Sunday, 25 September 2011

Time passes

Our intellect and the fact that we have so much recognition are not always an advantage. How we see time is not how time is, individually and collectively it’s as though our version of it is stripped down to fit into our tiny and very narrow view of eternity. Say you have to go on Holidays and you’re getting a flight in the next couple of days but there are still a lot of things you need to do. You can envisage that sort of time frame. You can plan how the next couple of days are going to go and when and how you need to prepare yourself, your head can work with the way we have fractionalised time because that’s what you have gotten used to throughout your life. Now try to plan in the same way for the next five years it is impossible because there is too much uncertainty. this is why living in the moment is the best thing we can hope for. We can still have wishes and dreams which we often verbalise but words are taken far too seriously we should give each other a major break when faced with how someone we love chooses to conceptualise their dreams.

Ancient peoples had a much less immediate concept of time than we have nowadays. The clock is a very recent acquisition, I am not going into debates about it though, the timescales I am talking about would not benefit from knowing exactly when the first sundial was invented the point I am making is that we have taken time right down to its constituent elements for the sake of industry. Ancient peoples had a system of measuring time using the sky. Ever heard of precession? If not you should read about it, it’s pretty amazing and it’s not a parade! Basically they got so good back then at reading the sky that they could plan crop rotation by predicting weather systems for years to come. The appearance and reappearance of planets and star systems helped them to notice changes in the Earths axis before they even knew the Earth had an axis. What they were actually doing was seeing the Earth as part of the universe, in a kind of big picture scenario way, we don’t do that now so much knowledge has been lost.

When you think about it though can you see how this would effect how the mind actually works? You could liken it to how people use their eyes. Over many generations we have become accustomed to seeing things up close. Living in towns and cities, working in close quarters and in many cases our work will involve matters which are very direct and are carried out with our hands right in front of us so our eyes have adjusted to this and became focused upon it. Contrastingly take the native Australians they live in a very flat country which is sparsely scattered with foliage. In order for them to hunt successfully they need to be long sighted and can probably spot things at much greater distances than we can. When you apply that analogy to time can you see the differences between how we see it and how the ancients would have seen it?

Much of our time is concerned very selfishly with “life” and I don’t mean day to day I mean with the very concept of existence. We love life so much that we don’t want it to end even though we know it’s going to and there’s nothing we can do about it we worry about it and fear it, it is the last great taboo. Aside from the fact that it’s completely irrational it is also a complete waste of time and it’s ironic that we’re so worried about it that it stops us doing the very thing we should be doing and that is living life as productively as we possibly can.

Collectively we are completely obsessed with time and moreover how much of it we have. You need only look as far as quantum physics whose theories have spawned a whole genre of stories and more recently movies on the subject of time travel. Humankind is so obsessed with time that they have in effect created an imaginary realm where they can control time of course many people just see it as entertainment but don’t be fooled much of what comes out in our art and in our expressions of what we see and feel are based firmly upon deep needs and requirements which are at the core of our being.

I am not really sure why we are even here, no one is but I do get a very real sense that it is massive and just as with our inability to read the passage of time successfully we also have an inability to wrap our constricted little minds around the reasoning behind it all. So much of our time is wasted and not only as individuals. When you study the human timeline you will begin to see that we have gone through so many periods of enlightenment but such times have been beset by equally dark periods and I really don’t think we can imagine how much knowledge we have lost. We live in an age where we are obsessed with entertainment and the quest for that much needed happiness but when you take into consideration how we work as beings on an emotional and spiritual level it is not surprising why and how our time is being wasted. We have little in the way of coherent directions and get side tracked easily.

Often we just get on with life and then see someone we haven’t seen in ages and think “God was it that long ago.” This is categorical proof of our lack of perception when it comes to time and the reason is our immediate thinking and concerning ourselves almost solely with the “here and now”. Sometimes people can get sidetracked for years, decades even and are so consumed by their own thoughts and miniscule experiences that life just vanishes and they don’t realise how much they have lost.

A similar concept to how we fail to understand time is the equally expansive idea of the “collective”. Imagine an individual to be a second on a clock where an hour lasts for a billion years. These massive and unfathomable numbers are the reason why humankind is struggling to understand itself. Everything has gotten too big and we remain so small but we have this different vision of ourselves, we believe ourselves to be much more than we are. We see our own development in terms of how we have advanced very recently but that narrow view does not take into consideration how far back we fell hundreds of years ago. We resolve to only count achievements but they mean nothing when we are ignoring all that we have lost. Blind optimism is doing us real damage and though we mean well we really need to start taking everything in context but we need to hurry because we don’t have much time!

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