On Monday I went to a friend’s event. We watched a few short films and one of the themes was the sense of time, or chronoception (I’m not sure if that’s a word).

My chronoception has changed since doing a six month retreat. I see this difference when I spend time with friends who have a 9-5. We have a wildly different sense of time.

Cities, technology, jobs, culture – these all shape one’s sense of time. It’s a strange thing to reflect about. But time really is so relative. Nature beats to a different rhythm. Cities beat at another rhythm. Time alone is different from time spent with good friends. Time spent with family is different from time with strangers.

Impatience is a Virtue

A constricted sense of time leads to impatience – and impatience is better than patience sometimes. It does away with the illusion that we have a limitless amount of time. So take action. Do. Make. Create.

When time is constricted, boundaries are clear. My time is valuable. If you are wasting it, I walk away. I like stories I’ve heard of people who go to the cinema and realise, “This movie is crap!” And walk out. No BS, no falling for the sunk cost fallacy.

“The moment I figure out something is a waste of my time, I leave immediately.”

Naval Ravikant

Time is precious. Non-renewable and always ticking away.

But living always like that can become an extreme. It can be exhausting to always cut up sections of time. Separating this from that, always comparing and trying to be as productive as possible. One loses the sense of infinity.

When one’s sense of time is expansive, it opens up a different world. Resting in infinite time. No one to be. Nowhere to go. A divine space. A space that approaches, or even is, the deathless. The recognition that there is no such thing as death. The body dies. The mind dies. But neither are who you actually are.

Yet even that can become an extreme. The extreme of samadhi – blissing out in solitude while the world burns, not wanting to face the true extent of suffering.

Experiencing both is important. Hit the two extremes to find the middle way.

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