What time is it now?

EVERY age is perceived by its occupants with a mixture of pessimism and optimism.

What’s the balance of optimism and pessimism in technology-dependent 2013? Social psychologist Barry Schwartz says todays world offers us more choices but, ironically, less satisfaction.

“As a culture, we are enamored of freedom, self-determination, and variety, and we are reluctant to give up any of our options,’’ he writes in The Paradox of Choice.

“But clinging tenaciously to all the choices available to us contributes to bad decisions, to anxiety, stress, and dissatisfaction _ even to clinical depression.’’

One of the obstacles to modern relationships is what could be called the religion of rush.

Still, as Australian poet, James McAuley wrote in 1954: “In spite of all that might be said against our age, what a moment it is to be alive.’’

There is still the nuclear threat, the hole in the ozone layer, political instability, fear of economic meltdown or a collision with a meteorite.

No one knows where the biological and computer revolutions are taking us.

There are some things only God knows.

And one day God will decide to bring the cosmic story to a close and that will be the end of the world, the end of history, the end of time as we know it. There will be no reincarnation and no second chances.
But, for the moment, life goes on.

To play out our story successfully, we should know that technology is a gift from God. But it’s not the most important one.

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7 thoughts on “What time is it now?

  1. It is very hard to be mortal being. And that is what most believe. Mortality creates fear, which triggers stress and the chain goes on. While we believe we are mortal beings, we will live in fear of collision with some cosmic debris etc.
    We can only relax when we KNOW we are immortal beings. Not by reading about it, hearing a preacher from the pulpit, no. We must experience this from within. I keep saying, inside is a very small voice (only perceived small because of the mind chatter we produce), which is more that happy to let us know everything. This small (and yet mighty) voice is our immortal soul. Soul has given the mind / body free will to most extend. This free will is only overridden in emergencies and if the mind / body part get set in stone and no further evolution of the being is possible. In such case we die as we understand it.
    Why is so much stress happening and so many things happen at once? In my opinion this is to help us to wake up to the third being, the soul. Soul is who we really are, but we keep dreaming our mind / body reality believing this is all we are. In fact we are the living trinity, soul mind and body. If we stressed enough we will give up and give in to the soul. Once that happens the whole being is fully alive and present, leaving all fears and anxieties behind. We then know who we are, already immortal and all wise. This is the moment the gates of paradise will open to us wherever we are. No need to travel anywhere. We are already here. In the present and the garden. But happy dreaming fellow travellers. It is your and everyone else’s privilege to keep on dreaming.

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    • Fossall, I agree with much you say, but I really can’t see stress as being the factor that will awaken us. Yet perhaps. I know stress has brought me to the point of desperate prayer and deeper understanding. But surely you wouldn’t say ‘Let’s all get stressed.’?

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      • Just see what happens if a disaster strikes. People suddenly band together and help each other. High stress forces a give-up. This is the mind to cope with the situation. And that is when the spirit man can switch on.

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  2. I doubt it:- “As a culture, we are enamored of freedom, self-determination, and variety,…”
    My observations certainly show that we have an insatiable craving for ‘variety’ ~ a craving we share with any other mammal species.
    Equally, the attraction for ‘freedom’ and ‘self-determination’ is a myth. The worst fate that any individual can face is to be banished from the herd, ejected beyond the pale, ostracised, ignored….in short, having ‘freedom’ and ‘self-determination’ forced upon us.

    Though some of us are better able to cope with solitude, we’re not genetically designed for it ~ and it frightens (most of) us.

    “The god called Google” has achieved it’s huge success in artificially catering to all three of those disparate ‘states’ ~ “freedom, self-determination, and variety” ~ at the same time. It offers more, and much more attractively, than any other god can, at the precise time that other ‘apps’, linking machines/networks/x , are simultaneously generating endless ‘variety’ and disposing of such awkward undesirables as ‘freedom’ and ‘self-determination’ ~ whilst yet retaining the effect we’ve been taught to think we need.

    Now THAT’S Intelligent Design!

    Pretty soon now we’ll all be ostracised and expelled from the human herd if we don’t fawningly commit-submit to the Church of the Omnipotent Omniscient Google-God who (surpriseI surprise!) dwells in the ethereal Google Cloud ~ the repository of all knowledge and power.

    As always, man invents his divinities, performs the required rituals for acceptance, basks in the benefits and humbly accepts the ‘variety’ of crashes and blue-screens and trojans and junkmail, etc. as punishment for not ‘getting with the program’ well enough or updating often enough. (eg. at least every Sunday. Or Saturday depending on whether your forefathers were ordinated by MicrosoftPC or “Chosen” by AppleMac.)

    …..and there are still those who…..er ‘religiously’ insist that ‘the machines will never take over!’

    ps. ‘Artificial Intelligence’ already has the ‘common-sense’ and ‘ability to learn’ as an eight-year-old child. To put that into perspective, it’s the same level (according to RAAF trials some years ago) as that of a German Shepherd Dog,

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  3. dabbles on December 14, 2013 at 06:33 said:

    I doubt it:- “As a culture, we are enamored of freedom, self-determination, and variety,…”
    My observations certainly show that we have an insatiable craving for ‘variety’ ~ a craving we share with any other mammal species.
    Equally, the attraction for ‘freedom’ and ‘self-determination’ is a myth. The worst fate that any individual can face is to be banished from the herd, ejected beyond the pale, ostracised, ignored….in short, having ‘freedom’ and ‘self-determination’ forced upon us.

    No argument about all of that. The whole of creation is to be individual, not cloned.

    Though some of us are better able to cope with solitude, we’re not genetically designed for it ~ and it frightens (most of) us.
    We are social creatures, sot solitary one. Once again in agreement.

    “The god called Google” has achieved it’s huge success in artificially catering to all three of those disparate ‘states’ ~ “freedom, self-determination, and variety” ~ at the same time. It offers more, and much more attractively, than any other god can, at the precise time that other ‘apps’, linking machines/networks/x , are simultaneously generating endless ‘variety’ and disposing of such awkward undesirables as ‘freedom’ and ‘self-determination’ ~ whilst yet retaining the effect we’ve been taught to think we need.
    Totally agree, Google is very successful commercially. But that doesn’t make it god dabbles. God is all power, all knowledge all presents. Google has power, has knowledge and has power we have given it. Huge difference. To be power or to have it. What we have we can lose. What we are we can never lose.
    over!’

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    • Reminds me of the story about the catholic kids and the jewish kid who were arguing about whose god was greater…
      Finally the catholic kid asserts: ‘But OUR god is smarter! He knows much more than YOUR god does!’

      ….to which the jewish kid replies: ‘Of course he does! You go and confess everything!’

      Are you SURE Google isn’t god?
      ……outsourcing the confessional? 🙂

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