A dramatic ontological change in modern physics of the 20^{th} century was the fundamental reconceptualization of time. It was initiated by Albert Einstein’s special relativity, where he embedded time in a four-dimensional space-time. Einstein had adopted the space-time approach of Hermann Minkowski, who, in a famous statement, stated that “Henceforth, space for itself, and time for itself shall completely reduce to a mere shadow, and only some sort of union of the two shall preserve independence.” Time then became a multiple variable where the Newtonian singular “divine” time was replaced by a plurality, one for every frame of reference, and different frame times being related to each other by the Lorentz transformation of space-time.

The second revolution of the time concept was introduced by Stephen Hawking (among others) in order to solve singularity problems of the Big Bang model of the evolution of our universe in the initial moment some 13.8 billion years ago. Hawking’s concept of time switches from the real time axis to the plane of complex numbers: Time now has two real coordinates: the complex time t=t_{R}+i t_{I} pronounces the real time t_{R} and the imaginary time t_{I}. This complex ontology has also been proposed and studied by physicists Itzak Bar and John Terning.

These two revolutions of the time concept however did not apply to the human cognitive reality, except in Einstein’s case for the metaphorical and vague popular statement that “everything is relative”. In the case of complex time, I repeatedly emailed Hawking, but never got an answer, and now, it is too late. I also discussed the issue with other theoretical physicists, but they consistently think of the imaginary component as being a mathematical method, Wick rotation, not an ontological or even human cognitive topic.

Complex Time for Consciousness and Creativity in Music