Time is an illusion. Time is something we use to measure motion. Motion is also an illusion.
I'm thinking of something like a flick-book. You know, a book where the pages are flicked by the thumb, to create the illusion of motion. A very simple book would be the image of a ball bouncing up and down. Obviously, the ball is not really bouncing up and down. The act of observation has created the illusion that the ball is moving. We think the ball is moving. Really though, it's the pages that are moving. Our bouncing ball exists only in the book. A bouncing ball in a flick-book is an illusion, but, is this really any different to how we observe a ball bouncing in the playground?
The speed at which the thumb flicks through the book is dictating our rate of perception. It's really defining the speeds at which the brain processes the motion of the world. If I was to double my rate of perception, then the speed with which the pages flick from one to the next shall slow down. The ball in the book would appear to bounce more slowly. The ball in the playground would appear to bounce more slowly. Time does not slow down, but rather, the motion of the Universe slows down.
Because we view the speed of light in a vacuum as a constant, we've become hooked to the idea that our rate of perception is the only real speed to process reality. But smaller animals with smaller brains, could be viewing the motion of the world more slowly, due to a faster rate of perception. Of some note, insects and small animals, such as rodents, can see into the UV range. This ability to see higher frequencies could be due to a faster rate of perception. A larger animal, perhaps with a larger brain, would see the motion of the world move more rapidly , because of a slower rate of perception.
Well, if we have our thumb dictating the rate of perception, then which part of the Universe fulfils the role of the book? Why, the Universe itself. It's matter and EMR which distracts us in its motion. All matter and EMR is represented by the motion of the bouncing ball. All matter and EMR are illusory. The only thing which is real are the pages of the book. The most important aspect of the Universe is blind to us. We are too distracted by the bouncing ball. The aether supports the Universe, in the same way pages of a flick-book support the images of a bouncing ball. Nothing could, or would, exist without the aether.
The book though is meaningless without an observer. The same as the Universe is meaningless without an observer. The simple act of observation defines all meaning in the Universe.