Time… How does one define this marvel? The answer is not so obvious. It requires a much deeper analysis, something today that few people feel like doing… because of the lack of it. Time is almost entirely consumed in the struggle for life, it is a daily battle that goes on for years on end, decades, until the glorious apotheosis: the self con-decoration with the “winner's” medal, a commendation that grants the victor the right of enjoying the lazy home-life with the conscience of one having done one's duty. Sheltered in this last trench one can then, finally, make good use of it.
The truth is that during the unraveling of this daily fight, the insane coming and going, we manage to reserve a few hours per week for leisure and rest, but not to meditate about the crucial things in life. For things like this we have no time, it is not worth wasting time over this activity.
“A subject for philosophers!” many snap and quickly step aside with a smile on their lips and an eye on the clock. And that's how all of us live, heartless philosophers, running after life without living it, without really experiencing it, without extracting from it the lessons and knowledge that would facilitate our growth as the human spirits that we in fact are.
We eat, drink, and sleep, exactly like a herd of cattle. Perhaps make a little more effort as we also study compulsorily, work mechanically and avidly have a good time. Just as what is expected from a human mass. But is this what life is all about? By squandering away a few decades in these social activities only? And what about the human spirit? What does it do in this space of time that has been integrally consumed by the bodily needs that are seen as a priority?
Before answering these questions, let us try and properly understand the nature of time. According to Einstein's theory of relativity, space and time are interconnected. At velocities close to the speed of light, the mass of a body increases perceptibly, space contracts and time passes much slower.
Does time pass slowly? How is this possible? Can the rhythm of time alter its pulsation under certain circumstances? Does time in fact really pulsate?
At childhood we had the clear impression that time, in fact, passed much slower. It took ages for the vacations to arrive; Christmas, always eagerly awaited was an event that very rarely repeated itself; the birthday then seemed more like a stroke of luck, when it finally came round.
As we grow older the story inverts. It seems as if time accelerates. We hardly repeat our unalterable definitive New Year's resolutions and the weeks and months have already begun their hurried career. When we get hold of ourselves we are already finishing the first semester, soon afterwards we are surprised by the first Christmas Carols. And in spite of this change in perception, we know that the endless hours of childhood contain the same slow 60 minutes as that of the adult phase. How does one explain this?
Experience explains this. It is the life of the human being that changes from a certain age onwards, and not time. Time doesn't change. The movements of the clock's hands just numerically register our passage through time. Time doesn't change, it is us that change in it.
Let's take a closer look at this example. The registration of a person's passage on Earth can be measured by a determined number of years. Let us say, seventy. But this doesn't mean that this person had experienced as much as another person who had lived the same amount of time. The amount of years is the same, but the experiences are different. And what really counts, as true wealth, as the only profit and foundation of physical existence, it is experience. Thus, it could have taken the first person a hundred years to experience the same amount of things as the second person did, but the latter only needed thirty years to achieve the same.
So, the more mobility a human spirit shows, the more vigilant and acting it is, the more it will experience in the same period of time. Externally this is shown as an apparent temporary dilation, that is, for a certain person time seems “to stretch out”; permitting one to do everything that one had intended to do. Internally, however, the opposite happens. For that same person time seemed “to fly” in such a way that one hardly managed to use time, as one would have liked to be able to have done, in the achievement of one's objectives. Nevertheless, it was not time that flew by quickly, but it was the very person who acted diligently inside time. It was the person that “flew” inside time, and this is the only reason why it seemed that time went by so fast. It is said that at the end of Leonardo da Vinci's life he complained of not having had enough time to do all he wanted…
There are endless numbers of other examples to choose from to exemplify this relativity of the perception of time. It is sufficient for us to be concentrated in some important activity, or even absorbed in the script of a good film, and time “flies” again. On the other hand, while we are stuck in the dentist's chair we feel like we are there for eternity and time never seems to pass.
In fact, time is indissolubly interconnected to space. Time-space is the binomial granted to each creature for its development, be it on Earth or in any other part of Creation. However, time does not alter. It remains still. What changes is the perception we have of it, according to our own spiritual and terrestrial mobility.
So, even here on Earth we notice a change in the speed of the assimilation of facts from our adolescence on. From that point in time on, time seems to go faster, because it is from this stage on that the spirit enters into action. When the terrestrial body reaches a certain state of maturity, the spirit inside it starts to enter into full operation, and then the experiences begin to intensify.
Therefore, the simple natural and automatic beginning of the spiritual performance is already enough to alter the perception of time, even if it is at a reduced rate. However, for almost the majority of humans the spirit doesn't act, as it should do from this point in time on. Instead of taking command of the situation, as is expected to do normally, which is in fact its function, the spirit curves to the impositions of the intellect, excessively stimulated and unilaterally developed already at the beginning of the second decade of life. The spiritual will doesn't manage to overcome the intellect, and thus the spirit, that is really everything and what the human being in fact really is, becomes a slave to its intellect, a mere instrument given to it for its use while living its life on Earth.
That's why the running around in our modern age doesn't weigh as experience at all for the spirit. All this apparent wealth of daily experiences is absolutely only fruit of the cerebral activity that can naturally only find value in material, visible and tangible things, which is entirely proper with the earthly concept of time and space. As the human brain is, due to its own constitution, incapable of understanding what lies beyond Earth time-space, whilst the spirit, the only thing qualified for this, finds itself both too weak and too sleepy to assume this task.
And this is how the human lives his life, in a hurry, without worrying who he is, without knowing where he comes from and what is the purpose of his existence. Worse: he goes through life without even trying to know how he should proceed, so that he can continue to exist in Creation. None of this is important to him; his dormant spirit is in an intellectual coffin.
If the human spirit acted as it should its experiences would be immeasurably richer. The experiences would immediately transform themselves into lasting, indelible ones, and consequently bring about evolution. And also science itself would not need to paroxysmally exert itself into stretching out life by a few more years, as we can easily live through centuries during our short passage here on Earth.
Roberto C. P. Junior