So do things happen one after the other or not?
If there is no time, how do we understand the phenomenon of oscillation?
"Time" has more than one meaning, easily and often confused. "Time" in the metaphysical
sense is the framework within which "tenses" occur. "Tenses" are what we commonly refer to as "past," "present," and "future," which correspond to physical
processes which have beginnings, middles, and ends, befores and afters, oscillations, and so on.
Time in the metaphysical sense can be thought of as being like the rules of chess; they set up a certain structure wherein "moves" happen; but it is a howler to think that the rules of chess are a move in the game. They are not; they stand at a different logical level. The rules of the game are meta-game, not moves within the game. So too, time in the metaphysical sense: it is a structure wherein "happenings" occur but is not itself one of the happenings. "Time" in this
sense is timeless -- that is, without past or present or future or oscillation or before or after. Just as the rules of chess are neither pawns nor kings nor any other piece in
To expand the metaphor: space
corresponds to the chess board
, again a structure or framework whereon
the moves (as defined by the rules) are made.
To say that time is a human construct is not to say that it is not real. Humans are real, therefore what we construct is also real. Time is not a physical object in the universe, that is so; but lots of other things too are real without being physical objects.