I think that the key to understand time is to realize that our common concept of “time” is multi-layered. Most mistakes about the nature of time, and much of the confusion, come from taking the full package of properties we attribute to time as forming a unique bundle that either is there or not. Now we understand that many properties we attribute to time come from approximations and simplifications.
Some think that Time is a commodity: ours to buy, spend, save, keep, mark or waste. Time has volition: it flies, drags, stands still. The verbs alone suggest that we have always understood time as subjective, something experienced according to individual circumstance. According to theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, time is an illusion: our naive perception of its flow doesn’t correspond to physical reality. As for me, Time is a relationship with Self and a measurement of change.
In the physical realm, all that we perceive and think is connected to the past. Biologically, your reality bypasses you before even you are aware of it. Memory is all that exists in unfolding the past through thinking and projecting the same in the future. Now and time, both are like a river, which mind through its external perception and thoughts cannot capture.
The movement or speed, at which our thoughts move, is therefore related to memory. The reasons that thought is born out of experience and knowledge of the past. The mind, since it is mainly projecting itself from the past continuing into the future, loses the presence or concentration of the now, or present.
We become personal and emotive, resulting in being slaves of the past. This is the conflict and struggle in which man lives. It is, therefore, very important for us to recognize and understand this psychological time within, and convert the same into a friend by valuing and using it the best way we can.
From the spiritual point of view, there is only one eternal or present time, in which our presence exists. We are to utilize this conceptual construction of perception/experience in psychological time to our advantage, living not by the measurement of time, but from one moment to the next in mindfulness in observance and awareness. We begin to watch things more clearly and are not drawn into what the mind is thinking and projecting from past to future, but by being alert and aware in witnessing of what is happening in the present moment.