Time is a faithful companion . However upset you get, or however calm you are, it treats you just the same. You will find that the universe unfolds around you in the same way, whether you are having a temper, or sleeping.
In this way, time teaches you a lesson. It teaches you that, whatever you do, the same world will be waiting for you. That you are not required as General Manager of Everything. That your influence is not necessarily needed.
The year 2020 has brought a surprising development in the UK and other countries. Due to a contagious virus, most citizens are required to stay at home, and simply pass the time there. Travel is discouraged, except for collecting food.
We have been so used to travelling where we want, manically using up fuel, visiting places of interest, flying to countries of interest. Right now, all that is cancelled.
Such passivity challenges our sense of who we are. In liberal countries, freedom of movement is held up as an ideal. People often define themselves by where they have been, or where they are able to go. Rich people define themselves by being able to take holidays in far-flung destinations.
In addition, we are creatures of display. We display ourselves in cars, in clothes, and with accessories, jewellery, and phones.
Having to stay at home more, we are forced to confront who we are in a different way. Instead of displaying ourselves in groups, or losing ourselves in travel, we are asked to be with ourselves, just as we are, in the moment.
How are you passing the time?
Are you comfortable with yourself?
Perhaps it feels unusually peaceful to be encouraged to live minimally.
Perhaps it has released you from a busy-ness that you didn’t really like.
Perhaps it has released you from the social pressure to display yourself all the time.
Perhaps it has reminded you that you are not in charge of everything.
That the universe can unfold without you.
This realisation can be a great release.
Monks remove themselves to separate communities to gain just such a sense. Perhaps we can all be more monk-like for a while.