Thursday, July 26, 2012

When the Clock Stops Ticking

It has been observed that animals like human beings read time and consider it a valuable resource. Time is determined by the changes that happen to us and to our surroundings. Although this is an imprecise definition it must be known that without observable changes to us and the environment, ‘time’ would not have any meaning whatsoever. ‘Time’ in other words thrives on change for its survival to the extent that without understanding ‘change’ we cannot fully comprehend or measure it. If we were to represent ‘time’ we have to spot out the changes that take place along the frames of life. But why do we actually give so much importance to time? Is it to measure ‘change’ or is it because it adds meaning to our lives? Time exists independent of whether we make use of it or not. Change cannot be denied by inaction. To deny would itself involve some change. Therefore time to a greater or lesser extent is undeniable.

Although we are gripped by time we use it as a tool to measure our progress. It has been documented in history that time was measured through nature, and living beings would prepare for a rainy day in a systematic manner as do the ants and birds. It is, as must be quickly noted that just because we have not overcome ‘time’, we cannot be said to have cause to believe that it is ‘all pervasive’. But if we take it that we have clearly not conquered its movement we can at least ensure that it does not cause us a great amount of anxiety to get through with life. The fear of temporariness as caused by time makes us experience a reduced amount of ‘pleasure’. If we listen to music we are scared that the time will pass off quickly thus preventing us from fully relishing the melodies. To the grave extent that it makes us sit on the edge we cannot believe that we have managed time.

The phrase ‘Time Management’ is in my view a misnomer if we do not know what to do when there is not enough time.   We cannot manage time without having a grip of it. We cannot mange it without ever planning in advance. Time as an agent of change does not convey the real essence of the relationship which exists between a human being and nature. As our approach to it is truncated we draw a circle and do not move out of that circle. We are not only able to read time but fit in it and accept it as the ultimate reality that governs us. We have no idea of what it is like when time stops as we have never experienced timelessness. We would need to resort to time to measure it which is self-defeating. In a ‘flow’ experience where we enjoy what we do, we are unaware of the passage of time. In meditation we may experience the impotence of time where we to some extent lose consciousness of it. Only when the mind is not gripped by time can we truly say that we are not harassed by its movement in one direction. This may also explain why we tend to have reduced peripheral vision when we are as anxious to come to grips with the pace of time as we are when the clock stops ticking.   


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