On Time

The texts in this series touch on a variety of ways time has been represented in literature. HG Wells posits time as the fourth dimension of space in The Time Machine. Philip K. Dick examines the nature of causality (and its effects on human consciousness) in “The Skull.” Charles Darwin, whose writing is nothing if not literary, introduces the concept of deep time—we have been around for much longer than we thought, and so we must change how we think about where we are going.

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On Time: Blog Post

The selections in this series reflect, very generally, two ways of thinking about time. The first is time as we experience it: as a line, an arrow, a conveyor belt into the future. It moves in one direction. But the sciences have come far enough (and our wisdom traditions have known it for millennia) that a linear understanding of time is ultimately incomplete, impoverished. We seem to be imbued from the beginning with a facility for imagining derivations, deviations, and disruptions of the linear understanding of time. This imaginative capacity is as old as storytelling.