Monday, November 16, 2015

My, how time flies...


A typical view of time goes like this.
Few of us who are old enough, can remain detached when we see a photograph of ourselves 20 years ago. We have aged. We have less hair, perhaps less teeth, and certainly more wrinkles. Maybe we didn't or couldn't do all the things we had planned to do. Time has passed and has exacted its toll on us. So what is this mysterious thing that threads days, months and years together so inexorably? We can't see it, hear it, smell it, taste it or touch it. Time has changed us - our physical appearance and inner experience, yet we have been unable to change it.
We say that it flies or drags by, but in fact it just rolls along with the same constancy as ever. We don't want to waste it. We are always coming up with new technologies that supposedly help us "save" it. We invent new vehicles so that we can get from one place to the other in less time. But we forget that time is also life.
We see time's cycles. The earth revolves on its axis and we call it a day. It makes a complete turn around the sun, and we call it a year. We can measure it, but it's deeper secrets elude us.
There is a story about a rich tourist visiting a fishing village in the Amazon. He tried to convince a fisherman to hire more people to help him.
The conversation went like this:
- Why would I want to do that?                           
- So that you can catch more fish.
- Why would I want to do that?
- So you could earn more money to invest in your operation, maybe buy a few more boats.
- Why would I want to do that?
- With more money you can have some time off to relax.
- But I'm already relaxed. Why would I want some more time?
- Then you could do what I do. For one month every year I just come fishing and leave all my troubles behind.
- But I'm already fishing...
You can see where the story is going.
The mystery of time has haunted us throughout the ages, so much so that we have an ambiguous relationship with it. We want to save as much time as we can, but when we have it available, do we really know how to make the best use of it? We plough through the day thinking about the time that we will have for relaxing in the evening. We struggle through the week to enjoy our weekend. We work so hard during the year for our annual vacation, so that we can have time for our well earned rest. The years roll by and we start to plan for our retirement, which passes sooner than most of us want. Old age brings sickness and finally the death of the body has to happen. We then think that our time is up.

Understanding time from the perspective of being an eternal soul, playing a role on this huge world stage, moves us to a different level of perception, in which time becomes just as important as our consciousness. Life is a happy mixture of both.

Excerpt from my upcoming book:
The Carousel of Time