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Time Out of Mind
April 9, 2006
6:45 am
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garfield9547
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http://www.psychologyinfo.com

Time Out of Mind

Let us first consider the role of time in our lives, then let us consider that role in terms of mental illness. Buddhists and Hindus, among others, propose that time does not actually exist. The Western world, however, with its dependence on clocks and deadlines, scoffs at such a notion, relying upon sayings such as "Time is money" and "Time is of the essence."

Time is of the essence. What an expression. Its inherent suggestion is that time comes from our essences; time exists within our souls. This is consistent with the Western position that time was discovered rather than created. Then again, the question haunts us: what if we did, in fact, create time? What if all our ticking clocks and watches amount to nothing more than a symbolic quest for orderly and coherent living? It's a terrifying yet convincing idea.

One considers, then, how time functions from the perspective of a person with a mental disorder. The sufferer of depression, or anxiety, or psychotic ailments, likely travels life's trajectory in creaky slow-motion. Catchy sayings such as "Life's too short" make such victims grin wearily, responding in their minds, "No, life's too long." Given the incessant presence of pain in the victim's mind-- the ceaseless worrying, excessive self-reflection, and troubling sensory distortion-- hours tend to stretch, stretch, stretch until the act of exiting one's bed in the morning becomes overwhelming.

Another kind of smile, likely even more weary, will cross the sufferer's face when met with this maxim: "Time flies when you're having fun." Indeed it does, and indeed the patient's schedule leaves no room for fun of any kind. Unless, of course, one counts the quiet joy of the moment when the depressed person sees that it's already six o'clock and thinks, "I can't believe I've made it another hour."

It is this writer's suggestion that given the dark relationship between the aching mind and the ticking clock, the mentally ill should ignore time altogether. Take a note from our Eastern thinkers and do not, as my father always told me, "try to live the whole future in one day." Again, time needn't be regarded as a finite fact of life. One may choose to doubt it, or, moreover, disapprove of it! Who needs time, anyway? Whose mind needs a sweltering flurry of images from a thousand yesterdays and ten thousand tomorrows?

The path to wellness may take two months or it may take two years. This is of no consequence. The moment is of the essence.

About The Author

Eric Shapiro is the author of "Short of a Picnic"

This made me think

April 11, 2006
12:18 am
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DoTheyNetwork
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garfield> I was thinking about time for awhile now. My crazy work skedual will not let me "set time aside." So I try to remind myself to "take some time" to actually - Not pay attention to time-my job or anything else. ROLF-lol When I do this I do not set a Time Frame and let it end when it ends or I get interupted. I will not set a timer to regulate it and when I see the opertunity to get allot of things done so there is -open time_ 🙂 Sometimes I will turn work into play and go wild like it is a workout and then hike,read or lay on the lawn and see the stars,hear the owls and other night things. When I worked in larger areas I wold sit outside at night in a safe spot and watch planes coming and going and take in the skyline with some tunes. Being in the moment.

I did save the link you put up.

April 11, 2006
2:31 am
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gingerleigh
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Love this post... I wear a watch compulsively. No surprise to anyone who knows me here, I'm sure. Lately I've taken to purposely not wearing one. It has certainly made me look at life a bit differently.

Sorry though, I will always be compulsively early to appointments 🙂 but on a day where there is only me, I set my own clock, internally, or perhaps by the Universe known only to me.

April 11, 2006
1:32 pm
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garfield9547
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DoTheyNetwork

"My crazy work skedual will not let me "set time aside." So I try to remind myself to "take some time" to actually - Not pay attention to time-my job or anything else. "

This is funny. We have to take time to realise that we need time for ourselves.

Seems to me that there is 'times' when you just forget about time. This is good. This is 'times' when we heal, when we internalise,

Gingerleigh

" I wear a watch compulsively. No surprise to anyone who knows me here, I'm sure. Lately I've taken to purposely not wearing one. It has certainly made me look at life a bit differently. "

Maybe I should try this. NO WATCH!!!
Sound scarry, but worth a try.

"Sorry though, I will always be compulsively early to appointments "

This for me is internally. If you do not have a watch and you are early for appointments it must come from inside.

What do you think?

Garfield

April 15, 2006
7:51 pm
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The swinging pendulum appears to meter out time as it swings from left to right and then back again.

At every instant there appears to be a future, an instantaneous and a past position of the pendulum.

However, the past position exists only as a memory in our head and the futute position exists equally so in our imagination.

Since neither the past nor the future positions exist except as mental images in our heads, then at every instant only that instantaneous position appears to exist.

But how long is the period of that instant in which the position of the pendulum and thus itself actually exists?

Using differential calculus that period, in the limit, approaches zero or the reciprocal of infinity. Thus the closer to zero seconds one gets the greater the accuracy of that time period. When we hit 0 seconds then we have the exact period of the instant. In fact the present instant is the indefinable interface between the past and the future both of which exist only in our heads. Thus the present instant of time does not exist either.

Like a snapshot from a camera, what appears to be the present instant is the 'frame grab' of raw data from our sense organs. Our minds interprete the meaning of that frame grab and call it the instantaneous event.

At each instant of 'Time Out of Mind', the mind would seem to project these 'events', i.e. processed frame grabs, onto a mental screen of the mind as a mental object calling it the present instant.

The generating the 'past time' would appear to consist of relegating each of these mind processed frame grabs, to a 'location' in the brain's memory systems.

Thus the pendulum appears to have a continuity of movement from the future through the present into the past rather than actually being the 'mind in motion'.

Extrapolating to all that appears to happen in time, it appears that what we call 'reality' is the mind's projections onto its own inner screen its own mental 'objects' that are very much a function of its own preconditioning rather than some external, independent reality.

That preconditioning can be viewed as karmic consequences. Thus our view of reality in time, and hence our joy and/or suffering at each instant, can be seen as very much a function of our own minds and the karmic consequence of our past intentions and actions. from this perspective, our present thinking, intentions and actions become critical for the kind of future we can expect to experience.

Thus the title of this thread as 'Time Out of Mind' is labeling a very deep topic indeed.

April 17, 2006
12:57 pm
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gingerleigh
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Then would human emotion be a similar quality to human perception of time? Perhaps that is why two people can experience the same event and be affected by it differently.

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