Friday, May 20, 2005

Time

editor's note: this post was written by Sheff's special friend.

I apologize to the readers of the Sheff's Special that Kathy is taking the day off, and I have agreed to fill in. Given my near complete ignorance in matters both culinary and avian, I've decided to wander off into the abstract and esoteric with a musing on the nature of time.

Einstein defined it as 'that which is measured by a clock.' Some other physicist said it was 'that which keeps everything from happening at once.' Kant decided that time and space must not actually be characteristics of the real world (in itself) but must rather be ingrained features of the perceptive faculties of humans. The ancient Greeks had some good explanations as well. Somewhere in the Hippocratic corpus, time is defined as 'that in which there are opportune moments; and an opportune moment is that in which there's not much time.' But my favorite comes from the texts of the Orphic mystery religion, which was an early cult that was particularly concerned with how to navigate the afterlife and attributed its teachings to the mythical musician Orpheus. In my opinion, they're the only ones who got it right: 'time is a winged, multi-headed, bisexual snake.'

As I understand it, the flying and the slithering indicate the different options available to time as to its speed and manner of progression. It has many heads because it has to consider all possible outcomes of everything. And I suppose it needs to be bisexual so that it can single-handedly give birth to everything. Also, the snake, with its seasonal skin-sloughing, is a standard symbol of regeneration (plus its sibilance sounds similar to a stream, or to the sweetly sleeping sweeping of the Seine).

8 Added Something:

Anonymous anna (e) quipped...

Who let this one out of the classroom???? Great alliterative abilities, but good god, who can be expected to engage such thoughts on a friday afternoon?

Friday, May 20, 2005 1:49:00 PM  
Anonymous supermosca quipped...

Slighlty off topic:
Aquinas had many things to say about God. One of which was that he was infinite and thus existed outside of time and space. Thus, because humans exist within time, it is virtually impossible for humans to even conjure a thought that would adequately describe God (Rendering the Bible a nice metaphor.)

Once people understand that they
will stop trying to use Her (God that is) to further their own evil human agendas - Goddam Republicans.

So - does that mean that God is a three headed bisexual snake? That explains many things.

Again K's special friend needs to bring it down a notch. So us lay people can understand - academics forget to use words like Dude every now and then so we can say mmhhmm. (Even if we don't mmhhmm).

Friday, May 20, 2005 3:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Greg quipped...

Berkeley grad students score all the good weed.

Friday, May 20, 2005 4:49:00 PM  
Blogger Kathy quipped...

Dude, Elias doesn't smoke that stuff. He thinks like that for no good reason at all.

Friday, May 20, 2005 7:28:00 PM  
Anonymous busyMonster quipped...

oh, come on people, that's not so hard. jeez. there's no math or anything. plus it's funny! i especially liked the decemberists quote at the end.

Friday, May 20, 2005 10:07:00 PM  
Anonymous ant quipped...

time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like bananas.

Saturday, May 21, 2005 1:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Chuy quipped...

I recently rethought my position on a ceratin aspect of time: the idea that there isn't enough of it. It seems like everyone is always complaing about there not being enough time. Now I think there is enough time, it's just a question of deciding how to occupy it.

And another thing, to hell with the rabble who are afraid of big words. Big words are cool, dude!

Saturday, May 21, 2005 6:21:00 PM  
Anonymous john dith quipped...

me likey big words n'stuff

Monday, June 27, 2005 6:47:00 PM  

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