Science of Time

Time Ain’t Time

Monday morning early. I was doing my daily ‘true movement’ to the music of “Claiming It” playing in iTunes. It’s a simple swaying from foot to foot, gets my body in harmony. Nice. It feels like a certain ‘speed’ (of course).
Tuesday morning, I do it again. Then Wednesday morning….

Then Thursday… something bizarre happened. I’d woken up anxious about all the high-priority things I was supposed to be doing, feeling overwhelmed. Worried about time.
So what was different about my movement Thursday morning? It felt frantic, as if I were rocking from foot to foot so fast I was almost losing balance, wondering how on earth this could be happening. Feeling as if I had to race to keep up.

Friday morning I meditated before doing my ‘true movement’, and hey presto! It felt as if I were swaying from side to side incredibly slowly and leisurely, with enough time to ‘think whole sentences’ in between foot changes.

So how can this possibly be, when it’s the same digital music, same objective speed and rhythm every day?

For the skeptics, my computer speed is reliable, iTunes works fine, I do not drink alcohol, coffee, tea, sugar, do not use any stimulants or depressants of any kind, legal, illegal, herbal, incidental….. and I do my movement in the morning when I first wake up in the wee hours on an empty stomach. Thus pretty uniform conditions. I’m not diabetic, insulant resistant, my blood glucose is very stable whether fed or fasting, and I tend to eat a low GI, small dinner about the same time every evening earlyish. I’m a scientist; I consider these things when looking at variables that can be influencing a result.

The only strong variable in my ‘flexible time’ experience is the state I am in emotionally and mentally. Yes of course – say the neurobiologists (I’ve been one) and psychologists (I studied it for 3 years at uni) and the pharmacologists (I lived, loved, worked and learned with one) – it’s just my perception because of the mood I’m in. Well I’m sure that contributes (although ‘just’ is a bit dismissive). If I had no other evidence I’d possibly be swayed by that (no pun intended, but quickly recognized!)

Clearly the perceived speed is a consequence of some condition in the body other than calories, metabolism or mood-altering substances, something that changes the apparent pace of time.

There is the growing view among physicists that consciousness is an integral part, energy or force in the fuzzy quantum realm of the One Unified Field underlying the material universe. Thus consciousness, and perception as one of its functions, are linked to space and time by some as-yet unknown natural laws.

My personal opinion from a lifetime of weird experiences is that time is extremely flexible, able to go from very fast to so slow as to be virtually non-existent. Being very consciously present in every moment gives me more time in real, practical terms, not just a sense of more time. I actually can get done a much greater number of thoughts, things, actions, etc, in the same period, without stress. Looking at this scientifically I’ve concluded that there actually IS more time or some difference in time when I’m in conscious presence and inner stillness.

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