I always wonder if cavemen and women knew what time was? And if so, did time seem to accelerate and decelerate to them, as it appears to do to us today? The concept of time has only changed recently (a few thousand years ago, since we developed a calendar) and decided to over-civilize our culture. Does time really speed up and slow down? I think not (maybe on a millisecond scale if you consider rotations of the earth and electromagnetic cycles and fields). Because of this quandary, let us consider a few concepts: First, consider a metal spring. When you squeeze it, it becomes smaller in length right? Well, not really. It always goes back to its original size (length) when you release it and take the pressure off. Modern calendars are the pressure to the spring in this analogy. The spring is truly always a fixed size but has open space in the middle between both ends that are not compressed without pressure. Similar to compressing a spring, calendars squeeze out all the space in our days and weeks that would otherwise be free time, or freedom.
Now, let me ask you, does time ever accelerate and decelerate? I would argue no again and to answer my own question about the Neanderthals; I think they knew what time was and used it to their advantage for hunting and surviving but lived in the present moment leaving no room for busy calendars and over-thinking. They essentially surfed every present moment in time allowing for survival and shooting the tubes of time balance where calendar compression was not needed obviously, just moment-to-moment survival and some slivers of thriving. Second, consider the tides. The diameter of the earth changes a few feet in cycles daily in the oceans and always balances out near the shore where land depletes on an even slower scale (land erosion). But overall, the diameter seems to balance out just like a spring does when compressed and released. Thirdly, we have natural constants in our universe like gravity at 9.8 meters/second squared and the earth’s revolutions (2*pi*r*) at close to 1000 miles per hour. And earth years at 365 days per year. So, if these are all very constant, then time must remain uniform. But, interestingly, we tend to mess with the perception of time by over-civilizing and over-booking calendars; creating the illusion that time speeds and slows.
We are driving ourselves crazy by over-booking, draining our energy, and negatively affecting our modern day culture. Sometimes we form opinions of others by how well they work with a calendar and how well they perform, struggling with time management and high-pressure calendars. This is pretty silly (and even dangerous) because those trying to squeeze too many appointments and activities into the natural world tend to be neurotic and wiry. More is not better but harmful if overloaded. They are unknowingly compressing time, extracting all the space in between that can be used for rest and relaxation, and are conditioning their nervous systems to overachieving. What are the side effects of this type of conditioning? Some possibilities are cancer, anxiety, depression, and ruined relationships. Many companies ask prospective employees in an interview, “Can you multi-task?
Can you handle multiple projects at once? How do you manage your time? Sounds like calendar time compression conditioning to me with goal of extracting as much time out of you as possible, translating into more money in their pockets. Logically, we can only handle one or two projects at a time if quality matters. We are human, not machines. I once had a sales manager whose computer kept breaking down because she saved all her outbound and inbound emails and way too much information on her calendar and hard drive. All she had to do was delete half of her information, but she couldn’t do it. She was addicted to information overload. There is too much information smothering us all, whether we believe it or not, we are drowning in data, spreadsheets, and in all sorts of mundane matter. I ran into that same sales manager ten years later who sadly had a chronic immune disorder and was suffering tremendously. I can’t prove that chewing up all that data was slowly hurting her but I wasn’t surprised to see the horrible effects ten years later.
Our naively skeptical perceptions of how people manage their time is similar to compressing the spring. Even though the spring shortens in length temporarily, it always goes back to its original size. And furthermore, gravity always puts its bodies back in check and balances out the tides on the surface of the earth. Another example we can all relate to is the anxious drivers attempt to shorten time by speeding up his or her trip from A to B. Ironically and illogically they believe they can shorten time by driving fast, weaving in and out of cars dangerously, putting many lives at risk. This is a desperate attempt of illogical time compression that rarely works. It may work on a long highway trip from A to B but usually ends in loads of frustration and anger on daily routine trips. If you watch these people drive they only end up a car or two ahead in the line up from A to B by choosing to excessively speed over the limit. Our perceptions of how individuals manage time and efficiency are capricious unlike natural physical laws like the compression in the spring, the rise and fall of the tides, and the balance of orbits in space. Natural law always overrides those moody, illogical beliefs. The perceptions are just vapor in an evolving world with beautiful physical changes to be discovered. I am always surprised at how much time we spend messing with data, distorting perceptions of others, and subscribing to the meaningless vapor that absorbs our time and space.
Let’s circle back to the original question. Did cavemen and women understand the concept of time? Surely they must have, as all humans must learn how to manage it in their own way. But without the need for money, they weren’t extracting time out of people, which equals money today. We have conditioned ourselves to become moneymaking machines that don’t have the luxury of breaking down or stopping.
Whether we accept it or not we have somehow conditioned ourselves to be “Green Springs,” spitting out time, which equals money for others. Therefore, those who behave the most like green springs will produce the most money, making them a success in life. This is all true if you choose to subscribe to this mechanistic, green spring behavior. But what is needed to attain that? Extracting as much time as possible from their life and spitting out as much time you can to produce this green stuff to be a success. Sounds silly to me that we were brought into this wonderful world to try and extract as much time and green matter out of people as possible. It must be an insult to our creator to do this to one another when we were given space and time as a gift of freedom to exist using this space for our creative minds. Our DNA strands have space in between our amino acids. Cookie dough has space in between cookie cutters when making Christmas cookies. Roads should have space in between cars while driving to allow for safe and comfortable driving. Relationships need time to revive and refresh. When you get a moment, think about how often you spend your time and space as a green spring either to make money for yourself or to influence others to make it and save it for you. I have chosen to not subscribe to this misrepresented model. I argue that we are beautiful creatures with creative minds worth multitudes more than green springs.