Every day we look countless times at our iPhone to tell time, but in the end only “time will tell”.
Time is the death of everything, the measurer of all there is around us. We live life in fear of time, this cruel tyrant, but we must learn to make friends with it. Its what Steve Jobs meant when he said, “My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time”.
Tempus Fugit, time flies. It’s already day 29 in the month of #LivingDeeply!
Most people only like to believe things that they see with their own eyes. But no one sees time. And yet, who can deny the existence of time? We see it’s shadow in the soundless pouring of the grains on the hourglass, in the lengthening of shadows every evening, and in the graying of another hair.
We live under the tyranny of the clock, feeling rushed almost from the moment we wake up. We shush the alarm and roll over the bed to the other side, but there’s no escaping the tick-tock-tingle in the body’s alarm clock. We live our day under the gun, rushing into rush hour traffic, rushing from meeting to meeting, and rushing from the here and now. We feel oppressed by the cruelty of this master called Time, because he is unrelenting and unreasonable.
This rushing makes us feel we can catch up with time, but we can’t. We can’t make time no matter what we try, however efficient we become. We can only lose time at the same rate every second. Time waits for no one.
But we can slow time. We can slow time by slowing our thoughts. We can slow thoughts by slowing our breaths and melting our hearts. When the heart feels light and the breath is long, our thoughts no longer race. When our thoughts no longer race, the train of time moves slower, and we can see out the windows and watch the scenery pass by outside. We can learn to enjoy the little moments of bliss that used to whizz past when we had no time. We can learn to make a moment last forever by living it fully and then letting it go.
Be Here Now. That’s the name of the book that sent Steve Jobs to India in search of enlightenment. When you can be here now, you can be friends with time. The train of your life will still move from station to station, but it will make longer stops. Time won’t wait, but you will have enough. After his death, I found this scribbled in my father’s handwriting on a loose sheet “A busy man has time for everything”. If you learn to befriend time, you just have more of it.
Sri Krishna says, in the Bhagavad Gita, that as the supreme personality of Godhead, he is “kala”, Time. Amongst the reckoners, he is Time.
When Robert Oppenheimer tested the first Atomic Bomb, he quoted this verse from the Gita to describe the destruction that had been unleashed. Bhagavad Gita 11:32 “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds’.
Time can be a tyrant, but if we find the time to learn, time can be a friend.
All this month I have been writing about the way of work, Karma Yoga, the way of knowledge, Jnana Yoga, and the way of the heart, Bhakti Yoga. But really, all this month I have been trying to explain the system that Steve Jobs himself talked about in this famous speech.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.