Is a clock ticking?

21
May
2008

Why is it so ingrained in us? Is is the fear of death, of non-existence? Is our relationship to time inborn, or culturally nurtured? I tend to think it is a little of both actually. My experience in a variety of other cultures has shown me that we need not be as time (and therefore youth and death) obsessed as we are taught to be in the West. I have learned that the present and eternity can be one and the same, and I have learned to find peace in the now. And yet, this tick-tock is still largely my frame, no matter how much I try to break free of it. I know in my head that time obsession is a frame of mind, yet deep inside me its imagined importance keeps creeping, and rearing it’s ugly head on occasion. As June 10th (the day I fly to LA) approaches, I feel the weight of some unknown decision that some part of me is telling myself I must make. Will I return to Mexico in a month or two (to continue learning Spanish and work for a time)? Will I take a job in the US? Will it be in SF, LA, NYC? Will I take the rest of my savings and travel South America? Will I return to a job in technology (the easiest path) or will I try to work as a writer or something else?

Part of the reasons these are weighing on me a bit is that a date (June 10th) is approaching. And part of the reason is that I feel at a crossroads and don’t know what I want. But really I am not bound (at least not yet) by anything other than some self imposed perception. I don’t really have to do anything until my savings run out, and that won’t be for at least another 6 months. My wiser, inner self is telling me to chill out.

Comments

  1. closetalk says:

    wiser self, eh? wowee… sorta like jedi training. :)
    i will be hitting san diego for a conference in nov. yippee.

  2. Stephen says:

    May the force be with you in SD…

  3. Kalo ‘smi loka-ksaya-krt pravrddho lokan samahartum iha pravrttah…

  4. Got your email. Figured I’d respond hear for the benefit of your readers who might also have missed the reference in my last comment.

    It’s Sanskrit from the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 11 “The Universal Form” Text 32 –

    “sri-bhagavan uvaca
    kalo ‘smi loka-ksaya-krt pravrddho
    lokan samahartum iha pravrttah
    rte ‘pi tvam na bhavisyanti sarve
    ye ‘vasthitah pratyanikesu yodhah”

    “The Blessed Lord said:
    Time I am, Destroyer of the Worlds,
    and I have come to engage all People.
    With the exception of you,
    all the Soldiers here on both sides will be slain.”

    It’s the famous “Kalo Asmi” quote popularized in the West via J. Robert Oppenheimer “Father of the Atomic Bomb” who used it to describe his feelings after the Trinity Test when he saw the explosion of the world’s first atomic bomb: “If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one…Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

    His use of “Death” though loses something in the translation as the original text expresses more the idea of the supreme truth being all-devouring time, the great equalizer, moving relentlessly forward, destroying/creating everything in its path.

    I’m disappointed a world-traveling, yoga-practicing, wikipedia-loving dilettante like yourself didn’t get and/or didn’t find the reference within a mouse-click or two. ;)

  5. Stephen says:

    Ah, well. Disappointment is as valuable as delight. Revel in it.

  6. Sometimes more valuable!