Just for fun I took a picture of a clock handing on a nondescript wall. There was nothing fancy or unusual about the clock or its setting in fact the room that houses the clock was devoid of any pictures or posters and the only other accoutrement was 8’ wide white board, cleaned and also absent of any markings.
I really don’t know what drew me to the clock, except maybe I was bored and had nothing to do and nothing to look at. My cell phone was acting up so I couldn’t check my email or even get on Facebook or check my blog status, but when I turned around and saw the clock it was as if time stood still. It was only for a moment but for that moment the concept of time took on a new meaning.
A few days ago the family watched the old movie (not old like gone with the wind or Metropolis) “the Gods must be crazy” the interesting part about the movie was the way the Bushman looked at time and their perception of time as a continuous, non- linear event that stretched not by minutes or hours or even days but spanned the life of an individual and beyond.
That clock that hung solitarily on the wall is not only a reminder of our constraints and our opportunities, but a constant reminder of what we can become if we use time as it was intended. Time is a tool that is often overused or underused, misused and abused. It’s used as an excuse when we’re late or early and it’s used to mitigate poor performance or even to advance the abilities of other, but what is time? It has to be more than a simple clicking of the clock, the movement of the hands from one number to the next; time has to be something quantifiable beyond the simplistic ticking of each second.
For some time goes slow while for others time moves more rapidly. Einstein suggests that time passage depends on the position and juxtaposition of events and perception making time a relative issue and nowhere near consistent. Even with our atomic clocks that keep “time” to the millisecond the value of time differs based on individual perception and motivation, even the positioning of the clocks.
Time is not the same for everyone and those differences in perception alter our individual awareness of time. Think of two people at a party, one is having fun the other not so much, the perception of time for each can be very different, especially for the one who is having to endure the party, waiting and waiting for it to end.
It’s not just our perception of time however that intrigues me but the concept of understanding the nature of time, some call it the arrow of time or in other words how does time work? We know from past theories that time can be measured and used, we can see the effects of time especially on old bodies and buildings but there is a process that explains that, it’s called entropy, in short a measure of disorder. Life is filled with examples of entropy or things going from order to disorder, why? Why is it that life cannot move in an enthalpic manner in a way toward organization not chaos?
My theory is very simple: Man is a created being and with that creation comes the constraints of time. Time is a tool that is used to measure, gauge and compare and in general track our progress. Time designates our existence and tempers our efforts throughout our existence but does so in a very curious manner. As we age, as time takes its toll and as entropy mitigates our ordered existence into a chaotic mass of energy diffusion there is definable enthalpy taking place. It’s almost like the omelet being converted back to the egg; in its comparison as man ages his level of knowledge increases, his charity grows, his compassion toward others improves and in almost every case his own humanity intensifies, even in the face of a certain and inexorable mortal demise.
When all around us entropy converts energy back to its basic and fundamental parts the human soul, the mind of man, the spirit within continues to improve and progress toward perfection. This level of enthalpy is a derivative of our eternal nature and our innate desire to return to that level of perfection from whence we came.
Without the entropy, enthalpy would be impossible. Without cold the wonders of warmth could not be enjoyed. Pain and pleasure, sickness and health, love and hate, all the opposites of mortality impose on man and assist with that eternal growth toward perfection.
Time is a gift perhaps, a gift we cannot fully comprehend but a skill that can be improved, utilized and used to our advantage toward that ultimate goal of spiritual perfection. It is the only real thing over which we have control. Use your time wisely…