Time - some personal experiences

Many years ago, I was going through a period when I seemed to be open to a variety of experiences including telepathy, oobes etc. Around that time, I had two separate experiences, both around the time of waking in the morning.

I was very much interested in technology, though my funds were very limited and most of it was out of reach. My latest purchase was a multi-band radio, which was placed on a cupboard by the side of my bed. As I was gradually waking up one morning, I could hear the occasional sharp sound, a bit like tapping the surface of a loudspeaker cone with a pencil. I thought that the radio must have been left switched on overnight, but was tuned to an empty space between stations, and was picking up an occasional electrical spike, such as may be caused by the electrical activity of a distant thunderstorm. Every few minutes there came another sharp sound. I was vaguely mulling over possible causes. The sounds seemed to be coming at closer intervals, it seemed very odd. After some time, the separate taps became a regular sequence, tap, tap, tap, getting gradually faster and faster. Then I was fully awake and the sound I was hearing was readily identified. It was the mechanical alarm clock on the bedside table, which ticked at the usual rate, I think about five ticks per second.

The second experience was several weeks later. One morning, I awoke to a series of loud, ear-piercing beeps. I woke up, startled - what the hell was that!? Then I relaxed. It's just the alarm of the digital alarm clock I realised. I turned over and went back to sleep for a while longer. When I woke properly a little later, I was deeply puzzled. I didn't own such a clock, no-one else in the house had anything which made a sound of that nature. This was the days of cassette tapes and vinyl records. Digital technology was still a great novelty, and there was nothing at all in the house of that nature.

Some months later, fascinated by the LCD display, another great novelty, I in fact bought a digital stopwatch which also happened to have an alarm. When I got it home and unpacked it from the box, on first hearing the alarm I was shocked. The sound it made was exactly like the one which had awakened me months before. For a while I was determined to never use the alarm feature, in order that I could avoid generating the actual event responsible for my earlier apparent precognition. But eventually I became bored with the idea, and did in fact use it as an alarm clock.

So there it is. Several experiences which seem now with hindsight to be a kind of educational message about the nature of time, though not one that I necessarily understand.
Last edited:
Even a half-waking dream from thirty-odd years ago can still offer fresh insights. I just understood that our thoughts take place outside of time. That's how I could ponder and muse, mulling over many thoughts at a leisurely pace, in the one-fifth of a second interval between two clock ticks.

The same idea applies very often during conversation, where I will often have rich and multi-faceted thoughts occur in an instant, but attempting to put these into words can take many minutes to express even a single aspect, while many of the accompanying ideas are lost for lack of any sufficiently rapid means of expression.

What we often think of as our thoughts, are merely the ponderous process of translating the original thought into human language, be that words, pictures or diagrams, or whatever. This process often seems to me like swimming through treacle, much of value gets lost during this translation process.


That's interesting about the ticking clock. I suppose everyone has had the experience of dropping off to sleep, dreaming about events which seem to take a long time to unfold, and then waking up to find they have been asleep for only a couple of minutes.