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TIME-By Qaisar Sultan

As we start growing old, we feel that the time is flying. Before you know it, another year just passed by; and we celebrated the birthday and a new year. Where does time go? Is it going to any particular destination or to an end? Is it a reality? Does time have soul? Time cannot be a thing. In order to have an existence, it has to come to an end. It has to be a changeable existence. The ancient thinkers thought that it is just an illusion. Sophist and Buddhists monk did not know the thermodynamic time-symmetry. That is why they only knew the past and very little about future- we do not know much about future now.  The non-stop change is measured by the clock and watches, now on our cell phones. I am surrounded by clocks- a watch in front of my bed, my cell phone, a clock in the dining room, watch on the wall of kitchen and a timer on the stove, clock in my car, bottom of my computer in my office, a clock on my office wall, a small pen holder watch and the wrist watch. Is it a fascination or obsession about time? I got to know time every time I am done with a task, a meeting, a television program or go to sleep. Do I care if the change in the position of moon or its circular movement represent the time of the day. The time has a direct relation with change- Change itself cannot have any effect on time. Then we are told that the time has to do with space and the objects found in that space.  The realist view is that a moment can occur within a space and time slice- That is more like Einstein’s theory of relativity with the reference of spatial time. Small to important moments in our lives have been saved in that slice of time and space. Laughter and anger, being kind or unkind, compassionate or uncaring are on the record somewhere in a slice.  It seems to us that time is going forward. We do not care for the time as an entity if it goes faster or slower as long as it does not drag us to the end of our life; but it does. How come it goes forward? Why cannot it go backward? If it did, then we could unscramble a scrambled egg, or go back to our youth. This way, we could have corrected all the mistakes (Pakistanis do not have that problem, they do not make mistakes) we had made. While we were at it, we would have preferred to stay in our youth forever. Einstein had this theory that time can be reversed. Hollywood was fascinated by the idea; they made movies about time machine which could travel back and forth in time.  Does time flow in steps or is it a continuous flow like water? The flow may find its continuity in Femtoseconds or attoseconds. If it flows or passes, where does it go? Does it end up in what we call past? Based on this logic, time should go forward and should end up in the future. So how do we discern the direction of time? Is it only a human perception or a reality?  And what is the beginning of time? Would it end?  The Big Bang theory describes the arrow of the time, the direction from past to future- Where is that past? Big Bang is  considered as the beginning of the time. What was there before Big Bang? Time and space did not exist. There was God. Big Bang can represent the limit of time, but does not require the singularity- God can do both. That was the moment in history of time that events were happening at the same- The entropy reversed its natural course, instead of destruction, it created the space, time and light. Time is the natural way of separating events and stops them to occur at the same moment. The time allowed the universe to go towards entropy, chaos and eventual end of time; but it went in the opposite direction. Does time inherently lead to the beginning or to the end? Does time carry the Absolute idea and the succession has no effect on the eternal part of all the ideas- We only reconstruct and not construct? From the time of the beginning, the galaxies expanded, some to their demise. Is it time that destroys and creates universes?

A man from South America asked me why time moves faster in New York as compared to a small village where he came from. The obvious answer was if everything surrounding you moves faster, you would feel that your life is also moving faster. If you see a man walking or riding a pony towards you, it seems to you that time is moving slowly. But when a car moves hundred miles an hour, time seems to fly. In the modern age, speed is everything. The younger generation talks about faster computers and internet connections and responses. There are no letters to write- Go to text messaging- Bingo! The response should be now, not thirty seconds later- They cannot afford to waste time waiting for a response; then they go back to sleep for hours. Is it then time and its flow is merely our perception?

After Newton and Einstein who found reality in the concept of time by entangling it with space and light, the thermodynamic theory changed how we looked at our physical world, time and its flow. The second law of thermodynamic explains that the entropy increases in time, leading to the demise of stars and the expansion of galaxies and that each star and the universe ought to collapse one day- Then the time will end. So what is that eternity and infinity of time we have heard all our lives? After the demise of the time and universe, there will be no need to have a reference point. It would be yesterday, today and tomorrow at the same time- Pakistanis have already been there where there would be no reference point.  Most of Pakistanis are in tune with the Hopi culture where there is no reference or word for time- what is the difference, if it was yesterday or today, as long as we were having good time. The management of time is important to our time behavior. We learn time discipline in our family and in our culture. It is now time for me to stop dwelling in what could be a little bit reality and somewhat fancy.

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