Keeping Up with the Present

Grey Ellipse with chaos

I haven’t had time to blog lately so I got to thinking ‘bout time. I spend a lot of time trying to be present. The mystics tell us there is no past and there is no future. There is only the present. However physicists say the present is a psychological illusion.

All moments in time are either in the past or in the future and there is no intrinsic difference between the two. I used to think that time doesn’t really exist. Time is an imaginary concept that measures movement through space. Yet time moves in one direction while space moves in three. I know I am here now. When I meditate I think of nothing else. I am present or at least, I think I am.

Come to find out the time it takes for our brains to process data is 80 milliseconds, therefore the closest we can be to now is 80 milliseconds behind the present. I guess I’m cool with that. Now when I meditate I don’t try to be present anymore. I chill out 80-90 milliseconds behind the present.

I give myself that extra 10 millisecond processing time for a few reasons: 1. Being an artist I have sharpened my skills of observation therefore I pick up a lot of data and may need a bit more time to process. 2. I’ve smoked a lot of pot in my day. 3. I’m trying to be cool.

Turns out I like cruising around a few milliseconds or more behind. I can’t handle the stress of trying to get ahead. Heck, I can’t even handle the stress of keeping up with the present or this blog.

Check the facts in this  NPR/TedRadio Hour podcast aired on March 22 2019:

Shifting Time

Original broadcast date: June 19, 2015. We live our lives by the calendar and the clock, but time is also an abstraction, even an illusion. In this hour, TED speakers explore how our sense of time changes depending on who and where we are. Guests include director Cesar Kuriyama, poet Rives, psychologists Dan Gilbert and Laura Carstensen, and cosmologist Sean Carroll.