28 April 2012

What do I mean by "Time and Religion".

a man decribes his search for "time" on youtube

What is Time ?, How do we perceive time ?, is our perception of time changing, evolving ?
As Dan Falk put it "Time surrounds us. It defines our experience of the world, it echoes through our every working hour. Time is the very foundation of our conscious experience. Yet as familiar as it is, time is also deeply mysterious. We cannot see, hear, smell, taste or touch it. Yet we do feel it - or at least we think we feel it. No wonder poets, writers, philosophers, and scientists have grappled with time for centuries.

Every early religion around the world developed in order to grasp the concept of time. From the early days of Shamanism and burial rituals during the Natufian culture that flourished between 15,000 and 11,600 BCE through Neolithic burials, 'homo-religious' as Karen Armstrong calls our ancestors, has tried to deal with the meaning of time, life after death, and eternity.
Our ancestors must have had a need to track time and seasons. Night must have been quite scary back in the days and harsh winter or summers must have had a determining role in our survival. In fact I believe FEAR and DREAMS were the two factors that led mankind to a spiritual awakening. On the one side fear of night, harsh nature and death, and on the other, dreams of fair weather and food in abundance or dreams of a deceased parent that might have been so vivid as to make us truly believe they still lived in another dimension or that we could somehow communicate with them. Most early tombs functioned as some sort of giant clock/calendar. A great example is the "passage tomb" of Newgrange in Ireland dating back to 3,100 BCE, making it five centuries older that the great pyramids of Giza. The tomb is richly decorated with triple spirals and other geometric shapes. The tomb spans 25 meters in length ending in 3 small perfectly preserved and dry alcoves giving it an elongated cruciform design. One of the most intriguing feature though is that once a year, on the morning of the winter solstice, sunlight reaches into the passage into the deepest burial chamber.

Many of the symbols of ancient religions are inspired on the sun, the moon, the seasons and the cycles of the stars. It is the sense of sacred that our ancestors had to try to explain time, death and eternity and that evolved around the world in various forms. If we want to fully understand time we need to have a deep understanding of religion and its evolution throughout time.

The above video resumes the concept quite well. It is unfortunate that the man speaking has beliefs that diverge hugely from mine; he speaks of ill credited scientists, believes in conspiracy theories and in other interviews talks of machines that don’t really exist. But in the pursuit of truth I will not be censoring anyone's ideas especially on a subject like "time".

22 April 2012

Perceivers and Receivers

I just spent the last 2 weeks reading 1Q84 (Books 1 and 2) only to discover there is a third concluding book. I found the book disturbing and very Japanese (if you'll allow me the generalization, which usually comprises glorification of western actors and films, a fascination with suicide and an overall complicated plot based on traditional Japanese myths that make it difficult for most westerners to comprehend).

Does the book talk about Time ?

Only indirectly, but it does explore the concept of two separate universes in which though one is not free to travel to and fro, one definitely affects the other. (SPOILER) Aomame, has an encounter with Tengo at  the age of 10  then at the age of 30 travels to the second universe, saves Tengo’s life,  commits suicide and is reborn in Tengo’s dying father’s bed as a 10 year old Aomame. All of this through a series of significant coincidences or prophecies that only a few elected people can interpret (Perceivers and Receivers). There is a mention to the fact that, in the past, Receivers were kings and rulers and that Perceivers were priests and the so called Little People were called with different names (spirits or gods?) And that to keep the balance of power, any excess of power on either side, would always create a counterbalancing force within society.

I hope that the third book will enlighten me a little more on Murakami’s vision and give some insights and ideas on Time. I will post something after reading it.

18 April 2012

Time in music

The subject of time often comes up in songs either in the lyrics or in a clever use instruments that suggest the passage of time, or often in both. Below I’ve listed 3 examples from around Europe that are vivid in my mind.

What interests me particularly in certain songs is their ability to change our perception of time. We often hear our music as a background sound while we are doing something else but I often listen to music on my stereo or on large headphone, close my eyes and do nothing else. If I like the song I can immerse myself fully in the music and time can slow down or even stop. This sensation could be due to a switch from left hemisphere to right hemisphere and/or dopamine and adrenaline levels being altered and changing my perception of time.

Taking it one step further I would like to speculate that certain sounds or harmonies can actually stimulate our pineal gland to produce Melatonin and possibly DMT.

Last night, after I practiced singing overtones for an hour, I went to sleep and dreamt I was levitating. The feeling I had was much more vivid than a dream about flying. I was very conscious in this dream. In fact I was very happy to see that I could really fluctuate above ground like I had dreamt so many times in the past. When I woke up it took me a few minutes to realize it was all a dream.
I will write a post on the pineal gland and it’s possible link to astral travelling in the coming month.

Time by Pink Floyd

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the english way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I’d something more to say

Tempo – Jovanotti (I’m only listing a part of the song’s lyrics)

Comunque vadano le cose lui passa
E se ne frega se qualcuno è in ritardo
Puoi chiamarlo bastardo ma intanto è già andato
E fino adesso niente lo ho mai fermato
E tuttalpiù forse lo hai misurato
Con i tuoi orologi di ogni marca e modello
Ma tanto il tempo resta sempre lui quello
L'unica cosa che ci è data di fare
É avere il tempo da poter organizzare

Centonove battute al minuto
Quando finisce forse ti sarà piaciuto
La chiave per capire questo genere di suono
Che a molte orecchie può sembrare frastuono
E liberare la tua parte migliore
Chiudere gli occhi e aprire bene il cuore

Quando stai bene lui va via come un lampo
Quando t'annoi un attimo sembra eterno
E il paradiso può diventare inferno
Tempo ti frego e con il ritmo ti catturo
E ti chiudo in una ritmica di aspetto molto duro
E t'organizzo in battute in quattro quarti
Allora non avrai tempo di liberarti
E con le gambe muovo anche il cervello
E allora il tempo sarà mio fratello
E come lui mi darà sempre una mano

La dernière minute – Carla Bruni (the song actually lasts one minute)

Quand j'aurai tout compris, tout vécu d'ici-bas,
Quand je serai si vieille, que je ne voudrai plus de moi,
Quand la peau de ma vie sera creusée de routes,
Et de traces et de peines, et de rires et de doutes,
Alors je demanderai juste encore une minute...

Quand il n'y aura plus rien qui chavire et qui blesse,
Et quand même les chagrins auront l'air d'une caresse,
Quand je verrai ma mort juste au pied de mon lit,
Que je la verrai sourire de ma si petite vie,
Je lui dirai "écoute ! Laisse-moi juste une minute..."

Juste encore minute, juste encore minute,
Pour me faire une beauté ou pour une cigarette,
Juste encore minute, juste encore minute,
Pour un dernier frisson, ou pour un dernier geste,
Juste encore minute, juste encore minute,
Pour ranger les souvenirs avant le grand hiver,
Juste encore une minute... sans motif et sans but.

Puisque ma vie n'est rien, alors je la veux toute.
Tout entière, tout à fait et dans toutes ses déroutes,
Puisque ma vie n'est rien, alors j'en redemande,
Je veux qu'on m'en rajoute,
Soixante petites secondes pour ma dernière minute.

Tic tac tic tac tic tac