Monday, August 6, 2012

What is the Purpose of Time?

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal;

A time to tear down, and a time to build up.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search, and a time to give up as lost;

A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together;

A time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate;

A time for war, and a time for peace.”

I chose the words from the Bible to start my blog for today.  In today’s world we cannot imagine to live without clocks, calendars, time zones, daylight savings time, time management, etc.  Some say time is another dimension others suggest that we can time travel.  We know that we live in a world of three dimensions.  As scientists have recently proven and religious people have known for ages we are not just living in this physical world but rather there is a spiritual world, unseen world all around us.  We cannot perceive it with our physical senses; that’s why it has been hidden, or at least for some of us who don’t believe in a sixth sense or intuition. 

In literature we talk about time in two ways, chronos and kairos.  One deals with the chronology of time, a continuation which moves forward and is quantitative while kairos means holy or God-given time, which has a more qualitative nature.  As we read in Ecclesiastes God’s time table has a deeper meaning and can signal a time of crisis and meaning.  

Here is another view from another blog I found:

In a world without time I will count experiences not minutes.
In a world without time a clock is a tool to coordinate with others.
In a world without time the moments with the Rompot will be enough.
In a world without time actions will take as long as they need to.
In a world without time I will never feel rushed or bored.
In a world without time a clock won't control me.

I like to introduce here another insight which I learned at a recent Original Substance of the Divine Principle seminar.  Our local presenter Wayne shared an interesting point on the purpose of time which inspired me to write this article. 

He was teaching on the meaning of growth and the time it takes for all creation to develop. All creatures and plants have to grow through the three ordered stages of formation, growth, and completion stage.  When created beings are in the growing period, God has regard only for the fruits of their growth which is based on the Principle (man needs to fulfill his portion of responsibility).  We call this growing period the realm of God's indirect dominion or the realm of dominion based on the accomplishments through the Principle. 
All things reach perfection after passing through the growing period by virtue of the autonomy and governance given by God's Principle.
Human beings, however, pass through the growing period and reach perfection by fulfilling their own portion of responsibility, in addition to the guidance provided by the Principle. Man’s physical body grows automatically, given that it has food, water, sunlight and life elements.  Since man is the only created being who lives in both worlds: the physical and the spiritual world, God gave man freedom and responsibility to grow by his own efforts toward maturity.  That time period here on earth gives us our true value as human beings where by our own choices we can take as long as it takes to reach oneness with God. This value gives us divine, unique and cosmic value. Therefore, man is an eternal being, and becomes a co-creator. It takes time for man to reach his true value. 5.2.1 The Three Ordered Stages of the Growing Period

To me that was a real eye-opener in regards to the purpose of time.  For our physical life we need measured time as a tool, but for our spiritual life which will continue on for eternity once we transition after death, it is more important to measure events, experiences, adventure, true joy and purpose.  It is our experience in relationship with others, especially in the family that helps us grow, and mature our hearts to integrate all kinds of people and personalities. In the family we learn all different stages of relationships (child, brother & sister, husband & wife and parents) in order to create long term intimacy, security and connection.

Here are few other options on the purpose of time

“More powerful than all the armies of the world, is an idea whose time has come.”

“Time makes us uniquely human.”

“Time is a factor which will bring perfection.”

~ page 229 – Outwitting the Devil  by Napoleon Hill

"From the Buddhist perspective, time is the experience of being present right now, in this very moment. We in the West, however, like to measure things. In this way, clock time gives us a sense of coherence and stability. But in terms of our inner lives, no time exists except for what is happening in the present moment."

“I’m trying to understand how time works. And that’s a huge question that has lots of different aspects to it. A lot of them go back to Einstein and space-time and how we measure time using clocks. But the particular aspect of time that I’m interested in is the arrow of time: the fact that the past is different from the future. We remember the past but we don’t remember the future. There are irreversible processes. There are things that happen, like you turn an egg into an omelet, but you can’t turn an omelet into an egg.”

 “Time drives every second of our lives in ways we can scarcely imagine. But what is time? This is the quest to understand time and our place within it. It’s a journey that starts with cutting-edge discoveries into what makes us tick and ends with the mind-boggling implications of cosmological time. It’s a journey that reveals something extraordinary: The more we understand time, the more we find that it is time that makes us uniquely human.”

Jesus also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, “It is going to rain”; and so it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time (the kairos)?”
~ Luke 12:54, 56

We can conclude that time is necessary to create value, for man to mature and become wise and most of all to learn to love.  As Sean Caroll suggested, time only goes forward.  We cannot change yesterday we can on learn the lessons and create a better tomorrow.  Why do we value time?  Is time money?  Yes – in this physical world we get compensated for our work and sell our talents and time for a paycheck.  On the level of experiences time is priceless.

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. 
You can’t own it, but you can use it. 
You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. 
Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”

To learn more about the Unification Church teachings, please visit: 3 kind of human value Becoming a Divine Spirit The 2 realms: Growing and Perfection The Physical and Spiritual Self (Nourishment)

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