Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Time On My Hands

Glen Ellen, California, USA

May 18, 2010



This essay, Time On My Hands, is the first in the sextology Time:
  1. Time On My Hands
  2. I'm Playing So Hard I've Got No Time To Be Busy
  3. Enough Time
  4. Moving Time Around
  5. One Day One Life: A Reflection On Time
  6. Maybe Time Isn't Linear
in that order.

It was written at the same time as Woulda Coulda Shoulda.

I am indebted to Mark Spirtos who inspired this conversation.




At some point in a transformed life, what once seemed to be an insurmountable barrier, a veritable showstopper  in fact, becomes almost cliché‑ic, even quaint. It's the issue of time:  having enough time and, to be specific, having enough time to do the things you want to do,

The issue is twofold:

 1)  If you didn't have  to do the things you don't want to do, you'd have more time on your hands to do the things you want  to do;

 2)  No one, not even the leader of the Free World, the President of the United States, has any more time than you have. We're all evenhandedly dealt twenty four hours each a day with no exceptions. So if there's going to be more time, it isn't going to come from the clock nor from the calendar. It's going to come from shifting the context  in which you do what you want to do in whatever time is left over after you have  to do what you don't want to do.

The way the time issue is articulated is quite revealing. When we say "I don't have enough time", the implication is "I don't have enough time to do the things I want to do.". And the implication of the implication  is "I do  have time, but it's all taken up doing the things I have to do but don't want  to do.". In other words, the things I have  to do aren't necessarily the things I want  to do.

Directed by Terry Gilliam - Produced by George Harrison - © Handmade Films - 1981
Time Bandits - The Movie
This conversation isn't a mini-time management  course, and I'm not a time manager. If anything, if pushed, I'd say I consider myself to be a time bandit. In the movie Time Bandits, the fabulous Sir Ralph Richardson plays no less than the Supreme Being. When asked why there's evil in the world, he muses "Ahhh  ... I think it's something to do with free will  ...". But that's a subject for another conversation on another occasion.

What I'd like to grapple with here is the shift towards owning everything there is to do in my life rather than only owning the things I want to do, and not fully owning the things I have to do but don't want to do.

When I own all of it, when it's ... ALL ... MINE!  ... then I want  to do whatever there is to do. When I own all of it, then I want  to do it all because it's ... ALL ... MINE!  Then my life isn't split between what I want to do and what I have to do but don't want to do. Then all of it is what I want to do and I want to do it all. When I don't own all of it, then whatever there is I have to do but don't want to do, devours the precious time I could use to do what I want to do ... or so it would seem  ...

Can you get the scarcity  in this way of looking at time? Ordinarily when we say someone is coming from scarcity, we could be referring to how they are about money.

When I own all of it I'm never short of time. When I own all of it I've got all the time in the world. That's all we'll ever have, literally and exactly: "all the time in the world". When I align my life with Life, when I own all of it, when I stand for transformation (which is to say when I transform my life)  I've got all the time there'll ever be. In fact when I transform my life, I've got more time than I'll ever know what to do with. I've got time on my hands, whereas before this shift there never seemed to be enough time - ever.
Werner Erhard may look at the possibility of scheduling time in fifteen minute intervals for the next twenty years. You and I may look at the possibility of scheduling time in one hour intervals for the next month. Neither is worse  than the other. Neither is better  than the other. Scheduling time in fifteen minute intervals for the next twenty years is neither worse nor better than scheduling time in one hour intervals for the next month. Scheduling is scheduling. Time management is time management. If they work, they work. If they don't work, they don't work, so cut them out and try something else. This  conversation is about neither of those. This conversation is about shifting the context in which you hold time.

Transformation brings the possibility of owning all  of Life and doing it all. Not owning all of it forces the distinction ie drives a wedge between things you want to do, and things you have to do but don't want to do. The simple contextual shift  of transformation includes all of it, instantly making available the possibility of doing all of it as what you want to do. There's nothing left outside this possibility, nothing left that you have to do but don't want to do. What must be done is still what must be done. What shifts is the arbitrary distinction between "what I want to do" and "what I have to do but don't want to do". Both of these merge into "I want to do all of it" in a transformed life. And if, inside this new paradigm there's a wedge to be driven anyway, it'll be between one thing you want to do and another thing you want to do, rather than between things you want to do and things you have to do but don't want to do. And so you choose and prioritize inside this new context of wanting to do it all.

I assert this is living as if your life depends on it. And if you're not yet living this way, then tell me: What the heck are you doing???

Quick! Get on with it! Life is almost over!



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