time actuality

"It's all now you see.
Yesterday won't be over until tomorrow
and tomorrow began ten thousand years ago."
William Cuthbert Faulkner


Chinese charater for moment


time off

what is time?

our personal futures

human beings think about the future

" Time is concomitant with
the physical world but can not be pointed to
as existing in a material way." - Dalai Lama

"Like the clouds in the sky
which are brought together or dispersed by the winds,
the passage of time brings about for men the union or
separation of associates and happiness or sorrow."
- Sri Sathya Sai Baba

"Bedouins can sit for hours in the desert,
feeling the ripples of time,
without being bored."
- Ziauddin Sardar

the now

Live in the present moment,
contemplating the future
while mindful of the past.

"Life is short and information endless:
nobody has time for everything."
- Aldous Huxley

"Every early culture has understood its genesis and history as one woven of threads both divine and mundane to form a multidimensional mythology of creation, destruction and migration - a drama organized in time. In Hindu cosmologies, world time is ordered into yugas, the Mayans have their katuns, the Aztecs their many ages and five "sun" periods. Among the Greeks, the poet Hesiod described the ages of man as Golden, Silver, Bronze, Heroic and Iron, the last our own."

Arthur Zajonc

"The clock,
not the steam engine,
is the key machine ofthe global industrial age."
- Lewis Mumford

daylight savings

"In Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, and Central America, people began to number the years, e.g. from the start of a dynasty, thereby introducing linearity to time and divorcing it from the cycles of Nature. The artificial division of the day into hours (curiously, both the Babylonians and ancient Chinese used twelve) and the Hebrew invention of seven-day weeks only deepened this divorce, which has culminated in the replacement of circular clocks with digital clocks, obliterating the last remaining link between measured time and the cyclical processes of Nature.

The fundamental purpose of clocks is not to measure time, it is to coordinate human activity. Aside from that the need to measure time is a fiction, a pretense. Henry David Thoreau said, "Time measures nothing but itself." Can you think of a machine that does not do anything? A machine whose only function is to function, and to do so precisely and unvaryingly? All machines are meant to do that, but this machine does only that.

It is the epitome of eternal, regular, yet pointless movement, of repetitive routine. The machine I speak of is, of course, a clock. Think then of what a clockwork universe connotes. Think of what is implied by the watchmaker conception of God. The universe, and our own lives within it, ticks on and on, pointlessly. (No wonder we, living in a society ruled by the clock, so often feel like we are just marking time.)

The ritual of smashing a clock represents a conceptual way of freeing the pysche from the enslavement of time measurement by symbolicly refusing to sell one's time, a refusal to schedule one's life or to bring it into conformity with the needs of specialized mass society. Further, it represents a declaration that "I will live my own life," establishing the ascendancy of now (living in the present moment)." - adapted from Charles Eisenstein

A man is the sum of his misfortunes.
One day you'd think misfortune would get tired,
but then time is your misfortune.

Time is the best teacher; unfortunately, time kills all its students.

time is defined as:

a duration

a series of moments

a linear way to envision events

of, relating to, or measuring passage of moments

the rate of speed in which moments pass during a measured activity

an interval separating two points on a temporal continuum

a system by which event intervals are measured and numbered

of a definite duration, as contrasted with infinite duration

a nonspatial continuum in which events occur in irreversible succession

an appointed or fated moment, especially of death or giving birth

the span of moments or interval necessary, available or designated for a given activity

the meter of a musical pattern; the rate of speed at which a piece of music is played

to measure the duration of an event or the duration of an action performed by an individual

a series of moments considered as a resource under your control and sufficient to accomplish a task

counting intervals of moments as in : milliseconds, seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, millennium, ages ...

a measured interval period: in which a radio or television program or advertisement is broadcast; marked by similar events, conditions, or phenomena over span of years creating an era; existence in organic reality as contrasted with an eternal dreamtime life;

Events which occurred in the past are

events that have happened before now

Events which are occurring as of the present moment are

events that are happening now

Events which will or may occur in the future are

events that will or may happen sometime beyond now

Chinese charater for moment

eternal moment

"Here is in life only one moment and in eternity only one.

It is so brief that it is represented by the fleeting of a luminous mote through the thin ray of sunlight - and it is visible but a fraction of a second.

The moments that preceded it have been lived, are forgotten and are without value; the moments that have not been lived have no existence and will have no value except in the moment that each shall be lived." - Mark Twain

it is possible to stop time !

What is time?

"What is time? It is a secret - lacking in substance and yet almighty."
Thomas Mann, from The Magic Mountain.

The flow of time is a mystery as in the impossibility of stepping into the same river twice.

In ancient Greece time was generally conceived of as cyclical. The seasons cycle, life cycles, the moon cycles - an ebb and flow - forever repeating a pattern in a cyclic nature.

Hesiod , an 8th century B.C. Greek historian, described five ages of mankind, beginning with the golden age in a remote past, where human beings lived in peace with each other and in harmony with nature, down to the miserable contemporary age of Iron, characterized by dispute and warfare.

The concept of cyclical time reaches far beyond ancient Greece. The Aztecs made use of a calendar carved in a huge circular stone, the Sun Stone. Hindu tradition conceptualizes time as circular.

The concept of time as linear is derived from Jewish tradition and consists of an irreversible process with a unique beginning and a unique end. Saint Augustine argues strongly in favor of this linear concept of time in City of God. The Christian idea of time as an irrevocable process condemned ancient Greek cyclic time as a superstition.

T.S. Eliot in Four Quartets conceives of a paradoxical timeless present, "the still point of the turning world, " which has a Hindu flavor.

This eternal moment is more obviously related to the great tradition of Christian mysticism.

Saint Augustine, in Confessions, asked "What, then, is time? I know well enough what it is, provided that nobody asks me; but if I am asked what it is and try to explain, I am baffled."

Nietzsche stated that "all desire yearns for eternity."

The philosophers of the Enlightenment in the 18th century secularized our concept of time in which time is generally conceived of as an endless process, without beginning and without end, a neutral course of events, theoretically released from its old connections with the planets and the seasons of the year, possible to cut up into an infinite number of temporal fractions.

"He who controls the past,
controls the future;
and he who controls the present,
controls the past."
– motto of the Ministry of Information
George Orwell's 1984




Human beings think about the future.

No other animal does.

Time is not an object it is an abstraction.

If we can not create a mental image of an abstract concept such as time, then how do we think and reason about it?

When people reason about something abstract, they tend to imagine something concrete that the abstract thing is like and then reason about that instead.

For most of us, space is the concrete thing that time is like.

People imagine time as though it were a spatial dimension, which is why we say that the past is behind us and the future is in front of us and that days pass us.

People think and speak as though we were actually moving away from a yesterday that is located over there and toward a tomorrow that is located 180 degrees about.

When we draw a time line, those of us who speak English put the past on the left, those of us who speak Arabic put the past on the right, and those of us who speak Mandarin put the past on the bottom.

Regardless of our native tongue, we all put the past someplace - and the future someplace else

our personal future

our personal future

"To go forward you must leave everything behind, and even though the past may seem to be persistent, lodged as it is in our very bones, it is one thing to be bound up by the past, doomed to repeat it or to be held back by it endlessly, and another to use it as a springboard for a journey that goes beyond - to where, one can never know." - Norman Fischer

Human minds are continuously making predictions about the immediate local personal future subconsciously without their owners' awareness.

Whatever you are thinking, your thoughts are surely about something other than the word with which this sentence will end. As you hear these words echoing through your mind your subconscious is using the word it is reading right NOW and the words it read just before NOW to make a reasonable guess about the identity of the word it will read next. A mind raised on a steady diet of film noir and cheap detective novels fully expects the word 'night' to follow the phrase 'It was a dark and stormy ...'.

As long as your subconscious guess about the next word turns out to be right, you cruise along happily, left to right, left to right, turning black squiggles into ideas, scenes, characters, and concepts, blissfully unaware that your mind is predicting the future of the sentence at a fantastic rate.

It is only when your subconscious makes a faulty prediction that you suddenly feel just so avocado.

Consider that brief moment of surprise. Surprise is an emotion we feel when we encounter the unexpected. The surprise you felt at the end of the last paragraph reveals that as you were reading the phrase it is only when your subconscious predicts badly that you suddenly feel so ... so avocado.

Your subconscious simultaneously makes reasonable predictions about what is likely to happen next.

Your subconscious predicted that sometime in the next few milliseconds your eyes would come across a set of black squiggles that encoded an English word that described an emotion reaction rather than a fruit which woke you from your dogmatic slumbers and revealed the nature of your faulty subconscious expectations.

Surprise tells us that we were expecting something other than what we got, even when we didn't know we were expecting anything at all and you found it hard to digest.

People experience illusions of perception, illusions of retrospection and illusions of prospection (predicting the future).

One of the human mind's most glorious and unique talents is its ability to look backward and forward across great swathes of time - to examine its own history and to imagine its own future, to engage in mental time travel.

But a problem lies in the path of how we imagine our future happiness. Our ability to simulate the future and to forecast our happiness is seriously flawed, and people are rarely as happy or unhappy as they expect to be.

Cognitive errors may be more like optical illusions than they are like illiteracy.

People engage in economic transactions in order to get things that they believe will provide them with positive emotional experiences. So rational economic behavior requires that we look into the future and figure out what will provide those positive emotional experiences. As it turns out, people make systematic cognitive errors when they do this, which is why their economic decisions are so often sub-optimal.

Errors that people make when they try to predict their emotional futures are quite systematic.

Specifically, people tend to overestimate the impact of future events. That is, they predict that future events will have a more intense and more enduring emotional impact than they actually do.

This is called the impact bias.

Whatever impact these emotional events have, it is demonstrably smaller and less enduring than the impact the people who experienced them expected to have. People have a tremendous talent for changing their opinions of emotional events so that they can feel better about the event and their reaction to the event.

Thinking is a remarkable tool that allows us to change our opinions of the reality we experience in order to change our emotional reactions to events that have occurred.

We don't consciously experience the cognitive processes that are creating new ways of thinking about an emotional event and we don't realize that they will occur in the future.

One of the reasons we think things contrary to our wishes, a tragedy that has befallen us for example, will make us feel unhappy for a long time is that we don't realize that we have a defensive system - a emotional immune system.

When people predict how they're going to feel in the face of adversity, they typically discount the ability of their emotional immune system which leads them to expect more intense and enduring unhappiness than they will actually experience.

So why do people so often mis-predict their reactions to adversity or tragedy?

A mental image captures one moment of a single emotional event. One's happiness a year after the event is influenced by much more than the emotional event itself. A lot happens in a year and although these things aren't nearly as important to us as the tragic event, they occur in reality, there are a lot of them, and together they have an impact that people tend not to consider.

When we're trying to predict how happy we will be in a future that contains a tragedy, we tend to focus on the tragedy and forget about all the other events that also populate that future - events that tend to dilute the emotional impact of the tragedy.

Although this is generally true we always run the risk of becoming slaves to the focus of our attention - the occurrence of the tragedy. We may become emotional slaves to the tragic event and actually attempt to fulfill our expectations of unhappiness as we intensely focus on the occurrence of the tragedy. When an individual emotionally focused on a tragedy, or any event that occurs contrary to our wishes, we become clinically depressed. - adapted from Daniel Gilbert

the legend of the Cedar tree
(or night and day, day and night)

A long time ago when the Cherokee people were new upon the Earth, they thought that life would be much better if there was never any night.

They beseeched the Ouga (the Creator) that it might be day all the time and that there would be no darkness.

The Creator heard their voices and made the night cease and it was day all the time. Soon, the forest was thick with heavy growth. It became difficult to walk and to find the path. The people toiled in the gardens many long hours trying to keep the weeds pulled from among the corn and other food plants. It got hot, very hot, and continued that way day after long day. The people began to find it difficult to sleep and became short tempered and argued among themselves.

Not many days had passed before the people realized they had made a mistake and, once again, they beseeched the Creator.

"Please," they prayed, "we have made a mistake in asking that it be day all the time. Now we think that it should be night all the time."

The Creator paused at this new request and thought that perhaps the people may be right even though all things were created in twos... representing to us day and night, life and death, good and evil, times of plenty and times of famine.

The Creator loved the people and decided to make it night all the time as they had asked.

The day ceased and night fell upon the Earth. Soon, the crops stopped growing and it became very cold. The people spent much of their time gathering wood for the fires. They could not see to hunt meat and with no crops growing it was not long before the people were cold, weak, and very hungry. Many of the people died.

Those that remained still living gathered once again to beseech the Creator. "Help us Creator," they cried!

"We have made a terrible mistake. You had made the day and the night perfect, and as it should be, from the beginning. We ask that you forgive us and make the day and night as it was before."

Once again the Creator listened to the request of the people. The day and the night became, as the people had asked, as it had been in the beginning. Each day was divided between light and darkness. The weather became more pleasant, and the crops began to grow again. Game was plentiful and the hunting was good. The people had plenty to eat and there was not much sickness. The people treated each other with compassion and respect.

It was good to be alive.

The people were grateful and thanked the Creator for their life and for the food they had to eat. The Creator accepted the gratitude of the people and was glad to see them smiling again. However, during the time of the long days of night, many of the people had died, and the Creator was sorry that they had perished because of the night. The Creator placed their spirits in a newly created tree.

This tree was named a-tsi-na tlu-gv {ah-see-na loo-guh} cedar tree. When you smell the aroma of the cedar tree or gaze upon it standing in the forest, remember that if you are Tsalagi, you are looking upon your ancestor.

Tradition holds that the wood of the cedar tree holds powerful protective spirits for the Cherokee.

Many Cherokee carry a small piece of cedar wood in their medicine bag.

It is also placed above the entrances to the dwelling to protect against the entry of evil spirits.

Traditional drums are made from cedar wood.





60 seconds


60 minutes




7 days








100 years


great year


a millennium from NOW

In the beginning,
once upon a time,
in a non-existent galaxy,
a trillion light years away,
there was Nothing.

then SOMETHING happened !

not quite sure what it was as no one was there to see what it was ...
but you know how it is Something Happens !

- anyhow to get back to telling tale tales -

molecules collapsed upon themselves under the immense gravitational force
roaring hydrogen furnaces come into Being
spinning, energy modulations spinning away into the Void
twisting, turning spinning energy modulations dance

finally enough molecular weight to create LIFE collects
electromagnetic storms energize the Primordial Soup and SPARK LIFE !!!

eons pass ... but they do not pass in stasis ... changes occur
LIFE becomes more complex.

Eons pass again ... LIFE becomes aware of itself
LIFE darn near jumps out of its skin when it recognizes ITSELF.
and LIFE becomes afraid of itself and tries to hide from its conscious the fact that it is ALIVE .

LIFE looks around at THE GARDEN it finds itself in and says to itself "This Garden needs tending!"

and here we find ourselves living a life filled with never ending wonder at the turn
of the millennial calendar around 3 millennium after the Western Calendar system was invented !



The first extant account of the successive ages of mankind comes from the Greek poet Hesiod's Works and Days. His list is:

Golden Age - The Golden Age is the only age that falls within the rule of Cronus. Molded out of the earth through the hands of Prometheus, these humans were said to live among the gods, and freely mingled with them. Peace and harmony prevailed during this age. Humans did not have to work to feed themselves, for the earth provided food in abundance. They lived to a very old age but with a youthful appearance and eventually died peacefully. Their spirits live on as "guardians". Plato in Cratylus recounts the golden race of men who came first. He clarifies that Hesiod did not mean men literally made of gold, but good and noble. He describes these men as daemons upon the earth. Since (daimones) is derived from (daemones, meaning knowing or wise), they are beneficent, preventing ills, and guardians of mortals.

Silver Age - The Silver Age and every age that follows fall within the rule of Cronus' successor and son, Zeus. Zeus created these humans out of the ash tree. Men in the Silver age lived for one hundred years under the dominion of their mothers. They lived only a short time as grown adults, and spent that time in strife with one another. During this Age men refused to worship the gods and Zeus destroyed them for their impiety. After death, humans of this age became "blessed spirits" of the underworld.

Bronze Age - Men of the Bronze Age were hardened and tough, as war was their purpose and passion. Not only were their arms and tools forged of bronze, but so were their very homes. The men of this Age were undone by their own violent ways and left no named spirits; instead, they dwell in the "dank house of Hades". This Age came to an end with the flood of Deucalion.

Heroic Age - The Heroic Age is the one age that does not correspond with any metal. It is also the only age that improves upon the age it follows. These humans were created from the bones of the earth (stones) through the actions of Deucalion and Pyrrha. In this period men lived with noble demigods and heroes. It was the heroes of this Age who fought at Thebes and Troy. This race of humans died and went to Elysium.

Iron Age - Hesiod finds himself in the Iron Age. During this age humans live an existence of toil and misery. Children dishonor their parents, brother fights with brother and the social contract between guest and host (xenia) is forgotten. During this age might makes right, and bad men use lies to be thought good. At the height of this age, humans no longer feel shame or indignation at wrongdoing; babies will be born with gray hair and the gods will have completely forsaken humanity: "there will be no help against evil."

gray hair baby

time off

"The United States is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation." Rebecca Ray and John Schmitt, Center for Economic and Policy Research

Britain guarantees its workers 20 days compensated leave.

Germany guarantees its workers 24 days compensated leave.

France guarantees its workers 30 days compensated leave.

1 out of 10 full time American workers get no paid vacation and 6 in 10 part time American workers get no paid vacation.

The American worker with paid vacation averaged just 12 days.

The average American male worker worked 100 more hours in 2007 than he did in 1970.

The average American female worker worked 200 more hours in 2007 than she did in 1970.

The typical American worker sleeps one to two hours less per nignt than his or her parents did.

"Very few individual workers in America can ask for four weeks vacation. It is not only outside the benefits of their job but far outside the culture on the workplace." - Ezra Klein

exit stage left

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