Time is a Spiral

Posted by Nick Hughes on

“Suppose time is a circle, bending back on itself. The world repeats itself, precisely, endlessly.” ~Alan Lightman

This week’s quote makes a great point about the cyclical nature of experience. The fact is, time does not stand still, it flows. We like to think of time as flowing like a river, constantly moving and changing and adapting to its landscape as it makes its way to the sea. However, time is less like a natural river and more like the “Lazy River” that you would find at the local waterslide park (the one where you float around endlessly in a giant circle).

There is a certain cadence to the way time passes, to the way that the years come and go. But, don’t forget that this cadence is the direct result of the Earth floating around in a giant circle. In fact, our whole concept of time is linked to the movement of our planet. After all, if the Earth were to suddenly stop all movement and be perfectly still, time would also appear to be standing still. We would all be stuck living in the eternal now, with only our clocks to tell us how much time has gone by.   

So, is time really flowing or is it going in circles? Why can’t it be both- like some kind of flowing circle? Better yet, maybe we ought to think of the passage of time as a spiral. Because, even though you find yourself once again at the beginning of a new year, things are not exactly the same as they were a year ago. Therefore, keep on spiraling! Whether you find yourself on a downward spiral or an upward spiral this year remains to be seen. As long as you continue to grow and expand as time goes by, you should be ok.

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