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Hartocollis, P. (1978). Time and Affects in Borderline Disorders. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 59:157-163.

(1978). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 59:157-163

Time and Affects in Borderline Disorders

Peter Hartocollis

THE NATURE OF TIME

Time is a ubiquitous dimension of experience, the most characteristic or perhaps essential qualifier of normal human experience—time as duration, subjective or 'lived time' (Minkowski, 1933), the experience of time as flowing or the person as flowing in time; and as perspective or tense, time as present, past or future.

Time as duration is a sense or feeling. The feeling of time can become as light and happy as to be felt like no time at all—the blissful, ecstatic, timeless mystical experience and the more commonplace, yet as extraordinary, experience of being in love; or it can become heavy and insufferable as to be felt like pure time—time and nothing else. The more one becomes selfless or the less he is concerned with himself, the less he cares about time, which makes one feel as if he is flowing with time or that time does not exist—time and change do not count, the self feels eternal, timeless. The more one becomes self-centred, preoccupied with himself, the more he senses the presence of time, which makes one feel as if time moves slowly or as if time has stopped; or as if time moves by very fast while one is standing still, left behind or on the side by himself, alone. Time is the experience of change in the existential sense, our existence in motion, becoming or having passed the point of being—falling behind what we want to be, or falling apart. Time is a feeling that defines existence and therefore all feelings, pleasant and unpleasant—love, mirth, boredom, anxiety and depression.

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