Concept and speed of time

The definition and time concept includes not only differences in the perception of absolute or objective time but also the real differences in the personal speed of time.

Cover of the PDF The Equation of Love. Vase on black table.



Author: José Tiberius

Technical assistant:
Susan Sedge, Physics PhD from QMUL



2.d) Concept and speed of time

The time concept in philosophy includes not only differences in the perception of absolute or objective time but also the real alterations in its dimension.

As we have commented, in a metaphysical idea of time, it can be confused with the subjective acception of the classic concepts of time. However, in this case, it is not about differences in the perception of absolute or objective time, but rather the real changes in the dimension of personal time.

For everyone else, there is no difference between one reality and another, given that both are internal to the individual. An exciting aspect of this precision is that we can all feel it, which is why it is good to tell the distinction.

Let us look at some additional examples regarding love and philosophy of time that almost all of us are familiar with:

  • A knife falls

    In this case, the change in the speed of time or its acceleration shows with much greater clarity. It is no longer about avoiding a glass breaking but rather to avoid hurting ourselves or having some of our cells dying violently.

    The relevance is the change in personal time, which comes from the love for the tip of the knife, the ground and our own cells.

    However, despite affecting our time, no one proposes altering any clock; or once the knife stops on the floor, that the person is in a different year, week, or millisecond than the rest of the mortals. Perhaps someone could argue that that the person is older than should be without the knife event having occurred.

    of time speed
    Knife stuck in a sponge on the ground.

    Where would the physics formulas fit into this case?

    Typically, from an outside or objective point of view, we usually say that something has been over-used or a person has had a hard life.

  • Immediate danger of death

    When an accident occurs, the subjective speed of time changes. If there is also a perception of life-threatening danger, sometimes it produces a bizarre and beautiful phenomenon.

    One sees the sequences of his own life as in a movie; they are in chronological order from early childhood, and the images capture in detail many of the happiest stages.

    The most incredible thing is that everything lasted perhaps a tenth of a second, and it seemed the movie covered an entire lifetime. It is impossible not to ponder about love and time.

    This activity was on an emotional scale, at a basic level of the being. The speed of subjective time increased a lot. If we were the light,  we wonder if we could say that its rate had decreased –inverse concepts. Therefore, we can maintain the intuitive notions of space, time, and velocity.

    The cause but not the purpose of this physical phenomenon is evident. Then, two main possibilities appear: either it is a farewell and to re-live everything one last time, or it is a preparation of what one wants to bring to the other world. We think that the latter is more probable due to the sensation that one has and the extensive content of the movie and its perfect chronological order.

  • The bubble of interest

    Another case of the variation of the timeline is when it looks like space reduces to a bubble around ourselves, and we are only aware of what happens inside, but what awareness!

    What one remembers is the limits of the spheroid bubble; the speed of subjective time alters, but we do not know very well in what sense it could be that time undergoes high accelerations and decelerations. It could also be due to a constant acceleration or with a unitary vector towards the center of the bubble, which is not normal.

  • Making love

    We could say many things about this enjoyable activity, but here we are interested in highlighting the fact that in certain moments there is a loss of the notion of time. It is not surprising that it would be this example about love that causes the clearer and more intense effect on the speed of subjective time.

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It is worth pointing out that whether they are different perceptions of absolute time or real variations of the subjective time, the objective reality does not alter at any time. If something changes its speed of time of 1 to 2 s/m, it is equal from a mathematical point of view to change at a speed of 1 to 0.5 m/s.

When we say objective reality, we do not presume that such a thing exists; it is enough to say that it exists as an abstract convention. In this sense, if time and space as objective and abstract concepts are absolute, then any variation of its relation will have to attribute it to a variation of speed whose definition is precisely that relation. In the case of needing to create new physics concepts, it would be convenient to use new words not to muddle ourselves up too much.

On the other hand, one could also be confused with relativistic time in science. There are examples of the perception of the lover’s time. Perhaps they were referring to a type of Greek love in a Pythagorean time that has been unknown until now.