Existence of time: Is it for real or merely our illusion?

The act of measuring time is not a new concept in our world, this act has been practiced by humans for a very long time. The first devices made to measure time dates back as far as 3500 BC. Ever since the invention of the Ancient Egyptian Obelisks, we have developed several better devices to do the same work, i.e., measuring time. But the concept that we call time, does it actually make any sense? After all, it is an intangible form, and there is no proof of the concept. You sure can look at your watch and say time is passing, but isn’t the watch invented by humans to make our mind accept the sense of making progress in an event? Other than that, you can try recalling an event from your past, but how accurately can you sense the passage of time in your memory? Time only becomes validated when we think about it, doesn’t it?

The debate is still on between scientists and philosophers about the existence of time. According to philosophy, time is related to the motion of physical events which can be identified but can’t be measured. Buddhism even goes as far as saying time doesn’t even exist. On the other hand, according to science, time is a measurable entity which can be mathematically proven if we can understand the relation between the physical time and the speed of the realm of its existence. However you see it, there is no absolute way to define or prove time. Doesn’t it make you question time? Is it even real or are we chasing a false concept? To argue against that, let us consider the most popular example given to make people understand that time exists and it gives us existence.

Imagine a moving car that exists in some space, then gradually increase the speed of the car in the same image. As you keep increasing the speed of the car, there will come a point where the car will just disappear in the space.

This example sure makes sense but what if instead of just increasing the speed of the car, we also increase the speed of our cognitive ability? Let our mind move at the exact speed of the car when it disappeared, and we would be able to see the car back in existence. Nothing changed this time, it’s just the car and us moving at the same speed making it seem normally still. And even if we increase our cognitive ability but not the speed of the car, we would still see the car moving in the space at its normal speed. This indicates our inability to speed up our mind, what does time have anything to do with it?

Time as we know it is just an illusion that is created when two or several matters in space are not in the same flow. If we can make all the matters in space flow together at the same speed and towards the same direction, there will be no meaning of time. The concept of time is soothing because we live in a world where every matter has its own speed and direction—its own flow, which we can’t control, but can only measure when they’d be aligned together in the space. Therefore, time exists, yes, but not in the sense we understand it. In my words, time is the measurement of matters coming in alignment in space. It doesn’t give us existence, it’s not even a big deal, it’s just another way of measuring things.

140 thoughts on “Existence of time: Is it for real or merely our illusion?

  1. i believe our human conception of time is an illusion in that our perception of time; past, present and future, all exist always at the same time. In any event, this is quite thoughtful…and i am honored that such a keen mind reads my musings. With that, i thank you for the “follow.” Barking shall always endeavor to inform, anger – and amuse. continue…

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Wild speculation: how about ‘time’ is a perception of the von Neumann entropy vector – an echo of our [the observers] mental malfunction; or the entropy in reality is a reflection of collective warped consciousness. In short: a countdown. And how about Pi being ‘eventually’ finite? Perfect squared circle. Divine geometry. Timeless.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Coucou toi, mon Ami, Amie
    Je viens déposer
    Le soleil dans ton coeur
    Ma douceur dans ton âme
    Un ciel étoilé dans ton regard
    Lorsque ton coeur
    Parlera à mon coeur
    Nos âmes brûleront ,d’une douce chaleur
    Lorsque je viens te rendre visite
    Il me semble que je prends ta main
    Afin d’être unis d’une grande amitié Céleste
    Agréable journée ou soirée belle semaine
    Gros bisous Bernard

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  4. But can you “bend” time? Some scientists have theories that you can go back in time through a black hole or something similar. I don’t think you can. I always say that time is linear. We can’t travel back to a certain place in time because it’s already passed, it’s no longer there. That’s what makes Time Travel impossible. There is no destination because it quite simply doesn’t exist anymore. We also can’t accelerate forward fast enough to travel to the future. The future hasn’t come yet. The only place in time to be is in the present, which is ever-changing. The way I see that time truly exists, is that things are always moving and changing. They don’t freeze and stay stagnant, you can’t go backward and you can’t accelerate faster than what we measure as one second forward. The concept of time is created to mark the changes that we see such as growth and ageing which accelerate at certain speeds.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much for your comment. The theory of bending time is really interesting. I don’t think it can be done either—not in the way the scientists think anyway. I think we can go back in time or in the future if we can somehow be able to move back all the matters around us exactly where they were depending on the period we want to go back, and by moving all the matters around us exactly where they would be depending on the period we want to be in. This is not about controlling time to time travel, this is about controlling the matters around us.


    1. Vibrations, yes. Think of the tact frequency of a computer.
      What if we think out of the computer? Like pausing a process or starting it again? What ‘time’ would be out there, beyond the tact frequency?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Good points. There are many curiosities about time to be discovered. Think of the movie “The Lake House” and how they played with time in the plot line. I always found things like that quite fascinating. And especially I like topics like these that make us communicate and reach out. I look forward to further comments from you. Cheers!

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Reblogged this on My Thoughts and commented:

    Hi Rashidul

    Thanks for the follow(s) * (+ likes), as the reason I write is to share.
    * (Though my family and close friends say it would be far more entertaining with a video-camera # in “real life”, rather than in cyberspace!)

    # By the way, do they still make them in today’s ever-faster changing world..or is it all done with mobile phones?

    (get with the times now,”luddite”* c – it should be a smart phone)

    * or so I was often called by my “my techno-geek” friend, Bill (“the gonk”)

    “total non-techno” c (who doesn’t possess a mobile phone, after a rather eventful’ experience some years back, whilst trying to walk, talk and chew gum at the same time)

    Who says men can’t multi-task!

    Kind regards and all the best with your blog

    “early bird” (very) * craig
    * my “best” time (by far)

    “You will do foolish things…but do them with enthusiasm.”
    – Colette


    Best wishes from the First City to see the sun (in summer) …and we’re also the first to see the sunset and the stars (in winter-time)

    “I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. God and Time
    “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).

    – 2 Peter 3:8
    Studying of 2 Peter 3:1–7 has again reminded us that the false teachers in Peter’s day denied the reality of the return of Christ. In order to help believers refute this falsehood, Peter begins to explain God’s relation to time and His purposes in delaying the return of Jesus so that our confidence in the second coming might be strengthened. Today we will briefly consider verse 9, but we will focus our attention on the teaching found in verse 8.

    While Peter’s audience had not necessarily accepted the teaching that Jesus would not return, it is clear that this idea was causing some distress to his original audience. In verse 9, he reaffirms the fact that the Lord is not slow to fulfill His promises as “some” (the false teachers) count slowness. Apparently, the false teachers claimed that since Christ had not yet returned in their own day, He would never return at all.

    It is not too difficult to see how such an assertion could trouble the original audience. After all, the New Testament does predict an imminent return of Christ, and in places it even seems that Jesus was supposed to return within the lifetime of the apostles (for example, 1 Cor. 15:50–57). Viewed from our own relation to time, this seeming delay of Jesus’ return can indeed cause doubts among believers.

    However, as today’s passage tells us, we must always remember that God’s relation to time is very different from our own. For Him, a day is like a thousand years and vice versa (2 Peter 3:8). This is hard for us to comprehend fully, but it is clear that what seems to be a very long time for us is not really long at all for God. In the light of God’s eternal existence, a thousand years is nothing.

    That Christ has not yet returned even today may trouble us at times. Yet we must not doubt His promise. From the perspective of God’s relation to time, the return of Jesus is always imminent, and it is His perspective we must take. We do not know whether Jesus will return tomorrow or thousands of years from now. However, we do know that in the light of eternity, the expectation that Jesus could return at any moment remains true for every generation.

    Coram Deo
    We gain a helpful perspective on prayer by remembering that God’s relation to time is different than our own. It can be easy to grow impatient when God takes years to answer prayer. If we are not careful, we can even get frustrated that God seems to move so slowly. However, knowing that God relates to time differently than we do helps us remember that He always acts at the proper time. Pray knowing that God is not slow but always acts at just the right moment.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hey thanks for checking out my post on Toroweap, it made me revisit that amazing place, in my mind that is. Which is relevant to this post. There is so much about time that is mysterious. You touched on a few of the aspects. Says Einstein (and I believe him) it’s relative to the observer, us in our case. It’s probably a fixed feature of life, elephants for example perceiving it far differently than we do and we far differently than shrews and certainly most insects.
    As to its physical existence, perhaps it is not part of the underlying rhythm of nature, or perhaps we just don’t understand it. Read “The End of Time” by Julian Barbour, a physicist who does not believe in time but who gives a thorough if a bit scientific treatment of the subject.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I time is an illusion on the minute, hour basis because it’s a hard concept to grasp but on larger scales , I don’t think it is because I can remember 20 …30 years ago, just like I remember yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hmmmm… Consider Einstein’s concept that time may not be linear… that all time occurs simultaneously… It was just a thought of his, not really even a theory, I believe…. Imagine the possibilities… I like this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thinking about time is like thinking about money. For example, some people say that Gold has intrinsic value. But if we are talking about something having intrinsic value, it means that mankind has given it a value because it has different useful properties. But without mankind recognizing its useful properties, would it really have intrinsic value? And yes, I do believe that time is constructed by mankind to keep track of actions because they don’t all happen simultaneously, and it seems to be constructed for convenience just as the dollar, whether a silver dollar, or a dollar bill, is just a method of accounting so that mankind knows for example, if the labour he has just done is equal to something for which he is paid. In ancient times, other things were also used as a form of payment – salt for example, and other various things over time.

    Mankind seems to have a need to account for what we call time. But I agree that it is quite possible that it doesn’t exist in reality. Things do happen in succession though, rather than all at the same “time,” and I am not sure how we would or could account for those things. I think of breathing when I think of this succession of things happening. When we expel a breath, it is gone, or hence, in the past, and when we inhale, it is in the now, and we can also hold our breath, which is still in the now more or less. These are some good topics. Thank you for the thoughtful coverage. I love “factoids” or intellectual conversations to stimulate our thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. time is subjective
    but a on way travel
    until we travel backward in it
    for ordinary people something that happen in years and something that happen in millennia it is the same
    if it happen before your birth or the birth of your elders it is not real, ours minds can understand time
    some think that dinosaurs and men were living at the same time
    anything before the historic era (starting with first writings in stone) is just of what we think have happen
    from clues that we found and that we can wrongly interpret ?
    religions do not help too

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Slight contradiction in the philosophy statement in paragraph 2…All physical Motion is measurable ….every physical event is observable ..
    Even down to the quantum level …. Huygens wrote the Music of the Spheres , without hearing the planets move … but by observation and determining vibrational frequency , and learning that it exists in everything …
    Vibrations and frequency are measurements of time …..and distance .
    They have constants , there are no irregular vibrations , they all have patterns that resolve .
    Atoms have orbits inside of them of protons and neutrons , that have simple frequency . The complexity only shows when multiple groups of orbits are put together , then it looks like chaos but it isn’t , because Always , Always at the basic level , it has patterns .

    And patterns ….equal time.

    But time is not equal in all spaces …. at least , that is how I see it ….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much for your comment. That was a very interesting article, and a good debate-starter. While reading it I wondered what will be our mentality once we become totally aware of our existence, i.e., when we figure out exactly what we are in the universe, and why we exist.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Should the why be found? For example there are many I know who would be lost truly and completely if it is found with no uncertainty that there is no god. Honestly many in this world would be. It’s all in where you place your faith. Hmmm that is an interesting concept too.
        I hope we find the answer to that question but will not feel at a loss if we don’t. There are so so many more questions out there to be solved.
        One thing I do know, from personal experience, is that there is so much more that we don’t know. Our reality is much more broad than we realize. We are so close minded. Even when we think our minds are as open as they can get. There is always more. Even with that being said your reality will be different than mine. We both have seen, experienced and know much that the other doesn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi KJ,
        There’s always a ‘god’ -like for an atheist, the ‘god’ will become his own self, even if unknowingly; for the Hindu, there are so many wonderful or scary and thrilling gods. For the term ‘god’ is not a construct of religions but also of ideologies and -eventually- of human thinking. Deus ex machina spreads from ancient Greek dramas to Silicon Valley geek comedies. Thinking that there is ‘no’ god is like not thinking at all. God ‘Is’ and one can only think about what is. Can you even imagine the unimaginable? Mysteries remain, always, mainly because there is a God that no mind, no thinking from our living-level of reality, can encompass.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Yes, you are absolutely correct. Science is not about explaining everything, more like observing and interpreting phenomenology. But Faith begins from within, where our connection to the Ever-Living resides.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. What I find interesting is the thoughts questions like this provokes.
      Have you ever seen or heard of a “new” invention or adaptation to something already known to us and thought “that is so simple. Why did I not think of that sooner?” Or “ I had that Idea years ago” yet did nothing about it. How about thinking of the concepts we know now to be true? Much of what we know to be true today and seems like infants should have the knowledge ( and maybe they do), yet was not brought to the fore until someone spent time on it. Often A Lot of time. Someday our descendants will be asking questions we likely have not begun to fathom because those we are asking now may likely have been answered by then.
      I see things as if we are constantly on the cusp, the answers are just before us. Though we don’t realize it. We aren’t asking the questions in the right way or looking under that one specific rock. Things are simply complex while being complexingly simple

      Liked by 1 person

  13. There is no debate about the existence of time. Look into Einstein’s theory of relativity, time dilation, and spacetime. Time is a real physical entity. The warping of spacetime is what we experience as gravity. Time moves in different ways depending on the warpage of space caused by matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for your comment. Time is a fascinating topic to discuss. Time could also be the universe itself. Time flows in every direction because the universe expands in every direction. Measuring the time taken for a person to reach point B from point A is same as measuring how much the universe has expanded while the person reached point B from point A. Einstein’s theory of relativity, time dilation, spacetime, and all the other scientific phenomena related to time might be the universe imploding and exploding within itself.


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