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 The Passing of Time
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549 Posts

Posted - Aug 22 2007 :  3:35:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit anthony574's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hey everyone. I had a troubling thought yesterday and this thought has reoccured a number of times and I am sure nearly everyone has experienced this troubling realization before. I notice it seems as I am getting older time is going by faster, and I'm only twenty so it scares me to think of how quickly it will go by later on.

There is actually a science of how the brain percieves time called Psychochronology. It is based on the idea that the brain needs a point of reference in order to gauge the passing of time and this ratio changes with age. I haven't looked into it in a while, but I think I remember it being based on, for example, if you were 10 years old a year to you would be experienced as 1/10th of your current lifespan. If you were 20, this would be experienced as 1/20th your lifespan which creates the illusion of a year being less significant. I can attest to this because I recall being a young child a year seemed like an hour even! If I wanted to go somewhere and my mom told me to wait an hour, that seemed unbearable...or if a drive took an hour. Now, I laugh at hour now seems like nothing! Also, it occured to me how time seems to blur together. I think of the past 7 days and cannot articulate on each day in my memory, simply a couple landmark things that may have occured but ultimately it seems lost to me...just a haze. Yesterday i realized it had been nearly a year since I met my girlfriend and it troubled me to think that the year went by literally in what seems to me like 5-6 months!

I know that there are infinte factors that determine one's perception of time. Mood, movement, emotions, level of activity...but I think one of the most important is novelty. I think that when one spends day after day in the same area, driving the same roads, seeing the same people, routine routine routine...time blurs by because there is little to distinguish one week from another. I try to make the most of everyday and of life, apreciating the little things, but it doesnt seem to help. I feel trapped in this speeding up of time and hope only that one day I will be financially able to get out of this repetitive rut and live a more dynamic life of travel and change.

I wonder how this fits into the Yogic idea of living in the present? Should one not be concerned with the PAST passage of time and simply live nuetrally in the present? This is hard to do when I think of the past year speeding by...I can't shake the feeling that I'm speeding towards the end of my life. I rather enjoy this particular ego manifestation and do not wish it to fast forward to the ending!


United Kingdom
246 Posts

Posted - Aug 23 2007 :  02:32:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Anthony,
Ill swop with you having used up 57 years so far I'd settle for where you are:).

I didnt notice the speed of time passage until about 15 years ago although since a small child ive been aware that this body can dissolve any moment and that has often got in the way of enjoying things so much. hmmm
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870 Posts

Posted - Aug 23 2007 :  07:49:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit Manipura's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Anthony - I see that a lot of people in their 20s are really big into getting out of college and going right into a career job, and by the time they're in their 30s they're really up there in terms of salary and company position. So they're able to buy a house or 2 and live the life, and so forth, but I think something is lost in the process. For one thing, as you point out, life just zips by in a blur and before they know it they're (gasp) 40. But also, their accomplishments have been achieved at some expense. When someone is so hell bent on achievement and financial gain, chances are really good that they haven't spent time in self-reflection or meditation. If they had, they might have questioned the validity of their drive for gain; at the very least they might've slowed down a bit. But spiritual practices aside (because it IS possible to be supremely successful in the professional world AND a spiritual being), I think it's a shame to miss out on the fun of being carefree and adventurous. There's nothing like a 9 to 5 to make the years flash by, and there's nothing like traveling in a foreign country to slow them down to a blessed halt. Everyone who's traveled for an extended period has experienced the sensation of time extending itself, and a week feels more like a month. I hope for you that you can quit your job asap and be less responsible for a while. Even if you determine just to take a summer off and go back to work in the fall, it'll give you so much of life.

Snake - I'm willing to bet that you wouldn't swap one of your 57 years. I read your posts; you've lived well. :)
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549 Posts

Posted - Aug 23 2007 :  10:51:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit anthony574's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I know what you mean. When I got out of HS and college didn't work out I worked a 9-5 for nearly a year and time flew by and not much was accomplished. I now only work 3 days a week and intend on going back to school for massage therapy. Not only will I very much enjoy the learning but I will be done in 6-12 months and then I can have a nice flexible job that accomodates travel :-) I think I value time a little too much because I find it hard to work a lot which puts me in money problems, but that is for a job that is not deeply saisfying. Work is one of the only things that actually makes me WANT time to go by faster, you know that feeling when you're looking at the clock and you're like "oh man! when is it going to be closing time!!!"
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2072 Posts

Posted - Aug 23 2007 :  3:39:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I have visited Father Time twice now. He has a long white beard, all the way to his feet, brown deep eyes and is always softly smiling. He lives at the top of the stairs of existence and keeps track of time and rules the minutes and seconds. Last time he put a ring of time around my being, a thin ring of gold marked with lines and signs for every year, horisontally placed around me, reaching from the beginning of history until today and beyond. A ring starting where it ends and ending where it starts. The ring was circling around me, but I was non-existent, vertical in the middle. I was the axis the time circled around. I was trapped in time, but then again, not trapped, since it was I holding it up.

Today I got home from work and on the door mat lay a post card saying "Against time". An invitation for an art exhibition.

Time, times and a half time. Isn't there a Bible qoute that reads something like that? I have always been fascinated of that expression.

Edited by - emc on Aug 23 2007 4:15:11 PM
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967 Posts

Posted - Aug 23 2007 :  6:37:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit Balance's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The way I understand it is that time as we experience it is an illusion. Our human minds are the creators of past, present and future. What we are is a presence of awareness, and the energetic experience of a person arises in this presence.

After 40 I began to experience what seems to be a quicker passage of "time". I think there comes a point that usually occurs around mid-life where the drama of experiences becomes narrowed and time seems to speed up. At that point the life of "a person in time" is seen to be a limited span and fascination with what appeared to be endless choices of experience to a youth are more of a "been there, done that" kind of thing. Even for a middle-ager timelessness occurs when one is enraptured with an intense experience.

And then there is thyme, a fragrant herb that some enjoy using in a favorite dish.

Edited by - Balance on Aug 23 2007 7:35:19 PM
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395 Posts

Posted - Aug 24 2007 :  01:48:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Recently I heard about an old man who said "I realised life is like a roll of toilet paper, the sooner you get to the end of it the faster it seems to go".
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United Kingdom
246 Posts

Posted - Aug 24 2007 :  02:40:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Snake - I'm willing to bet that you wouldn't swap one of your 57 years. I read your posts; you've lived well. :)

Meg, thankyou for reminding me,your'e right I wouldn't swop any 1 of those years:)
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2072 Posts

Posted - Aug 24 2007 :  02:42:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Revelations Chap 12

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

Rev 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

Rev 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

Rev 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

Rev 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and [to] his throne.

Rev 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days.

Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Rev 12:12 Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Rev 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child].

Rev 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

Rev 12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

Rev 12:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
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3615 Posts

Posted - Aug 24 2007 :  07:51:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit Etherfish's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I experience time flying by, and moving very slowly simultaneously. If you fill your schedule with as many activities as possible, making sure you do everything that needs to be done, and everything that you want to do, it will make time pass slowly. Then use meditation as the buffer so the clamor of the world doesn't drive you crazy.
So at work, I get done as much as possible, and concentrate on what I am doing rather than on the clock. It makes the time go by quickly, but I feel good about it. Then on my own time i still do as much as possible and time passes more slowly as I see all I am doing. I have time to do so many things!
The most important thing in controlling time is being conscious in the moment.
You will be sad time is passing by if you aren't conscious of what is happening right now.

So when you have free time, schedule a lot of activities on a tight schedule. Even if you are doing housework, write down 1/2 hr - vacuum, 1 hour - laundry etc. stick to the schedule and keep checking the clock. You will find time passes very slowly.
Even fun times; schedule them and check the clock every couple hours. Time will creep by.

The reason time flies by is because people zone out and are not conscious and don't watch the time and so don't make use of it.
Instead of scheduling 2 hours to watch a movie, they veg-out on the couch all evening without any plans, and that makes time pass quickly because you are only conscious a second here and there, then you add those seconds up and it seems like a few minutes, but hours have passed. The rest of the time you were not really there, so it was like sleeping.

Edited by - Etherfish on Aug 24 2007 7:06:46 PM
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549 Posts

Posted - Aug 25 2007 :  2:48:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit anthony574's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, I think awareness has everything to do with this phenomenon. I think if you live a repetitive lifestyle it can speed time up because on a nuerological level your brain is recieving roughly the same input over and over and in its natural tendency to make room for new information, places this input in the subconcience or that part of the brain that handles tasks automatically. It's the same principle of how we can do something so infinitley complex as driving on a freeway, automatically calucating distances, trajectory, even doing calculus...while we listen to a song, or talk on a cellphone (not me!). When you see the same stguff everyday and do the same things I think this happens and it is good in a way because it is supposed to free up resources...but if that extra room is not being applied to any activity, or to The Present, it wastes.
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United Kingdom
546 Posts

Posted - Aug 26 2007 :  09:28:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit gumpi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I find that if i fill my time with activities the time goes by quicker. Whereas if i am not doing anything it feels like i am waiting around and time goes slower.

I have no fear of death any more. I take each day as it comes and i have often mentally projected myself into my death bed to contemplate my life. I don't feel like i have wasted my life at all any more. If there is life on the other side so be it; if not what a glorius relief!

Enlightenment could come to you or it might not. Is there any sense in worrying about that? I don't think so. Besides, everyone has a different idea of what enlightenment is anyway. Perhaps it is enlightening just to be alive or have a few spiritual experiences and that is all. And if you worry about the future it means you are not living in the NOW hence there is less room for enlightenment becoming a reality in the here and now.
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530 Posts

Posted - Aug 26 2007 :  12:06:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kyman's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Some people have a portion of their life that is so full and cherished by them that their longings or desires are filled. They can die completely satisfied.

The experience of time seems to be a measurement of how close we are to god. When people find god through a spouse, child, cause, or surrender, time must stand still for them. It may pick up again but it has done something to them on the inside. The inner stillness is established.

Time to the mind can be a hassle, but if you create a routine out of your actions and apply conscious intent, you can practice mind over matter, or magic. Time becomes a different experience for the mind. The opportunity for synchronisity, convergence, and resonance.

As a youth I dreaded time, my talents were waisted on escapism. There was a terrible fear of time, it left me with company I severely neglected, myself.

Time for me right now is interesting, a nice balance. The purification process is rapid, and I stick to my daily routine. Months go by and I am slowly moving on my course, yet so much of me changes from month to month.

I feel like I am calmly speeding through time.

Edited by - Kyman on Aug 26 2007 12:14:51 PM
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549 Posts

Posted - Aug 26 2007 :  6:21:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit anthony574's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
There is a book I read a while ago called Time Mastery For Personal Excellence or something like that, it was about how to control your perception of time akin to how athletes do and such. At the time it seemed way too spacey and new agey but maybe not i will appreciate it a bit more :)
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3615 Posts

Posted - Aug 26 2007 :  10:01:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit Etherfish's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The more you watch the clock and the calendar, the slower time will pass.
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46 Posts

Posted - Aug 27 2007 :  01:31:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bill's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Great topic.
There is a great little novel called Momo by the author of the Neverending Story, Michael Ende about the Grey men who convince people to "save" time only to realize that they have lost time. There is a child who saves the day by revealing the tactics of the Grey men.
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2072 Posts

Posted - Aug 27 2007 :  06:42:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
My experience of time is now like being in the Matrix, knowing there's a computor program deciding my perception of time. Sometimes there's a bug in the system, like when Neo sees the cat twice - a deja vue, the picture of the appearance is distorted. The appearance start to hack or tug or more often goes in slow motion. Images dissolving. I can wake up several times one morning first at 07.00, then I wake up again at 06.00 by the alarm, and when I check what time I actually set the alarm it was 06.30... life is playing a game with me. Seems like it's showing me time is irrelevant.
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187 Posts

Posted - Aug 27 2007 :  09:42:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit Maximus's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I did not read everything but I see you said
'because it IS possible to be supremely successful in the professional world AND a spiritual being'
I wish it were true but it seems the truth is that you can't concentrate on being successful in both material & spiritual growth. you youself said that when you practise yoga you tend to question the validity of material gains. You might happen to be materially successful due to good karmas but perhaps you won't will to be materially successful as you grow spiritually.
I was reading Patanjali Yoga Sutras few days ago and one Sutra says that Consciousness can only either abide in witness state or objectified by the objects of perception, but not both at a time. Also haven't you heard the Christian saying 'No one can serve 2 masters'.
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549 Posts

Posted - Aug 27 2007 :  10:57:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit anthony574's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Originally posted by Etherfish

The more you watch the clock and the calendar, the slower time will pass.

I find the opposite to be true for me...well actually it depends on the circumstance. If I'm at work I will avoid looking at the clock so that time will go by faster. If I am on free time, I never wear a watch and avoid having to look at clocks too often (I used to be an incessant watch-checker) because I find the day goes by more in its own way. I recently went on a trip to a 3-day festival and there was no electrcitity and obviously clocks hanging around. I told my friends I did not want a time update and spent the whole 3 days not having a clue what time it was, and that was truly something novel! all meant notihng, all that mattered was "hey, there's the sun" or "the moon is out". Day and night is all you need :)
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2072 Posts

Posted - Aug 27 2007 :  2:30:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Maximus, that is probably more correctly directed to meg, not emc!
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187 Posts

Posted - Aug 28 2007 :  03:49:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit Maximus's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
My main motivation for doing Yoga is that I'm sick of growing old. I don't celebrate birthdays coz I see them as grievous events. I want my mind to stop thinking about my being old and getting older, so I practice Yoga to stop my mind or destroy it or kill it whatever; I just am sick of growing old. I want to be ageless and I want to be something that doesn't lose all memory when something called death arrives and take an entirely new memory when something called birth arrives.
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2072 Posts

Posted - Aug 28 2007 :  04:28:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Wonderful, Maximus, to hear you're getting tired of your ego and your identity. That's the only thing that can grow old. Your being is eternal and can never grow old, never die. It is never born. It is your mind that is living in a horisontal, linear time world. YOU are not! So there's actually nothing to worry about. You already ARE ageless, someting that doesn't lose memory, don't even have a memory. That is pure consciousness. That's what you are right now and in every now, and you cannot become something you allready are. The only thing that is needed is a change in perspective. Yoga practices help changing that perspective.

It is not you (mind) doing anything on the outside (practices) to find something on the inside (eternal being). It is you (being), being the whole "inside" (and more), that is looking OUT through your body-mind vehicle watching the appearance of the world and existence, watching your body-mind vehicle in practices that are happening.

Birthdays are sort of silly. They only keep you identifying with the body that is growing older. The body is not your real self. Never has been, never will be.
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870 Posts

Posted - Aug 28 2007 :  10:56:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit Manipura's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I love getting older. It's the best thing that's ever happened to me. My ego doesn't particularly enjoy it, which is exactly the point. To become spiritually mature the ego has to stop being fed, and the visible effects of aging provide ample opportunity for humility. :) I like how gravity is starting to affect my physical body, and how my source of strength is rooting deeper and deeper. I feel no envy when I watch people in their 20s and 30s...I'm just thankful that I've got all that behind me. Maximus, if you don't mind my saying so, I think you've got it all wrong. Youth has nothing to do with years. Relax and let them shape you. :) Aging is a battleground only for the ego.
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1813 Posts

Posted - Aug 29 2007 :  11:30:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit Katrine's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
What we call time is not in and of itself. Time cannot be. Time is activity. It is the succession of mental activity - one after the other - that constitutes what we call time. It is the ever changing mind. I ask myself: Where....and in what.....does this mind happen? What is the underlying.....truth/essence/permeation.....that is the source of the changing mind?

If there is no concepts in the way of perception (ie: if the mind is still)- it is seen that everything happens right now. Everything everywhere happens now. It never happens is never going to happen tomorrow; it always happens NOW. Right HERE.

And this now is what I am. What we are.

When time seems to is usually because I am closer to the emptiness of the pure moment. It is hard to bear.....if I don't perceive of the fullness of it also.

The fullness of NOW is, however, so JOYOUS

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3615 Posts

Posted - Aug 31 2007 :  7:23:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit Etherfish's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
This may be just another way of looking at what Katrine said, but I feel if you are worried about aging and the passing of time, you may not be fulfilling the purpose that you are here for.

If you fill your free time with things you love to do, you won't care that time is passing. These things usually require a good amount of effort, and interaction with others. You should KNOW that you are doing what you are here for, then nothing will feel wasted.
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187 Posts

Posted - Sep 04 2007 :  09:33:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit Maximus's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't think so. I could be another Buddha. I'm grieving for roughly the same reasons he did for.
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