"At the time that I climb the mountain and cross the river I am there as that time. Time is not separate from me and if I am present then so too is time. Time does not wax and wane and so the time of climbing the mountain is the right now of being-time. If time does come and go you are the being of time. This is being-time. The time of climbing the mountains and crossing rivers swallows the time of resting in a vermilion palace. Presencing chews up that time and spits out this time."

-Zen Master Dogen, Uji: Being-Time, trans. by Yasuda Joshu Dainen and Anzan Hoshin. Used by permission.

I think (therefore I am)... perhaps I'll start again. I think one of the base premises’ of physics is that time is always going on, as in all of time is happening at once.

This is interesting to me because it seems to me that time comes and goes, this isn't waxing philosophical but rather waxing sentimental. Like when it takes a year to go through a minute or a second to go through a month. When time twists you all up and you can't remember what you did last night because you thought it was this afternoon. Or how when your young, it takes such a long time to pass through a year. Can you remember waiting to just be old enough to go to school? Can you remember how quickly your last four years of school went? Someone once told me this was a ratio to your life. Such as when one was four, one year was a fourth of their life and alternately when one is forty, one year is 1/40th of their life. If you like math it makes sense.

If all of time is happening at once it sure makes deja vu a little more understandable.
Time is a science fiction novel by Stephen Baxter, the first in his Manifold series. Cornelius Taine of Eschatology, Inc., mathematical genius pursues the concept of The Carter catastrophe theory to it's logical conclusion; that the human race will come to an end in 200 years, and nothing can avoid it, even the evacuation of earth. If there's life in the future, wouldn't it try to warn those in the past if this were possible? Can the Feynman radio receive these transmissions? Reid Malenfant, a space entrepreneur has his dreams of using his 'big dumb boosters' to mine an asteroid, cut short as Taine offers him the dream of saving the species. Soon you are given visions of the evolution of the universe, over trillions of years, until the heat death of the universe, and then a glimpse of how all this can be transcended. A book of breathtaking scope and vision, it will vasten your mind.
Time is measured in astronomy by rotation; it's measured in the military by the decaying bits of heavy atoms; in the wristwatch, by the throbbing of a tiny sliver of quartz... and in your head, it's measured by the differences between each indefinable instant and the next; by the unsteady syncopation of every orderly, namable thing as it passes through consciousness into experience.

Like all "underlying," "atomic" aspects of the universe, time is, at it's core, a product of the particular mechanics of human consciousness, specifically (I believe) due to the properties of propagation delay in feedback loops constituted by nerve cells in the brain.

It's common to perceive that time "speeds up" as you get older, that time flies when you are having fun, that a watched pot never boils. These are natural consequences of the process of abbreviation which is evident in human learning.

Just as we learn languages by learning and internalizing larger and larger combinations of sound-producing muscle movements (accents, by the way, are the products of accidental misuse of the learned sound combinations of our native language when speaking a new one), we learn life by abbreviating it as well. When we are young, time is huge. As we grow older, we learn. Repetition collapses minutes into hours - dressing, meals, travel, classes, homework, commuting, seasons, all of them eventually become comparably identical and are only understood or thought of in terms of themselves. In effect, the regular features of our lives disappear in the same way that features disappear from anything that you stare at while keeping your eyes absolutely still. Our minds, after all, are concerned primarily with problems - the solutions to which become the habits, large and small, which become our personalities and constitute the larger portion of our lives. Having little to intervene in the successful execution of our routines leaves us in a state in many ways comparable to sleep, which is, timeless.

It is furthermore not uncommon to find that "in one sense" time has virtually flown, and yet "at the same time" feel intervening weeks/months/years in arduous detail. This conceptual double exposure is a natural effect of the similar multiplicity of distinct events we use to understand how time is passing in our lives. It is no surprise that in moments of extreme crisis, time seems to slow down extremely, even to the point of stopping. "Normal" life goes in cycles, small, large, and tremendous, and everything in between.

Then there are those utterly visceral moments of disaster that haunt the lives of the unfortunate, when every cycle is broken; when anything might happen. In these, before a second goes, a dilated eternity passes.

Before the invention of the clock, time itself was actually very different. Aside from the unavoidable cycles of the day and the seasons, time was remarkably ungrounded. The firm notion of time being linear is a comparatively recent invention. One phrase from an anthropology class sticks with me, about aboriginal cultures - measuring time in circles, or in cycles...

The U.S. Naval Observatory ("The Official Source of Time for the Department of Defense and the Standard of Time for the United States") has been maintaining a wonderful website for years and years now (http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/). I quote:

"The U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO) is charged with the responsibility for precise time determination and management of time dissemination. Modern electronic systems, such as electronic navigation or communications systems, depend increasingly on precise time and time interval (PTTI). Examples would be the ground-based LORAN-C navigation system and the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS). These systems are based on the travel time of the electromagnetic signals: an accuracy of 10 nanoseconds (10 one-billionths of a second) corresponds to a position accuracy of 10 feet. In fast communications, time synchronization is equally important. All of these official systems are referenced to the USNO Master Clock."

"These clocks are distributed over 20 environmentally controlled clock vaults, to ensure their stability. By automatic intercomparison of all clocks every 100 seconds, the USNO time scale can be computed which is not only reliable but also extremely stable. Its rate does not change by more than about 100 picoseconds (0.000 000 000 1 seconds) per day from day to day.

On the basis of this computed time a clock reference system can be steered to produce clock signals which serve as the USNO Master Clock. The clock reference system is driven by a hydrogen maser atomic clock. Hydrogen masers are extremely stable clocks over short time periods (less than one week). They provide the stability, reliability and accessibility needed to maintain the accuracy of the Master Clock system."

There's also a wonderful essay entitled "How do we find the very best clock?" Almost like a hint, this is a more subtle a problem than you might guess.

I read somewhere that
the sea-snake,
vile as it may be,
is only poisonous half
the day.
12 hours on the job, 12

Are these decisions
guided by something
that I
cannot understand?

I do not know,
but I will, for
understanding is brought
with time,
and time
is easily spelled.
Time, time, time. See what's become of me.

Mike, our church leader, or speaker (whatever you call it), held out his wrist and pointed at his wrist watch. "I am controlled by this." By control he didn't mean bondage. He meant that if he didn't wear the watch, he wouldn't know what time it was and that, because of this, he would be at a disadvantage against the rest of the world and his own daily agendas. The numbers on a flat round disk strung up in various places in the room tell us when to think about eating, when to consider going home from work, when to attempt sleep.

Time is often such a suffocating concept, if you allow it to be represented in all the ways you are composed as an individal. It can be, true, but it can also be reflective. Humans are granted the double-edged sword of memories, both collective and personal, based on what contruct you are looking to get results. Here are some of my examples:

Time as a woman. Even before a girl becomes a woman, she is educated on time. My adolescence was gauged with the evolution of my body and its features. My personality was inserted into a handful of variable slots depending on how much time I'd spent on this earth, in this body as it grew up, out and all around me. Skin is often the best and easiest test of time and fools few; plastic surgery still, generally, looks like what it is. In addition to physical changes, emotional states flex like rubber bands as more and more people line up to pluck them. Those who hurt a woman bear the brunt of many odd recollections among other women, who are likely thinking of their own ways they relate to each story. A woman is in herself time and a story. She is marked by her environment, by which choices are assumed and which need to be fought for. She is given the option of being a vessel for more life and so is partially given title due to her decisions there.

Time as one of the young masses. I am not that old, but I am not that young either. I feel old more than I feel young because I remember too much, or with the wrong focus, or because I was shy, quiet, scared, etc., growing up. Perhaps because I've chosen, like many of us have (now that the fringe is no longer thus, the choice is becoming more the norm) to be more aware of what's going on, to discern more and trust less the powers that be, and all the while refusing to fail hope in the endeavors of happiness and fulfillment. Our time seems more murky and confusing and less accompanied with the traditional hash marks of time our prior generations grew accustomed to. Everything just seems like it's happening so fast yet not changing at all.

Time as an American. Cynicism and disturbed faith in democrasy is not new, nor is it, in my mind, increasing in leaps and bounds so as to make this time special. But since we are in it, we feel special. We make decisions as a nationality that determine who we are and who we seem to be. We are reminded of all the American successes and we infer our faults from the end products of those successes. We learn about balance and the struggle for sense in what seems like a senseless system. We are marked by where we live and where we came from, and we often seek a more legitimate existance than the one afforded to us by family trees and reunions, both of which seem to become more and more scarce and we slowly begin to lose our identity as a nation in the throes of change. We realize at times that we didn't have that much to hold onto to begin with.

Time as a college graduate. The ideas of what education is expected to provide are changing. College has almost become so common that the fact that so many of us are graduating with degrees guarantees a bottoming out of our seeming love for knowledge. Many English majors wander around in a collective stupor. Many people drop out of college (or never attend) and make more money than I do, forcing me to wonder why I got an English degree for in the first place. Why did I bother? Time is now marked for me in debt, the debt of an entire nation still looking for the career that will legitimize it, that will soften the blow of our struggle within a system we hoped would care for us just a little while longer.

Time as a single person. You know the drill. You can feel the hands of time twisting around your head. Everyone is getting married and having kids but you. They're all buying houses and cars except you. You may hang in between, wanting to be like them and knowing you're better off not being like them. You might become bitter in your envy, or envious in your bitterness. Or perhaps you are one of the few to whom the maternal advancement has no power of influence. You are marked by how long it's been since the last entanglement, how many babies you've seen get born, how many divorces you've witnessed breaking up before you like houses in a tornado. Human schrapnel everywhere. You are envied for the spare time you have (if you don't project that your life is already full to the rafters). You are time on hold, on pause.

Time is God's irony, an irony that was not meant to happen but simply became so meaningful that few people can escape it. Even mud men living in grass huts know that the sun and moon spell time for them, that numbers only count upwards and out. Everything that can be counted can be given time. Yet without time, we cannot be human, we cannot continue to be the very thing that makes us human were it not for time to tell us when, why and how.

Nature's way of making sure Everything doesn't happen at once.

From a UN*X fortune cookie.

Also, a UN*X shell command (although also available in your path, generally as /usr/bin/time or /usr/bin/timex) which times the execution of some command, reporting wallclock time (elapsed time) as well time spent by the program in user mode and system mode (kernel mode), sometimes a bit more data.

Much has been written about time. This is my futile and highly egocentric attempt, adapted for E2.

The concept of time has me scared shitless. I guess it might be because I hate losing things, and the very definition of time is such that moments are lost at the same rate they come into existence.

If there was ever a sinner punished with an intricacy exceeding that of the condemnations of a Greek drama, time must surely be it; dispatched to eternally commit suicide as it is painfully reborn, this sorrowful villain must behold its own offspring and twin sister being ripped from her own womb, and while the newborn gives up a grinding scream of torment at its first twisted breath of air and the realization that while the newborn's mother and sibling has died giving birth, it is now the still blood-soaked infant's turn to give birth to yet another generation of never-lasting moments.

And they claim that 'time heals all wounds'. When time itself is but a single, giant wound, a blood-stained headstone commemorating a blood-stained headstone that was once in its place, though no one remembers it as the past is lost, swallowed into its own giant vacuum, and turned inside out to display a nonexistent face to the outside world. For the truth is that most moments are lost without even being recognized as such by any living entity.

Most people cannot even fully recall in detail a moment that passed only minutes ago, and only a few moments stay with us fairly intact for the giant and at the same time ridiculously meager collection of moments limited to what we refer to as our lives. Usually, these memories are recollections of lost moments or of mistakes made, which caused the loss of other things. I suppose these could be seen as moments lost in vain.

While happy memories deplore the loss of a feeling that existed in symbiosis with its associated moment, regretful memories deplore the loss of an opportunity to have acted differently. I guess I just hate losing things.

KANJI: JI toki (time, hour)

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Character Etymology:

Suprizingly obscure from the oft taught mnemonic of "telling time by the sun on the temple."

Originally written showing the ancient radical for sun next to the ancient radical for stop, possibly having a meaning such as "end of the day" and thus symbolizing the passage of time. However at some point the radical that represented stop became confused and replaced with the radical that represents a growing plant and at a later stage even this was represented with the radical which represents temple.

Temple was probably used photonetically to express move but also lended connotations of regularity. Thus, regular movement of the sun, in effect, time. Hour is an associated meaning.

A Listing of All On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi Readings:

on-yomi: JI
kun-yomi: toki -doki

Nanori Readings:

Nanori: to togi

English Definitions:

  1. JI: hour, o'clock, time; Buddhist sect originating in the thirteenth century.
  2. toki: time, hour, moment; occasion; season; oppertunity; the times; tense.
  3. toki(meku): prosper, florish, be influential; prosperous, influential.
  4. toki(naranu): unseasonable, untimely; sudden, unexpected.
  5. toki(tama): occasionally.
  6. toki(shimo), toki(shimoare): just then.
  7. -ji: time, period.

Character Index Numbers:

New Nelson: 2462
Henshall: 135

Unicode Encoded Version:

Unicode Encoded Compound Examples:

(kuji): nine o'clock.
時時 / 時々 (tokidoki): sometimes.
(jikangai): late; overtime; outside of hours.


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One of my favorite books is Bryce Courtenay's The Power of One. In the book there is a big, strong, bearded, Georgian, who it was implied was some sort of exile from the USSR. He would weep into his beard while listening to music from his country. While I am a big fan of the boys don't cry theory, I believe it is manly to be moved to tears by beauty or grandeur. Few things have the terrible beauty of men marching off to a just war. Few things are as majestic as men's determination to die for what they love.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has created a romance that I think is reminiscent of the Spanish Civil War and World War 2. The men volunteering to fight for the underdog, Ukraine, are like those who either joined the Republicans in Spain or joined Britain because their countries were neutral or defeated. This video of men marching through the snow to the front captures that romance. The piece playing is Hans Zimmer's "Time" from the film Inception.

It is not clear which side the men are fighting for. However, the first time I saw the video, it had pro-Ukraine comments all over it. Watching it, I got a bit teary and managed to force some tears out, like the Georgian mentioned above. While agreeing that war is sweet to one who has not experienced it, I fantasized about going to join even though I think Ukraine should have related with Russia the way Finland did during the cold war and less like how Poland behaved during the interwar period.

Not knowing much about classical music other than it usually has no singing, I listen to soundtracks and imagine I am cultured. The full track is here.


Time (?), n.; pl. Times (#). [OE. time, AS. tima, akin to tid time, and to Icel. timi, Dan. time an hour, Sw. timme. 58. See Tide, n.]


Duration, considered independently of any system of measurement or any employment of terms which designate limited portions thereof.

The time wasteth [i. e. passes away] night and day. Chaucer.

I know of no ideas . . . that have a better claim to be accounted simple and original than those of space and time. Reid.


A particular period or part of duration, whether past, present, or future; a point or portion of duration; as, the time was, or has been; the time is, or will be.

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets. Heb. i. 1.


The period at which any definite event occurred, or person lived; age; period; era; as, the Spanish Armada was destroyed in the time of Queen Elizabeth; -- often in the plural; as, ancient times; modern times.


The duration of one's life; the hours and days which a person has at his disposal.

Believe me, your time is not your own; it belongs to God, to religion, to mankind. Buckminster.


A proper time; a season; an opportunity.

There is . . . a time to every purpose. Eccl. iii. 1.

The time of figs was not yet. Mark xi. 13.


Hour of travail, delivery, or parturition.

She was within one month of her time. Clarendon.


Performance or occurrence of an action or event, considered with reference to repetition; addition of a number to itself; repetition; as, to double cloth four times; four times four, or sixteen.

Summers three times eight save one. Milton.


The present life; existence in this world as contrasted with immortal life; definite, as contrasted with infinite, duration.

Till time and sin together cease. Keble.

9. Gram.


10. Mus.

The measured duration of sounds; measure; tempo; rate of movement; rhythmical division; as, common or triple time; the musician keeps good time.

Some few lines set unto a solemn time. Beau. & Fl.

Time is often used in the formation of compounds, mostly self-explaining; as, time-battered, time-beguiling, time-consecrated, time-consuming, time-enduring, time-killing, time-sanctioned, time-scorner, time-wasting, time-worn, etc.

Absolute time, time irrespective of local standards or epochs; as, all spectators see a lunar eclipse at the same instant of absolute time. -- Apparent time, the time of day reckoned by the sun, or so that 12 o'clock at the place is the instant of the transit of the sun's center over the meridian. -- Astronomical time, mean solar time reckoned by counting the hours continuously up to twenty-four from one noon to the next. -- At times, at distinct intervals of duration; now and then; as, at times he reads, at other times he rides. -- Civil time, time as reckoned for the purposes of common life in distinct periods, as years, months, days, hours, etc., the latter, among most modern nations, being divided into two series of twelve each, and reckoned, the first series from midnight to noon, the second, from noon to midnight. -- Common time Mil., the ordinary time of marching, in which ninety steps, each twenty-eight inches in length, are taken in one minute. -- Equation of time. See under Equation, n. -- In time. (a) In good season; sufficiently early; as, he arrived in time to see the exhibition. (b) After a considerable space of duration; eventually; finally; as, you will in time recover your health and strength. -- Mean time. See under 4th Mean. -- Quick time Mil., time of marching, in which one hundred and twenty steps, each thirty inches in length, are taken in one minute. -- Sidereal time. See under Sidereal. -- Standard time, the civil time that has been established by law or by general usage over a region or country. In England the standard time is Greenwich mean solar time. In the United States and Canada four kinds of standard time have been adopted by the railroads and accepted by the people, viz., Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific time, corresponding severally to the mean local times of the 75th, 90th, 105th, and 120th meridians west from Greenwich, and being therefore five, six, seven, and eight hours slower than Greenwich time. -- Time ball, a ball arranged to drop from the summit of a pole, to indicate true midday time, as at Greenwich Observatory, England. Nichol. -- Time bargain Com., a contract made for the sale or purchase of merchandise, or of stock in the public funds, at a certain time in the future.<-- = a futures contract? --> -- Time bill. Same as Time-table. [Eng.] -- Time book, a book in which is kept a record of the time persons have worked. -- Time detector, a timepiece provided with a device for registering and indicating the exact time when a watchman visits certain stations in his beat. -- Time enough, in season; early enough. "Stanly at Bosworth field, . . . came time enough to save his life." Bacon. -- Time fuse, a fuse, as for an explosive projectile, which can be so arranged as to ignite the charge at a certain definite interval after being itself ignited. -- Time immemorial, ∨ Time out of mind. Eng.Law See under Immemorial. -- Time lock, a lock having clockwork attached, which, when wound up, prevents the bolt from being withdrawn when locked, until a certain interval of time has elapsed. -- Time of day, salutation appropriate to the times of the day, as "good morning," "good evening," and the like; greeting. -- To kill time. See under Kill, v. t. -- To make time. (a) To gain time. (b) To occupy or use (a certain) time in doing something; as, the trotting horse made fast time. -- To move, run, ∨ go, against time, to move, run, or go a given distance without a competitor, in the quickest possible time; or, to accomplish the greatest distance which can be passed over in a given time; as, the horse is to run against time. -- True time. (a) Mean time as kept by a clock going uniformly. (b) Astron. Apparent time as reckoned from the transit of the sun's center over the meridian.


© Webster 1913.

Time (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Timed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Timing.]


To appoint the time for; to bring, begin, or perform at the proper season or time; as, he timed his appearance rightly.

There is no greater wisdom than well to time the beginnings and onsets of things. Bacon.


To regulate as to time; to accompany, or agree with, in time of movement.

Who overlooked the oars, and timed the stroke. Addison.

He was a thing of blood, whose every motion Was timed with dying cries. Shak.


To ascertain or record the time, duration, or rate of; as, to time the speed of horses, or hours for workmen.


To measure, as in music or harmony.


© Webster 1913.

Time, v. i.


To keep or beat time; to proceed or move in time.

With oar strokes timing to their song. Whittier.


To pass time; to delay.



© Webster 1913.

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