The Pondering Grapefruit
a blog of moments
This semester I took a class on Ancient Egypt. One of the most interesting things I learned was that according to their cosmological explanations, the God Atum is responsible for creating this earth. After rising from the primieval mound, as shown above, he created cyclical time, and then injected linear time, which we are more comfortable with in modern society.
And that's what gets me. Even though Ancient Egypt existed thousands of years before now, so many aspects of it are more advanced than us. Nowadays, our notion of time is so distorted in that we view life as headed in just one direction: perpetual progress, captured within a single line.
As for me, I do believe in cyclical time. My Buddhist upbringing gave me faith and familiarity with concepts of reincarnation and karma. After learning about Egyptian religion, however, I am starting to think that cyclical time and linear time can exist at the same time.
Perhaps our understanding of time is just one tangential line along a greater circle of time that represents eternity. Just as we are too small to feel the spin of the earth or sense the earth's curvature, our time on this earth is too limited for us to see the greater cycle of time.
I do have "evidence" to support my theory, and that comes from my experiences travelling. I think that we like to travel because it allows us to experience time in a different sense. When we are in our daily routines, time seems to fly by so fast. Between work, school, meetings, social engagements, and everything that normal life entails, we are encouraged to keep forging forward in a sick rat race. We watch the clock, keep our phones glue to our face, constantly aware of the loss of time. This obsession about progress instills in us a fear of failure, of moving backwards in time. Or of not moving at all.
I sense a lot of fear in myself and in other people when I walk around, especially on campus. Fear manifests itself in so many ways, as insecurity, as anger. As a need to prove oneself worthy by saying smart things or looking smart or walking smart. I think this comes from a need to feel like we are constantly progressing, and improving fast, and better.
In cyclical time, such superlatives don't exist. And we do have moments where we experience the power of cyclical time.
When we spend time with someone we love, time seems to stop existing. When we are mindful and in the present moment, we understand what it means to be suspended in eternity. When we take escape to nature, the clock softens its numbers, and time dissolves into serenity. When we travel to different countries, we experience different rates of time, the slower paced siestas in Argentina, the relaxed seconds of coffee shops on Paris.
I think, that in our life, it is important to incorporate both aspects of time. It is not possible to disregard linear time completely, for it is a byproduct of matter, atoms spinning. We are tied to linear time as long as we are corporeal. But, I believe, that humans are also part spirit, and our spirit sings when it can connect with the cyclical time of its nature. Does this sound new agey? Perhaps, but I think it's ancient.
So what's the point of this post? I guess it is an encouragement for everybody to question their notions of time. Perhaps it's not so linear as you think. And it's not something to be afraid of.
About this Blog
I have no idea how to describe what my writing is about. I just write. I post when I can, which can be weekly or monthly depending on where the universe is taking me. As for the Grapefruit, my Vietnamese nickname, Buoi, means grapefruit.