I, among billions of earthly cohorts, once wished there was more time. Every day I would struggle to do what I needed to do, and every day, I would fail. I (surely along with you, comrade – let us commiserate) would fail at accomplishing everything I had hoped to achieve in a 24 hour period while somehow sacrificing sleep, friends, (and hygiene). Yet inexplicably, I would only be able to account for about 2/3 of my day. What about the other the 8 hours? What happened? How were they eaten up? Commuting? Eating? Rereading webcomics? Do I really spend that long staring at empty space, drooling?
I refer to my time management woes in the past tense, but not a thing has changed. I still struggle. But there is one major difference: before, I wished there was more time. Now, I wish there was no time.
Time is an enemy. It must be destroyed.
Everything we do is within an imaginary grid (surely without which the world would cease to function – but that’s beside the point!). Everything. On an obvious level: calendars, clocks, scheduling. On a less obvious level: music.
The language of music is written purely in expressions of time. A quarter [of a whole measure of time] note. A frequency is a set of wave impulses per time. Crescendo -> an increase in wave amplitude over time. Music devoid of time doesn’t exist. We can only experience music in time. How would it even be possible otherwise?
Even less obvious: language. Every sentence we say, every word we utter within a larger syntax, exists in a timed sequence that conveys an expression. Outside of time, is language impossible?
Clearly, time is our overlord. It controls everything we do. We live as slaves in its matrix, and we must break free. But we desire it, as if victims of Stockholm Syndrome.
Let me briefly summarize for you my relationship with Time. In an effort for better self-management, I time everything I do. Literally, I’ll start homework and I’ll hit the stopwatch. I’ll start reading a book -> stopwatch. Gym -> stopwatch. Every time I visit a new place, I count quarter-hours. Museums? – hour maximum. Hell, I even time my visits with friends. I don’t even watch movies anymore because they take too much time (but there will always be time to reread webcomics!).
My compositions are the musical embodiment of impatience. Everything I write exists in a sectional form where I move from one texture to another texture with no regard for space because I’m afraid that too much time in any one texture is a waste of time.
Time has ruined me.
Has it ruined you?
Now of course, I have never ever smoked weed. But let us pretend for a moment, for the sake of discourse, that I can speak first hand to the experience of being high (hypothetically, because I totally can’t – all this is based on hearsay from a friend. A friend of a friend, really. An acquaintance). As I understand, the most bizarre psychological effect of the aforementioned herb is its distortion of Time. At high enough levels of intoxication, short-term memory can completely disappear, leaving the user in a state completely detached from the immediate past.
With no sense of past, there is no mappable trajectory through the present. No present velocity means no predictable future. No past, no future. Only present. Suddenly, time is revealed as something optional – something apart from us – something that isn’t an inevitability of existence.
Marijuana defeats Time. (But seriously, kids, don’t do drugs. Drugs are bad, m’kay?)
Doesn’t living in a timeless present sound idyllic? A while back I posted a passage by Milan Kundera (yes, I realize if you read my blog, you’re probably sick of him by now). Reading the passage would do it more justice than reading my summary of it, but in part of this passage, he discusses the differences between Animal and Man in regards to how we react to time. For Man, time is a linear path. For Animal, time runs in circles. Every morning, a dog can wake up, partake in the same routine, and never get bored. But for humans, becoming bored with our lives is a reality of existence. We feel this need to move forward in time and being trapped in an endlessly routine existence becomes banal misery. And yet, if our relationship to our pets proves anything, its that we long for this timeless routine and vicariously seek it through others, even though we can’t seem to find happiness in it through ourselves.
“And therein lies the whole of man’s plight. Human time does not turn in a circle; it runs ahead in a straight line. That is why man cannot be happy: happiness is the longing for repetition.”
When something repeats an infinite number of times, is the concept of Time no longer applicable? Does something that occurs continuously exist outside of Time? If animals can defeat Time, why can’t we?
A thought struck me: Do many of our anxieties and psychoses result from a soured relationship with Time? Can depression be linked to a disagreement with our role in time and space? Does Time affect our sense of self worth? Surely, time implies age -> age implies decay. Does our existence in the Domain of Time reinforce a dreadful sense of existential meaninglessness? If 60 seconds is a minute, and 60 minutes is an hour, and an hour is what it takes to bake a potato, how many potatoes can we fit into our lifetime before looking back and realizing that, in the face of Infinity, our life-potatoes were crafted from negligible units? Considering the formidably vast expanse of historical time, how are we to assign even the slightest importance to the infinitesimally small portion of time we occupy on the Timeline of Humanity?
Time is ruthless. Time is insanity. Even through our daily servitude to the prison of Time, it cruelly insists on depriving us of the one thing mankind treasures most: sovereign, independent self-importance. In the face of Time, there can only exist resigned disappointment.
There is one solution. – Brothers, Sisters. Countrymen. Let us fight the war on Time. Let us show no mercy.