Since the article might not be preserved on the original website, here is the text of the narrative that introduced remarks by 14 experts. It includes extracts from the experts' remarks. What is noteworthy is that nothing in the remarks actually answers the question. We are given verbiage that contains the word "time" but does not answer the question "What is time?"

What is Time?
Elisabeth Eaves, Forbes Magazine, 02.29.2008

We all know what time is. It's the ticking of a clock, the whine of an alarm, the calendar on the wall. And since we all agree about how those things work, time can seem as solid as a rock.

In fact, it's a lot more squishy. Our calendars are imperfect. We need a leap day to keep them in line with the seasons, and even so, time will eventually get away from us. "If you feel there aren't enough hours in a day, just wait," says Max Tegmark, a cosmologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "In a few hundred million years, tidal friction will have slowed Earth's rotation to make the day 25 hours long."

If that doesn't make your head spin, consider that in physics, motion alters time; in psychology, different stimuli alter our perception of time; and in philosophy, there's disagreement on whether time is even real. "In terms of our inner lives, no time exists except for what is happening in the present moment," says Joan Halifax Roshi, a Zen Buddhist teacher.

In Their Own Words: 14 Experts On Time

In order to get a better understanding of time, we consulted physicists, philosophers and religious scholars. We talked to doctors who study aging, a watch-company executive, and a man building a clock designed to last 10,000 years. We talked to time-management and productivity experts, including one who has built a lifestyle around working only four hours a week. And we talked to spiritual guide and alternative medicine expert Deepak Chopra, who warned of the dangers of a hectic lifestyle.

"People who feel that they are 'running out of time' have speeded up their biological clocks," says Chopra. "They have faster heart rates and jittery platelets with high levels of adrenaline. When they drop dead from a premature heart attack, they have literally 'run out of time.'"

Perhaps the most surprising thing we heard about time came from a scientist and entrepreneur who studies aging. "Time has little impact on biology," says Michael West, a gerontologist who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, and founded the biotech company Geron (nasdaq: GERN - news - people ). That sounds reassuring at first--but it's only because we're pre-programmed to fall apart anyway.

"From a gerontologist's standpoint, biological time is not wear-and-tear, it's a genetic program," says West. "It's sort of like a time bomb. The cells are programmed to last just long enough for us to rear children, and no longer."

Thank goodness for spiritual counselors--and drugs. The Rev. Jacqueline Lewis, senior minister at Middle Collegiate Church in New York, says that while we may be most familiar with chronos, or clock time, we should also be aware of kairos, or God's time. "It's what the theologian [and Narnia author] C.S. Lewis called 'God's unbounded now,' where now is both this moment--right now--and what stretches into eternity." If you get frustrated waiting for your prayers to be answered, remember that "when God comes, it's always the right time."

If that's not enough solace, you're probably not alone in your misery. David Sinclair, director of the Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for the Molecular Biology of Aging, says sooner or later, nearly everyone becomes aware that time is running out. "We quickly learn to suppress these disturbing thoughts," he says. "Those who don't learn this act of self-defense require a pharmacopia of pharmaceuticals to get through each day."

If now is both now and forever, as C.S. Lewis suggested, then the Christian view may not be so different than the scientific view. Physics tells us that all moments exist equally, at once--it's only our consciousness that distinguishes the present from the past or future. Or, as cosmologist Tegmark puts it, "If life were a movie, physical reality would be the entire DVD: Future and past frames exist just as much as the present one."

For all the spiritual and scientific explanations of time, sometimes we just need a little practical help dealing with that alarm clock, flight schedule or calendar. And that's where time management experts have built business empires doling out advice.

David Allen is one of them. He's a productivity consultant and bestselling author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. "'Time management' is a foolish idea," he says. "You don't manage time. Have you ever mismanaged five minutes and come up with six? Or four-and-a-half? Time just is. Our actions are what we manage, during time."

With additional reporting by Cheryl Ng.

 February 14, 2018.