â€œIn a world without people or living beings of any kind, there would be no time.
The above is a quote from â€œTime: an essayâ€ by Norbert Elias wherein the issue of time is described as well as all the implications that it has for mankind. Unaware of this encompassing problem that totally surrounds us, we as a society are oblivious to the fact that time, in essence, is a governing part of our everyday lifestyle regulating us to every possible extreme. The following essay serves as an attempt to explain this phenomenon as fully as possible with necessary examples from the above-mentioned text.
In the book â€œTime: An Essayâ€ by Norbert Elias, one is thrown into a historical account of how the concept, the very nature of time came about. It is through a number of studies within various societies that we learn how the concept of time came about and the reasons as to why such a concept was needed. Elias argues that time itself is a concept totally unperceivable to the human senses, â€œBut time can be neither seen nor felt, neither heard nor tasted nor smeltâ€¦ How can something be measured that is not perceivable to the senses?â€ .
The concept that time is not a feature of the mind, nor a characteristic of human nature is then driven home through the rest of the book when examples and descriptions are given of ancient societies, who managed to nurture the idea of time and capture it in their social customs. A particularly good example of this would be that of a small African civilisation that developed a reliance on time when the concept of agriculture took off. (Evidence of this may be found on page 50 of the above-mentioned text).
When really looking into the text, it can be seen that Eliasâ€™ major hypothesis was based on the belief that time is actually a feat developed through human synthesis or rather the adaption of certain societies throughout history that enabled a so called development.