The Opposite of Life is Time

Image for post
Image for post

“The opposite of Life is not Death; the opposite of Life is Time.”

This quote by American artist Morris Graves made me think today.

I stumbled upon this quote in the book I’m reading: The Awakening Artist: Madness and Spiritual Awakening in Art” by Patrick Howe.

At first I did not get the meaning of the quote. But as I read further, I got it.

We are trapped by the clock, by the concept of time. It steals life from our days.

Tim Ferriss, one of my favorite authors, meant the same saying: “…the opposite of happiness is boredom”.

What do we do when we are bored? We usually can’t wait to leave this moment, counting minutes till some “boring” experience, we don’t enjoy, passes by.

We indulge in clock-watching.

Why do we track time in the first place? When do we track time and look at our watch?

In this time and age we seem to do it all the time, it’s one of the diseases of our society. Time-tracking and clock watching. But why do we do it so often?

Do we tend to track time making love?

Enjoying time with friends having real fun?

When we enjoy time with our family?

When we do some hobby we are truly into?

Doing the work we love?

Reading fascinating book or watching a hilarious movie, enjoying outstanding performance?

No. Not really.

We track the time, when we are bored, or when we do what we “have to” do, not something we choose to do. And because most of us were born in the idea that we “have to” do lots of things before we get to do what we love, we spend quite some time clock watching.

Is there any life there?

Not really. We can’t wait till those moments pass. We are not really living then. We are dead to life that is happening. We don’t take an active part in it. We are in the future or in the past, living in some memories of the events we enjoyed or about to enjoy.

Life. Death.

It’s all in our minds.

How do you know when you are dead? We just stop participating in living.

When we watch the time waiting for the future, it’s the same. We are dead at that moment.

When we notice the flow of time — there is no life.

Life happens when the time flies by, when we have no conscious awareness of moments, minutes, hours passing.

Time was meant to make our life better. Help us be more effective and efficient. Add more joy to the moments we get to live.

Instead it stole our lives.

“We are not designed to live in time, we are designed to live in the timeless flow of life.”

~ Patrick Howe, The Awakening Artist

If you feel like you lost life.

If you feel like there is no joy.

If you don’t feel alive.

If you don’t remember, when was the last time you lost track of time. It’s time to stop clock watching and time to ask yourself.

Why am I not enjoying this moment?

Why am I watching time instead? What can I do to lose track of time and enjoy every second without being aware of seconds passing by?

Go. DO that.

It’s a waste of time being alive but not really living.

It’s a waste of time clock watching while life is passing by.

Being alive at this very moment is a choice.

To be dead you don’t need to die physically. To be dead, it’s enough to neglect this moment and start watching the clock dreaming of the future or dwelling in the past.

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” ~ Buddha

Are you alive? NOW?

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store