The subject of time keeps popping up in my life lately. A friend is trying to deprogram his assumptions about it. A reader of my book asked for clarification concerning something i said about it. Another friend made a crazy joke about it. And I’ve been thinking about how we in the western world assume that everyone perceives time the way we do, yet sometimes I simply don’t – and I’m sure that there are cultures that perceive time differently than we do.
We’ve been conditioned to perceive time as a stream, moving in one direction, and assume it’s measurable in increments because we do that.
When I’m “outside time,” I have never perceived time as a flow nor as consisting of measurable increments. I think the best description that I can find for my perception is that time is a field.
As a field, all that enters or participates in the field can be perceived any way one chooses. Everything can be perceived at once, instantaneously, or one can focus in different ways in order to perceive whatever is participating in the field in some other fashion … For instance, in a linear sequence (with an organization of one’s choosing). One can also skip around at will, picking one bit here, one bit there. One can also step out of it.
WhenI shift my focus within the field, it shifts everything in the field to some degree. There is resonance. Observing is participation, as much as is deliberate action.
(I’m using the word “field” in the way physics would, I think: gravity is a field, for instance.)
Thinking of time in this way may be another useful exercise in shifting perception, expanding the potential of what and how we perceive reality.