A Romanian philosopher, Lucian Blaga, once said that time is the cynical toy of God which is used to measure our breakdowns and pains. But in the “liberating” absence of God, time is the most coercive force of postmodern human consciousness.
Contemporary individuals let themselves be caressed by any artifacts or sham that may cover their weaknesses in the face of time. We wear watches on our wrists, but we forget to measure our life. Candidly paralyzed by a myriad of seductive promises, we become tourist in our life. We are trained with predilection: desire anything and everything to live a youth which is barely recognizable, it is consumed more and more frenetically! When we are demolishing uncomfortable traditional values with pretentious sophistry, we get so cool to agree with Janice Joplin’s thesis: live fast, die young! The bio-chemical engineering industry of rejuvenation and of imposed joy of free time (leisure industry) fits perfectly with the insidious industry of amnesia, which plants in the human subject’s a prosthesis of consciousness, “free” from any guilt and fear. As a clients of this industry, we are drunk with the thought of ephemeral rules, forgetting that so we subscribed to be a permanent slaves!
Time talks. It speaks more plainly than words. The message it conveys comes through loud and clear. Because it is manipulated less consciously, it is subject to less distortion than the spoken language. It can shout the truth where words lie (Edward T. Hall, The Silent Language, Anchor, 1973, p. 1).
(Source: The Passage of Time, Toni Verdu Carbo)
Regardless of our will or stamina (which we can display ostentatiously), we have to go through an internal migration between the ages of what we call consciousness. When we look in the mirror of time, we note with regret the fingerprinting of time upon the body functions. The implacable erosion of time forces human beings to make a choice. A decadent nihilism seems to be the most “courageous” choice, but in fact, it is the easiest choice and it most often hides a cowardly narcissism. Another choice is to “screw” the mechanisms in order to manipulate the marking of time for man’s selfish interests. I prefer a third option. It is the choice to live moments fully for a purpose that transcends the imanence, aware that the child’s joy trickle wise old sigh of joy to a different, cleaner, and wise joy.
Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment. So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10, NIV)
– I wish it need not have happened in my time (said Frodo).
– So do I, said Gandalf, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us (The Lord of the Rings, I, 60 – italics mine).
Since any gratuity is paid, I think the time that is “given to us” is an extraordinary resource to lose what is not authentic for us and to find God! Ultimately, we are free to decide what kind of conditioning we endure: a cultural contingency, immanent, with interesting and stimulating elements, but powerless in the face of erosion time, or a conditioning of God, which”gave us” time to live with a sense!