Time: Acting out of Urgency

Lucy (a 2014 film that borderlines metaphysics and psychedelics – which, out of inexplicable curiosity, I’ve watched at least 5 times), Morgan Freeman, playing the role of a neurologist, asserts that the primordial instinct of all living organisms is to gain time: where there is time, the organism reproduces; where time is limited, the organism chooses immortality.

Watching “NOTHING: The Science of Emptiness” documentary on World Science Festival channel, MIT scientists and researchers were debating on the origin of the universe; whether it came from nothing (as per the Big Bang Theory) and if that were the case, then how did time come about. They are attempting to theoretically re-create the universe before time. What is unclear, however, is whether the universe is moving towards [gaining] or away from [losing] time.

In “33 Strategies of War”, Robert Greene recalls the story of a Russian writer, Dostoyevsky. He always lacked purpose in his life, always looking for a fulfillment to the time he spent on idleness. In a bizarre twist of fate, he was later sentenced to four years of hard labor in Siberia. Realizing that his time in prison was limited, he started writing novels in his head, in a time when most of his fellow inmates had either committed suicide or gone berserk. He would later – upon his release – publish four novels back to back. His new motto was:

“Try to get as much done as possible in the shortest time.”

Even the most celebrated pop stars and scientists, found their niche in the world arena by being surrounded by the most demanding, death defying, circumstances.

Kanye West, 50 Cent, became aggressive in their pursuit for recognition in the rap world after surviving a road accident and fatal shootings, respectively. Nietzsche, engulfed in social rejection, loneliness and syphilis, he was able to pen what has now become an intellectual craze in philosophy.

We have business moguls, portsmen, pop stars, writers whose biggest motivation to defy the odds and accomplish material success was factored by the urgency of time. This could be growing in an environment where crime rate is life threateningly high and therefore the chance of living past 25 are slim, or death of a close relative or friend, or dogged by fatal health conditions, or the fear of growing old and dying poor. Thus it could be said, it’s not the strongest that survive but the time conscious.

With the awareness that time on earth is limited, mankind has managed to push himself past a self-imposed limit, thus attesting to Evita Peron’s varbatim:
“Time is my greatest enemy.”

In modern context (where entertainment and yoga have inevitably occupied quite a portion of our time) without waiting for fate to flash the yellow card, how does one act out of a sense of urgency? How does one live on the edge (of time)?

It is rhetoric that perhaps can be pondered within one’s convenience. In any case, the twin paradox (relativity) theorizes that we all observe time differently.