What’s Your Sense of Time?

We all have a sense that time expands and contracts, seeming to drag one moment and race the next, but what is our constant, our absolute? I believe it is “me,” our core sense of self.

To borrow from Einstein’s example, if two men are sitting with the same beautiful girl, the time might drag for one, because the girl is his sister, while it flies for the other if he is in love with her. This means that each of us has personal control over our sense of time.

Consider all the subjective qualities we attach to time. We say things like: “I don’t have time for that.” “Time’s up.” “Your time’s running out.” “How time flies.” “Time hangs heavy.” “I love you so much, time stands still.”

These statements don’t say anything about time measured by the clock. The clock doesn’t lie about how much linear time has elapsed “out there.” But subjective time, the kind that exists only “in here,” is a different matter.

All the above statements reflect a state of self. If you’re bored, time hangs heavy; if you’re desperate, time’s running out; if you’re exhilarated, time flies; when you’re in love, time stands still. In other words, whenever you take an attitude toward time, you are really saying something about yourself. Time, in the subjective sense, is a mirror.

Linear time is moving inexorably forward, and to overcome that, we must find a place where a different kind of time, or no time, can be experienced and internalized.

Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1998).

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Tanya W.
Tanya W.2 years ago

I never get bored! I always find ways to amuse myself and am grateful for the time I spend with my family, with my babies and emersed in my own company. I wonder if time is in straight lines laid out in front of us or curving before us just as we create our future???

Carol M.
caroline m.2 years ago

Yes time goes by too fast. Oops showing my age.

Richard T.
Richard T.2 years ago


Magdalen B.
Magdalen B.2 years ago

Sorry. I left out the apostrophe on and capital letter beginning "Time's"

Magdalen B.
Magdalen B.2 years ago

"And at my back, I always hear,
Times winged chariot hurrying near,
And yonder all before us lie,
Deserts of vast eternity........"

Andrew Marvell (To His Coy Mistress)

Kelly Grier
Kelly Grier2 years ago

Time goes altogether too fast as I grow older. Now I have time, but not the physical ability to do all the things I didn't have time to do when I was younger. Time wasted.

Holly Lawrence
Holly Lawrence2 years ago

All I know is that I never have enough time to get things done!

Ken W.
Ken W.2 years ago

Time out !

Spirit Spider
Spirit Spider2 years ago

I don't *know* 'why' and I wish I did :-)

Spirit Spider
Spirit Spider2 years ago

Wow! I love being able to read the comments from 08! I once participated in an audio/visual meditation on 'eternity'. I felt I connected deeply with 'eternal time'. It's something I have never forgotton. I think eternal time = no time. Time is just experiences - forever. I don't 'why' though. I wish I knew 'why'.