The idea that time is money, so precious, yet so wasted — in the eyes of the outside judges, always made my mind reeling.
But wait… no, it wasn’t always so.
There were times I clutched into the belief that time is a precious currency that one of the ways to honour it is by regretting the decisions I have made in the past where I’ve failed to do whatever I’ve wanted.
Failed to enter that school/uni. Failed to join that extracurricular activity. Failed to work in a field that I still have dreams for. Failed to learn hard enough to be an astronaut or an archeologist. Failed to be with that person who I had excellent chemistry with. Failed to stay friends with that certain crowd. Failed to extend friendship to that great cliquey. Failed to expand my work experience to overcome the difficulty of finding the next ideal job. Failed to have enough money to secure me a life with limitless possibilities. And other
failures expectations that once and again my ego loves to tease me with.
I remembered that I grew up in a culture where slowness is cherished. They would be totally indulging even if you’re late to come to certain working environment. Hungry? Better come to a Padang restaurant because the meals will already be prepared so you won’t need to wait up to 1 hour (and spent your time ordering drinks to quench your insatiable starvation). 5 times prayer time? The adzan in mosques only 5 km difference could be announced between 5-30 minutes later. Expect a non-stop noise pollution (water, air, and land pollution as well) while you’re in West Java and Jakarta regions (you’re welcome). Don’t even start with the traffic in the cities/suburban/rural areas. Those mothers on wheels, especially motorbikes–let me use the millennials’ phrase: “I. can’t. even.”
However, the tradition in my school was different. School was always on time, lateness was punished by shame and bonus assignments. The teachers fortunately gave the best examples for my generation to have a role model of what promptness look like.
So, I grew up with multiple standards. It was the norm. Study aspect was to be handled strictly. This includes religious studies. Catholic schools especially were famous for giving the highest standards for educational purposes. I was privileged enough to taste their system. I also tasted the 90° turn after I entered Islamic school system. Another 90° turn in the international school system.
Every one of them fortunately reflects the importance of time. So I wasn’t surprised to find it was shared over and over again in various forms of media, international or local, that time is a very precious currency in our lifetime.
Then it happened.
The experience that only psychedelic experts could fathom my stories. Or those who are working on the spiritual path.
Time, as in psychological time (borrowing Eckhart Tolle’s term), was swept away from my mind when a mesh of past, present, and future aspect of something in my immediate surrounding was presented simultaneously before my eyes.
Imagine a building; on its left side is the past look (stale, dirty, neglected), the middle is the current reality, and the right side is the future look (polished, shiny, new) — all meshed together side by side.
People all around me pretended it was normal. So I hid my awe, and the awe turned slowly into concern because I suddenly realised that I didn’t know what was happening, and alas, the ego-mind always detects the unknown as something that is very, very dangerous. So I must feel afraid, it dictated, and seeing no other options, I consented.
Afraid, wary, uncertain, and not knowing who to trust, I navigated the uncharted territory for another few weeks. During that few weeks, I had experienced everything that science had stated as irrational, impossible, and illogical.
I went to medical experts who diagnosed that I merely needed more sleep and rest. Or maybe a trip to a religious teacher would also be beneficial.
People around me seemed too suspicious that the only way to find safety is to escape to a different land. Yes, that was the only thing that I felt as my ticket back to freedom.
When I finally returned back into the normal reality, would it be so weird as to question the real truth of time? Is it linear or not so much? Does past and future really exist at different timelines? How does time and space really work?
After that experience I spent a huge amount of time reading as much information as I could get my hands on. (Still so much in my wish list, I’m lagging behind my expectation.) I am very aware that the materials I am exposing myself into are filtered by my experience.
But fortunately, that experience was also the one which taught me that nothing is ultimately true unless I feel it inside of me. So I learned again to trust my feelings and body felt sensations.
An ongoing life project where I’m proud to say that:
I’ll always be the student of life.
It was not an experience I’d want anyone to miss. Because it will give us the key to open up our imprisoned-mind.
To safe time, excuse me the pun, I’ve decided that I couldn’t see time as that linear factor in life anymore.
Every time I read a quote saying, “Time is money.” My insides would churn and it reminds me how I disagree with that statement.
Or if someone reminds me to stop wasting my time, their time, or other people’s time, I’d have this internal reminder saying, “No one has ever done that actually. But may be I was wasting their imprisoned-mind’s time. Oh well.”
And this impression is still as fresh in my mind as ever.
And the more I learn about time in this life, the more I realise that the only regrets I would truly feel are the ones where I remember how I could actually become a kinder person in any past moment that I’ve spent with every being that had so generously shared their time with me.
Yes, this means each moment I’ve spent with Mother Nature, humans, animals, plants, and other spiritual beings… I wish that I could only feel gratitude while with them.
So in your eyes I’ve wasted my time,
So in your eyes I’ve wasted your time,
So in your eyes I’ve wasted their time,
Is that even the truth?
No. We know it isn’t so.
You didn’t know? Why…
Then open your heart,
Metaphorically of course.
And listen. Really listen…
Don’t be that blind fool who follow my words,
But never allowed faith to enter your heart.
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