The clock governs humanity. It tells us when to be where, for how long, and when to finish.
What the clock doesn’t know is:
“Time is an illusion”
Clocks run lives
Clocks determine how we go about our days. Not the clocks themselves but their ability to feed us the time.
It is this ability that gives them a sort of mystical voice.
“You need to be here now”
“You need to do this now”
“You are late” :O
Sure we can choose not to listen to the clocks or time but there are many consequences.
If we do not wake up at a certain time, have our breakfast within a specific time frame, and ensure we arrive to the office (whatever that may be) for the allocated hour we may loose our jobs. Our friends and family may disown us for not being punctual.
The fact of the matter is “clock time” organizes and makes efficient the societal machine, whether we like it or not.
Industrial time – a more efficient beast
It is my presumption that anyone reading this site is living in the modern world, obviously has access to the internet and likely has a clock in one of the corners of their screen.
Putting my mystic powers aside, the fact that in today’s society clocks are so abundant, and “clock time” plays such a large role in governing our lives, it can be quite bizarre to find out this phenomenon is actually fairly recent.
Clocks for measuring time by the hour and minute didn’t become widespread until after the industrial revolution or the “mechanization of mankind” as some know it.
Factories needed obedient employees to ensure productivity goals were reached. It became standard that every employee had a time to arrive, eat lunch, and that everybody finished when the factory horn declared that shift was over.
This meant factories could run like, you guessed it, clockwork!
A life without artificial clocks
Throughout the entirety of our existence as hunter gatherers it is needless to say we never had clocks. The rise and fall of the sun, and varying seasons determined our activity patterns, in addition to the species we hunted and gathered.
Traditional agriculture also operated on sun time and the life cycles of plants. The position of the sun was watched to determine the approximate period when crops would be ready to harvest, but with this aside “time” was payed very little attention. Farmers barely new what year it was, nor cared.
Living by the organic timing of nature meant routines changed from season to season, contrasted with industrial living which see’s little variation in routines throughout the seasons.
Living without clock time is a somewhat more relaxing existence as it opens the possibility of reacting to circumstance.
Our ancestors didn’t have to be somewhere or doing something at an allocated hour and minute. Instead they lived and responded to what is happening in their environment.
The mentality was “at some point” not “at this specific time”.
Speeding up the clock
When lives are lived by the clock, time seems to move at remarkable speed. There becomes less and less time left in the day for the spontaneous and the unpredictable.
I once knew a lady who planned for every hour and every minute of the day. She was German, a country known for its efficiency.
It was impossible for her to be able to deviate from her time-table and enjoy it. Quite the opposite actually she would become extremely stressed if the plan would alter.
When we live our lives solely by monotonous timetables and routines, time is closely watched and accounted for. We become perpetually busy, we multitask, and time appears to fly by!
When we reflect back on our experiences “retrospective time” as science knows it . It may seem weeks, months, and sometimes years, have disappeared without much recollection.
“Where did the time go” is a common expression.
When we are busy we are exposed to a range of stimuli that creates the illusion of time going faster.
However if this continuous stream of stimuli is mundane our brains record less memories, or more accurately, group memories together when we recall them.
Allowing ourselves to experience the moment without time, as well as exposing ourselves to the new and unpredictable is what creates lasting memories.
A day without artificial time
In memory of hunter-gather ancestors and a more relaxed way of living, occasionally we should allow ourselves a day without artificial time.
We should do our best to avoid hearing or seeing artificial time. Quite a difficult feat in the modern world.
A day without artificial time is tranquil. It slows the pace of life. It makes us appreciate more.
It allows time for something without the need for a schedule. It allows time for the spontaneous. It allows time for nothing.
“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want!”