The Cyclical Nature of Time

“Stop wasting time” is one of the most common phrases repeated around me. My mom would tell me to stop wasting time with video games because it is a hobby that doesn’t get you anywhere in life. Nor does it make you any money.

She believed that time is best spent doing something of value. These values can be making a living, or anything productive. I understand her logic, but I don’t understand how does one waste time.

It’s just that in my understanding of time, you cannot waste it. You can’t even control it. Time is always ticking away every second and every moment. It doesn’t matter what you are doing or not doing, time is not in your control.

Whenever I hear people say stop wasting time, I envision someone physically taking time and throwing it out like trash. If that sounds preposterous, then you understand why I never understood how one can waste time.

We live in time. Physicality exist because there is time. How do you waste something that encompasses your entire existence here and now? You can’t.

The only thing we can do is manage our time to some extent. Time will always move forward, but we can choose to do what we want to do in the time that we have. So, the phrase stop wasting time isn’t about you wasting time, it’s about you not doing something that someone else wants you to do. Or even better, you are not doing something that you want to do, so you wasted time because you could have done something else.

Have I ever considered playing games a waste of time? Never. People can say whatever they want because they have their own beliefs in how to spend time efficiently. However, this belief varies from one to another. There is no such thing as the best usage of time. I could say that people watching television shows are wasting time. But that’s an opinion, not an existential reality.

Atomic to Cosmic Cycles

Time is relative, but all of us experience it. It is the basis for our existence. In our experience, time is circular and cyclical. Just look at how we measure time.

A second is defined as the 9,192,631,770 cycles of a caesium atomic clock.

A day is defined as a full rotation of the earth around its axis.

A month is measured as the natural cycle of the moon around the earth.

A year is measured as one full cycle of the earth around the sun.

If we could measure the time it takes the solar system to cycle around the milky way galaxy, then we would make a time out of that.

From the atomic to the cosmic scale, time is cyclical. Because time curves, physicality exists.

Even in our daily lives, there are cycles. Take a moment to pay attention to your breathing pattern. It is very much a cycle. We breathe in and out, in and out, in and out, and so on and so forth.

Because there are cycles from the atomic level to the cosmic level, we can say that smaller cycles exist within larger ones.

I mean just look at everything around us. The life cycle of an insect is miniscule compared to a human being. The life cycle of a human being is nothing compared to a tree. And the life cycle of a tree is tiny compared to a river.

I would not be surprised if the universe is in a cycle of its own. From the Big Bang theory to now, perhaps the entire cosmos is one big cycle. We don’t truly know, but this is what I hypothesized using what I currently know.

Predetermined and Predestined

You probably want to know why I give so much emphasis on time. Well, from my basic rudimentary explanation of time, you can say time is cyclical.

Now when something is cyclical, it is repeating. If something is repeating all the time, doesn’t it mean that on a fundamental level, we know exactly what will happen because it has happened before?

What I am trying to get at is this question: Is life predetermined and predestined?

If your life goes in cycles as it always is, then on a larger scale, we can absolutely say that your life is predetermined. In fact, certain parts of life are predestined. For sure, you must breathe to stay alive, so I can conclude that for the rest of your life, you will be breathing.

You can say that this is not a predetermined aspect of life because it is a fundamental aspect of life. Everyone knows this. Anything having to do with survival requires repetition. We must eat, sleep, and do all the things needed for life. This doesn’t require any knowledge because it is built in our survival instincts.

Even with our brains turned off, we would do all that we can to survive. At this very moment you may not be able to determine what is predestined in your life, but what about other living creatures?

What about the life cycle of a butterfly, a worm, or insects? Can you predict what will happen to a flower? Can you say with certainty the life cycles of these creatures? For sure, we can predict their general activities. We cannot pinpoint the exact location a butterfly is born, or where it will fly to, or anything of that nature, but we know what a butterfly or an ant is capable of. We know the very basic things that a butterfly or an ant will do.

The reason I put so much emphasis on the cyclical nature of time is that in my experience of time, there are so many cycles.

On a fundamental level, we live a predetermined life. Our physical bodies are bound to this world. What was once a part of this earth will again be a part of it. From the earth, many life forms may emerge, but they all return. From the same life, new life may emerge using the elements of earth around us. This cycle repeats again and again.

If you pay attention to your physical body, you know that even at this very moment, every cell in your body is replacing itself. The body is also undergoing its own cycles. Certain parts of life are predetermined. In fact, if you follow your natural tendencies, then even what you do can be predestined.

In life, we carry so much information in our body. Just our DNA has countless amount of information that even our brains can’t fully understand. When we are born, we carry information within us along with certain tendencies.

Have you ever noticed that you are attracted to only certain things in life? There is a tendency within you that pulls you toward certain direction unconsciously. Do you notice this?

I find certain things interesting and others dull and boring. With this kind of tendency, wouldn’t I be able to predict what I will do because my enjoyment of life is limited within certain aspects of life?

This question is very important to me because I keep getting déjà vu. So many of my life experiences are similar. They are similar events disguised as different ones. I even experience the same feelings and emotions.

There are periods of ecstatic joy. There are also periods of crippling depression. But I always tend to go in the direction that makes me happy. If my happiness is limited within certain activities that I do, then wouldn’t my life be predestined? I would know exactly what I want to do before I even do them.

Experience of Time

I find it funny when I write about unique subjects like time. For most people, debating philosophical and interesting topics is a luxury that others don’t have. If you simply exist, such questions wouldn’t even arise for some. You would have just lived.

When I said that time may be predetermined or predestined, I may not be right at all. In fact, the only things that are predetermined may have been determined by me. What do I really know? Does existing for 28 years auto-qualify me to debate and conclude about the nature of life and existence? No, not at all.

Within my finite knowledge and limited data, this is my conclusion. Yet, my conclusions are just a part of how I experience life. Perhaps others experience time differently too.

I have already given you my experience of time, but here’s another just for fun. Besides time being cyclical, time is experienced relative to how intensely we lived.

Did you ever noticed that in a 24-hour day, time flies by quickly when you are having fun? You are not even aware of time. When you are happy and joyful, time is of no consequence. It doesn’t matter how much time passes by, you don’t care.

However, if you are miserable, then time is slow. If you are doing something you hate, then wishing that time would go faster is one of your biggest priority. You care about the passage of time. You want time to speed up.

I am not sure that everyone feels this way, but time is relative. It varies from one person to another. For me, time is flying away at lightning speed. It makes sense because I really enjoy life. I have so many fond memories of friends, family, and loved ones. I even have fond memories over depression, hatred, and various other negative emotions. It seems weird, but this world is simply amazing. Existence is mind-blowing and magical to the extreme! I just can’t comprehend how I even exist.

If in my experience of time, it is fast. Then, when the time comes when I no longer exist, would time cease to be in my experience? Would I even be able to experience? What weird questions are these, aren’t they?