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Linear Time Structure of the Western World

The past is behind and the future is ahead. Time goes by, sometimes very slowly and sometimes very fast, but always forward. And if we unroll it back, it happens only in our imagination, remembering the past. Linear perception of time is characteristic to modern western world. And even it seems the most logical and obvious, there are others time structures as well.

Time is a form of physical and mental processes, the condition of the possibility of change. In psychology, time is a subjective feeling, and depends on the observer. There is linear and circular (cyclic) time.

With the advent of the Christian culture pagan idea of cyclical time was replaced by the idea of linearity. Christians also considered time to be final: they were waiting for the Day of Judgment and the end of the world. In an era of scientific and technological progress, new scientific thinking pushed the border, making time almost infinite.

Psychologists distinguish in people of modern Western culture two kinds of subjective perception of time – instant and linear time. Instant time is the perception of a direct moment. This is the way children perceive time, because for them it is eventful and almost not planned (their time can be planned by parents, but a child doesn’t know what happens tomorrow, or in a year). Therefore, almost every one of us can remember that in childhood time passes slowly, and with the years it is kind of accelerating.

When growing up, we learn the socially accepted linear time structure. Students get used to the fact that there are seven days a week, five of them are devoted to school, each lesson lasts 45 minutes, and schedule is known in advance. They learn that in 10 years they will go to college, and after 15 or 16 they finish it, and start building a career. Their lives become projected on the time line. But the events that are happening at the moment sometimes seize a person so much that they forget about the linear perception of time, returning to the instantaneous one. (An extreme case of this state is to get carried away so much by the current case that one can be late for an appointment or forget a promise given to someone). This shows a return to the instantaneous time, where there are no plans and predefined events.

The best illustration of the fact that the cyclical perception of time has remained in our minds is the tradition to celebrate New Year and birthdays, and also the change of seasons.

It turns out that a modern people perceive time as a kind of a layer cake from the different methods learned during the cultural development of mankind. A variety of models of behavior and time perception always increase adaptability.

The past is behind and the future is ahead. Time goes by, sometimes very slowly and sometimes very fast, but always forward. And if we unroll it back, it happens only in our imagination, remembering the past. Linear perception of time is characteristic to modern western world. And even it seems the most logical and obvious, there are others time structures as well.

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Assignment ID
100001281
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CREATED ON
August 26, 2016
COMPLETED ON
August 27, 2016
Price
$40
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