Temporal Freedom Season

I hereby decree that today is the beginning of Temporal Freedom Season (TFS).

One of the tenets of TFS is that there shall be no constraints on one’s time, no requirements to invest time in a specific endeavor or event. Instead, one may disregard clocks. In fact, one may disregard time in its entirety, relying instead on daylight and darkness as measures of the appropriateness of wakefulness and sleep and activities related to them. Neither state of being, incidentally, correlates directly with daylight or darkness; it is possible to sleep during daylight and wake during darkness. There is no time-dependent penalty of any kind during TFS.

Time, which heretofore has been inexorably tied to aging, stands still during TFS. The length of TFS is impossible to measure because, well, time is unavailable to measure it. So, the duration of TFS is a concept with no basis in fact; the concept of duration is meaningless in the absence of time.  Aging, then, also is a meaningless concept during TFS; “during,” too, means nothing and has no place in the language while TFS is in place. Frankly, “while” suggests a relationship with time so it, too, is an arcane concept in the context of TFS. That’s better. “In the context of” eliminates the outmoded concept of time. But, wait! Doesn’t the concept of “outmoded” suggest an element of “before” and “after,” both of which are time-dependent? I am concerned that the omission of aging in connection with TFS could be derailed if time-related concepts continue creeping in to the reality of TFS. For example, if aging ceases but concepts like “while” and “during” and “before” and “after” continue, how can our permanently youthful (in relative terms) bodies exist? Ach! This dilemma causes my brain to hurt.

How in the name of anything holy can I climb out of this hellish nightmare in which everything is, in one form or another, time-dependent? Must I live under this cloud that relies on the passage of time to provide a context for literally everything I experience? The answer, I am afraid, is an unqualified “Yes.”

Time is an artificial concept, but one without which our understanding of the universe (as limited as it is) could not exist. I cannot conceive of “now” without understanding “before” and “after” and “previously” and “subsequently.” All of them, of course, are artificial. That leads me to conclude, of course, that the artificiality of the concepts that help us understand the universe must mean that we, too, are artificial. And so is the universe. Perhaps we are, indeed, simply players in an imaginary game being played by creatures so immense and complex we cannot begin to understand them. I’ve heard that rumor before. And today, which marks the beginning of Temporal Freedom Season, the rumor is beginning to sound more and more rational. I am simply a fiction, a story crafted to amuse a consciousness beyond my ability to comprehend. Heretofore, when I have read articles about Artificial Intelligence, I didn’t think I was simply an element of AI. But not it’s clear that I am. I’m just a game piece, manipulated by the Mother of All Consciousness to achieve objectives that are as artificial and as meaningless as I am.

The idea of TFS was simply to clear obligations from my calendar. But it has grown into something much more consequential. TFS has caused me to question the existence of the universe and everything in it. I have moved beyond wanting to have control over my days. Now, I want control over my being. I want questions about my own meaninglessness to disappear in a vapor, taking me back to a time when I thought everything and everyone mattered. I want to return to a moment in which I understood the interdependency between all creatures and all aspects of the world on which they depend. I’m willing to live with calendars. Provided they contain a significant amount of blank spaces. Yes, that will take me back to that magical moment, which I hope will last forever.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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4 Responses to Temporal Freedom Season

  1. John Swinburn says:

    No, Bev, I always love for you to share with me! Your comments always make me think. That is good!

  2. bev wigney says:

    Yes, i was thinking maybe this was a depressing story about time. Probably shouldn’t have shared it. Anyhow, I think we’re either inside or outside of time. You either live a life with a lot of deadlines and expectations — or you live a life that just sort of flows. I have lived both — too much of the first for too many years — and now a decade or more of living without thinking much about time. Whenever I actually do have to do something by a certain time or date, I can get downright prickly feeling about it. 🙂

  3. I am John. I think. I write. I wish. I wander. says:

    Your experiences with time and its dismissal, Bev, cheer me on. But in a depressing sort of way. 😉

  4. bev wigney says:

    Since Don died, and even before that time, I had stopped paying much attention to time or calendars. Oh, if I tell you I’ll meet you somewhere at noon, I’ll be there, but I actually avoid making appointments as much as possible. My father was always very concerned about time and calendars. For part of his career, he worked on designing manufacturing assembly lines – figuring out time and work flow, etc.. The afternoon of the day that he died, I was stiting with him — I’d been caring for him 24/7 for a couple of months. He kept taking his watch off — it had an expansion bracelet — and finally told me to put it on the bedside table. Then he started talking about time and how stupid it was that we lived out lives being slaves to time — that we let it control us — and that it was all rather meaningless. However, after an hour or two without his watch, he wanted it back again to know the time as my brother was supposed to be coming in on a flight — he was late arriving and my dad died before he got there. Time – the ultimate disappointment. I don’t think about it too much these days. There is no schedule. I just go with the flow.

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