How to Slow Down Time: A Time Manifesto

A two year labor of love, my passion project, The Art of Really Living Time Manifesto video is finally complete. See video link below.

I’m a bit in mourning as the bi-monthly sessions I’d been doing with my friend / video editor / former DJ Michael Ziener have come to a close after two years. It was an apprenticeship to the world of audio, imagery, tempo and rhetoric. For me it was a bi-weekly catharsis where I could wave my four-dimensional baton and Michael would put a stitch-in-time to weave it all together. His DJ roots come through as every sound, every word is on beat and on cue - to the final 3 drumbeats where the mother kisses the baby's feet. To Really Living!

PS: The hardback coffee table book is available on Amazon (as well as a softback original edition published 3/23/2016)


The Art of Really Living Manifesto

How long did summers last as a kid?
Splashing into the lake, riding bikes across busy streets
crushes, broken hearts, bruises and dirty knees
We all know summer lasted “forever” as a kid
Everything was new – we really lived everything we did
And now? How long do they last, in this world of the mundane?
I don’t know about you but I ache to live endless summers again

This thing here: (clock) it’s a lie.
We’ve been lied to, side-tracked, distracted, manipulated
This ticking, this tocking –
this terrible terminal tracking of the ticking of time teaching us trivial untruths:
It taught us that each second is exactly the same,
That each minute, each hour, each day, progresses in a linear way
and that each is the same distance from the last
that these ticks are an accurate measure of our past

This thing here (brain) is quite different than this thing here (clock)
As it turns out, this thing (brain) doesn’t have one of these (clock)
or more accurately it has a whole bunch of these running at different speeds
Time in our brains doesn’t tick tock tick tock with equal density
Time in our brains is dependent on our experiences – and their relative intensity

But wait, time, time is like a river right?
Sure time is a river all right, but not this kind of river
No, time is river; that ebbs and flows, from trickles to rapids, waterfalls and pools,
They bend, they bow, they curve, they dry up
In the brain it is the same game, the river of time is to blame, 
the fact is that we don’t experience time always the same

Neuroscientists tell us that the experience of time is relative
And that the drivers behind its flexibility are by their nature cognitive
Kahneman calls it, “thinking fast and slow”
Csikszentmihalyi, he calls it "Flow"
Regardless, it is a paradox we all know
That when time accelerates in the present, it expands in retro

Physics teaches us the theory of relativity:=
in a massive gravitational pull there’s a change in activity
as you accelerate towards the speed of light
that there is an “event horizon” where you lose all sight.
Time inside stops relative to the outside world
Under the massive forces and compression even time itself is swirled
It’s a slinky on a staircase, a complex blue fractal
It’s a Copernican rollercoaster, string theory in a cats cradle…
it is bellows and helixes and event horizons at the ends
Time stops when it speeds up, it decelerates when it bends

What about your life – is time speeding or slowing down?
98% of adults feel life is accelerating,
I don’t know about you, but that makes me frown
Who ordered the code red? (and who let Tom cruise in this monologue?
– he’s too short – just like your life)
You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth
Here’s your code red:  Here’s the truth: Experiential time,
absent aggressive action to reverse it, will keep speeding up

So… Go ahead, avoid the highs and lows of life – and here’s what you are going to get :
Each September will come faster, leaves piled at your feet
and no one, NO ONE will warm you or sing you to sleep
Want to speed through life with nothing to remember?
Here’s how to reap another pale September:
 - Watch lots of tv, sit on the couch,
 - eat the same foods, develop a pouch
 - meet no new friends, be a stay at home grouch
 - do the same damn thing every single day, walk with a slouch
Your arm chair? The gauze of advil, and air conditioning, 
Your staid routines and complacent pace?
These things are the warp drive to temporal hyperspace

You think you are half done with life or even less?
No, only 10% of your experiential time is left for you to save
You have one foot, a torso, two hands, and a watch in the grave
Be safe, stick with your routine, be comfortable, live “the dream”
and die in a few temporal seconds. Goodnight, you’re dead, end of scene.

It is time.
It is time to either get busy dying or get busy really living
It is time to get dirty, to get sick, to burnout and recover, to fall in love,
to have a broken heart, to fall apart and then get back up again
Time to eat a moruga scorpion pepper without milk.
Time to get back out there, get back in there,
Time to get off the hedonic treadmill,
Time to unclimb the corporate ladder
I want to climb the ladder of my internal clock
I want to clock the ladder of my internal climb
I want to slow the hands of father time
and time the slow hands of my fatherhood
I want to kiss my young child’s forehead and wake to find her still a child
I want to love the loves of my life and live a life that I love
I want to sleep the dreams of heroes and be the hero of my dreams
I accept this kind of life may mean suffering for me
I will choose this suffering rather than let it choose me

It is time to create moments of such gravity that meaning supercedes all
It is time…. to create event horizons where the clock ceases to exist at all
For the people we truly love, this one sacred gift we can give
The gift of expanding time:  It is time… to “really live"

-For A.L.T., 5201314, October 2014

A "Render and Sip" Production with Michael Ziener