Devastation And Complacency

I just finished reading a wonderful article in the NY Times about recent fossil discoveries and their meaning in terms of scientific discovery.  At least three times daily I’m amazed by something I read that science has taught us.  These discoveries are monumental in regard to our understanding of where we came from and where we’re going as a life form on planet earth.

exoearth-from-spacePhilosophically, it appears that we humans remain child-like as long as possible any time we are able to snuggle into a comfortable place for ourselves.  The idea that “If this is good, more of this must be better!” seems to drive most decisions, even if the chaotic destruction those decisions will ultimately create are spelled out for us.  The beauty of the match is, you get burned very soon after you play with it.  The first folly here is a notion that mankind has any real grasp on the concept of time; we don’t.

We tend to think generationally, viewing the world from our personal fixed POV.  If we claim to have any interest in foresight it is usually in terms of decades.  Once it gets to centuries and beyond, well… we just can’t be bothered.

Many of the articles and blogs I read recently deal with this very concept.  Governments claim to revere scientific knowledge and even fund it.  That’s fantastic.  It get’s dangerous though, when societies cherry pick through those discoveries and just use the “good” parts, the parts that are useful to us right now.

Historically speaking, it has always taken a catastrophe to shake societies from complacency.  I’ll believe that we really have become enlightened as a society when we can globally acknowledge that the best course of action is to scale back our “piggy-piggy-piggyness” (to quote Lewis Black) and begin to need less.  Let’s all nurture the idea that yeah, most us, like little spoiled children, could learn a thing or two about ourselves and our place in the world if we learned to —  need…  less.  ~TH~

Time To Stop Worrying Over Time

Trapped in the day.  That’s how I tend to see most people now.  Breakfast.  Work.  Play.  Sleep.

So much of the detail in living is dealing with your own relationship with time and how you define it.  When I taught classroom music in the public school system I would float the concept of time to my students.  Rhythm in music is a timing concept that remains within the control of the musician (or the conductor).  I would attempt to make them aware of the fact that the clock is a measuring device, a short term calendar if you will.  Most of them really struggled with the concept.

Now that I’ve “retired” from “work”, my own perspectives about time have shifted again.  Yes, I do still attempt to conform to the natural paces that this cute little global construct provide.  I’m all about the light and the dark.  The difference now is, if I wake up in the middle of the night and feel like writing for an hour, I do.  My own moments have become more controllable, less attached to future results.  When asked what I’ve been doing lately, I tend to tell people that I’m “Jumping from one lilly pad to the next”.  Often I get a confused look in return, just like the look I used to get from my students when I told them that the clock on the wall has absolutely nothing to do with time; that time, in fact, doesn’t exist.

Then the bell would ring, and they would be released from the clutches of the crazy music teacher.  ~TH~