Speed of Thought

I don’t wanna sound like a wiseguy or anything, and I’m probably not the first to think of this, but I think I figured it out:

I think that how fast time moves is relative to how much you think. Like, the ‘speed of thought.’ Everything is relative (is viewed in a context), and basically you have to filter all of your experiences through your mind in order to even experience them, so from the inside looking out, the whole world is in your mind (“it’s all in your head”). If you’re stumped on a problem or worrying about something, time may pass very slowly whereas if you’re just having fun and just enjoying the moment, or to exaggerate, if you’re sleeping, then time will pass very rapidly. If you dream than you spend more time being asleep. Thinking more slows down time whereas simply reacting skips over time. People have said regarding crazy moments that “it was like slow motion. I never thought it was going to end.” And conversely there exists “driving hypnosis” where you end up at your destination in the blink of an eye because you are so used to taking the same route that you require zero thought to drive it. This line of thought leads to the creation of memories as what allows us to place ourselves in time. Without any memories, there is no time. Babies do not have memories, and thus have no concept of time (and aren’t really much alive yet, like, viva la vida etc…). And they are also really stupid. But on the other end of the spectrum you might have someone with Alzheimer’s who does not have the ability to create new memories, and is, although it’s painfully sad to say, pretty much already dead (from their point of view). So the next time you fall into routine, or order the same thing for lunch, or drive the same way home, or do the same activity with your friends, stop… and think about that. Make a memory.


EDIT (3/16/14): I came across this video that has a much more informed position than my generalized curiosities. It’s a fun watch if you have a few minutes, however the title is a bit misleading…

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15 thoughts on “Speed of Thought

  1. David Kenyon says:

    Interesting and thought-provoking – yes, you may be right!

  2. Steve Morris says:

    I’ve read that small animals think fast, so time seems to go slower for them. That’s why you can never catch a fly – they see you coming for them in slow motion.

    • I’ve hear that too. i saw the movie “Epic” a while back and it touched on the same thing briefly, which was pretty awesome to see in a movie aimed at kids.
      It must be pretty dizzying being a sea turtle…

  3. I feel like in my everyday life, time passes quickly due to routine and monotony. When I travel, because I pack so many activities into just a few days, it feels like a lifetime. So many new sights and adventures and when I think back to all I have witnessed and how it affects me, it us hard to believe that travel has taken so little time yet influenced me so profoundly.

  4. I agree and suggest as a corollary that is why absence makes the heart grow fonder

  5. There are a couple things here I take exception to and aren’t born out by research (like babies being stupid or Alzheimer’s patients being dead for having confused memories), but your overall point of making the most of life – making memories – is a good one. Peace.

  6. Never thought about the “speed of thought,” but I agree with everything you say. Well done!

  7. This made me smile. I found it thought provoking as well. Had to read it through twice to appreciate how well you’ve written this. :-)

  8. KraftedKhaos says:

    Hmmm… an interesting concept, one which I hadn’t considered. I guess that would explain why, when we were school age, the school year seemed to drag on forever, but the summer was over before we knew it.

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