Time is a very curious thing. Some say it’s an illusion but I’d suggest it’s better to understand it as an experiential effect.
Fundamentally, the seed of time arises in the initial dynamics of creation. Awareness curves back on itself and becomes self-aware. In the subtle space between awareness and itself is born space and in the process of recognizing itself, time.
Time on this level is a reflection of the flow of awareness, a dynamic of experience. Individually, however, we experience time from a focal point of attention. Thus, we notice a series of sequential experiences: this, then this, then this. The mind & brain ties it together for us.
This is much like going to a movie. When we watch a film, we see the flow of a story unfolding. But the film (even digital) is made of a sequence of frames or still pictures. Projected at sufficient speed, our mind merges them into a flow just as it does the world.
The recent Hobbit film was displayed in some theatres at 48 fps, twice the old film rate and 38% faster than digitals usual 30 fps. Curiously, this made it seem artificially more real, suggesting it was faster than necessary. However, this may also have been an effect of newness.
Recently, I saw a talk by Dr. Renate Loll on a theory of Quantum time, suggesting time existed before the big bang (creation of the universe) but space began with it. I would suggest that based on the above, this is partly accurate. Local or universe-space begins with the universe but the universe originates in a larger creation-space mentioned above in the fundamental dynamics of self-awareness. The creation-space holds multiple non-parallel universes, each with variations in laws of nature relative to our own. Time as an effect of the process of experience originates in the creation-space also, concurrently with space.
Every object we experience originates in a self-aware dynamic and we experience the world through our own personal experiential space or me-space. This is a fundamental aspect of awareness. Thus, clearly we see space is nested. We share a common universe-space and creation-space.
Recent research published in the journal Psychological Science suggests “our perceptions of time are grounded in our experiences of movement through space: We tend to feel closer to the future because we feel like we’re moving toward it.” That would be describing local or me-space.
There are a number of ways of experiencing time between a series of small bits and original flow. There is the experience of larger and larger hunks of time being present now, such as being inclusive of ones past or all past and future. There is the sense of being in the present now where time seems to stop incrementing. There is the sense of eternity or all time in the present. And the sense of timelessness or the sense of time never having been. Each of these are shifts in our relationship with the way experience unfolds, mainly because of shifts in our relationship with who we are.
But even cosmically, our sensory experience of the world still comes through a focal point of awareness and thus is experienced this way or that rather than all at once.
And that’s a relief.