Time is one of those concepts we have to deal with in our personal lifes. When we’re five years old we feel that it will take forever to grow up. When we’re single we feel that we will never again be touched (and it feels like eternity). When we’re middle aged we feel that life is racing us by.

Then we ponder history! Oh man!

Just over half a century ago the entire world was raging war. Whole nations where storming across the globe killing each other as massively as possible. Today you travel around these countries and their current generation doesn’t have a clue what war you’re even talking about. Much less do they want to know anything about it.

In a couple of years there will be a century since the first World War was raging. They called it the war to end all wars. Millions of men where butchered in trenches on a small stretch of land for four long years. Half a century before that, a similar butchering took place in America, to free the slaves they say. But the cause is irrelevant when humans are occupied in the serious business of eliminating ‘the evil side’ of business.

I could go on through the stepping stones of history, wars or inventions. It doesn’t matter. What matters is today. Today there is so much goin on, and nothing can be missed.

Where is my mobile phone, did I miss any messages or phonecalls? What’s happening on the news on TV, or what’s going on in the newspapers. Did I miss any of my favorite shows on TV. Then there are the social websites. We can loom for hours, just checking that we don’t miss anything, news from friends, news from offers, new websites. Every day there is so much going on, and it often seems that everybody needs to have his voice heard. You cannot watch television – or listen to a radio station for that matter – for fifteen minutes straight without an interlude of ads.

Who remembers what was going on five years ago? Yet at any given time, in the chatterworld of modern times, everything that is going on is supremely important.

For three years I’ve slowed down from this dance. I don’t care anymore if there is a new version of mobile phone, a faster kind of computer, or anything newish. I don’t care anymore if I can cook pre-prepared food in a microwave in five minutes. I don’t care what’s happening on the news or what I’m missing out on anywhere.

One day I simply had enough! I was raised on a farm where time was measured in a different way. The work we had to do there was directly related to our survival and we went about our business with respect for each other, respect for a work well done, and above all we respected the animals we worked with.

I began turning off the lights I didn’t use. I learnt to cook simple, and healthy, and I enjoy it. Yes the microwave could do it in five, and I do it in fifteen: But my food is my achievement, and I don’t need those extra ten for Facebook or some soap operas on TV. I just don’t need it.

Somehow my time slowed down. I began sitting in my kitchen for whole evenings. I scribbled, listened to interesting programs on the radio, read a novel, or chatted with someone. I suddenly had a life – I cannot easily define it, but my life began to have value, where before it had noise and speed.

Today I’d rather be bored from time to time, and better enjoy the fun stuff, than be comfortably entertained on a couch.

I always loved to watch TV. I liked many kind of films and valued certain series on it. I downloaded the series that interest me and often spent long evenings enjoying – what I felt was – quality stuff. I retain many, since I’d like to have the option, not the rule, to watch from time to time.

One afternoon I saw myself, as if watching myself from the outside. I saw how I sat evening in and evening out, watching television, like a sack on a couch. Like something just sitting there, taking in sound and vision, not regurgitating, not reciprocating, nothing: Just spending my life on a couch!

I switched off the TV and haven’t used it since, and I don’t miss it. On the other hand something interesting has happened.

Every day that I have lived since, I have lived joyfully, proactively, rarely tired, and more active than before. I have more quality in my communication with others, and somehow my sensitivity has increased. Not the ‘dramatic’ kind of ‘being sensitive’ but like fine-tuned-senses sensitive. When I meet people in daily life I observe that they’re generally different:

They don’t listen and participate in conversations, they wait their turn. They’re tired, erratic, stressed, one-liner based, or speeches inclined. It’s like they’re not really there, like they don’t have much to say, and well: Like they’re absent. I don’t know how to define what this is, but I know it has to do with speed, chatter, noise, and something undefined. I mentioned this recently to someone older than me, with deeper perspective for time than I have, who said simply, “it’s TV”.

I sometimes have boring evenings. Evenings where I’d like to snack on something, have something happening, or whatever. But I have chosen a way of life which is quiet, peaceful, yet energetic. I have no interest in turning back: I deeply appreciate each day that I have, and those who share it. Somehow my sense of history has even tuned itself diferently.

Sharing space with Them

For sake of visual representation of what I mean, I’ll post two images. This post was never intended to be this long, no-one has time to read posts on blogs anymore.

The point being with those images is this: We feel it’s a long time since the birth of Jesus Christ, 2000 years. The building of the pyramids is even longer away, 4500 years, or more. But really when you think about it, this time is nothing at all.

When did we appear? When did Neanderthal appear, or become extinct? Did we share some space and time together, and if so for how long? What if some of us are a hint of the next Homo something, let’s call it Homo Sappapiens, for fun. We have all the time in the world to ponder this.

Timeline of Us and Them

As you can see from these images, we shared considerable time on this planet, with similar apes, who had similar appearances, who could interbreed with us, who could speak like us. They were different yes, but not so much.

We have existed on this planet for about 200,000 years. They existed for 320,000 years, and 40% of it they shared with us.

For all this time, a lot was happening. We explored the continents, discovered fire, gods and tools. We discovered ideas and concepts, and how to be a pain in the ass (World Wars were just on smaller scales). But really, we only know something about 1% of our history, and nothing about theirs.

You see my point? Nothing has really changed, only the tools. No matter how much time you spend being occupied with non-boredom, you’re not living in your time. I won’t say that I am living any better, I just feel more intune with the history. Like in some balance with the 99% which has dissappeared.

I have no answers and I don’t know why this is, I just know that an evening by a campfire with a good friend, and my dogs, leaves me with something undefined and nice, when the modern-life-chatterbox annoys me. Somehow the quiet is more in the current moment than all this noice.

Perhaps my perspective is tainted by the revered Carl G. Jung and Laurents Van Der Post. But I don’t mind.





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About Guy Ellis

Alchemist and a prophet of God, with passion for training dogs. Like a perfect poetry; Doesn't get any better than that.

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