Drawing of my Face


Posted on May 5, 2016

I originally posted this as a response to an article on presense on Medium.

I know that time perception is perceived as a plight, but it’s incredibly useful. It’s important to understand why we perceive time in order to determine where it is useful and where it’s not.

One aspect of many models of consciousness is a process called “narratization.” Your brain is a storyteller. The protagonist is an analog you: your internal representation of yourself. The story explains your physical body’s actions and movements throughout life in terms of your internal representation of self. The spatial movement of your physical body is represented through time perception.

So two interesting ideas stand out here:

  1. Time perception is a consequence of activities of consciousness. The process of building a story explaining one’s actions is very important.
  2. Because your brain’s story is built on top of not only your internal perception of yourself, but your internal representation of others, it’s prone to ridiculous amounts of error.

(2) is more interesting. (2) is likely responsible the psychological phenomenon called cognitive dissonance. Your brain really wants a consistent story. If you hold two contradictory ideas, your brain will jump through hoops to make things consistent. This has a lot of interesting consequences, but in terms of our discussion, it has one:

Your brain will do anything to build a consistent story. Delusion starts with the story writer.

So in relation to perception of time, I think the issue is in delusion related to poor mental models. If I have a perception of self that suggests I’m horrible at playing basketball, I’ll be more likely to be bad at basketball. If I have a perception of someone else that they’re a horrible person, I’ll find reasons as to why they’re a horrible person to fit my narrative. Time perception is only negative whenever it causes improper delusion or gets in the way.

I didn’t really get your ideas on oneness, but I’d assume that through busting your reality tunnels and preconceptions of the world, you’ll be able to get closer to oneness. Oneness is not being obsessed with my own models of the world: it’s the ability to step out of my own preconceptions.