- Does time really exist?
- What is time for the businessman?
- What is time for the jungle man?
- Time in the city and time in the country.
An English scientist, Mr.Aldous Huxley, has written an essay on what he calls “The Time Machine”. He points out that in our modern age, we have become the slaves of time. We have little divisions of time into minutes and seconds. If we have to catch a train at 5-15 p.m., it is very important to be there. If one arrives at 5-16 the train will have gone. If a boy comes into class one minute late, that may mean trouble with a strict class-master. Now the old philosophers have told us that time does not really exist. It is only an idea that we have made up for ourselves. We have a story about Rip van Winkle, who fell asleep and slept for twenty years. When he awoke, he did not know that twenty years had passed away. So for him those twenty years did not exist, because he had not been aware of them. Therefore time is not a real thing. It is just an impression or idea framed by our poor bodily senses.
The modern businessman thinks time of immense value, especially divisions of them. In a factory with a thousand workers, time in small amounts must be studied all day. If there is a delay, of one minute in production, that is one multiplied by a thousand, a thousand minutes lost. The siren sounds at a certain time and a man must “check in” at the exact time.
The jungle dweller or the old-time cultivator does not know all this. He can start ploughing or go out hunting just when pleases, and is not bound down by a a time-table. Some divisions of time he does know, but they are the large divisions made by Nature. He knows the month, because the growing and lessening of the moon shows him that. He knows the seasons, because the heat of the sun and the growth of trees and crops show him the difference between summer, autumn, and winter. But he cares little for minutes and seconds, and does not even possess a clock. The businessman in the city, on the other hand, had forgotten those divisions of time made by Nature. His life is lighted by electricity, so he does not know when the moon is increasing or waning. His home is warmed by electricity or by coal, so he does not feel much difference between summer and winter in his office.
We may begin to understand faintly what the old writers meant. À modern scientist Einstein, has told us that time is not real, but is simply a set of ideas which a man forms according to the life he leads. This has been hailed as a great discovery of modern science; but the old writers the forest sages, knew all about it thousands of years ago.