The Irrelevance of Time

by George Hatjoullis

Human culture places a big emphasis on the concept of time but it is states of being that are fundamental to human existence. Time is irrelevant. The individual experiences three fundamental states; puberty, parenthood and death. The distinguishing feature of a state is that it is irreversible. It involves a new set of emotions. Past experiences become vague memories which are often reconstructed to serve some psychological purpose in the new state. Time is always the present and experience regulated by the state of being.

The onset of puberty is a fundamental change of state of being. It is irreversible. It introduces a completely different set of emotions to experience. Parenthood is also irreversible. The state of being a parent involves a radical change of identity. The individuals die and are instantly reborn as the parents. The offspring dominate their experience of existence. Death involves a return of our energy to the universe. What happens then is beyond our knowing.

Human society as a whole also exists in a state of being. It appears to exist in a state of being known as history. It is presented as a passage of linear time and as having an evolutionary logic. It is timeless like all states but humans seem to draw some satisfaction from adding a time dimension. The characteristic condition of the state of history is war. There is always a violent conflict taking place somewhere. The location of the conflict and the parties involved oscillate but the condition of war is always present. The parties not engaged in war at any specific time often have productive relations among themselves and may prosper by supplying the parties at war.

The state of history has other distinct and ever present characteristics; inequality, injustice, and poverty. These are often cited as causes of war but even casual observation can confirm that war is the defining condition of the state of history. It has no cause. It just happens. These other characteristics are just as likely to be outcomes of war as causes. It seems humanity is stuck in this state of being known as history. It will either destroy itself or move to another state of being. Perhaps awareness of pending species destruction will move us to the next state.