time actuality

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

William Faulkner


Chinese charater for moment


time off

what is time?

our personal futures

human beings think about the future

time machine

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

Ziauddin Sardar


" 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

daylight savings

"The clock,
not the steam engine,
is the key machine of the global industrial age."

Lewis Mumford

As gathering places grew in size and beacame the center of empire it became necessary to find ways to distribute resources among the people.

Rulers recognized that if they kept track of the resources dispersed they would know who to empower and who to disempower.

People began to number the years in Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, and Central America from the foundation of a dynasty 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 purpose of clocks is to coordinate human activity, not 'measure time.'

The ritual of smashing a clock represents a conceptual way of freeing the pysche from the enslavement of time measurement.

"Life is short and information endless:
nobody has time for everything

Aldous Huxley

time is defined herein as:

a series of moments

a linear way to envision events

of, relating to, or measuring passage of moments

a system by which event intervals are measured and numbered

a nonspatial continuum in which events occur in irreversible succession

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

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

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

it is possible to stop time !

Physicist explains why time travel isn’t possible

What is time?

"What is time? It is a secret - lacking in substance and yet almighty."

Thomas Mann, from The Magic Mountain.

It is as impossible to comprehend the flow of time in the same way it is impossibile to step into the same river twice.

In ancient Greece time was conceived of as cyclical.

The seasons cycle, life cycles, the moon cycles - an ebb and flow - forever repeating a pattern in a cyclic nature.

The concept of cyclical time was universal among cycle of life cultures.

Aztecs made use of a calendar carved in a huge circular stone, the Sun Stone.

Hindu tradition conceptualizes time as cyclical.

The concept of time as linear is unique to the Mediterranean region.

Three cultural groups - Hebrews, Greeks and Persians - seemed to have conceptualized time as an irreversible process with a unique beginning and a unique end at about the same period in human history.

They replaced the concept of time as cyclical around the Age of Zoroaster.

These three completly different conceptualizations of reality - Law of Moshe Rabbenu, Hellenism and Zoroastrianism - transformed, merged and eventually morphed into Christianity.

The Christian conceptualization of time as an irrevocable process condemns the concept of cyclic time as a superstition.

8th century BC Hesiod, a Greek historian, described five ages of mankind, beginning with the Golden Age in the 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.

305 BC Pharisees in Alexandria begin to codify Torah and scribe it onto scolls after Ptolemy I Soter declares himself Pharaoh of Egypt, founds a new religion and declares himself the Son of Aten.

2nd century BC Hebrews use the narrative format of Herodotus to create the Septuagint.

early 5th century AD Augustine of Hippo argues strongly in favor of this linear concept of time in City of God.

Yet Augustine of Hippo, in Confessions, asks, "What 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."

1620 Christian mystic Teresa shares the eternal moment.

18th century Philosophers of the Enlightenment secularize the concept of time 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.

19th century Nietzsche states that "all desire yearns for eternity."

20th century TS Eliot in Four Quartets envisions a timeless present, "the still point of the turning world."

past - present - future

"Timeless in you is aware of the timelessness of Life
Yesterday is only a foggy memory,
tomorrow is yet a dream."

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Time is not a material object. Time is an abstraction.

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

But we cannot create a concrete mental image of an abstract concept such as time which is fluid, perhaps the reason time analogies flow.

Thinking of time as either cyclical or as linear is incorrect.

Thinking of time as a spatial dimension is incorrect as time acts on space.

We say 'the past is behind us', 'the future is in front of us' and 'days pass us by'.

People think and speak as though we were actually moving away from a yesterday located 'over there' toward a tomorrow located '180 degrees in the opposite direction.'

On a time line drawn by a Christian the past on the left.

On a time line drawn by a Muslim the past on the right.

On a time line drawn by a Mandarin the past at the bottom.

It may very well be conceptually impossible to grasp the essence of time.

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

Whatever you are thinking, your thoughts are surely about something other than the word with which this sentence will end.

As these words drift through your bicameral 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 bicameral mind raised on a steady diet of film noir and cheap detective novels fully expects the word 'night' to finish 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 bicameral human 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 rather avocado.

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

Your bicameral human mind is subconsciously continuously making predictions about your immediate local personal future without you knowing.

If there is nothing to be concerned about in your immediate local personal environment then those predictions will suggest 'all is well' and will not trouble the conscious bicameral mind.

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

Perhaps it is only the bicameral mind that gives us the 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.

Once we have basic necessities rational economic behavior suggets we look into the future to figure out what will provide us with positive emotional experiences.

Unfortunately our bicameral mind tends to overestimate the emotional impact of future events while manufactured desire pushes us to engage in economic transactions we believe will satisify those manufactured needs.

Error in predicting future emotional satisfaction is systematic.

Luckily we have a tremendous talent for changing our opinion of experienced emotional events in order to feel better about them.

The subconscious cognitive process that searches for new ways of thinking about past emotional events remain illusive.

It does seem to involve a shifting of the emotional image from a painful or fearful position to one of less concern.

It is easy to forget an emotional mental image captures only one moment of a single emotional event.

When we focus on tragedy we forget about all the other events that tend to dilute the emotional impact 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 becomes emotionally focused on tragedy, or any event that occurs contrary to our wishes, we become clinically depressed. - Daniel Gilbert





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 - Jesus said "Ohm!"

- 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!"

we find ourselves living a life filled with never ending wonder at the turn of the millennial calendar around 4 millennium after the Western Calendar system was invented in Babylon!



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 forged 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 forged 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."(Atharvaveda hymns were compiled in the early Indian Iron Age, c. 1200 to 1000 BC, corresponding to the early Kuru Kingdom.)

gray hair baby

time off

"The US 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 of the workplace." - Ezra Klein


unique library index

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