She stretches and coils, bounces and boils. A torturous lover who craves our attention then makes us suffer for having given it.
“You came here to experience me. Do not ignore me,” she says.
We humans are obsessed with time. I bet there are at least four clocks in your immediate vicinity. There are five in my room as I write this.
What time is it? How long has it been? When should we meet? How old are you? How much time is left?
When will I die?
Time Is Evolving
Rather, our perception of time evolves. Time is not objective or constant. Because time is an important part of our reality, and reality is subjective, time is subjective. Our perception of time is time.
When I was a child living in Miami, Florida, around Christmas there was a fair called Santa’s Enchanted Forest. We went once a year and it was something I loved. My mother would make me take an hour nap the afternoon before we went. I never once slept during that “nap”. That hour seemed like an eternity. If I compare that hour to a normal hour now, it was at least 10, maybe 20 times longer. Now an hour usually goes by in a blink.
It might be that as we age, since a certain length of time increasingly becomes a smaller percentage of our lives, it seems to pass more quickly.
Birthdays certainly seem to come and go faster at 29 than they did at 10. I’m sure it will be the case even more so when I’m 100. I wonder what a year feels like to a bristlecone pine at 4,000+ years of age.
Our perception of time evolves as we age, so time itself evolves.
Time Is Mercurial
When I was younger I smoked pot. One time two friends and I were out at night in the winter traipsing around the local golf course in the snow after having smoked some gooood shit. Near the end of our excursion I was walking in front of the two of them. One friend made a loud barking sound. I turned around and “saw” two Rottweilers lunging at my head. The experience lasted just a fraction of a second, but that fraction of a second slowed down and stretched out immensely. In that instant, I recognized that two bloodthirsty dogs were lunging at me, I “knew” 100% that I was about to die, and most interestingly, I went from being terrified beyond belief to a detached, indifferent acceptance of my impending death. In that 1/4 of a second or so, I had all of those thoughts and emotions. In that instant, time did not exist for me.
The same disappearance of time can be experienced in those (thankfully) rare near-death experiences we hear about. The moment immediately before a bad car collision. The seconds during which a gun is pressed to your forehead, or during which you teeter on the edge of a thousand-foot cliff.
But when you’re waiting in line or in traffic, time emerges in all its glory, uncoiling and ballooning itself to its maximum potential.
Time Is Persistent
Though our experience of time can vary wildly, the essence and immeasurably small unit of time, the present moment, is persistent and inexorable. Nothing and no one in your entire life is as dependable. It persists calmly not only through your entire life, but through the entire life of every living being on Earth. Through the entire life of every living being who has ever existed on Earth.
The present moment is the one thing of which we are all aware, always. Every human, animal, insect and plant on Earth is focused on this very moment, and it has always been so. Make sure you appreciate it.
This very moment has never occurred, and it will never occur again.
Time Is Cruel
When you’re having fun, time flies. When you’re in pain, it crawls.
Time Is Parasitic
Time has no energy of its own and relies on your attention and emotion for its existence. It is a parasite attached to your brain and your heart, growing larger the more it leeches.
The less attention and emotion you give to time, the smaller and more emaciated it becomes. When you’re having fun, your attention and emotion are given to the activities you’re enjoying in the moment. At the most extreme end of the spectrum, when you have a near-death experience, all of your attention and emotion are given to the experience. Having no energy of its own, time quite literally disappears.
When we wait in line or traffic, we give the majority of our attention to time then feed it further with our negative emotions. How long have I been here? Why am I moving so slowly? I wish this would go faster. I hate this. And time swells and elongates and engulfs us completely. And then it becomes even easier to further surrender our attention and emotion to it.
Time-wise, five minutes in traffic can be the same as an hour of passionate sex.
Time Is Subjective
Because time’s existence relies on your attention and emotion, it grows or shrinks differently for different people. Two people can have very different experiences of the same block of time.
I experience a one hour block of time spent watching a romantic comedy as approximately ten thousand years, whereas my girlfriend experiences that one hour block as ten minutes. Ten minutes may not be accurate. I don’t know.
What do you think time would feel like as a cricket? Although I can’t answer that, I can point out that we automatically and necessarily impress our own experience of time upon the outside world. When we hear crickets chirping, we hear them through our own time filter. Their songs are high-pitched and lack harmony…until we slow their songs down to our time frame:
When slowed down to the equivalent of our lifespans, the crickets sound like a human chorus. (Note: there is some controversy surrounding this recording and it seems it was not just slowed down, but also altered. The point remains, however.)
What do you think time would feel like as an oak tree, several hundred years old? This clip is of an acorn growing into a sapling over eight months, sped up into three minutes:
We can’t see and appreciate the flowing movements of the sapling because our time experience is on a much shorter scale. Unseen beauty abounds.
Time Is Creative
“Eternity is in love with the creations of time.”
– William Blake
As I’ve said repeatedly here, we are eternal consciousnesses temporarily housed in our physical bodies. As eternal consciousnesses in the non-physical reality in a different dimension than our physical world, we are free from the physical constraints of our everyday human lives. You would think that’s wonderful and wonder why we’d incarnate at all.
In a place where time and space do not exist, every possible outcome of every possible course of action exists at once. However, each of those possibilities lacks the permanence and the extra layer of realness it can possess in physical reality. As such, we, as eternal consciousnesses, love physical creations. When we humans create something, whatever it is, we are reaching out into the ether, the non-physical, with our imaginations, firmly grasping one of the infinite possibilities, and with great love and dedication, pulling it down into physical existence and gracing it with an extra level of importance. We can do the same with bad possibilities, but instead of love, the fuel for those manifestations is fear.
The nature of this physical reality relies heavily on the existence of time, and as such, time is highly creative.
Time Is Organized
Where there is no time there is chaos. Time organizes all of the infinite possibilities into a single linear existence that is easy to follow.
Since we are able to choose on what to focus our attention and our emotion, we can alter our experience of time.
When we’re having a lot of fun and don’t want the time to pass too quickly, we can focus briefly on the passage of time and give love and gratitude to time itself, thereby lengthening our experience of it.
When we’re stuck in traffic we can resist the urge to focus our attention on time, and instead focus it on a beautiful piece of music, or a happy memory. We can feed our love to the music and the memory, thereby redirecting our energy away from time and shortening our experience of it.
By being aware that time allows us to bring an extra level of permanence and reality to an idea, to a possibility, we can heighten our level of gratitude for time. Instead of dreading its passage, we can make better use of it and appreciate what it has to offer, resulting in increased happiness. We can focus more of our energy on creation. After all, we are creators, and we are happiest when we are creating, whether it’s a child, a piece of art, or a good round of golf. I’m very happy right now to be creating this post.
We can reach out into the ether with our imaginations and focus on the most beautiful, amazing life experiences. If we feed those possible experiences with enough attention and emotion each day, we can bring them down to us in the physical world. These experiences already exist in a sense, but it’s our job to make them exist in this world, in this life.
We can create the life we desire, in time.