Monday, 5 March 2018

Four Quotes on Time

The other day, I found a list of quotes from October 2015. I thought now as good a time as any to post it:

For what is time? Who can easily and briefly explain it? Who even in thought can comprehend it, even to the pronouncing of a word concerning it? But what in speaking do we refer to more familiarly and knowingly than time? And certainly we understand when we speak of it; we understand also when we hear it spoken of by another. What, then, is time? If no one asks me, I know; if I wish to explain to him who asks, I know not. Yet I say with confidence, that I know that if nothing passed away, there would not be past time, and if nothing were coming, there would be no future time; and if nothing were, there would not be present time. Those two times, therefore, past and future, how are they, when even now the past is not; and the future is not as yet? But should the present be always present, and should it not pass into time past, time truly it could not be, but eternity. If, then, time present—if it be time—only comes into existence because it passes into time past, how do we say that even this is, whose cause of being is that it shall not be—namely, so that we cannot say that time is, unless because it tends not to be?

Augustine of Hippo. Confessions. (ca. 400 AD)

Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven.
That time may cease, and midnight never come

Christopher Marlowe. Doctor Faustus. (ca. 1604 AD)

Philalethes: Our measurement of time would be more accurate if we could keep a past day for comparison with the days to come, as we keep measures of space.

G. W. Leibniz. New Essays on Human Understanding. (ca. 1765 AD)

The seasons bring the flower again,
And bring the firstling to the flock;
And in the dusk of thee, the clock
Beats out the little lives of men.

Lord Alfred Tennyson. In Memoriam A.H.H. (ca. 1849 AD)

1 comment:

  1. The wheel is turning and you can't slow down,
    You can't let go and you can't hold on,
    You can't go back and you can't stand still,
    If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will.

    Small wheel turn by the fire and rod,
    Big wheel turn by the grace of G-d,
    Every time that wheel turn 'round,
    Bound to cover just a little more ground.

    The Grateful Dead, The Wheel