Time Quotations

Quips and flippancy regarding time, calendars, clocks and so on (in no particular order)

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.”
–Mark Twain

“All things originate from one another,
and vanish into one another
according to necessity…
in conformity with the order fo time.”
–Anaximander, On Nature

“Every culture has its own unique set of temporal fingerprints. To know  person is to know the time values they live by.”
–Jeremy Rifkin, Time Wars

“The question of tempo…depends not only on the factors of personal taste and skill but to some extent upon the individual instrument and the room or hall involved in the performance.”
–Willard Palmer, Chopin: An Introduction to His Piano Work

“As a city grows larger, the value of its inhabitants’ time increases with the city’s increasing wage rate and cost of living, so that economizing on tie becomes more urgent, and life becoms more hurried and harried.”
–Irving Hoch

“What kind of rule is this? The more timesaving machinery there is, the more pressed a person is for time”
–Sebastian de Grazia, Of Time, Work, and Leisure

“When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, it seems like two minutes; when you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours. That’s relativity.”
–Albert Einstein

“man measures time, and time measures man.”
–Old Italian Proverb

“a mind that is fast is sick. A mind that is slow is sound. A mind that is still is divine.”
–Meher Baba

“Vladimir: That passed the time.
Estragon: It would have passed in any case.
Vladimir: Yes, but not so rapidly.”
–Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

“Time is a stretch of nerve fibers: seemingly continuous from a distance but disjointed close up, with microscopic gaps between fibers. Nervous action flows through one segment of time, abruptly stops, pauses, leaps through a vacuum, and resumes in the neighboring segment.”
–Alan Lightman, Einsteins Dreams

“The first grand discovery was time, the landscape of experience. Only by marking off months, weeks, and years, days and hours, minutes and seconds, would mankind be liberated from teh cyclical monotony of nature. The flow of shadows, sand, and water, and time itself, translated into the clock’s staccato, became a useful measure of man’s movements across the planet. …Communities of time would bring the first communities of knowledge, ways to share discovery, a common frontier on the unknown.”
–Daniel Boorstin, the Discoverers

“Do try and see the thing primarily in its simplicity, the waiting, the not knowing why, or where, or when, or for what.”
–Samuel Beckett

Time passed. Time, the human dimension, which makes us everything we are.
–Martin Amis, Time’s Arrow

We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.
-–Carl Sagan

Have you done tormenting me with your accursed time? It’s abominable! When! When!
–- Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

Each day is a Rubicon into which I yearn to dive.
–- Cioran

… all things recur eternally, yourselves included… there is a big, long, immense year of evolution, which, once finished, turns immediately back like an hourglass, tirelessly, so that all these years are equal to themselves, in the smallest and biggest things.

Madame is late. That means she’s coming
–-Sacha Guitry

The future is inevitable, but it cannot happen. God pays attention to the intervals
–-Jorge Luis Borges

Did I really let out the watch and wind the cat?
–-Groucho Marx

There is not a time of philosophers; there is a psychological time different from the time of physicists.

if we live in lightning, it is the heart of eternity.
–-Rene Char

Quickly, with his insect voice, Now says: I am the Past and I sting you with my
Hideous thorn!
–-Charles Beaudelaire

When I pronounce the word future,
the first syllable already belongs to the past.

Wislawa Szymborska

Time passes. Listen. Time passes.
Dylan Thomas

There isn’t enough time in our waking periods to accomplish all of the epectations industrial society requires of us.
Harvey Moldofsky

To think is to forget.
-–Jorge Luis Borges

We aspire in vain to assign limits to the works of creation in space… We are prepared, therefore, to find that in time also the confines of the universe lie beyond the reach of mortal men.
-–Charles Lyell

Eternity is very long, especially toward the end.
-–Woody Allen

“Time is the proper dimension of history”
Elias Joseph Bickerman

When I follow the windings of heavenly bodies, I no longer touch the earth with my feet, but stand in the presence of Zeus and take my fill of ambrosia – food of the gods
Claudius Ptolemy

I believe the future is only the past again, entered through another gate.
Sir Arthur Wing Pinero

Time is an indivisible whole, a great pool in which all events are eternally embodied…
Frank Waters

The ancients knew something which we seem to have forgotten.
Albert Einstein

The history of the universe is, in effect, a huge and ongoing quantum computation… The universe is a quantum computer… As the computation proceeds, reality unfolds.
Seth Lloyd

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
William Blake

The eternal flow of time goes through cyclical periods of manifestation of the universe…
Alexander Friedman

The future has already happened, it just isn’t very well distributed.
William Gibson

Time is the substance I am made of.
Time is a river which sweeps me along, but i am the river;
it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger;
it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.
Jorge Luis Borges

All is number. God is number. God is all.
Jose Arguelles

All fourth-dimensional functions are radial in nature and imply a principle of centre from which the structure is projected…
V.I. Vernadsky

Be ruled by Time, the wisest couselor of all.

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.
Benjamin Franklin

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die: a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up.
Ecclesiastes 3:2-3

What is time, then? If nobody asks me, I know; if I have to explain it to someone who has asked me, I do not know.
St. Augustine

…if we pay no attention to it, time does not exist…
Mircea Eliade

No Man ever steps into the same river twice,
for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.

Who controls the pst controls the future.
Who controls the present controls the past.
George Orwell 1984

All my possessions for a moment of time.
Elizabeth I

Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life Everything else is secondary.
Steve Jobs

Time is the coin of your life. t is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
Carl Sandburg

Nothing is so dear and precious as time.
Francois Rabelais

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.
Charles Darwin

Time is the measuring by the soul of its expectation, its attention and its memory.
Saint Augustine

Pythagoras, when he was asked what time was, answered that it was the soul of this world.

All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else has that. –Baltasar Gracian

Time is at once the most valuable and the most perishable of all possessions.
–John Randolph

You can ask me for anything you like, except time.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana

Events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter.
William Ralph Inge

Yesterday is already a dream
And tomorrow but a vision
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
–unattributed (from Sanskrit)

Time is the most indefinable yet paradoxical of things: the past is gone; the future has not yet come, and the present becomes the past even while we attempt to define it, and like a flash of lightning, at once exists and expires.

Never think of the future. It comes soon enough.
Albert Einstein

The future ain’t what it used to be.
Yogi Berra

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.
Leo Tolstoy

In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation…even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine.
–The Great Law of the Iroquois

For us convinced physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is an illusion, although a persistent one.
Albert Einstein

As we mature and retire, Time ripens all things. No man is born wise.
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
Bertrand Russell

To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.
Leonard Bernstein

Every individual is at once the beneficiary and the victim of the linguistic tradition into which he has been born – the beneficiary inasmuch as language gives access t the accumulated records of other people’s experience; the victim insofar as it… bedevils his sense of reality, so that he is all too apt to take his concepts for data, his words for actual things.
Aldous Huxley Island

If I were obliged to name the class of things to which [poetry] belongs, I should call it a secretion…
AE Housman

Differences between people characterised as rigid, and other characterised as less rigid, may be attributable… to personality differences in time availability… Time availability makes possible broader cognitions, more abstract thinking. and consequently greater flexibility.
Milton Rokeach

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightness us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not be? … As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Nelson Mandela

We have to describe and to explain a building the upper story of which was erected in the nineteenth century; the ground-floor dates from the sixteenth century, and a careful examination of the masonry discloses the fact that it was reconstructed from a dwelling-tower of the eleventh century. In the cellar we discover Roman foundation walls, and under the cellar a filled-in cave, in the floor of which stone tools are found and remnants of glacial fauna in the layers below. That would be a sort of picture of our mental structure.
C.G. Jung Mind and Earth

And the days began to walk.
And they, the days, made us.
And thus we were born,
the children of the days,
the discoverers,
life’s searchers.
–GENESIS, according to the Mayas
quote in Children of the Days by Eduardo Galeano

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