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Time to exist or not to exist: What do we have to do to make life slower and more meaningful?

The first days of 2020, “time”Is probably the most talked about concept. What have you done in the last ten years, missed something and felt regretful?

The overwhelming fact that time has passed cannot be regained, even if it is only an hour or a decade. Your present will become the past as soon as it happens. Today will become yesterday after a few hours.

If you live in a temperate climate, every year you’ll see seasons come and go. A decade has passed and the more we mature, the more we become aware of the imprints of the years imprinted on everything.

The truth, though, is that no neuroscientist has ever found a clock inside the brain. That makes them wonder: “Is time real or not?”. What must we do to slow down and lead a more meaningful life, despite the scientific or physical nature of time?

Strange! Obviously you can feel the time exists. If someone says they’ll be there in 5 minutes, you’ll know when they actually arrive. You take your phone out of your pocket and take a look at Facebook for a while, and after somewhere 4 and a half minutes, your intuition will tell you to automatically put your phone in your pocket, your brain will start looking for that person in 30 seconds. again.

Time must obviously be something that exists, because we are all conscious when a week has passed, a month or a year. Time is something obvious and obvious: It is passing, at a constant speed like the vibrating of a quartz piece that vibrates the second hand. Time passes in a specific direction, from the past to the future and it can be measured.

Time to exist or not to exist What do we have to do to make life slower and more meaningful | Live

Scientists doubt the existence of time, not just biologically, but also culturally. For example, they discovered that in the language of the Amondawa, a tribe living deep and secluded in the Amazon forest area in Brazil does not have the word “time”.

Some people think that the Amondawa tribe had no idea of ​​time as something to mark the events. There’s a lot of debate going on around this discovery, ever since it was announced in 2011. Whether it should stop at a linguistic study, or indeed we’re looking at Perception of time in different ways?

It is hard to know what our ancestors once thought of time. Because, time cognitive experiments have only been conducted for about 150 years.

What we know is that Aristotle used to view the present as something that is constantly changing. And in 160 years, the philosopher Marcus Aurelius, once a Roman emperor, described time as a river of passing events. So far, many people will still agree with these ideas.

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But physics has begun to tell a different story from the 20th century. No matter how many people believe that time is a thing, that they feel it is moving in one direction, some scientists. began to disagree.

Albert Einstein, along with the theory of relativity, rocked the concepts we used to have about time. He proved to us that time, in fact, is made up of matter. Time does not exist from scratch independently. It was not drawn before the universe formed, to stand there waiting for every event to be recorded on its horizontal axis.

Einstein also proved that time is relative. It passes more slowly toward objects that are moving faster or near a larger object. Events do not turn out to occur simultaneously on a single time axis. There cannot be a “present”Happened at the same time for the whole universe as Newton era physics once admitted.

It is true that many events in the universe can be arranged in order – but time is not always divided into 3 cells: past, present and future. Some physical equations may be true even if time goes back.

That led some theoretical physicists, such as Carlo Rovelli, to speculate that time did not even drift, even if it did not exist. Time is just an illusion.

However, not many people understand Rovelli’s deductions. Because even though time does not exist, the perception of time – the time you feel from your mental activities is real.

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That is why physical evidence becomes in conflict with the way we perceive life. We are sharing and agreeing on concepts like “past“And”future”. They reflect the reality of our life here, on Earth.

But the physical equations are an undeniable proof, showing that “past“And”future“Which we are talking about cannot apply to the whole universe. Somewhere far away, they will become useless variables.

Perhaps, as Newton once thought that time is absolute, our beliefs about how time works can also cause many misunderstandings. Can we have a better idea of ​​time?

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When perceiving time, we often share one aspect of it: the past. Thinking about your past, you can imagine it as a huge video library, an archive that we can reach into to pull out tapes that record each event that happened in the past. my life.

But psychologists have proved that this so-called “autobiographical memory” is completely different. Most of us forget more than we can remember, sometimes forgetting the whole event that happened, even though others insisted that we were there at the time. and did it.

All the reminders, all the reminders, a photo or even a video sometimes fail to bring our memories back.

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And many times, while spreading our memories in front of us, we will do one gesture: change our perception of them. For example, when you know that moment, someone lied to you about something. When we recreate that event in our mind, we change it to fit the new information we just received.

Even transplanting someone’s head into events that have never happened in their life is not as difficult as you think. Elisabeth Loftus, a psychologist, has spent decades researching this. Through her psychological experiments, she managed to convince volunteers that they had done unimaginable things, such as kissing a giant green frog or having met Bugs Bunny at Disneyland in the past.

Even when you tell a story to your friends, it has been lost and returned to memory in a different version.

And the future too, another mistake that people often make is that they assume imagining the future is completely different from thinking about the past. In fact, these two processes are linked and happen together in one part of the brain.

We use only part of our brain to recall our past or to imagine our lives in the years to come. It is the memories we own that allow us to imagine the future.

The spectacle of the past is used by us as material, to paint a future coming soon that we can preview it through the window of the mind.

This skill allows us to plan and try running different scenarios in our heads, to see how they would happen if we acted in different ways. Finally, we will choose the scenario we think is the most appropriate.

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The inquisitive feelings that come to your mind right now are the result of the activities our brain does in response to time. A child, with very few autobiographical memories, will only live continuously in the present.

It found himself happy. He found himself crying. It found himself hungry and found himself miserable. A child who experiences all this, without having to remember how cold it was last month or worried that the temperature might drop in the next few days.

But as they get older, they begin to develop a sense of self. And in a moment, it started to understand time, about yesterday’s difference from today, and today versus tomorrow.

Even at that age, imagining yourself in the future is still a challenge. Psychologist Janie Busby Grant found that if you asked three-year-olds what they would do the next day, only one-third of the children would give a reasonable answer.

When psychologist Cristina Atance feeds children some salty crackers and asks if they want to eat more bread or switch to drinking water, they will choose to drink water. Not surprisingly, eating lots of salt will make children thirsty.

But when Atance continued to ask what they would choose tomorrow, eat bread or drink water, most continued to choose to drink water. If it was you, you would definitely choose to eat cake, because an adult knows that tomorrow only drinks water, they will be hungry. And the thirst will soon be resolved and cannot last a whole day.

That means very young children cannot imagine themselves in a future different from the present, where they know some things or even everything will change.

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So, the experience of time is continually fostered by our minds, as we grow up. There are many factors that are very important to this – the memory, the concentration, the emotions and feelings we have about the time that happened, which is somewhere in this space.

The perception of time makes us constantly find ourselves in our own minds. Time is not only the center to help us organize our life, but also the center to help us experience that life.

Of course, you can argue that it doesn’t matter what we perceive time – intuitively or according to the laws of physics.

In everyday life, we can still walk on a flat road without minding the fact that the Earth is spherical. We also still say that the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, even though we know that it is actually the rotation of the Earth.

The truth is our perception is not catching up with new discoveries in science – and we can only create experiences with the world using the senses we have.

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Our perception of time is no exception to that rule. We can hardly get out of our feelings of time. No matter how much you read and understand relativity, spending 10 minutes waiting for the bus seems to be longer than 10 minutes chatting with friends.

But the good thing is that even if we can’t change our perceptions of time, we can still change the way we think about it. The way you think about time can make you more peaceful with the past, with the mistakes you’ve ever made.

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Instead of treating the past, present and future as a straight line, we can look at our memories as a resource that allows us to think about the future.

This is very important. Humans have the ability to travel time spiritually, to the future or to the past as we imagine. It is the ability that makes us different from other animals, and also the difference of an adult compared to a child.

We adults know how to plan for a future or plan to create a work of art. We know what the consequences will be as soon as we put the pen down, we know how the paint or ink will fade to find a way to paint a work that lasts for decades.

And it’s not a new idea when memory plays a very important role. Aristotle once said that memories are not archives of our lives, they are tools to help us imagine the future.

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This means that bad memory – which you once thought was a flaw when unable to recall the past correctly – is in fact an advantage for us. If memories are imprinted in movies over and over again and again and again, it is very difficult to imagine the future.

Now, if I ask you to imagine on Monday mornings, don’t have to lazily drive to work. Instead, you sit on a buoy and float along a small turquoise canal, flanked by two tropical flowers.

You will be brought along the stream of water throughout the office, and to the door. There, your high school friends, not your colleagues, greet you with a cocktail.

Immediately, most of you will be able to do that, without any difficulty because it’s just imagination. Your memory and storage function is so flexible that at all times, you can summon memories of the street where you work, about the feeling of uncertainty when walking on a stream of water, about the face of old friends, pictures of tropical flowers and a cocktail.

Not only do you draw out all the different memories, decades apart, but then you put them together to create a scene you’ve never seen or even seen. hear.

Theoretically, imagining such a fictional Monday morning would seem very difficult. But in fact, the flexibility of memory has helped us to do it incredibly easily.

Time to exist or not to exist What do we have to do to make life slower and more meaningful | Live

Therefore, we should not curse our memory when they disappoint us. Memory is created so that we can change, so that we can take millions of pieces of memories from different times in our lives, combined to bring us endless possibilities for imagination. hybrid.

In fact, when our memory of the past is compromised, our ability to think about the future suffers the same fate. Eleanor Maguire, a neurologist once asked a group of people to imagine the future, in which they stood in the middle of a museum.

Some say they will stand under a domed ceiling. Others imagine the marble floor. But patients with dementia cannot answer what the museum they will stand in will look like.

Without a doubt, our memory is allowing us to think about the future. So instead of just thinking of our memories as a handy video archive, we should know that our memory may not be perfect – and we should accept that everyone can have it. Very different memories of the same event.

Time to exist or not to exist What do we have to do to make life slower and more meaningful | Live

In addition to changing the way we think about time, there is one more thing we can do. That’s the most frequently asked question when people read about time: How can we make time slow down?

The more we mature, the faster we feel the faster time leaves more regret. By middle age, a week and a year can look like they’ve just passed. The principle is part of the consciousness that you feel about the flow of time is dictated by the amount of new memories you have created in it.

Time to exist or not to exist What do we have to do to make life slower and more meaningful | Live

For example, when you’ve just returned from a busy vacation, you will feel as if you’ve been away for a decade. That’s because of the dozens of new memories you’ve just created in a few days leaving the boring job.

If you feel that life is moving too fast, this may be a sign that you are living a life worth living.

On the other hand, time seems to drift more slowly if you feel sad or depressed, or when you are lonely, when rejected or when no one wants to find you. As Pliny the Younger wrote in 105: “The happier the time, the shorter it seems. ”.

So how to extend your happy time? On a Sunday night, for example, when you don’t like the feeling your whole weekend has been drifting through?

There is one thing you can do at the time: Keep looking for new experiences.

Instead of just going to the same cafe, the same cinema, take on new activities this weekend, visit all-new locations. All the good things will make your time go very fast – but then, because you will lie down with more memories, when you wake up on Monday morning, you will find your weekend is very long and perfect.

Of course, we can’t always escape life’s cycles. But if you can change your life day by day, have a lot of fun in the present, then you will feel those years have passed so long.

Try it, even just a small change, like choosing a different route to work makes a difference already. The formula is: The more memories you create in your daily life, the more fulfilling life will be when you look back on it.

Time to exist or not to exist What do we have to do to make life slower and more meaningful | Live

In short: The way we experience time in our minds will never catch up with the latest discoveries of time in physics. We all feel time goes by us. Although it is impossible to change the way the brain perceives time, we have better ways of thinking in the face of it.

However, even when you have practiced new ways of thinking about time, the flow of life can be warped in some situations, leaving you surprised and out of control.

In the end, perhaps St. Augustine was right to ask: “What is it after all? If no one had asked me, I would have known. But when I wanted to explain it to someone, I suddenly found myself ignorant of time”.

Refer BBC

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