What time feels like

When do you experience time – truly sense the phenomenon of time?

Bergson does not understand time in relation to space – your lived time is related to consciousness and is refered to as pure duration. To think of time as a line is to presuppose that you can view time from above – if you view time from above – you place yourself spatially in space to understand time. An abstract concept where time and space are thought of as being in a hierarchy – this concept betrays what is essential and inherent for time in the favor of space.

How can I understand time without relating it to space – as I already am space – my flesh and body has a density and weight? What is needed to understand the essential quality of time – without refering to space, seeking to isolate this belief, how do an individual perceive time?

Experiment: the aim was to isolate time – to strip away as much as possible of the surrounding disturbance. Knowing I would not be able to fully isolate time – I wanted to see how close you could come to isolate and find the essential quality of time.

Is it possible to detect similarities in different individuals perceptional experience of time. Is it possible to sense time? Does such a thing as sense of time exist? Are you as a human being able to sense time, are you through your senses able to tell – if a minute has passed or 37 minutes or 1 hour? Are you able to perceive anything other than your now? Your presence?

Setup was the following – 3 participants

First participant was placed for 1 hour in a room without any stimulating objects.

Second participant was placed for 45 minutes in the same room. Third participant for 30 minutes. Afterwards the various experiences were discussed. As the method for investigating this is based in phenomenology – Whatever one participant experienced cannot be wrong. The perception is true if it is based on your embodied experience. However the following reflection is what through the discussion was sought to be detected.

Prior to the experiment some thoughts came up – that the timeroom and on a voluntary basis setting yourself in this room had some similarities to an isolationcell you find in some prisons. What was also discussed was the timespan – if one hour was too long if you would feel bored or anxious.

What was the actual experience during the experiment was nothing like being imprisoned. The timeroom emphasized your experience of the division of your internal time and the external time.

This division felt clearer in the timeroom and in the period afterwards. It opened the internally felt time and brought you closer to your own body and your own spatiality. You felt expanded and the same time closer to yourself. Your rythm – the heartbeat, breath, how you notice the temperature in the space, of your body – of the surfaces around you expanded and to me I felt stronger connected to myself. I found a space between the internal and external time – where I placed myself to find out what was in this space. This space was without body and surroundings eventhough I had people around me. I strongly trust my sense of will (gut-feeling, intution)  and in this space I was unable to sense it – unable to make decisions – I felt mentally paralyzed while my body was still able to move – so it moved – walked to feel – to connect again. I didn’t know that I had the posibility to switch back – this I learned several days later. It both scared me and opened a dimension of time which I never before had experienced.

Continuing to the next experiment – it has not yet formed itself but I wish to investigate how time is experienced in a situation where the spatiality is especially present.

“Science manipulates things and gives up living in them. It makes its own limited models of things; operating upon these indices or variables to effect whatever transformations are permitted by their definition, it comes face to face with the real world only at rare intervals. Science is and always will be that admirably active, ingenious, and bold way of thinking whose fundamental bias is to treat everything as though it were an object-in-general – as though it meant nothing to us and yet was predestined for our own use.”

Maurice Merleau-Ponty L’Œil et l’Esprit


“We know not through our intellect but through our experience.” 

This entry was published on November 22, 2014 at 11:26 am. It’s filed under Art, Linda Post, Philosophy, Visuals and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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