What is the Duration of Present?

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When we talk of time we use three terms Past, Present and Future. Everything that has happened reside in past, every single event taking place is present and everything that is uncertain for us and is going to take place is the future. We remember our past because the events in past had already happened and have no idea of future as it is yet to come. But between this all where does the present lie? This is something we are going to talk about in this very article.

We humans often look back for the memories. Because you cannot look into future but in this all somewhere present is always stabbed by the pressure of unknown future and the sweet and some harsh memories of past. Past is all gone leaving behind lots of memories and is never going to come back (neglecting some theoretical ideas of time travel). So, all that we have with us is present. But what is present? What is the duration of present? What I mean by duration here is, talking relatively sometimes we say the ongoing year as present year, ongoing hour as present hour and sometime a single second is present. So how can we define present and what is its duration?

To understand this you need to observe this material/physical world and first try to answer what is past? In general, everything that had happened is past it can be a second before or a month or a year back, even this word ‘year’ you just read reside in past. So, you see the word past holds a very long duration of time from where this universe started to this very present second you are reading this, everything is past.  

And now let’s define future and its duration. So everything that has not yet happened is future. Talking in terms of duration Future is also somewhat similar to past. Everything from this very second to the last second of this universe is all future. But this all is going to pass from a very thin line of present to become past, so does future even exists until it is not experience in form of present? This is something we can discuss in some other article.

So now you might have got an idea what could be the possible duration of past and future but our question is still unanswered so let’s get back to it. Now here, what was left is present, how long is this present? Let’s try to understand this with a help of an illustration; I hope you all have seen a movie or any video on your Smartphone, laptop or on a computer. So, here when you see any video or movie there is a part of that movie that you have covered (seen) and a part you need to cover but there is a small a very small moment in which you are watching your movie now imagine your life similar to that movie or a video. Of what you have covered a big or a small part you movie (life here) and there is a part to be covered i.e., future and what is going on is present that small a very small micro part of your life is actually present.

 Yeah! It seems little odd when we think deeply about it but, this is what your present looks like. No, you answer how long it is? It is not even a second long. This is the duration of your, mine and everyone’s present. You see we don’t even have time to react in this so called present, it is like present don’t even exists. It seems like a sort of illusion.

Now, let’s go little hypothetical here and talk of whether this duration can vary from creature to creature or not? Or in simple word I want to ask, if time can run with different speeds? Talking from the prospective of this planet we don’t see any such place where time runs with different speed. But as Sir Albert Einstein said Time is not absolute and do not flows with same speed all around the universe, it is relative. And it can vary for the matter travelling with speed that is comparable to speed of light. Let’s also understand this with the help of that movie/video illustration; suppose this time while watching you slow down the speed of video, in this case you will see the same video will cover lesser portion of video in same time similar to a person travelling with speed of light will cover lesser portion of his life with respect to the person living on earth. 

In this case, does the duration of present changes?

“So you see here it is not the duration of present that matters, it is the part of life you experience in that very present.” 

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