Time to rise, time to act, time to get going, Bud time, bad time, best time ever, time to leave, time to move, Miller time, time to decide; time to realize that this thing we call time is not real. Can you touch it? Does it have structure? Oh, yes, our world operates from a time clock, minutes, seconds, hours, work time, rest time, time for dinner, time to make love, time to fight, time to apologize, time to plant, time to harvest, time, time and more time, yet not enough time.
So why are we so caught up in time? Does it exist? Or are we simply operating from a point of contextual organization and structure, a construct that gives meaning and texture to living as a human being. Did the ancients understand this concept differently, whereby the human condition was in sync and cooperative with nature and the greater universe? And how have we devolved so harshly to live our lives caught in the paradox of time and its limitations.
Perhaps the grandest paradox in contemplating the impact of time is to witness the collective psychosis of continually wanting more as consumers, yet operating in a world limited by 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week and 365 days in a year. We purchase hundreds of channels from our cable provider only to have enough time to view a handful, yet we feel compelled to have more. People go on a week’s vacation to visit four European countries, six cities, multiple side tours and end up needing another vacation just to recover from the overwhelming travel. How much can we cram into an hour, a day or a week? Our incessant need to keep up with the newest Apple product creates an individual and collective malaise of never being satisfied, never feeling calm and always needing something else.
We order our reality based on limitations attached to the clock. 6 am, the alarm buzzes to start your engines. Ready, set and go-- off to the races once again. Teachers teach according to the bell. Workers work 40 hours a week – or more, Monday through Friday. Trains, planes, rush hour traffic, buses all run according to schedules. Tuesdays are spaghetti nights, while Fridays are for pizza. We even have to schedule time for lovemaking. Weekends are for sports viewing, beer drinking and Sunday hangovers. And then-- it’s right back into the circle of life, the tick-tock of our ordered chaos with its perpetual disharmony of never having or being enough.
Certainly, order is necessary to survive. But are we now living in a world that demands something more relevant than the limitations of time? If so, what would this new reality be? Here are some suggestions for expanding our perception of limited time:
- Stop, Look, Listen and Feel: We are missing the splendid variety of the show. By cramming the most we can into our limited time-driven construct, we miss the beauty of a whole world in front of us. Imagine for a moment what aliens from another planet might see if they were to visit any town, USA. Would they witness human beings operating on autopilot, heads magnetically attached to smart phones, texting, talking and doing everything but paying attention to the world in front of them?
- The Small Things Matter: How often do we spend the seconds of our precious life to smell the aroma of a beautiful rose, or fresh coffee beans being ground or the natural smell of a spring rain? Do you give yourself the gift of being aware, noticing the infinite bounty and hidden elegance of what is directly in front of you? The sunrise, the sunset, the shimmer of leaves blowing in the wind, the unconditional love of your dog as you enter from a long day’s work, or even those loving acts of kindness shown by people asking nothing in return; all these and so much more are available at any moment in your life.
- Being "Present" Elongates Time: The limitations of time are an illusion. Quantum physics theory tells us that the nature of time is not confined to the present, but is simultaneous to allow for us to be in multiple locations across the past, present and future. The power of conscious awareness provides us with an opportunity of a much broader realty, one of realizing that we are not separate and apart but rather coexisting in the universe. Jean Houston, in the Quantum Powers coursework, states, “Consciousness is the basic reality of the universal mind.” We are not separate from the infinite universe but rather an integral part of this reality. Being present means being aware. When you are aware of being aware, you have stepped into consciousness.
Now is the time to stop the train of unconsciousness by turning off the autopilot and being present for there is ample time for everything we need and want.