I’ve always been a very internal person. I wouldn’t call myself a thinker. That sort of terminology is just, too overblown. Regardless, I spend a lot of time in thought. Perhaps its because I’m an anxious person, perhaps its because its because of something else, I really don’t know. I’ve never really considered myself to suffer from some sort of interpersonal anxiety, but the more I consider such a reality the more plausible it becomes. Maybe that in and of itself is a placebo, some sort of self-induced paranoia resultant of my own desire to be considered not paranoid, and in my reveries I’ve brought about that which I have feared.
It’s a funny thing, time. I’ve always considered myself to be living in what I like to call “the eternal now,” because really our lives are just that, an endless series of moments, each dissipating just as soon as it came to us. When I picture the concept I picture a man stuck in jello. Now of course I don’t consciously intend for such an analogy to be so depressing, but I can’t control my subconscious. It’s really quite a sad state of existence when you think about it. We’re all trapped in that which presently is, something ephemeral and yet at the same time eternal. The present moment is something that has just passed you by as you’ve read this sentence, but still goes on just as you’re eye glanced at that apostrophe, these commas, and now at this period. But perhaps this dualistic nature of time is the result of conflation of two separate yet similar definitions of moment, one encasing the other. On one hand you have many moments, instances really, all passing through the eternal moment. Much like a reel of film passing through a projector, we can only see a certain moment when the proper slide, a certain location, is visible. Perhaps these moments aren’t one in the same, but two pieces of a larger whole.
Again, as with the projector, time is moved by a mechanism independent of that which time contains. We cannot time, as we are part of it. We exist within its confines, and to say that we may move the mover is to say that a cartoon may break free of his aspect ratio. Just as a cartoon cannot walk out of the television, we too cannot walk out of time. I, for the longest time, have desired for time travel. As have the great minds of Verne, Wells, Einstein, and so many more. But now I’ve come to the aforementioned realization. Of course Einstein posited that time was much like a river, and we more like boats. But in such an analogy we are still moved by time, and it would take another external force to move us back. If you want to understand this literally such a force is inside the boat and thus it too is moved by time, but logically its difficult to reconcile this with the idea of the mover and the moved.
Time exists as forever created whole, always in existence but forever being revealed. Our eternal now is the viewfinder through which we peer into the reel of moments that constitute our reality. Each new moment, like each slide, is created via the actions of that moment, that slide, that has past. Right now, gain heightened self-awareness. Think about where you are sitting/standing/laying. In this moment, the fact you are where you presently are is the result of the actions taken and the slides viewed in the hours or perhaps minutes prior. Each action, as Newton tells us, has an equal and opposite reaction. For our sake the ideal of “opposite” will be left out, as it doesn’t much matter at this moment. Each new moment has been shaped by the hands of men, forged in the flames of action. If your mother hadn’t met your father, there would be no you. If you had fallen as a baby, you would not be reading. If you wouldn’t have clicked a single link, you would have no idea who I am. Each new slide and moment is the sum total culmination of all events taking place prior.
But this is the problem that I have with action and time. Action often distorts our view of time, and many, myself included, cannot see time objectively. It’s a great issue, really, and perhaps that’s why so many of us have desired for the ability to go and redraw those slides that perhaps became sloppy at the hands of anger, malice, or haste. The more action we take the more the lines between reality and fantasy become skewed, as we expend more of ourselves towards singularities rather than pluralities, we lose site of the peripherals. Even I find that there are days when my mind is lost in my action, lost in myself, drowning in a ceaseless deluge of experience. It’s almost as if I call back to Einstein, as I see myself as but a vessel of consciousness, floating aloft in not a river, but an infinitely vast and expansive sea of time, whisked away by the turn of the tides. Moved along I forget totality, I forget people, and I become transfixed on my work. I’ve never seen anyone talk about this experience before, but it is the most disorienting thing one can imagine. I look back at conversations I had and remember them as if they only took place days ago, only to find that people with him I wanted to build connections I haven’t spoken to in months. It feels like I’m no longer living, but just existing. It’s now the middle of my junior year, and it feels as if it started only yesterday. I’ve lost most, not all, but most of my track of time.
And as I find myself in these reveries while I work, I think only of the actions I’ve taken. Really, the lack of action. If one was tasked with completing the construction of a bridge, but took no initiative to do so, can one really deem him much better than one who destroyed that which had already been partially built? Both have failed their peers, both have not completed their tasks, and both have left the situation in a manner that is largely unworkable. Like those characters on those slides, these men have shaped the present moment. Their failure to proceed has resulted in the a reel of film in which progress has not been made. The plot has remained static and the mechanism has decayed. The people have grown bored of watching the same scene for such duration, and many if not all have left.