Time

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‘The hidden world has it’s clouds and rain, but of a different kind.

It’s sky and sunshine are of a different kind.

This is made apparent only to the refined ones – those not deceived by the seeming completeness of the ordinary world’

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (1207-1273)

As illusion or reality, or within the eye of the beholder, time is relative. Relative in the sense that how we experience it, from the subjective or objective self; or that other place referred to sometimes as the ‘observing self’*. From each of these places time differs. From each of these places the ability to learn, adapt and change differs.

From the objective self, that recognises the seemingly simple fact that the matter that makes up our unique form can interact with other matter, time is about measurable forces: It takes two minutes to brush the teeth in my gums in my mouth, I know the length of time my tea requires to infuse before removing the teabag and adding milk, sugar or cold water then calculating the measure of time before I attempt to consume the heated liquid to avoid harming my delicate body. It is formed from physical interactions and the memories of those interactions. This is our sensory self.

From the subjective self, somewhat less precise measurements appear. Emotion enters the frame which creates all manner of differing perspectives on time. Time to heal. Time to calm down. Time to catch the trout that eludes me. Time to write that poem that is on my mind. This kind of time is highly relative. We all need a different amount of time to manage, understand and come to terms with our emotions. This kind of time relates to our culture, our environment, our genes, our experiences, education, beliefs and morals… the list is perhaps in-exhaustive depending on the subjective consciousness of the ‘whom’ that writes it. This is our thinking, feeling, sensorial self.

From the observing self another kind of time entirely is engaged. What is the observing self? Since your birth your cells have died and regenerated. If we were entirely biological beings with no consciousness or ability to form lasting memory networks then we would not retain any sense of ‘I’. We may retain object consciousness on a basic survival level, fire equals potential harm therefore caution is required, but not retain a sense of ‘I am this particular being that holds memories and information pertaining to my subjective existence’. The observing self is a form of consciousness that overarches, or integrates, all of this. It is that I we enter sparingly, some more than others, that sees connections, knowledge, experience and emotion differently. This is our mystical self. The self that observes our subjective (and objective) self.

What real life application does these potentially esoteric observations offer? The ability for growth and change. The ability for intuitive moments and great leaps of consciousness and understanding. The opportunity of an experience beyond the immediate and potentially known ‘self’ within which to temper experience. A ‘place’ beyond the temporal, reaching into something much deeper; that which is called by many names (and religious/spiritual traditions) and is open to all to experience directly, exposing and developing their identity with something greater than any individual, the whole. The whole and our journey of our developmental and eventual evolutionary journey to become. Evolution# comes from small change. Perhaps beginning to understand ourselves provides greater opportunity for progression.

 

*Arthur J. Deikman, M.D: ‘The Observing Self’ Beacon Press, Boston, 1982.

# Not to belittle or confuse this ‘sacred’ scientific word that usually relates to progression or adaptation of a species over many, many generations

Word errant satiety image courtesy of jonathanjessup on deviantART

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Articulacy of Fingers

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Articulacy of fingers the language of the deaf and dumb, signing of the body. Body longing. Written on the body is a secret code only visible in certain lights; the accumulations of a lifetime gather there. In places the palimpsest is so heavily worked that the letters feel like braille. I like to keep my body rolled up away from prying eyes. Never unfold too much, tell the whole story. I fear meeting someone with reading hands, in case they translate me into their own book.

In silence and in darkness we loved each other and as I traced his bones with my palm I wondered what time would do to skin that was so new to me. Could I ever feel less for this body? Why does ardour pass? Time that withers you will wither me. Will we fall like ripe fruit and roll down the grass together? Dear friend, let me lie beside you watching the clouds until the earth covers us and we are gone.

 

‘Written on the Body’ Jeanette Winterson – page 89-90

Image courtesy of Trung-Tiger on deviantART

Muted

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The sea it called to me today. Beneath somber sky, layers of grey, my blue eyes muted, I watched. The waves rolled in, empty horizon filled with sorrow as I gazed waiting for ship that will not come. Those days are gone, my gods replaced, this world has changed. Empirical thought separates, souls are emptied and eyes flattened, consumed by greed. Yet there is sun ever shining above darkened clouds, souls still hunger for love and knowledge of living. Fire still burns within many to seek far beyond material offerings. The sea it called to me today and sweet melancholy found my heart aching to close the gap between oceans of time, that I could be home once again. Yet home is within and contentment can be gained knowing that there is much love in this world to be given and found. I will wait for the ship that will surely come.

 

Words errant satiety and image courtesy of Solkku on deviantART

Relativity

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The moment of passion that urges speed as the triumph of pleasure increases heart rate yet by becoming still the pleasure settles deeper within moving through all your fibres right to the surface of your skin.

Moments of boredom where time moves infinitely slowly, lethargy grips you and your mind becomes numb.

The moment of tragedy where the pain renders breathing so painful you can barely open your lungs, the ache that will not pass tearing at the heart with needle sharp teeth, yet if some light can be located breath becomes less laboured and the briefest relief can direct a path forward.

Holidays when time whisks by and before you know normal routine has returned.

The moment of hilarity when sides blaze with spasms of laughter tears pour from your eyes and each time you feel the urge wane it suddenly rises burbling, insistent and stronger than before.

Inspirational times where the creativity flows bountiful and time fleets past unseen.

The moment of realising love for another when you suddenly know you would walk over glass to hold them close and give your life that they would live.

Moments of waiting when you feel you will burst from the tension of excitement, frustrated with the time before you eager to arrive at the appointed moment.

Stillness captivated in nature when a minute expands to feel an hour.

Stolen moments with your lover when you are so present in the moment each is a jewel made to last forever.

The hardest thing you have ever done, where only your inner voice and strength and perhaps encouragement of others have afforded you the strength to believe. The journey compared to the end moment…

Moments, mementos, a string of fresh water pearls all unique, all precious, all imperfect and relative.

Words by errant satiety image stolen from a site advertising fresh water pearls