is created in the present.

For us, whether we notice or not, all time happens here and now, since it’s all found in images and imagination. (I wonder if this is why some imagine that, for God, all time happens now. It’s a projection of our own immediate experience, whether or not we happen to notice.)

I notice that what happened in the recent past seems like it just happened and also as if it happened thousands of years ago. I experience timelessness, and time happening within and as it. And it all seems a bit like a dream because, to me, it is. It’s all happening within mental images and within and as consciousness, just as dreams do.

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