An obsession with time

“Time is an illusion.” Albert Einstein

Deep in our subconscious a clock is ticking telling us that living is beyond just keeping the basics sorted. Is like a small voice that sometimes can turn into a roar, shouting for attention and keeping things in perspective. Basically saying, “not everything is alright”, “there is more to be done”, “time is ticking”. We don’t like to hear those words because usually means taking ourselves out of a comfort zone, and trying things that will be difficult and many times to taste failure. But, disregarding the technique that you use to get away from it, either by ignoring it or just simply trying what it suggest, one way or the other, it always comeback and ask the question again: Where are you going? What is going to be your legacy? Have you done enough, or even anything at all? And no matter how big or accomplished the person is, deep down the little voice always have something else to say. Human time comes hand in hand with hope, and as long as there is one, there is a request from our minds to action it. Time is a gift (some say) but also an obligation, to feed our bodies, to take our place in the bigger system of nature, or in the one created by us in civilisation. Time and hope. Is like someone brought us down with a limited battery to run, and with a clear mandate to make the best out of our chance of living. Just fiddled with time (not using it) and your subconscious (evolutionarily tuned out for it) will make you pay dearly; in sleepless night, guilt and the feeling of contempt from your group. The time you live is only worth something for nature if you can make more time possible for the ones coming after you. Is not only being able to procreate, is actually giving them a better chance of using their time to get the human specie further. Only then your time living has been well spent. Many feel that this challenge is about filling rooms or even palaces full of items, money or society titles to your heirs, but those are easily taken away after your are gone, and don’t really give anything to our kind beyond only your children. Funny how nature experiment with many of us, knowing that only a few will actually contribute to push humanity further and leave behind a legacy, the rest is only entitled to the time the live in the now. Eternity is reserved for the ones worth mentioning for years and years to come.

Time is always key in measuring the legacy of men. A few can feel time is not enough to leave their mark, while some other feel that time is something they don’t have or can’t control, somehow cheated of even being able to think about the use of their time, and there the ones that just feel time is too much and killing it is their only option. Time is always running to make the next buck and pay for the rent, the big house, or the long dreamed vacation, maybe just to finish that thing which is always last in the hierarchy of important things to do. Time is always watching like a burning candle and your mind is well equipped to keep account of how much is left, even though some are able to delude themselves into not paying attention, their time is also running and at a certain point it always catches up with them.

Hope is definitively a two edge sword, in one hand keeps us going in a quest that we have a very small chance to succeed on, but is also the main fuel driving the ones that ultimately make it. Without hope, there is no movement, no change, no evolution, and the sacrifice of the many driven by an almost irrational hope, is worth the few that actually make impossible happen.

The last thing left after Pandora’s jar opened was hope. By then, all the things that can create conflict and bring trouble to men had already escaped, and there was no coming back. Hope is all we had left; that and the fire that Prometheus stole for us. This irreversibility of time, and the feeling of guilt for how we have conducted the affairs of men, is our unconscious way to remember how far we are from our natural being. Is like a baby dreaming to go back to the womb, a place all secure and peaceful, where the worries of existence and survival are not something to be aware of. Hope and fire. Or, in more modern terms, a feeling that things will sort by themselves, and that we will turn fire into the technology that would help us go from hope to conquering our limitations. Our longing to go back to a natural essence is in perpetual conflict with our desire to be in control of our destiny.

As an individual your clock is always ticking, but in a group time feels longer and the selfish motive to leave your personal mark is in conflict with keeping things “same enough” so the group can maintain its cohesion. As a group we never feel we are running out of time, and we like when we can hide in the group mentality to not feel the sound of the minutes, hours and days running in the background. But the group can change and usually does when something remind us of our individuality, and as a collective we move and change towards it, really initially feeling we are only doing it for ourselves, while really changing the whole group in the meantime.

Our obsession with time is beyond what we can rationalise. Probably have deep biological mechanisms that drive our minds to keep action going, and in the randomness of our nature maybe leave something behind.

Tick, tock,… tick, tock

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