Planet Waves | Time Enough for Love by Eric Francis


Time Enough for Love

Planet Waves for April 2001
By Eric Francis

____Time has been doing some weird things lately.


____Just checking.

____As usual, time seems to be accelerating along what feels like a bell-shaped curve. Weeks feel pretty much like they pass at their usual blinding pace (okay, they felt like an eternity in mind-numbing elementary school), but the tempo of the months and years seems to be increasing steadily. I can tell because of certain tasks I must do each month which seem to converge into a feeling of happening once a week.

____Some say that this perceived acceleration occurs because we're all growing older and with each passing year, a year represents a smaller percentage of the total life we have lived so far. At 20 years old, a year is one-twentieth of our total life so far (or 5%); but by age 40 it's just 2-1/2% of the total, hence, a year is "less." However, while each year is a smaller percentage of the whole, as we age, the rate of change decreases, because those very percentages are shrinking. For example, at the end of one year, one year is 100% of one's life; at the end of two years, one year is 50% of one's life; so the rate of acceleration is really slowing down. This could suggest that, from one viewpoint, the years might even seem longer as we grow older.

____But they don't, to most people.

____Scholars of the Mayan calendar speak of a time convergence point around 2012, a kind of "end of time." In the technology industries, there is a phenomenon known as Dog Years, which represent the perception that the compressed events, advances and experiences of a steadily-increasing 7 or 8 years pass in a calendar year as a result of technology moving forward faster than we can conceive of the changes. Most of us are in some way connected to this technology, whether through the Internet, television, the cellular phone network or the regular long-distance network, hence, we come along for the ride.

____The creation of these information networks has had the main effect of collapsing space; we can now speak with a relative 6,000 miles away for 5 cents a minute, and can have contact every day if we want. Television (which means "seeing far away") allows sights and sounds of remote places to enter our minds. The cellular network and Internet put us in our offices wherever we are.

____People who do not remember doing research before the Internet (which is so new as a popular phenomenon that it made the cover of Time magazine for the first time in 1994) have no clue how hard it was to find information. You had to go to the library, for one thing, and you might have to go to a far-away library. Now, all the information that everyone has been collecting in their homes, universities, laboratories, archives and so on, for the past 50 or 100 or more years, is arriving on the World Wide Web, and you can find much of it in search engines like Google that are, for the most part, extremely effective and democratic.

____In a sense, everything is drawing nearer to us, in consciousness, in space and in time. Yet at the same time, time is speeding up, and slipping away, in consciousness.

____Ever heard of Relativity?

____This was a theory of space and time thought up by a Pisces guy who was then working as a patent clerk, by the name of Al. His basic theory stated, among other things, that space and time are related phenomena which exist together on what he called the "space-time continuum." These words get tossed around a lot on Star Trek, yet there is an awesome revelation here. Relativity has been proven many times and many ways; space and time are one experience or, as Edgar Allen Poe wrote years before Einstein, "Space and duration are one." A Course in Miracles puts it this way: "Space and time are one illusion."

____It is proven, for example, that on a moving vehicle (such as a train or airplane), the flow of time slows down relative to the movement of time on a stationary object, such as at the control tower or train station. This was harder to prove when there were less accurate clocks, and clocks which could not communicate with one another, but it was proven nearly a century ago, and it has been demonstrated again and again.

____However, the faster we go, says Relativity, the slower time goes. In other words, if you had a twin brother and you boarded a space ship on Earth and flew around at the speed of light for a year, you would return to Earth to find him a very old man, or perhaps long gone. Because you were moving fast, you would age slowly, while he would age at the normal rate of time. This is called the "Twin Paradox" because twins are always supposed to be the same age. While we can't make spacecraft which go fast enough to test that paradox, we know that relativistic effects are proven well enough (and used routinely in things like jet airliner navigation) that it would work.

____Now, at first I had this theory: if we are collapsing space and distance with all this technology, that is, if everything is converging in space (distance), and our cousin in China and the home office and national headquarters can all be accessed by a laptop and cellphone in your car, then that is another way of saying we are moving very fast in space, and this is causing an acceleration in our perception of time.

____But Relativity works precisely opposite this. The faster we go, and the more we collapse space and distance, the slower time would proceed. Space and duration are one, but the relationship between them is inverse. So, here is another argument for the idea that the faster and further we go, the more we might expect time to slow down. But we all pretty much agree that it's speeding up, and yet, we are going faster and faster at the same time.

____Or are we?

____It would seem that, for all our advances in speed and technology, for all our advances in philosophy and spirituality as a culture, and for as close as this brings everyone and everything, part of our consciousness is lodged in the past, and clinging to the past. We are called upon to move, and yet many of us do not move. We want to hold fast -- to something, to someone, to ideas, to anything. In resisting, in a sense, by staying on the Earth while our twin brother (perhaps the soul) moves around the galaxy at the speed of light, we feel time pass us by.

____I compare this to a pebble at the bottom of a stream. The stream is the flow of time; the pebble is a person's awareness. If the pebble clings to the bottom of the stream, the stream will seem to be going very, very fast. If we let go into the stream, the stream will move slower relative to the pebble, or the pebble will move faster relative to the stream; as a result, time (the flow of water) will feel like it's moving at a less frantic pace.

____But most people cling. We cling, mainly, to relationships, and to ideas about relationships: this is what drags us down and holds our minds to the past. I am speaking mainly of relationships in which people are not happy, not fulfilled, not with the person they love, not living their truth, and mainly, not able to grow as fast as they know they can. I don't believe it's possible to live in outmoded relationships and to keep pace with one's growth. To the contrary, it seems like this is the best possible way to hold growth and hence personal progress down, back and firmly into the past.

____I am proposing what seems (even to me) like a somewhat wild theory: That our ideas about relationships affect our perception of the passage of time.

____If we let go into who we truly are, and who we truly love, we will experience time as movement along a trustworthy flow known as the river. We may not be able to control the flow, but we can move with it. If we cling, we will experience time as a wearing, destructive and brutal force that threatens to tear us away and apart from what we seem to need, and not provide us with what we truly need.

____Because we can't actually control other people, all we can really do is let go into the flow, which to me means let go and increase awareness. Or, let go, and let go into the greater awareness that feeds into our consciousness through the intuition and the subtle senses. To quote one prophesy, this will feed us with the "living information" that we need to navigate the waters of time, and actually feel alive in this awesome, mysterious moment of the human story.++

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