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    Thread: A Meditation on Time (its long)

    1. #1
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      A Meditation on Time (its long)

      Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I've always been perplexed by time, as many are. Because of this, I just started writing down my thoughts one day and created an essay of sorts. Its definitely not complete, as I mention many famous works but have not found evidence to support my claims due to the fact that I've been preparing to leave for college this month.

      BUT, regardless, I wanted to share my opening statement of sorts. Here is what my young, almost innocent 18 year old mind came up with when I was meditating on the concept of time.

      Thanks for reading, I know its long!!

      "A Meditation on the Meaning of Time
      I have always been told to live in the present. But we must remember our past in order to prepare for the future. And what exactly is the present moment? A dictionary explains that the present can be described as the period of time now occurring (Oxford Dictionary). So then what is time, if not the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole? (Oxford Dictionary) Time, being unable to be frozen, is a continuous entity in itself. Every moment is the future and simultaneously the past. When we say the present is in the moment, within split seconds that moment is the past and the present becomes what was once the future. And in order to live in the present, we must use our compiled past to create our imminent future. We can never stop thinking ahead and remembering behind. Those who intend to seal their past behind locked chambers deep in their psyche are never able to realize their destined future and are only tormented by their demons as they lay down to sleep. The subconscious mind, when suppressed, becomes a very dangerous entity therefore one can only access the pure database of knowledge contained in the inner psyche if he is at peace and at one with his mind and body. In essence, the reality we have named Time is only a human concoction created in a feeble attempt to understand the incomprehensible complexities of our universe. Time and the present moment are not real. There is no limit on the every expanding universe. There is no starting, or ending, point that can be conceived because even pure nothingness is at least something. In regard to our own molecular mark on the universe, the only way to attain a truly successful life is not to try and escape the future and leave the past behind in order to live in the present, but contrarily to learn to combine the past with the present in order to create our own future. And in the very moment the body ceases to move our past will inevitably be left behind and etch a mark in the very book that is our time, or in a greater sense, the unbound universe.

      Even deeper, the way time is perceived on earth shifts every night when we lay down to slumber. Dreams themselves take form from our perception of time. A particularly emotional dream may last 5 minutes in the waking world but make us feel as though we were trapped in our psyche for hours, days, even weeks or years. When scaled to the physical creation of time us humans have created, the time spent in the dream was not real. But, on the contrary, that time was completely real; the dreamer’s perception of time, which is altered by the brain, made it so. Emotions invoked in the dream – fear, joy, love, hate – are real, so why do we try and make ourselves believe that the time spent there is not.

      Then what is the sense of this rambling conundrum of an attempt to define time? The only precise answer is to use my newfound paradoxical knowledge in order to reassess and reevaluate some of the greatest works ever written through the lens of Time’s curious wisdom, her aging mockery and her blunt truths. Time always has us wondering what will come next, she snickers down on us as she slips away and she always reminds us that once something is done there is no turning back. With her eye we can reexamine Hamlet’s over-thoughtful nature, understand how Marcel Proust’s recreation of the past brought him to his final slumber, appreciate Art Spiegelman and Primo Levi’s obsession with the past, reconsider Dante’s Inferno and finally study our religious texts with a completely different outlook. What zone of time was Marcel Proust in when he was locked in his room writing his extensive novel? How was Primo Levi’s concept of time alter when Auschwitz’s walls seemed to creep closer by the second while simultaneously making that second last for hours?
      Last edited by SaMaster14; 08-20-2011 at 07:20 AM.
      Raz and lidybug like this.

    2. #2
      Member Olysseus's Avatar
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      Oct 2009
      I just thought someone should say good post...you bring up some questions that we all wonder about. Maybe nobody else responded because these are just such good questions.

      I've been interested in the idea of the scale of the present moment. I read this idea in a book by Rodney Collins called 'the theory of celestial harmony.'

      The idea is that the dimensionality of time does not lie in traveling forward or backward but in the ability to take in a short impression of the present moment versus a long impression of the present. Thus the "present" could refer to an infinitesimal moment to fast to even count, or it could refer to the present day, present century, present millennia, and so on.

      Like you say, if we try to nail down the "present" it seems to be impossible because when we try to notice a split second, we are compelled to notice that by the time we fully "digest" the moment, it is already the past. Nevertheless, we can find the possibility of noticing a higher degree of being able to stay "present" to our environment and conditions, internal and external. This implies that, as you say, the present may be a human construct, but one requiring a new relation to our immediate sensations and impressions.

      Collins also claimed that shutting out the past or future was repressive, but one could expand one's awareness of the present to a larger scale. One is still operating in the present, in the sense of being directly aware of one's current impressions, but one's current impression could include future and past impressions. He ended up claiming that a more developed person has the ability to see a long space of time as the "present" and attributed the achievements of certain Buddhist masters to being able to see that the comings and goings of an entire day, week, month could become a single impression, taken in just as clearly as an ordinary person might take in the vivid details in a second.

      It was a somewhat dry read, don't know if I would recommend it, but the idea of time having a dimensionality other than past vs. future was pretty damn interesting. Thanks for the interesting post.
      Raz likes this.
      “Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use.” - Carlos Castaneda

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