Does anybody REALLY know what time it is?
Different cultures from different parts of the world and at different ‘times’ have developed different methods of keeping track. Most ‘civilized’ cultures pegged their methods to what seemed to be the most reliable big cycles that we still think of as stable today… the movements of the Earth, the moon, the sun, the other planets and galaxies.
Not many think about these things; but when Albert Einstein formulated his special and general theories of relativity, the entire ‘known Universe’ consisted only of the stars in our galaxy… what we now call the Milky Way. It took another few decades for astronomers to come to the conclusion that there were other galaxies. Then they began noticing weird behaviors among galaxies. Quasars were defined and studied.
When we Humans celebrate the end of an old year and the beginning of a new year we are commemorating some kind of a completion of a cycle that refers to some phenomenon we observe in the sky. The Chinese do it a little differently than the Westerners. The Judaic calendar is different than the Gregorian calendar.
Remember a few years ago when a lot of folks were expecting ‘the end of the world’… Dec 21, 2012… because of the Mayan (long count) calendar? Well, it came and went and we are still here two years later.
So, what can we say about all this? Well, it must be pretty obvious that the Universe doesn’t give a crap about how Humans keep track of time. The big cycles are just going to keep on going, until they shift and change as a result of the big forces of gravity, momentum and electromagnetism (on the micro and macro scale).
The scientific realities remain under investigation and our ‘knowledge’ continues to be modified as new information comes to our attention… and then it has to be officially agreed upon… or it isn’t official scientific doctrine. (actually so called science is just another form of religion in many cases)
None of this matters to most Humans. Most folks will continue to use whatever form of ‘New Year’ they deem proper, as an excuse to celebrate the commemoration of a cycle. It’s all about keeping track, on a regular basis. We notice that the season’s change as the Earth changes it’s relationship to the sun in the cycle. We notice that the weather changes as a result. We notice that plants are affected by the ‘yearly’ cycle. We recognize there is an order to it.
So we commemorate and ‘mark time’ and we celebrate the continuation of the cycle and we notice that our bodies are one year older with the passage of one yearly cycle.
We don’t really know ‘what time’ it is… because we can’t really say ‘where’ anything actually IS. We can know where planets and stars and galaxies are IN RELATION to one another… but we can’t know ‘where’ they ALL are… because we don’t know what ALL is.
Not to worry. Let’s just agree that the Universe is a really big place and that there are lots of things we will likely never know. Don’t get all hung up on worrying about having to know. You won’t ever know all there is to know and no one else will either.
It doesn’t matter. You can still have a very happy Life. In fact your Life will be much happier if you just quit thinking that the Universe will ever be completely understood.
The most important thing for Humans to know about ‘New Year’ (or birthdays, or anniversaries) is that it is about relationships with one another.
Never mind the movements of the planets for a minute.
Let’s pay attention to the movements of our Lives. Celebrations are about Human relationships. Family members, neighbors, members of our community. It is our relationships with one another that makes keeping track of time meaningful.
Love and connectedness to ourselves and to one another is what ‘keeping track’ of anything is really about.
What I admire about people who live in what many consider to be ‘less civilized’ areas is the way they celebrate nearly everything.
Young folks are not segregated from the older folks. There is a continuum of age groups in these celebrations. These cultures remember that we ALL start off Life as babies, and then we progress to infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, young adults, to middle aged adults.
And if we are fortunate enough to remain healthy, we may one day arrive at the ‘elder’ status. I love South American fiestas of all sorts because you see family and community members who represent all the stages of a Human Life. Everyone is welcome.
Happy upcoming 2015 (as ‘Westerners’ keep track of time)
But more importantly, I wish you Love and connectedness with your fellow Humans.
As the character named Harry Tuttle portrayed by Robert DiNiro in the 1985 film Brazil said:
‘ Listen, kid, we’re all in it together.’