Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Published 7:58 PM by with 0 comment

Chronophobia - The Illusion of Wasting Time Pt. 1

No, You Probably Are Not Wasting Your Time or Life.

For those who begin to fear the ticking clock as part of Chronophobia, sometimes also called "Stir Crazy", "Prison Neurosis" and as a symptom or element of Existential Depression, you will likely get this unbeatable feeling that you are wasting what time you have in life. You have also looked up articles on Chronophobia and found not much to actually help you feel some relief on it like I have by September 2019. The inspiration or wisdom you have found here and there largely tell you things that are not wrong but counterproductive to this particular dilemma: "Life is short, go out there." "You're only young once." "This time that passes by now will never pass again."

While these things are true, the message has been oversimplified and requires context.

Ancient Context: 

Pretty since much before the advent of the counterculture movements in the 60s and 70s (or if we're honest generous, probably in the 1950s), humanity has largely been repressed and confined as part of a wide variety of realities: ruling classes, lack of technology, lack of medical care, lack of education, lack of globally acknowledged value on human life, storms and many other types of hardships where the decency of even reasonably expecting to live to 70 years old isn't even 90 years old itself (at the time of this writing, at least).

"Life is short" indeed rings true, but it was true on a lot more levels back in history before now. The message as it was intended was to tell people to get up, have some fun and actually pay attention to what they are doing; because for 99% of the population, there wasn't anything else to do except work and survive. Wasting time was practically a privilege reserved only for the richest, and even then a lot of them wouldn't make it too long into their old ages.

Modern Context:

It's actually pretty staggering how much of a stride we've made in upsizing the global value of life with each generation succeeding World War II, and in fact the whole subject of geriatrics has been discussed for, ironically, how young of a subject and study it really is. By 2019, we've actually conquered a lot of human condition qualities so quickly that the consequences of doing so are totally pulling the rug from under our feet. 

Human life is now the only type of life on this planet where survivalism is no longer the whole core of its existence. And this still isn't true for much of the global population. Pretty much every other type on this planet only thinks and acts for survival and reproduction and only up to a point of time. Animals do have recreation and fun, and other lifeforms do perform actions with expectations of results that appear weeks or months down the road, but no other animal, bug, plant or anything, as far as we know, thinks about whether or not they are wasting their lives. They don't fear middle-age, old age, regrets, unfulfilled wishes, squandered youth, wrinkles, crows feet or any of that. 

If animals or plants had evolved like humans and built religions, philosophies, corporations and awareness of their mortalities, would they worry about aging and death? Impossible to say. Some studies have been undertaken to see if non-human primates experience midlife crisis and other animals have been known to mourn their families and friends once they are aware that they have died, but so far, we remain unique as the only known anything that has this kind of fear.

The fact that every other type of life known to man simply acts according to its nature and accepts the reality of the world while doing it is significant. It is a significant clue that you were not meant, in any sort of spiritual, existential or natural way, to be afraid of time or how you spend it.

How You Live And When You Live It Is Your Business.

Life, as we should know by now, is not nearly as easy as going out to do whatever you want. No one has control how their lives will play out or have control over the obstacles that will naturally arise from any pathway. You do not own time and time does not own you. People can make their own luck and their own path, but there's still no guarantees for anything other than all things pass, all things pass away, and then they return in new forms as part of cycles upon cycles.

The bottom line is to do the best you can with what you can. That's all you can do and, really, it's enough.

In the next part(s), I'll go over other aspects of how people fear wasting their time and lives and details ways and perspectives you can adopt to help relax on the subject.


“Your ancestors are rooting for you.”
― Eleanor Brownn

“Put one foot in front of the other, no matter what. Enjoy the hilltop views, have courage in the valleys, pay attention to the bends in the road, cry when you have to, laugh when you can, be helpful to others, share your joys as well as your sorrows, and remember that God created you for a purpose.”
― Eleanor Brownn

“I'm not opposed to aging - even though society is kinder on men than women when it comes to getting old. How can I look at aging as the enemy? It happens whether I like it or not and no one is set apart from growing old; it comes to us all. Youth passes from everyone, so why deny it? I'm proud of my age. I'm proud that I've survived this planet for as long as I have, and should I end up withered, wrinkled and with a lifetime of great wisdom, I'll trade the few years of youth for the sophistication of a great mind...for however long it lasts.”
― Donna Lynn Hope

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
― Confucius

“I have but shadowed forth my intense longing to lose myself in the Eternal and become merely a lump of clay in the Potter's divine hands so that my service may become more certain because uninterrupted by the baser self in me.”
― Gandhi

“Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything.”
― Saint Teresa of Avila

“Old age. I don't know when it really starts, and I'm not interested in finding out. Julia pretty much ignored the whole thing, and that may be the only real lesson there is for the end of our days. Just pretend like it isn't happening, until you have no choice but to accept reality. If you're lucky, like Julia, you'll die peacefully in your sleep after having enjoyed a dinner of onion soup.”
― Karen Karbo, Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life

“All things pass...Perhaps the passage of time is a kind of healing, or a kind of salvation granted equally to all people.”
― Mizuki Nomura, Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime
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