His book approaches time as a phenomenon which is not the property of any particular discipline, and uses this eclecticism to move towards an understanding of time that unites and transcends narrower perspectives. Philosophy, cosmology, physics, psychology, film, art, sex, mysticism, music and everyday life are all here and given equal value. In this manner it stands apart from most other books about Time. His objective, which to a large extent he achieves, is to describe a paradigm of time which is a synthesis of modern science, ancient wisdom and common sense.
Jolyon studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University. He wrote his undergraduate thesis on Henri Bergson’s ‘Time and Free Will’. Ten years later he studied Philosophy at the Sorbonne, Paris. “I developed a special interest in three writers, Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher of history, Oswald Spengler, and the twentieth century mystic Russian writer P.D. Ouspensky. The seeds of Understanding Time were planted in the reading of their works. When discussing the nature of time they seemed to be talking about different subjects, but the idea dawned upon me that there must be a kind of paradigm shift which could link Spengler’s chronological time, Ouspensky’s mystical time and Kant’s time centred round mathematics and natural philosophy”.