Quotes on the Concepts of Time and Time Travel

time cogs type 2

‘People assume that Time is a strict progression from cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.’

Doctor Who in the episode Blink written by Stephen Moffat

“Time travel used to be thought of as just science fiction, but Einstein’s general theory of relativity allows for the possibility that we could warp space-time so much that you could go off in a rocket and return before you set out.”

Stephen Hawking

“Time is the most indefinable yet paradoxical of things; the past is gone, the future is not come, and the present becomes the past even while we attempt to define it, and, like the flash of lightning, at once exists and expires.”

Charles Celeb Colton

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Soren Kiekegaard

“There was a young lady named Bright
Whose speed was faster than light;
She set out one day
In a relative way
And returned on the previous night.”

A.H.R. Buller (1874-1944)

“An hour, once it lodges in the queer element of the human spirit, may be stretched to fifty or a hundred times its clock length.”

Virginia Woolf

“Time is the most precious commodity at our disposal. I must not waste it! To waste one second of one’s life is the betrayal of one’s self… … … I wonder what’s on television …?”

Tony Hancock in THE BEDSITTER
written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson

“God, O God, that it were possible
To undo things done, to call back yesterday:
That time could turn up his swift sandy glass
To untell the days, and to redeem these hours.”

Thomas Heywood, in his play A WOMAN KILLED WITH KINDNESS (1607)

“Know that I am Time, that makes the worlds to perish, when ripe, and bring on them destruction.”

Bhagavad Gita (Song of the Lord)

“Time and Tide wait for no man.”


“Time is the soul of the world.”


“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”

Auguste Rodin

“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.”

Rita Mae Brown

“There was no time or duration before creation.”


“Life, if well lived, is long enough.”


“I suppose it’s like the ticking crocodile, isn’t it? Time is chasing after all of us.”

J.M. Barrie

“A thousand Years is a huge succession of yesterdays beyond our clear apprehension.”

H.G. Wells

“I need a place to hide, that’s why I believe in yesterday.”

The Beatles

“The future influences the present just as much as the past.”

Friedrich Nietzche

“I am Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, and I have the power to be born a second time.”


“I don’t want to talk about time travel because if we start talking about it then we’re going to be here all day talking about it, making diagram with straws.”

Old Joe in LOOPER
written and directed by Rian Johnson

“Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in a hour.”

William Blake

“The moment is not properly an atom of time but an atom of eternity. It is the first reflection of eternity in time, its first attempt, as it were, at stopping time.”

Søren Kierkegaard

“The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create.”

Leonard I. Sweet

“Like the wild beasts, she lives without a future. She inhabits only the present tense, a fugue of the continuous, a world of sensual immediacy as without hope as it is without despair.”

Angela Carter

“Surely a long life must be somewhat tedious, since we are forced to call in so many trifling things to help rid us of our time, which will never return.”

Doctor Samuel Johnson

“Being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned”.
“It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time.”

Doctor Samuel Johnson

“Life is not long, and too much of it must not pass in idle deliberation how it shall be spent.”

Doctor Samuel Johnson

“It is better to live rich than to die rich.”

Doctor Samuel Johnson

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Abraham Lincoln

“Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”

Robert H. Schuller

“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

Bertrand Russell

“Time and tide wait for no man.”

Geoffrey Chaucer

“Yesterdays’ the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”

Bil Keane

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

John Wooden

“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”

Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

Attributed to Albert Einstein

“Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.”

Thomas Hardy

“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”

Dr. Seuss

“A lie never lies till old age.”


“I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo.
‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

From THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkein

“Onys upon a day…”

A phrase first used by Sir Ferumbras in 1380 in his Collection of Romance Stories that later became ‘Once upon a time…’

“Years are only garments, and you either wear them with style all your life, or else you go dowdy to the grave.”

Dororthy Parker

“Life could be horrible in the wrong trouser of time.”

From GUARDS! GUARDS! by Terry Pratchett

“Beyond the edge of the world there’s a space where emptiness and substance neatly overlap, where past and future form a continuous, endless loop.”

Haruki Mukakami

“Aging is the extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.”

David Bowie

“Time is like a river made up of events which happen, and a violent stream; for as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place, and this will be carried away too.”

Marcus Aurelius

“Beyond the edge of the world there’s a space where emptiness and substance neatly overlap, where past and future form a continuous, endless loop.”

Haruki Mukakami

“I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round – apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that – as a good Time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem, by one consent, to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-travellers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!’”

Fred in A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens

“We have all the time in the world
Time enough for life
To unfold all the precious things
Love has in store
We have all the love in the world
If that’s all we have
You will find
We need nothing more
Every step of the way will find us
With the cares of the world far behind us
We have all the time in the world
Just for love
Nothing more, nothing less
Only love
Every step of the way will find us
With the cares of the world far behind us, yes
We have all the time in the world
Just for love
Nothing more, nothing less
Only love
Only Love”

WE HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD Lyrics by David Hal and music by Barry John from the 007 movies ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE and NO TIME TO DIE

“You can only live in one place at a time, and your one life, while it’s happening to you, never has any atmosphere until it’s a memory.”

Andy Warhol

“Father Time is not always a hard parent and though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigour. With such people the gray head is but the impression of the old fellow’s hand in giving them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life.”

BARNABY RUDGE by Charles Dickens

“There was a house we all had in common and it was called the past, even though we’d lived in different rooms.”

Angela Carter

“Time alone can bring the just man to light – the criminal you can spot in just one short day.”


‘I pray you, what is ’t o’clock?’
‘You should ask me what time o’day. There’s no clock in the forest.’

Rosalind as Ganymede to Orlando
in William Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT

“There was a young man who was deft
At running and cunning and theft.
With legs that were quick,
It was Time he would nick,
By returning before he had left!”


“‘Chronesthesia’.. is tentatively defined as a form of consciousness that allows individuals to think about the subjective time in which they live and that makes it possible for them to ‘mentally travel’ in such time.”


“Time is money.”

Benjamin Franklin

“Don’t Count the Days; Make the Days Count.”

Muhammad Ali

“Sisyphus. He’s eternally punished in Greek mythology. He rolls a boulder up to the top of the hill. It rolls back down every time. He keeps starting over. He rolls it up, it rolls back down. He rolls it up again. He has to relive his punishment endlessly and forever.”

Han Tae-sul in SIJIPEUSEU: THE MYTH (also known as SISYPHUS) written by Lee Je-in and Jeon Chan-ho

“The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.”

William Gibson in The Economist, December 4, 2003

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Cassis in JULIUS CAESAR by William Shakespeare

“The beginning and the end are always intertwined. Like a poor little puppy that chases its own tail in circles over and over.”

‘Sigma’/Seo Won-Ju in SIJIPEUSEU: THE MYTH (also known as SISYPHUS) written by Lee Je-in and Jeon Chan-ho

“The life of every man is an endless repeated performance of the life of Man.”

Edwin Muir

“It is my feeling that Time ripens all things; with Time all things are revealed; Time is the father of truth.”

Francois Rabelais

“‘I could tell you my adventures – beginning from this morning,’ said Alice a little timidly: ‘but it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.’”


“Remember this day will never dawn again.”

Dante Alighieri

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

1 Corinthians 13:7, Saint Paul

“Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have retained of them.”

Marcel Proust

“Is déjà vu actually the spectre of false timelines that never happened but did, casting their shadows upon reality?”

From RECURSION by Blake Crouch

“Time flies. It’s up to you to do the navigation.”

Robert Orben

“Live your life by a compass, not a clock.”

Stephen Covey

“I feel like I’m a time traveller from the future who has been sent back to be annoyed.”

Adam Carolla

“Own time, or time will own you.”

Brian Norgard

“His older self had taught his younger self a language which the older knew because the younger self, after being taught, grew up to be the older self and was, therefore, capable of teaching.”

From THE MENACE FROM EARTH by Robert A. Heinlein

“Time waits for no man.”

Anonymous but wise, c.1255

“In Einstein’s equation, time is a river. It speeds up, meanders, and slows down. The new wrinkle is that it can have whirlpools and fork into two rivers. So, if the river of time can be bent into a pretzel, create whirlpools and fork into two rivers, then time travel cannot be ruled out.”

Michio Kaku

“Thinking about time travel may seem like something humans have been doing since the first caveman dropped the first rock on his foot. But, even to begin to imagine the possibility of time travel, your mind must be able to wrap itself around the notion of a past and a future.”

Maria Konnikova

“Time travel offends our sense of cause and effect – but maybe the universe doesn’t insist on cause and effect.”

Edward M. Lerner

“If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?”

Stephen Hawking

“History is made and preserved by and for particular classes of people. A camera in some hands can preserve an alternate history.”

David Wojnarowicz

“Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing.”

Miles Davis

“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying.”

Woody Allen

“Time is a feature of creation, and the Creator remains apart from it, transcendent over it.”

James Gleick

“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.”

Theophratus (c.371 – c.287 BC)

“If I could only save time in a bottle, the first thing I’d like to do, is to save everyday ‘til eternity passes away, just to spend it with you.”

Jim Croce, in TIME IN A BOTTLE

“Modern man thinks he loses time when he does not do things quickly. Yet he does not know what to do with time he gains – except kill it.”

Erich Fromm

“Time will explain.”

Jane Austen

“History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten.”

George Santayana

“Thirty years from now is yesterday.”

Old Joe to Younger Joe in LOOPER
screenplay written by Rian Johnson

“The future has a way of arriving unannounced.”

George F. Will

“Time is the wisest counselor of all.”

Pericles (495 – 429 BC)

“Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.”

Ray Cummings in THE GIRL WITH THE GOLDEN ATOM (1919) published All-Story Weeky. This line also appeared in THE TIME STORY (1921) published in Argosy-All-Story magazine.

“Never leave ‘till tomorrow which you can do today.”

Benjamin Franklin

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

Marthe Troly-Curtin

‘Man, are you hungry? I haven’t eaten since later this afternoon.’

Aaron in PRIMER
screenplay written by Shane Carruth

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

William Faulkner

“Narrative becomes the way you make sense of chaos. That’s how you focus the world. It’s the only reason you should ever try this writing job.”

Dennis Lehane

“Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.”

Carl Jung

“Synchronicity … means a ‘meaningful coincidence’ of outer and inner events that are not themselves casually connected. The emphasis lies on the word ‘meaningful’.”

Marie Louise von Franz

“The belief that time is a linear directed sequence running from A to B is a modern illusion. In fact, it can also go from B to A, the effect producing the cause.”

Umberto Eco

“Clock time is our bank manager, tax collector, police inspector; this inner time is own wife.”

J.B. Priestly, in the novel MAN AND TIME

‘Time is how you see it. Look at The Commonality who put their clocks back in winter so it starts getting late earlier. It’s all relative.’


“How did it get so late so soon?”

Dr. Seuss

“‘We have heard the chimes at midnight’”

Falstaff in HENRY IV, PART TWO

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore –
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
‘’Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, ‘tapping at my chamber door –
Only this and nothing more.’

Edgar Allan Poe from The Raven

“Drink and dance and laugh and lie,
Love, the reeling midnight through,
For tomorrow we shall die!
(But, alas, we never do.)”

Dorothy Parker from The Flaw in Paganism

“Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.”

Phillip Larkin in his poem Aubade

“This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best,
Night, sleep, death and the stars.”

Walt Whitman, The Clear Midnight

“Time is the only thing money can’t buy. And it can’t be replaced in any way. Time only goes one way, and we never get it back.”

Bob Gale, screenwriter of BACK TO THE FUTURE

“‘Well, old man, I will tell you news of your son: give me your blessing: truth will come to light: murder cannot be hid long: a man’s son may, but at the length truth will out.’”

Launcelot Gobbo in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE by William Shakespeare

“Time is the longest distance between two places.”

Tennessee Williams, in THE GLASS MENAGERIE

“Somewhat back from the village street
Stands the old-fashioned country-seat.
Across its antique portico
Tall poplar-trees their Shadows throw;
And from its station in the hall
An ancient timepiece says it all, –
‘Forever – never!
Never – forever!’”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in his poem THE OLD CLOCK ON THE STAIRS

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Eccelesiates 3:1-8 King James Version

“Thyme it is a precious thing
Thyme brings all things to your mind
Thyme with all its labors, along with all its joys
And its thyme brings all things to an end.
Once I had a sprig of thyme
I thought it never would decay
Until a saucy sailor chanced upon my way
He stole away my bonny bunch of thyme.
This sailor, he gave to me a rose
I thought it never would decay
He gave it to me to keep me well-minded
Of the night he stole my bonny bunch of thyme.
So come all you maidens brisk and gay
All you that flourish in your prime
Beware and take care and keep your garden fair
And let no man steal your bonny bunch of thyme.”

The traditional folk song Thyme it is a Precious Thing
(‘Thyme’ in English folklore symbolises virginity but as this song is in the oral tradition, ‘Thyme’ and ‘Time’ work as homophones offering a multiple of meanings.)

time cogs type 8