Friday, August 1, 2008
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times".
Dickens said it best, but I've been thinking about time a lot lately, and frankly, I've started to lose faith in it. I think people rely on time too much and too often. I always hear people say "Dude that was such a good time" or "It's about time". We tie everything we do to this concept of regular motion, angular momentum, and perpetual rotation. Being late or early can define someone's social characteristics or reputation, and time can go quickly or miserably slow depending on your mood. Stop, take a step back, and look at what time really is. Time ties us to what is false, to what is unforgiving, to what is stagnant, to what is woefully human. It creates stress, loss, many bad and negative things, yet it also creates room for freedom and playful innocence.
I've always had a weird notion of time. Ever since I was a little guy, long before I started studying enlightenment and philosophy. I used to think of different situations that the world would be in if my idea of time was different. For example, it has always been a question of mine how the world would be if I had been born 10 years earlier. It all boils down to an idea of perception vs. reality. What is it exactly that governs the current state of affairs of the universe? We are born into this universe seeing it as we do, but is it because that is the way the universe is, or is it because that is what we perceive it to be? What I mean by this is: I have always questioned what year it would be now if I had been born 10 years earlier. To someone born in 1980, they would say, "of course it has to be 2008". But to me, I would say "it has to be 1998". The world would be completely different if I had been born 10 years earlier. The reason for this is that my perception of time would be changed, but not the duration of it. Had I been born in 1977 instead of 1987, the 21 years I have experienced would have been displaced by ten years, and the year would now be 1998 instead of 2008. The fact that I have only been conscious and aware for 21 years means that it would be impossible for it to be the year 2008 if I had been born in 1977. I started my current database of knowledge and memories right when I was born, not sooner and the fact that it is limited to 21 years means that I can only trust my own direct experiences. Another example: If I was born last year it would be, in my current state of consciousness, 2028. People don't seem to understand this when I explain it to them, but most of them miss my point, and I blame the concept of time for this.
My point is that time is irrelevant compared to experience. You can live 20 years and have the same amount of direct experience as someone who lives to be 100. Most people get caught up in this notion of time, and it actually holds them back. It saddens me to see someone so distraught with deadlines and appointments and all these things that are fabricated to hold society together, but actually do more harm than good. I like to think of life in terms of experience, joy, passion, ambition, love and whatever it is that holds these things together. It has nothing to do with time. Thats why when I'm in my most enlightened state, more often than not on a slackline, I have no perception of time.
See my reactions to time on a highline here.
Life isn't about how long you live, its about what you live for. I've accomplished more in the last year than I ever thought possible, but not once did I worry about that, just by keeping your mind on a goal that you are passionate about, you can transcend this idea of time and create a life that will excite and surprise you. I think the more we live for what we are passionate about, and the more that we love what we are doing, the less that time becomes an issue. In fact, it could even melt away into a nothingness that is resolved in pure enlightenment. Don't let time hold you back. Even if you think you don't have any left, you can still live your life to the fullest. Its never too late to start, because without time, you wont be late for anything.