The Synchronic Structure Of Time

There Is Something Deficient In Our Idea Of Time Continues

Time, As Such, Doesn’t Exist, But As A Utilitarian Experience, What We Do With
Time, Ends Up In That Familiar Experience We Call Temporality

Freedom effectively replaces temporality as an operational concept. Freedom, in
the sense of the logical proposition — not, not being, —here represents
difference, but implies sameness. From the synchronic point of view, on a
fundamental level, difference and sameness may be understood as two sides to the
same coin. But, this symmetry is lost when freedom moves from this base level to a higher level of freedom, i.e., from not-life to life. Reciprocal movement, on this higher level moves in one direction only, — no assimilation—no life, however, since nothing gets out of life alive, mortality conserves reciprocal movement. Freedom, now in this higher liberated state, is free to evolve into higher life forms.

But what about human time, the time that so perplexed Parmenides, Augustine and
Kant? What about “time as the determinism” that left the French mathematician Laplace no other option other than to declare that the existence of God was an unnecessary hypothesis? As I have already pointed out, human time comes to us by way of our senses and by way of constructed, logically consistent, scientific models used to measure time. Humans, like all the other animals, assimilate information from their environment as they adjust schemes-of-assimilation to better accommodate their environment. What makes humans unique in this process is their capacity to create symbolic models that help them to better accommodate and assimilate their environment, which, at least in part, is a utilitarian experience.

[Footnote: Concerning the utilitarian experience of time, Dr. Bronowski has this to say: “…..the animal lacks any apparatus, such as human speech, by which he can bring to mind what is not present. Man has freed himself from this dominance in two steps. First, he can remember what is out of sight. The apparatus of speech allows him to recall what is absent, and to put it beside what is present; his field of action is larger because his mind holds more choices side by side. And second, the practice of speech allows man to become familiar with the absent situation, to handle and to explore it, and so at last to become agile in it and control it.”] Edited by John D. Roslansky, Creativity, A Discussion at the Nobel Conference, 1970, p.4

Time, as we normally think of it, doesn’t exist, but as a utilitarian experience, what we do with time, ends up in that familiar experience we call temporality. Operationally speaking, the time of being arises in the experience of discontinuity occurring in continuity, and we call this experience “time.” When we use implication to construct temporal models of time we are using “time” to understand time, — to understand the how-to-processes that help us to accommodate/assimilate our environment. On this operational level, human time is merely a by-product of discontinuity occurring in continuity, but then so too is language, number, logic, and self. The human temporal moment then, carries within itself not one account of temporality, i.e., the video time of sequential physical events; it also carries within itself “the center of action,” as Piaget calls it. Mind and identity are discovered in this “center of action,” (personal identity being that degree of permanence that we experience in the midst of constant flux). And, more importantly, the forward movement of our knowledge (information) is discovered in this liberated and liberating space that gets called “time.”


About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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3 Responses to The Synchronic Structure Of Time

  1. In a temporal mode I saw this first at “Postaday 2011.” Thoughtful discussion and great illustrations!

  2. bwinwnbwi says:

    In the time of becoming, civilizations are born, endure, and are sometimes destroyed. Anthropologically speaking, at the time when animals refused to passively accept their environment and instead worked to actively transform that environment was also the time when animals acquired the rudimentary beginnings of “time of mind” (the implicative-affirmative’s symbol-generating capacity) i.e., the birthright of inquiry, analysis, conscience and imagination. So, we might ask, is it possible to reconcile this new concept of “time of mind” with the time-concepts of science?

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