How do I perceive time? How do I measure it? How is it that my mental models of time are in accordance with natural cycles? How do I perceive the space I am in? How do I measure it? How is it that my mental models of space are in accordance with natural arrangements?
Time and space blend with my life. If time is money then, I've already spent the past and I’m saving for the future. The present moment is all I really have. Time is my greatest asset and space my greatest resource for extending my mind and body.
I’ve lived without a true mindfulness that each moment passing is another moment gone forever. I can measure these moments I’ve been given and estimate those that remain. My life expectancy is 78.74 years. These 28,740.1 days are punctuated by a constant rhythm played in 206,928,720 blinks of the eye, 672,768,000 breaths of life giving air, and 2,500,000,000 heartbeats. And then the music stops.
How am I really spending my time? Is it in the pursuit of my own purpose or am I pursuing the purposes of others? How have my notions of time been developed for me?
There are twelve pages and upon each page a cluster of numbered boxes demarcate the days of a month. My obligations and appointments are written into these boxes. This is my calendar. It was developed during the Roman Empire and the word itself comes from the word calends, which is to say the first day of the month when accounts are settled. My calendar does not align with the rhythms of my mind and body any more than it does with celestial motion. The calendar I have today serves economic regularity and not natural epicycles of time.
Long ago the people of Earth undertook a challenge to diverge from the natural order of things. It was a time when some people decided together to stop living a lifestyle of nomadic hunting and gathering. They settled down and built homes to live in. They cultivated the land as farmers and domesticated animals. They were prepared to make this shift because they had first accessed a deeper understanding of time and space.
This shift in the way people lived was not for the need to survive. People were already surviving as hunter-gatherers. Instead, I imagine this departure from a million years of tradition was a choice. A conscious decision to pursue abundance with intelligence. Because, an abundance of food would give people time. Time to hone their true skills. Time to specialize would create an abundance of energy. Time to use their brains in new ways; to follow their passions would create technological progress. Time to progress technologically would create an abundance of material goods and services.
Throughout history, many civilizations rose and fell and cultures continue to develop their own calendar systems. Today, their accuracy is judged against the solar year. Every system, even the one used today fails to align perfectly with the solar year. To compensate, time is inserted algorithmically. The calendar in use today inserts an extra day every four years. Apart from this, the rotation of the earth is irregular, so leap seconds are periodically inserted to compensate for irregular lengths of the day. This rigid insistence on regularity for economic principles leaves me disconnected to the natural epicycles of time. It de-emphasizes my natural progression through stages of life and my inevitable mortality. It lacks a personalized and built-in historical perspective of its user, me. My calendar doesn't talk about me. It talks about those I serve. The calendar doesn't serve me, it merely suggests I organize and manage my own economic servitude.
Perhaps what is needed is more than one way of looking at time. Perhaps I need a calendar that represents my own life, not little boxes and for which the epoch is not set arbitrarily. It would begin at the time of my conception. It captures my own personal circadian rhythm as it is informed by biometric feedback and the data I create as I participate in the amenities of a modern life. A personalized view of time that makes probabilistic assumptions about an uncertain future and constantly works to align itself with my mind and body. Perhaps I need another calendar that uses an absolute time counted with immutable rigidity. Something that works for accurate logs, computation and collaboration. Perhaps I also need the Gregorian calendar to keep my servitude to the economic and social systems of the old world. Perhaps then, all three working together would create an alignment. An alignment between my mind and body with the epicycles and recursions in the environment of a natural life.
If time is epicycles, then space is recursions — little boxes within little boxes. I live and operate within boxes within boxes. The box dictates the possibilities of design. Once the first box was made, standards and regulations prohibit designs outside of the box.
In antiquity a King or a Pharaoh — a Ruler of the people — would decree the unit of measure to be the length of their arm. The hubris and conceit of these Rulers had the units of measure always changing from one generation to the next. Each generation property lines would be remeasured. Architecture could not be duplicated across regions with different Rulers. Not until medieval europe did the Ruler decree that the unit of measure be standardized as an iron bar. The first yardstick that came to be known as: the ruler.
The standardization of time and space is necessary or I waste resources when I collaborate. It is necessary to evolve a little bit and realize that nature has not and never will serve an economic system. Nature will not bend to the paradigm of living in smaller and smaller boxes. I am not separate from nature. I need to acknowledge that time and space is not consumed by an individual if the individual is allowed to become the steward of that time and space. It is not wasted time and wasted space; but the frequency and modulation of epicycles and recursions that will create a permanent civilization.
The environment I live in is apart of my extended mind. If the society I am in continues down the path of sprawl to serve an economic system it will ruin the outside environment. If the society I am in recoils in fear, and continues the path of consolidation in mega cities to serve an economic system, it will ruin the internal environment of the mind and body. A balanced approach is needed for a permanent civilization. A permanent culture of individual stewards of time and space to regenerate ecology and manufacture a lasting abundance of food and energy. A system that serves the people and the planet. A system that services the regenerative properties of nature.
The past no longer exists yet it's chain of causality has brought us to this place in space. The future does not exist, yet you focus upon it, and attempt to steer toward what you imagine it to be. Amazingly this can work, because all that exists is right now. This ever present moment is all there is.