I have been reflecting on quantum physics and the impact of this foundational knowledge on our lives and health.

Einstein found both that time is relative to the observer and that as a solitary entity, time and space are the same thing.

In his theory of relativity, the speed of light is invariant and will appear the same to all observers. If one is in a vehicle, like a spaceship, relative to an earthbound person, time slows down and aging slows.

This is why a person on a long space mission will return younger chronologically and biologically than a person born at the same time who remains on Earth.

What if our body’s real age is relative to how we perceive time?

Relative time.

Paul Janet, in 1897, put forth a theory that may address this.

He compared the passage of time to our age. He reasoned that the younger we are, the slower time goes because of the relationship of our experience of time to our chronological age.

At one year of age, a year is 100% of one’s life.

At four years old, a year is 25% of one’s life.

At 18 years old, a year is only 5.56% of one’s life.

At 35 years old, a year is only 2.86% of one’s life.

When we are younger, time goes slowly for us because of our frame of reference and experience.

As we grow chronologically older, we spend more time comparing our current experience to past experiences or future ones, which limits our time in the present.

That is, we live in the past or future much more than we live in the present.

What if we choose to look at life like children?

What if we really experience things as new each day and stay in the present?

We will spend more spiritual time in our chronological time.

Our lives will expand. I believe we will age less quickly.

That may be what Maslow meant by self-actualization, the ability to experience life as it comes.

With trust, joy and a sense of adventure. Appreciating our miracles and viewing the present as all enveloping.

Letting life unfold to us as it is meant to do.

The Sufi poet and philosopher Rumi said, “You are not a drop in the ocean, you are an ocean in a drop.”

Let’s enjoy each moment, slow down time and live fully.

Life and health opens to us.

Flowing with the current of our lives.

Peacefully. Gratefully. Safely. Purposefully.


In wonder.

Almost heaven.


  • Clay B. Marsh

    Chief Health Officer, West Virginia University

    Clay B. Marsh, MD, is West Virginia University’s chief health officer, and serves as a member of President E. Gordon Gee’s leadership team. As WVU’s vice president for health sciences, he oversees five health sciences schools and three health campuses.