I’ve been “hung up” as the beatniks would have said, on the concept of time. I’d like to be able to break the hold of time, so the simultaneity of electric living will be easy to operate within. Worth repeating from a previous post is what McLuhan associate, Barry Nevitt, said “…our present hangups are due to the incompatibility of sequential thinking with the simultaneities of electric living.” (from ABC of Prophecy: Understanding the Environment)
How do we get there (if there is a there there!)?
One of the next barriers to be broken is the time barrier. Didn’t jets have to break the sound barrier in order to go fast enough and reach the next level? I seem to recall learning that there would be a sonic boom as this was reached or breached.
Time could be like that. We can enter new time, which has more to do with time past or ancient time, more to do with the seasons than anything to do with the clock time that eventually produced our past industrial age. In fact, we could see the whole (now laughable) Y2K panic (remember that?) as fear of this transition in the perception (and tyranny) of time.
It may have been the explosion of the atom bomb that first broke the time barrier, for after that hipsters like Neal Cassidy were playing in time, outside of time, and the jazz musicians were doing it too, literally going way out beyond time. It’s easier to do this late at night when all the markers are gone, the others who reinforce the old time-based worldview are asleep or at least neutralized. Then time has no dominion because the sun is not radiating its rays which transition through our beings each minute or nanosecond, changing position and influence as the day “moves on”.
Let’s look at it this way. Time is no longer a horizontal progression to the goal at the horizon, but a vertical progression up and down your own personal axis. Yes the rays hit you and move, and there are shadows created by this which move in a circle on the ground, but you are not progressing in time – instead you are simply standing vertical as time circles and cycles. You are like a maypole or a sundance pole. With that image/model, time is not a motivator, nor is it a dimension, it is another influence.
Now the seasons are different. They are not “time” as we understand it in Western culture – a day broken into bits that are traversed until sunset, evening, night. Seasonal time is the place to be, to experience time on that scale is a far better way to step outside of the time barrier. Even the round of days and months are artificial when counted on a calendar. We can step out of that artificiality more and more. Time is used for appointments, like a map, but isn’t necessary in life.
This wall clock by Jim Cummins shows that he understands the jail quality of time. I found the clock in the recycling at our building – recognizing Jim’s work, I washed it off, and found it a good home.
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