Humanity has since the beginning of time tried to understand the world around them and the phenomena it represents. This was particularly about time on what it was. The difference in the understanding of time has placed many in a state of intellectual discomfort, particularly in Africa where the concept of time and its history is related to western religion and philosophy.
This work investigates the concept of time’s perceptional logic, its polarised meaning and relationship to our thinking.
Time is critical of humanity but it reasonably organises our values and perceptions. Interestingly, human beings are thought to be critical of what time entails especially its meaning and relativity.
The popular proposition that time is a reality has caught our moral consciousness in presenting an antithesis that a reality that time does exist is of literal falseness, irrational and is based on polarised social values. Time does not exist as a reality but rather as a social construct, not all social constructs are real and therefore time is one of those that are not.
Friedrich Nietzsche, a German radical philosopher once pronounced that, “what is normal to a spider is chaos to a fly” therefore time exist in the context of a spider and a fly, time is neither actual nor objective, the context in which time exist is a social one and not natural and it is therefore based on human perceptions, human perceptions are different due to different cultural and religious groundings.
Time is a fundamental social balance of our consciousness upon which different beliefs rest; it’s in fact a kind of a fastest astral imagination of humanity that if cats and dogs were to be subjected to would rather prefer to go mad.
The reason that time is perceived differently in different geographical, cultural and religious contexts among others is the primary indication that time itself does not exist actually, actuality is objective and not subjective therefore time and its meaning does not exist in the actual world.
The formations of social tools such as calendars to control time are social conceptions and laws to control the existence of humanity.
Time controls our minds such that we become frustrated when time is up to do something, this bring us to the perceived understanding that time is linear, divisible and consumable, i am inclined to think that time is not linear but our understanding of time is very so.
Time is a universal perception controlled by social laws which controls human interactions. Some argue that time - especially in Africa - is Eurocentric, it is our perceptions of time that are Eurocentric, time itself is independent of adjectives, it is humanity that made time adjectival in order to suit our linguistic expressions.
The Eurocentric view of time does not make time real either, because different calendars speaks different language in terms of how time should be perceived and organised, therefore we shouldn’t be confined to a narrow understanding that the only rational belief is that a day is 24 hours and a year is 365 days, why is it that in Namibia it is 1 January 2017, but in USA it is 31 December 2016? All beliefs are subjective.
Time is indeed relative and exist only in our minds depending on our frames of references and the extend of how we are socialised with it e.g. if we are socialised to think that 13h00 is lunchtime, or June to July is winter time or that on the 1st of January marks a new year or that 16 April is a an Easter day we will grow up believing that such is a reality of time’s existence, because our realities are culturally perceived and to some extent Christianised, reality itself is not inherent, time is neither inherent nor actual or natural.
If it is correct of the Gregorian calendar that the 1st of December is a New Year’s Day, then how much more is it correct for a Chinese lunar calendar to project 16 February as a Chinese New Year day?
The question is which day is new and to whom and for what reason? This is where Friedrich Nietzsche’s words become relevant that “what is normal to a spider is chaos to a fly” what is correct in one culture or religion can be wrong in another.
The perceptions of time in the universe are polarised such that the Chinese calendar is interpreted in a language of Pope Gregory XIII of England whose the Christian calendar was named after in 1582 and therefore the interpretation of a Chinese calendar in English is miraculous.
The introduction of the Christian calendar the so called a western calendar which is also a modification of a Julian calendar (Julius Cesar) has swallowed the civilisation of African people, their identities, rituals and their logics of thoughts on how they perceive time.
African rituals today are viewed in the spectrum of the western calendar, African spirituality and schools of thoughts and traditions became intellectually married to the western logics and interpretations of time.
African sacred systems of understanding time such as via the position of the sun in the sky, the moon and the stars and the shades of the trees are no longer valid but due to our solid relationships with the ancestors such understandings are still symmetrical to our traditional beliefs as Africans.
The evolution of time in Africa has seen so many trends, but it saw few of the African kind, this is not to be located in a conservative sense, but in a liberal fashion which embraces African traditional inputs on how we perceive time today.
In the final analysis time does not exist actually, even if it is believed to be, the belief in its actual existence is of literal falseness and therefore does not find meaning in critical reasoning and modern rationality.
* Shivute Kaapanda is a critical theorist and writer from Eyanda village. Email firstname.lastname@example.org New Era Reporter
2017-10-20 10:04:54 | 2 years ago