Cartographies of Time


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–by Maptia, Co-founder Team , syndicated from blog.maptia.com, Jun 23, 2014

Cartographies of Time: Part II

We believe that places are like people and that each has a unique personality. A defining and often delightful aspect of each place’s personality is the way in which time is understood, measured and perceived by the people who live there. Cross the globe and you will encounter many different rhythms of life – some slow, some frantic, some chaotic and changeable, some melodic and rich, and just a few where time goes by entirely untracked.

Many farmers use the subtle variations in seasonal weather patterns to measure the passing of time, while others’ religious beliefs can lead them to live their lives according to the waxing and waning of the moon, and some seafarers still track the time using the predictable arc of the sun, the stars and the moon. Each different culture and place has its own subtle melody and pace of life – time is experienced differently around the world.

When you listen to music, your heart-rate will often subconsciously adjust to the beat and tempo of the song. Likewise, if you spend long enough in a place that has a relaxed way of life, your own internal metronome will adjust to a much slower rhythm. This is one of travel’s less tangible yet more profound experiences – to come to understand and appreciate the way another culture uses time. Some are appreciative and take a meditative approach, while others are afraid that it is simply running away from them.

“Every culture has its own unique set of temporal fingerprints. To know a people is to know the time values they live by. — Jeremy Rifkin, Time Wars

Temporal Perspectives Around the World

As we wrote in Cartographies of Time Part 1, industrialisation, and now globalisation, continues to promote the importance of strict clock-based routines. Think about it, how would we be able to interact on an international basis without a shared understanding and agreement on how we measure time? And yet all over the world there are fascinating, often enchanting stories from cultures that still measure time in more traditional ways, and in each and every place there are unique sayings or phrases that have come to represent different amounts of time in a much more human way than the mechanical ticking hand of a clock.

In England we might say, ‘Oh, I’ll just have forty winks.’ By this we would mean that we were about to take a five or ten minute nap. While if you asked how long something was going to take in Madagascar, you might receive an answer such as ‘the time of a rice-cooking’ (about half an hour) or ‘the frying of a locust (a few minutes). In his book, ‘The Geography of Time’, Robert Levine quotes someone from Nigeria as having said, “the man died in less than the time in which maize is not yet completely roasted.” This is apparently less than fifteen minutes.

No matter we are from, each of us interprets the passing of time in relation to our experiences of the world around us. This brings a rich variety of colour and emotion into the language of time. Drawing on Levine’s book and on other travellers’ experiences, we have collected anecdotes and stories that illustrate some of the starkly different ways humans understand and experience time around the world.

Starting out in New York, there is perhaps nowhere that Benjamin Franklin’s famous phrase, ‘remember that time is money’, is more true – after all it is the city that never sleeps. In New York, doing nothing is a clear sign of being unproductive and indicates that you are wasting your time. For many New Yorkers a loss of structure and lack of time-keeping can lead to a feeling that they have lost their sense of purpose in life.

Compare this with Mexico where they have a saying ‘dar tiempo al tiempo’ or ‘give time to time’. Mexicans find the idea of ‘wasting time’ quite incomprehensible as if you are not doing one thing then by definition you must be doing something else – even if that is nothing more than relaxing with a friend. Levine notes that both the New Yorkers and Mexicans agree that ‘time is our most valuable commodity’, but that Mexicans say this is exactly the reason that it should not be impartially divided into inorganic monetary units.

Travelling eastwards, monks over in Burma have no need for alarm clocks or snooze buttons, they know it is time to get up when ‘there is light enough to see the veins in their hand’. Meanwhile, Kelantese peasants living on the Malay Peninsula have a unique coconut clock-timer that is traditionally used in sporting competitions. Levine writes,

“This clock consists of a half coconut shell with a small hole in its center that sits in a pail of water. Intervals are measured by the time it takes the shell to fill with water and then sink – usually about three to five minutes. The Kelantese recognise that the clock is inexact, but they choose it over the wristwatches they own.

Over in Barundi, India, where the majority of the population are subsistence farmers, natural events entirely dictate the temporal structure of life, and time is tracked according to the passing of the seasons. As Levine relates,

“[In Barundi] they set their appointment for the time when the cows are going to drink in the stream. Precision is difficult and mostly irrelevant because it is hard to know exactly at what time people will be leading the cows out in the first place.

One of the most delightful interpretations of time we have heard about is by natives of the Andamanese tribe, who live in the southeastern corner of the Bay of Benegal on the Andaman Islands. According to Levine, they have constructed a complex annual calendar built around the sequence of dominant smells of trees and flowers in their environment. So instead of living by a calendar the Andamanese tribe ‘simply smell the odours outside their door’.

Perhaps the most exotic temporal fingerprint of all is found in the Amazon Rainforest, amongst the Amondawa tribe. Remarkably, this tribe experienced their first contact with the outside world less than thirty years ago in 1986. Professor Chris Sinha, who has spent time observing the Amondawa tribe, found that they have no specific word in their language for ‘time’ nor do they determine any discrete periods of time such as a month or a year. The tribe have only divisions for day and night, and rainy and dry seasons. More perplexing still, nobody in the community has an age. Instead, they change their names to reflect their stage of life and position within the community. It is almost incomprehensible for us clock folk to imagine living our lives this way.

Turning up the cadence once more to the bustling city of Tokyo, the fiercely strong culture of hard work dictates that time should never be wasted, that speed is a virtue, and to start events or meetings precisely on time is not merely the norm, it is expected. It is also not uncommon for Japanese employees to sell their holiday time back to the company, leaving them with only a few days off in an entire year. Unsurprisingly, Japan ranked top in a study on the pace of life in 37 countries. This study found that walking speed was closely linked to a country’s productivity and economic ranking. It is clear that our experience of time is not only emotional, but physical, and that many aspects of how we live our lives are determined by the predominant interpretation of time within the society we live in.

Finally, contrast the acute punctuality of the Japanese or the Swiss with the laidback Chileans living in Santiago. You might have been invited to a party at 6pm, only to find that none of the other guests show up until 7pm, 8pm or even 9pm and as we experienced first hand while living there last year, Chilean time can take some getting used to!

Working at Maptia we have experienced both extremes of the temporal spectrum. Last autumn, while we were part of the TechStars accelerator program in Seattle, we felt the intensity of the action packed schedules and ‘do more faster’ mindset. At times it was exhilarating, at others exhausting.

In stark comparison, this year we have found it refreshing to experience the much slower pace of life here in the little fishing village of Taghazout, Morocco, where our startup is now based. The locals here seem to have won a temporal lottery. In radical contrast to the frantic ‘time equals money’ culture found in many westernised cities, they give the distinct impression that they have all the time in the world. No one is ever seen running to catch a bus, or to make it to a meeting on time, and we are sometimes invited to share spontaneous mint tea with a friendly local family or stopped in the street for a meandering conversation about nothing of particular importance. Although we still work with intensity and have a tendency to burn the candle at both ends, being in a place where those around us are not constantly fighting the onslaught of time cannot help but recalibrate our internal metronomes to a more measured and sustainable pace.

Metaphors of Time

All around the world the metaphors we apply to time have come to define the texture and quality of our existence. Living a fast-paced, hyper-productive way of life cannot be said to be any better or worse than a more relaxed, melodic and thoughtful existence – it’s just different, and different cultures have evolved to value different things. It is, however, a fascinating exercise to observe the pace of your own internal metronome and to gain an awareness of the diverse relationships with time that exist in different places around the world. So the next time you change time zone or are readjusting your clocks to go back or forwards an hour – take a moment to imagine how different your life would be without them.

“Time is the truest form of wealth. And the beauty is, we are all born equally rich in time. — Rolf Potts

 

 

 


This post originally appeared over on the Maptia Blog and is reprinted here with permission.The team at Maptia have created a beautiful platform for telling stories about places and you can check out their “See The World” manifesto here.

Gillian MacBeth-Louthan: The Sands of NO-Time


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imageThe Sands of NO-Time by Gillian MacBeth-Louthan, June 2014 at: http://www.thequantumawakening.com

The sands of time being silica of nature hold an evolutionary shift. The crystalline sands of time slide in and out creating a dimensional flux. Time gets away from us as we focus so hard on daily events and unfoldings.

As the sands of time slide through the entrances and exits of all that is sacred, seen and unseen, humanity’s future is unveiled as it is seen in a full spectrum of possibility. As each person walks forward in their life, there is a set of energetic time-prints, they produce. As earth walks forward into her newly formed dunes of evolution it will seem and feel as if one is left completely alone.

The feeling of utter aloneness envelops all sparing no one. Time asks you to not give up on what lives in your heart. The Universe has placed within you a seed that cannot expire, that cannot be sown over. The Universe has placed in you a time imprint that asks to be viewed under the microscopic eye of your heart. Earth herself and all her inhabitants are at a turning point that asks everyone to be explicit in the expression of every passing thought for they all count. No more excuses for the mistaken choices of those in power as they look for ways to polish their own metals.  Read more…

The Sands of Time


 

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change

The sands of time being silica of nature hold an evolutionary shift. The crystalline sands of time slide in and out creating a dimensional flux. Time gets away from us as we focus so hard on daily events and unfoldings. As the sands of time slide through the entrances and exits of all that is sacred, seen and unseen, humanity’s future is unveiled as it is seen in a full spectrum of possibility.  As each person walks forward in their life, there is a set of energetic time-prints, they produce.  As earth walks forward into her newly formed dunes of evolution it will seem and feel as if one is left completely alone.

 

The feeling of utter aloneness envelops all sparing no one. Time asks you to not give up on what lives in your heart.  The Universe has placed within you a seed that cannot expire, that cannot be sown over.  The Universe has placed in you a time imprint that asks to be viewed under the microscopic eye of your heart.  Earth herself and all her inhabitants are at a turning point that asks everyone to be explicit in the expression of every passing thought for they all count.  No more excuses for the mistaken choices of those in power as they look for ways to polish their own metals. 

As of the summertime of 2014, higher stratums of light will be integrated into the soul patterns of Earth.  Every individual upon Earth has an opportunity to ask for Divine assistance, for Divine acknowledgment, for Divine intervention.  Many allow themselves to be washed about in a tidal pull as the waves crest pushing them about. 

Each thought that humanity has is more important than the thought before.  Within Each thought wisdom either increases or decreases exponentially. Every interaction with every person gives you food for thought to be digested at your own discretion.  When you hear sad news move your heart and your energies up to a safe place where one can see the totality of the situation and chose action accordingly.

Those that wear the higher patterns of light and time will be asked to go beyond what they deem suitable for their experiences as commitment to the cause.  What this means is that you will be given deep soul insights that will ask you to fly higher and dance through space as well as  time.  You will be given instructions from the Universe within your heart that ask you to surpass any previous limitation. You will be asked to become one with the legions of light.  The legions of light that hold the heart of humanity within the very palms of their hands. 

So many of earth have chosen not to change, not to move forward, not to believe and not to trust.  So many of Earth have given up, have not seen their absentee interplanetary landlord in eons. What you seek as a planet now has more mass to it.  The biology has changed and shifted in the land of the unseen.  As a planet you have always been asked to believe in what is invisible. You are asked to believe in a supreme being  has placed you here for your highest good and then walked away to another galactic assignment.  You have been asked to believe that every loss, every death every dark day is really a blessings that holds a divine opportunity wrapped up in a childproof package. . 

We come to tell you that the miracle that you seek lives. It listens when you speak, it dances in your dreams, and it sees the patterns of your heart.  The miracles that humanity so needs are guaranteed if one will only believe deeply, no matter how outer circumstances appear.  For single a miniscule blueprint of doubt creates a deadly cocktail.  As the solstice births itself, deep emotions will come to the surface – angers and hates, loves, fears and tears. The solstice begins a seasonal cleanse, remember Life is circular of nature time to walk the labrinith.

 

 

The sands of time being silica of nature hold an evolutionary shift. The crystalline sands of time slide in and out creating a dimensional flux. Time gets away from us as we focus so hard on daily events and unfoldings. As the sands of time slide through the entrances and exits of all that is sacred, seen and unseen, humanity’s future is unveiled as it is seen in a full spectrum of possibility.  As each person walks forward in their life, there is a set of energetic time-prints, they produce.  As earth walks forward into her newly formed dunes of evolution it will seem and feel as if one is left completely alone.

 

The feeling of utter aloneness envelops all sparing no one. Time asks you to not give up on what lives in your heart.  The Universe has placed within you a seed that cannot expire, that cannot be sown over.  The Universe has placed in you a time imprint that asks to be viewed under the microscopic eye of your heart.  Earth herself and all her inhabitants are at a turning point that asks everyone to be explicit in the expression of every passing thought for they all count.  No more excuses for the mistaken choices of those in power as they look for ways to polish their own metals. 

As of the summertime of 2014, higher stratums of light will be integrated into the soul patterns of Earth.  Every individual upon Earth has an opportunity to ask for Divine assistance, for Divine acknowledgment, for Divine intervention.  Many allow themselves to be washed about in a tidal pull as the waves crest pushing them about. 

Each thought that humanity has is more important than the thought before.  Within Each thought wisdom either increases or decreases exponentially. Every interaction with every person gives you food for thought to be digested at your own discretion.  When you hear sad news move your heart and your energies up to a safe place where one can see the totality of the situation and chose action accordingly.

Those that wear the higher patterns of light and time will be asked to go beyond what they deem suitable for their experiences as commitment to the cause.  What this means is that you will be given deep soul insights that will ask you to fly higher and dance through space as well as  time.  You will be given instructions from the Universe within your heart that ask you to surpass any previous limitation. You will be asked to become one with the legions of light.  The legions of light that hold the heart of humanity within the very palms of their hands. 

So many of earth have chosen not to change, not to move forward, not to believe and not to trust.  So many of Earth have given up, have not seen their absentee interplanetary landlord in eons. What you seek as a planet now has more mass to it.  The biology has changed and shifted in the land of the unseen.  As a planet you have always been asked to believe in what is invisible. You are asked to believe in a supreme being  has placed you here for your highest good and then walked away to another galactic assignment.  You have been asked to believe that every loss, every death every dark day is really a blessings that holds a divine opportunity wrapped up in a childproof package. . 

We come to tell you that the miracle that you seek lives. It listens when you speak, it dances in your dreams, and it sees the patterns of your heart.  The miracles that humanity so needs are guaranteed if one will only believe deeply, no matter how outer circumstances appear.  For single a miniscule blueprint of doubt creates a deadly cocktail.  As the solstice births itself, deep emotions will come to the surface – angers and hates, loves, fears and tears. The solstice begins a seasonal cleanse, remember Life is circular of nature time to walk the labrinith.

It is time! Can you feel it?


Pink RoseHave you been feeling the energies recently, once high, then low, then tumultuous, then gentle?

It is time!  What you are feeling is not just an energy for the earth and the souls, the divine children here but it is much greater.   It is a universal pulse of joy, love and peace that effects everything, everywhere.   Can you feel it?

It modulates itself to each individual soul, to their level, to their understanding, to their choice.  So it affects all, everywhere, but is unique to each soul.  Embrace it, love it, share it.  It is time!  The time you have been waiting for, but unique to your understanding, to  your situation.

It is what you have been waiting for, but maybe not what you were expecting.  It is time!  Can you feel it?   Embrace it, love it, share it.  Then shine it from  your heart back out to all the earth, and all the universe and revel in the glory, joy and love when it returns to you multiplied infinitely.

~David