The most dangerous ideas in history. 2. Time.

Do you see your life as a ‘join the dots’ illustration? One big event linking to another; a birthday celebration perhaps, a graduation, a first job, wedding, big holiday? Or perhaps one goal connecting to another? The final picture would be your life. Some pictures will make sense, most won’t.

That’s the dangerous concept behind time; that it is a string of events or moments. It allows us to plan ahead and think in terms of ‘when so and so happens’ I’ll be able to do this. So a lot of us put our lives on hold for a period and serve a time sentence waiting for some big event to set us free so that we can move on to the next fat dot.

We see time as neat little packages; so many years as a toddler, so many years at school, three years at university etc. But of course time does not exist. It is a human invention like modern dance or money. It is incredibly useful but like all incredibly useful things it has a tendency to make itself indispensable. We forget the reason behind its creation.

We invented time to benefit civilisation, to make things more efficient for us. But inevitably we find ourselves conforming to the demands of time.

Time marches us.

We say we are time poor as if it is in short supply, some women even give birth on time by caesarian section because their schedules are so hectic. What we forget in all of this rushing flood of time is that there is no video tape of events which we can rewind or fast forward to precise moments, to the dot in the big picture. Such a thing doesn’t exist. There is only NOW. This indivisible moment, right now. That is all there is.

So if you are struggling to make the next big fat dot in the picture of your life, remember, there is no destination, no final picture. There is only the journey. So make your journey the thing that you put all your passion and energy into. Because if time tells us anything, it is that we all destined to make an appearance in that big arrival lounge in the sky.

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