"Festina lente" means "Make haste slowly", or perhaps better, "More haste, less speed". Rushing along takes longer than moving cautiously and precisely. As a friend said, "We never have time to do it right --- so we always have to make time to do it over again."

Turning the sandglass on its side, mentally stopping time, stepping outside the flow of events --- these can reveal things in a different light. Physicists do it when they rearrange their equations to examine how things move in spacetime, minimizing various measures between two fixed endpoints. (See "Fermat's Principle" and "Lagrangian Mechanics" for examples.)

Mystics and philosophers (is there a difference?!) similarly think about time not as an inexorable current that carries us along, but rather as another dimension of life, something to transcend and observe from a universal perspective. Past and future coexist, simultaneously. Free will and predestination are only local issues, based on a limited viewpoint.

True, it's not easy to pop out of time while rushing to catch a bus, finish a project, fix dinner, comfort a hurt child ... but it may help to pause, at least momentarily, to take a breath --- envision past/present/future as a great tapestry woven of countless individual threads, existing in an eternal space beyond time --- and then get back to work!

Monday, August 23, 1999 at 06:33:32 (EDT) = 1999-08-23

TopicPhilosophy - TopicLife

(correlates: WindToThyWings, PatienceAndTime, InTheName, ...)