proximoception: (Default)
[personal profile] proximoception
Do you know what's bullshit? The notion that time is an illusion. "Mental construct" may work (may), but only using definitions of mental and construct that are very different from the ones evoked by that phrase. Brains making elevators to where the floors would be if the universe had thought to make any, is the viable sense - and of course by making us it in some sense did think ("think") to do so.

But anyway. It's no illusion. Clocks past the veil of Maya also tick, though the symbols on their faces likely change.

But saying it's illusory, faked, made has use as well as appeal, since it has us thinking about it a second way - as we can hardly have abandoned the first. The universe hasn't ended, but it will, and first we will, our feet will, our shoes, then all shoes, then any feet. So endurance can't be the standard by which things matter: if two nights in Bangkok are great that's because one is, which is because one minute is, or whichever the shortest unit of time is in which one can fit a riveting game of chess - or whatever that guy was talking about.

You can argue that only holds when we're falsely convinced that such nights will somehow endure, but (as we've hardly abandoned the mode of thought valuing them) such false convictions will return, so one thing we can do when contemplating eternity, or long-ternity, or a-ternity is plan for how to love once we love again. Which is to stick to moments, to individuals, to what's here. Even if we have to lie about them, which I doubt we really do. Is a photograph a lie for having edges?

It feels crazy but it's true: next year can't matter and today can't not. If we have to think of next year then that's a problem, an inhabitant, of the present, so in fact a preoccupation with a certain sort of representation of it. We're obsessed with the portrait of the future next to the mantel, not with the future. Might not seem to mean much in practice but the principle does: let go of what will happen and embrace your ideas about what will happen.

Try to make them good, though. Really, really plausible. For everybody's sake. Because what I've really been talking about is ethics, which is a fancy word for avoiding premature suicide (which, since there's only now(s) and never later(s) (though there are likely later nows) is any suicide). You can ignore what I've been saying and be good but you won't know why. And a time will come when you can be even better if you know why, according to the word balloon on the portrait near my mantel.

Almost certainly you know all this. If so, maybe reading this, or realizing how badly I've put it, will help you say it better. Say it such that you never forget it, I would wish. Then maybe you'll tell me so I'll stop forgetting it so often. Because believing in the wrong sort of time is what most of our fuckups reduce to.
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