To transform our lives we require a new understanding of time.
Time as a Straight Line
We think of time as a linear progression of moments. We have inherited our sense of time from science. In all scientific pursuits, time is the independent variable. Time is the dimension over which we have no control. Time is a straight line marching forward, with or without us.
Scientific time measures changes in space, but it fails to capture movement itself. Think of an old-fashioned reel of film. Each image is a moment in time. But each image in scientific time fails to capture the movement in between. No matter how thinly you slice up scientific time, actual movement is never captured.
But our lives are all about movement, change. We measure our lives in terms of change. Our memories and plans hinge on significant moments when change occurs. We run after the clock daily, but when we stop and pause, or immerse in creative projects, time as change stands still, and waits for our next move.
Time as Creativity
We need to open our minds up to time as change, not as spatial. Time in pure temporal form is creativity. Creativity is primary, and is revealed when we release ourselves from the straight line of scientific time.
Time as duration is a theory of time put forth by Henri Bergson that places change, creation, the pure freedom between actualized moments as central to the nature of the universe, and how we conduct our lives. It rejects a mechanistic and deterministic view of reality. Duration is pure change and creativity rolling forward. Change is no longer measured in time. Change is time.
We grasp time as duration by releasing into intuition. Our intuitive faculty can grasp time as pure difference, becoming. Our intuition captures moments of pure creativity our lives, releases them from the rampage of scientific time.
The scientific time of the universe creates a cold universe in which we are irrelevant. But a revitalized sense of time as creativity in which we participate revitalizes our universe and our possibilities in it.
To change your life, revitalize, transform and create someone or something new, you must release time as a mad march forward beyond your control, and immerse in time as the pure creativity of which you are composed.
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Excerpt from my forthcoming book, Becoming: A Life of Pure Difference (Gilles Deleuze and the Philosophy of the New) Copyright © 2021 by Tomas Byrne.