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Time, Zeitgeber and The Unconscious

Updated: May 18, 2019






All living beings are in a continual present, the idea of temporal distinctions - past, present, and future it's an human idea. Human kind is consciousness of time, this separate us from all other living beings. But how does this consciousness of time affects us?


Germans got this term - Zeitgeber that literally means time (Zeit) give (geber), the term was first used by Jürgen Aschoff, one of the founders of the field of chronobiology. His work demonstrated the existence of endogenous (internal) biological clocks, which synchronize biological rhythms. In addition, he found that certain exogenous (external) cues, which he called zeitgeber, influence the timing of these internal clocks. We organize our living according to time machines orders, and we artificially build some of this exogenous cues that influence the timing of our internal clocks. We are conscious of the time that we’ve created and that affects us biological and psychologically. But what happens outside the consciousness? Well... -the unconscious - this was a term popularized by the Austrian neurologist and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.

In Freuds psychoanalytic theory, unconscious processes are understood to be directly represented in dreams, as well as in slips of the tongue and jokes. Inside the unconscious mind there is no idea of time and space, this is where we store all of the impossible to think ideas, traumas, bad memories, and our deepest fears, among other undesired thoughts. Using a watch on our wrist works as a defence mechanism against the unconscious, it reminds us that we are outside of this timeless spaceless zone, that we are in control of our living.

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