The Illusion of Time?

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
said Ford Prefect
"Very deep," said Arthur, "you should send that into the Reader's Digest. They've got a page for people like you."

Time is a creation of humans and also a constant in the universe. It has been used in some way or another since before recorded history. The sun comes up, the sun goes down. We count our "age" by relative comparison to how many times we orbit the sun. Constant, but completely arbitrary. Constant to us on this planet, but arbitrary to the scope of the universe. A year on earth means nothing on any other planet that we have discovered. That caveat is because, in an infinite universe, there may well be another planet exactly like ours out there. So why did we even start to keep time? Maybe just to pass the time... 

I have only ever cared about time in the present concept. I do not like being late to anything. I have always lived by the credo of "Half an hour is early, 15 minutes is on time, and on time is late." I never want to be the reason for people being late or waiting for something. Time is essentially worthless to me, but it is frighteningly important to other people, I would rather not interfere with their belief system. So why then, am I writing this? Well, I have been watching time pass a lot lately, and have been seeing a great amount of misuse of time. Forgetting the past, trying to manipulate it, changing it to match ideas that a particular group follows. 

History has always been written by the winners. But in this new age of the internet and availability of information, the past is becoming more and more clear. Rebels are becoming freedom fighters. Freedom fighters are becoming terrorists. And it is all just different points of view. 

There has been real evil in the world. many times in the past men have risen up to subjugate others and terrible atrocities were committed in the name of nationalism. Millions have been killed for ideas that they did not really believe in. And millions more were killed for just being different than the majority ruling class. We, as a society, have brainwashed ourselves into believing that right and wrong are clearly defined and therefore assuaged our guilt for not doing anything. But we are guilty. We allowed governments across the world did not always come by their power and authority by violence. Most times we voted them into power and then left them to act on our behalf without any oversight whatsoever. We allowed them to make decisions that affected not only us but people all over the world. And we did it so that we could be safe. But what about those that were affected? Are they any different than us? They may not have our lives and societal norms, but they have the same desires. The desire to live peacefully and watch the sun go up and down without fearing for their lives. 

When did we start going bad? There are many opinions on this. Some say it was "9/11" when America was attacked. But it happened long before that. Some say that it was there from the beginning. That our forefather's meeting in secret, keeping the common man uninformed about what they were doing started it. But they met in secret for their own protection. Many in the colonies were still loyalists and would have reported on them to the crown. No, I believe it started after WWII. When we had defeated a great enemy and started to see a monumental growth in the society that won the war. The surge in prosperity was tied to war was a flawed concept from the beginning. Why did we prosper after the war? Because we had enemies that needed fighting and the military industrial complex was booming. This brought about unprecedented growth and the creation of the middle class. A middle class made up of the survivors of a war that took the lives of so many young people. 

After the war, the military industrial complex realized that to keep making money, they needed more enemies. They began a concerted effort to make war profitable. For that to happen you need wars. So we went in search of enemies and then looked for allies that opposed them and then we armed them. First, it was the Soviet Union. We went after our allies from WWII because they posed the biggest threat. But the Russians lost 15% of their population to that war. And they were not even the most heavily affected. We should have embraced them as friends and found compromises to the differences we had. But instead, we made them the evil we saw in ourselves. Godless heathens who only wanted to destroy us. And so at a time when we as world leaders should have pulled together and made this planet safer for all and not allow this type of travesty to happen again, we supported factions that would eventually be our undoing. We should have pulled the world together, and worked for the betterment of all. 

After the war, we tried to keep our interests safe. We aligned ourselves with freedom fighters in Afganistan. We trained and armed them to help fight the Soviet invasion. Then, when they needed us the most, we abandoned them. Why wouldn't they have a grudge against us? We left training camps all over the middle east and in northern Africa, handed them weapons of mass destruction and taught them how to use subterfuge and guerrilla warfare techniques to hinder the enemy. Why did we assume that by leaving them, they would not evolve what we taught them and come up with their own ideas? Why did we assume that the people living in a "backward" part of the world would not be able to continue the work? This area of the world is what is generally thought of as the cradle of life. While our ancestors were herding sheep, they had charted the stars and developed major medical techniques we still use today. 

We assume that all our current technological and theological developments started with us, here in the states. But we are a nation of mutts. We came from all over the world and brought the knowledge and traditions and inventiveness of our ancestors with us. I do not want to go into reasons why we have always stumbled backward into dark times, but the facts are there. We let ourselves be pushed and pulled along history by those who only want to profit off our sheep-like behaviors. 

What did we do with that information, though? We waged war on countries that we had no reason to be involved with. Since the beginning of time, we have used war as a tool to promote our own agendas. Wouldn't it be nice if we had used that power to help others instead of destroying others? Using that power to force our will onto others. Leading by force instead of example? 

Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. 

Many people have called my ideas unAmerican, But I am not by a long shot that. I am a sad American. And I am a sad participant in this world. Time, they say, heals all wounds. But this is not true. It makes things fester. And without someone in power to lead the way, it will continue to infect us for generations. Time is a luxury we all have. Life is not "short", it is the longest thing you will ever do. What will you do with your time... 

But That's Just Me...Walking My Mind


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