Sunday, December 13, 2009

Time and Time Again

In my last post, I kind of ranted and raved about my arch-nemesis, TIME.  I'm sure most artists, especially those who, like me, work a full time day job, can relate.  At this time of year, it's easy to start freaking out about not having enough time to get things done.  I've gotten lots of empathy, which I truly do appreciate, and even an idea or two.  The most intriguing one was to "command time", requiring "just a tiny change in thought."  (Thanks, Cat!)  Apparently, Cat has been reading up on her General Theory of Relativity, a la Einstein, who happens to be one of my personal heroes.  Here's how he sums it up:

"People like us who believe in physics know that the distinction between the past, the present, and the future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."  -Albert Einstein  

Here are a few other thought on time that I thought I'd share with you.  This one's pretty funny:

The line between science and mysticism sometimes grows thin. Today physicists would agree that time is one of the strangest properties of our universe In fact, there is a story circulating among scientists of an immigrant to America who has lost his watch. He walks up to a man on a New York street and asks, "Please, Sir, what is time?" The scientist replies, "I'm sorry, you'll have to ask a philosopher. I'm just a physicist."  Clifford Pickover, Nova Online

 So, I thought I'd check out what philosophy has to say.  Here's a bit about the Tibetan Buddhist perspective:

Kalachakra Mandala: The Wheel of Time
The word kalachakra means cycles of time, and the Kalachakra system presents three such cycles – external, internal and alternative. The external and internal cycles deal with time as we normally know it, while the alternative cycles are practices for gaining liberation from these two. 

According to Buddhist thought, we humans discriminate between past, present and future, and we give them substance by attaching name and meaning to them. This everyday notion of time is not reality and is based on fundamental ignorance (or avidya). Unlike the Christian concept of time, time in Buddhism has no beginning and no end.  In order to awaken to true reality, one must do as Hesse's Siddhartha did - i.e. eliminate the concept of time by realizing that it has no substance. This is how [one] attain[s] wisdom and enlightenment.  -The Conscious Universe  
The question is, how do we make these ideas work for us?  eHow has some suggestions on How to Transcend Time and Space: 
*  Meditation is one of the best-known ways to transcend time and space.
In the Moment  by Laurel Julian
* Try attending a trance dance, ecstatic dance or another movement class where there is no talking allowed in the space. Allow the music and movements of your body to take you outside space and time.  
* Make a commitment to spiritual growth. The more you practice living in the present moment and loving yourself, the more you will experience pure moments of superconsciousness.
Spirit in Flight, by Laurel Julian  
Busy yourself doing something you love. Crafting, reading, painting, singing: Do anything artistic that you enjoy. If you are truly focused and love what you are doing, time and space with dissolve. You can even transcend time and space while doing household chores!Turn your creative outlets into a ritual. Set intentions for what you want while you are creating.
Wait a minute, wasn't that what this whole TIME thing was about in the first place-  not having the TIME to do what I love?  Is that ironic, or what?  I guess I've come full circle here; it has been pretty cathartic in the end.  I guess it's TIME to stop whining and get back to making art!
By the way, I'm pretty sure the part about household chores is a lie! ;)


  1. There is never enough time! I totally agree. Can you imagine how successful the Etsy shop that sold time would be??? :-)

  2. Hi Sharmon, I'm enjoying your exploration of time, or lack there of :~) This time of the year is the only time that I really feel the press - I completely lose track, forgetting about things like adding in shipping time for the gifts I send off to my nieces and nephew until it's right on top of me. Usually I can find *enough* when I remind myself that 90% of the deadlines I have are really all in my mind. If I ask myself 'how important is it?' I am released, because even if a gift arrives late, it arrives. I used to pressure myself so much about getting things done in a framework of illusion. I've learned that prioritizing a quiet moment for myself over dust balls is a win win every time! When I let go, and stay present, there is always enough. Like you've said, that dirt will return either way!!

  3. I can only imagine what it would be like not to have a full time job in Dec. I could get so MORE done!
    LOVED the sufi video!!!!!

  4. Another great post Sharmon...much food for thought...Einstein is affectionately called 'Uncle Al' in our home. I loved the video, the whole idea of trance and trance dancing as a suspension of time is delicious...I spent a whole night in a jungle in Bali, more than once, witnessing trance dance...oh my my my...time simply does disappear under certain circumstances....and in Tibetan monasteries I also felt as though it was not only possible, but an open invitation, to step beyond the limits of time (samsara).

  5. I love how this post comes full circle...I'm kind of with the Buddhists on this...time is quite circular...think of seasons of nature and season of life...and yes being creative clearly transcends time as anyone who has created any kind of art or done anything totally engaging the secret for me is to not get hung up in how much time I have...wishing for more time is a waste of the time we are granted...5-10 minute spent on a focused creative pursuit is still
    time...and it's time well spent.

    may you be blessed with 10 minutes every day to be present to your creativity...and if more time arises for playful, artful endeavors...bless the time in return for it's gift to you!


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I'm happy to reply here, but may not always have time for individual emails.