#18 Can you Control Time?

“The gods are beings outside of time. Mortals are prisoners of time.”

When you conceive time as being linear, then you begin to worry about a future you cannot control. When you separate time between the past, the present, and the future, then the future becomes something frightening because it cannot be controlled. Western epistemology found a way around it by describing life in terms of time and developing science and technology to try to control the future. Then, they began to measure everything. Life is measured in terms of years. Years are measured in terms of months. Months are measured in terms of hours, and because every hour counts, time becomes money. We begin to race against time, and our life is dissected in terms of time and achievements. Society becomes organized in terms of time and accomplishments. The consequence is that, if in your twenties you haven’t finished college, in your thirties you haven’t gotten a stable job, in your forties, you are not stable with a family and a house, then you are considered to be a loser and to have wasted your time. Caught in such a system, you go through all kinds of pressure and depression. But if you have a different conception of the notion of time, then you may have a different relationship with time and societal requirements.

According to Western epistemology, there is only one thing that is real, and that is time. Everything else is illusory. But, from an African perspective, even time is illusory. Past, present, and future are all happening at the same time. But because Western epistemology and the brain trained in Western schools cannot grasp that reality, and also because it needs to control everything, it dissects time in way that it can understand it in order to control it. Yet, that is not possible. Why? Because time is not real, and you cannot control something that doesn’t exist. From an African perspective, the only thing that is real is life in all its forms, both visible and invisible. Life is Permanent Motion. Life is always Becoming. Life here should be understood as the mechanism that allows the atemporal stability and repetition of what we see and understand as being life. For example, our bodies are made of atoms, and for our bodies to be alive, the electrons must permanently move around the nucleus inside the atom. Likewise, in order for our universe to exist and be alive, planets and stars must permanently move around their axes. Those movements carry with them changes and variations observable through what Western epistemology calls time. A person is born, grows up, goes through different observable changes, and dies. That is not very important because another person will be born and go through the same process. What is important is the mechanism that allows the stable and atemporal repetition of that phenomenon. That mechanism is defined as life or reality.

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