Time is observable, it is measurable. Or so we believe from our experience. But really, what is time?
God put the sun and the moon and the stars in the sky to mark the times and the seasons. We bisected time into hours and weeks and months and years, to help commerce. To measure performance. To create obligation.
We mastered time to create the microsecond and the nanosecond to make our supercomputers work. All in the name of progress. All in the name of commerce.
Think of your monthly VISA bill. It is an obligation created by time. Sure, you could have avoided the obligation in the first place by not spending money you didn’t have. But once you owe, it is the operation of the calendar that rules your life and determines the date by which you must pay or incur additional obligation. Increased servitude.
We are all slaves to time. God created the times and the seasons to be markers, to be a measure. God gave us time for enjoyment. Sure we must first work so that we may then enjoy the fruits of our labors. But we have taken this gift and crafted it into a cage. We live in a prison. Time is the bars.
Even so, this is not all time is. Time slows, as in that moment before a first kiss. Time speeds up, as during an excited stretch during a championship basketball game.
Years may seem like days, like watching our children grow. Or hours may seem like weeks, like waiting to hear the doctor’s report when he says you might have cancer.
Entropy says everything devolves into chaos, over time. Observation and experience tell us time moves ever steadily forward. There is no reverse gear in the machine of time. We know this, because when our friend dies, she stays dead. Forever.
But mathematics shows us that the formulas for time are just as valid if we reverse the time arrow. If time stopped, and reversed, the Universe would not blow apart. Order in the Universe is not dependent upon this unending forward march in time. At least, that is what the math says.
We do not even know that time is constant. Time may be affected by such vagaries as velocity, proximity to mass, density, or even environmental factors. Time may not even be universal, but instead may be an entirely local phenomenon.
So, what is time? We may think we know. But no matter what we think we know about time, our view is flawed, incomplete. We simply have too small a perspective to fully comprehend time.