Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Time on a Line?

We tend to think of time as a point that moves on a line forward into the future, with everything in the past backwards along that line. 

This becomes even more obvious when you think about how we talk about time, using words like forward and backward, long and short, but never narrow or wide, or deep or shallow.

Thinking about time in “forward and backward” terms makes it one dimensional, just like a line, by definition — but I would suggest time can have width and depth too. 

Instead of a line, picture a box, with “L”, “W”, and “H” dimensions. Of course, the narrow/wide and deep/shallow concepts would be the “W” and “H” dimensions of the box.

If time has all three of those dimensions, the “L” obviously represents the future vs. the past, the “W” could be the various possibilities for what you can do at each moment, and “H” could be engagement with and immersion in each moment as you travel through it. 

This idea occurred to me one day recently when I was having a crisis where time stands still, and you are only focused on the present moment and whatever feelings emotions are flowing through you, and nothing else matters for a little while.

We’ve all been through it, with both good and bad emotions.

Maybe this is stupid. Or maybe not. I just know that the “one dimensional” thing seems inadequate.