Experience of Time is Relative

I’ve been realizing lately that our perception of time is relative. In some ways this is a no-brainer and nothing new. I think we all have occasions where time seems to move faster or slower. Thus expressions like “time flies when you’re having fun”. And it seems common for time to seem slow when anticipating something.

But I recently saw individual rain-drops – which is not normal for me anyhow. And I’ve had occasions where I know for me there was a significant amount of mental activity going on – yet only a minute of clock-time passed. These are just the simple examples I’ve experienced – its a lot harder to explain the more complex cases.

Quantum physics suggests that there are smallest possible “bits” or “quanta”. That seems to be the case for energy for sure, but there is also the possibility that space and/or time is also “quantized”. If time is “quantized”, then that effectively means there are a fixed number of “frames” per second – so let’s go with that analogy.

I believe what I’ve been recognizing is that the number of “frames” of time we notice ourselves experiencing is not fixed. Lately I have been having experiences of more “frames” of time being noticed. Internally that means time is being experienced faster for me than normal, given that I can see or think more than typical.

The external clock-time does not change for me at these times though – time does keep marching on. That means that externally time appears to be moving much slower for me since I am seeing or thinking more in the same amount of time. Raindrops are still falling at the same external speed, but I see more, so they seem slower.

I’m going to start exploring more of this topic to come. I’m curious how others typically experience falling rain-drops though. Do you normally see them individually or not? Have you had occasions where your experiences are different than your normal? Surely my normal is not the same as everyone else’s if mine isn’t even fixed.