What is artificial time?
According to lawoftime.org:
Living in artificial time disconnects us both as a species and individually from our true nature. We always feel like we never have “enough time.”
Modern society is structured on artificial time, and our technological advances perpetuate these artificial cycles. Biologically, humans have innate rhythms and schedules which do not sync up with artificial time.
Consider this: Ten years ago, a Harvard study reexamined an old, but well-known study that said the human circadian rhythm was 25 hours long.
In the old study, people were taken away from clocks and outdoor light and monitored to see how long their day would be. The reason why the study was invalidated was that the people in the study were exposed to artificial light when they chose.
According to the Harvard study,
“…switching on electric lights resets the biological clock. It’s the same as resetting your watch.”
…changing ordinary room light in such experiments
can shift the apparent circadian cycle by more than 40 minutes.
Although the original study was flawed, we can see how easily our circadian rhythm is disrupted. Of course, more studies have continued to validate this idea alone. More on this in a bit.
Thus, to determine human being’s circadian rhythm the Harvard study put test subjects on 28 hour day, and six-day week to see what schedule their biological rhythms maintained.
“…The 28-hour cycle distributed light exposure, sleep and
wakefulness, work and play evenly around the biological clock,” explains Czeisler. “The men and women did not get light exposure at the same time each clock day. Instead, they experienced a six-day week in which light and dark occurred at different times each day.”
This altered schedule freed their internal clocks from the sleep-wake
cycle and allowed them to tick at the natural period. Despite six-day weeks, their body temperatures and hormone secretions went through seven cycles every week. Sleepiness was tied to a drop in core body temperature and to an increase in melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland and sold over-the-counter as a sleeping pill.
The result was clear. No matter when the subjects went to bed or got up, and whatever they did while awake, body temperature and hormones rose and fell on an average cycle of 24 hours and 11 minutes.
In sum, even though the subjects’ day and week length were determined by the study, their hormones stayed on a 24 hour, seven-day cycle.
Think about this: Six and a half hours of screen exposure can delay sleep by 3 hours or more. If you have a job that puts you in front of a screen all day, what does your circadian rhythm look like? How out of sync are you with your biological processes? How many “hours” does your mind think there should be in a day?
Life with heavy screen time puts us out of sync with our hormone cycles. Some part of us (perhaps the part where the melatonin is suppressed) thinks our days are longer than 24 hours. Our biology has different needs. We aren’t operating in sync with an earth day. We are operating on artificial time.
Imagine being out of sync over the course of a month, a season, a year, or a decade.
Studies have already revealed that our genes change with the seasons.
The findings, published today in Nature Communications1, show that as many as one-fifth of all genes in blood cells undergo seasonal changes in expression. Genes often are seen as immutable, but a lot of our body’s workings depend upon which genes are translated when. In the winter, the study found, your blood contains a denser blend of immune responders, while summer veins swim with fat-burning, body-building, water-retaining hormones.
Wired, Your DNA Changes with the Seasons, Just Like the Weather
When we schedule our lives out of sync with our body’s natural cycles, how does this impact our life? Our health? We can “adjust” or force our sleep and wake cycle to function independently of our other biological processes, but at what cost? Sleep deprivation causes a whole host of problems. We need those 7-8 hours every twenty-four.
At present, we start our new year in the middle of the winter. In cold climates, the middle of winter isn’t a new beginning for new plant life. If you know anything about gardening, you aren’t going to plant anything until after the last frost- At the END of winter or beginning of spring.
How might our “New Year, New You” pledges hold up if we begin them in spring?
Why do we start ANYTHING (like school) in the fall? And winter? (After the harvest, I suppose.) But I wonder if our minds are most primed for growth in the spring.
The fall may be a great time to discard old things, like leaves falling from trees before winter. It might be the best time to reflect on our ancestors and those who have passed on.
Winter might be the best time to contemplate the present “void” and enjoy empty spaces. (Gasp!! No holiday shopping!) Maybe we shouldn’t stuff our homes and our bodies. Flu season is the worst in the winter. Maybe we aren’t doing something right if many of us are getting sick this time of year.
Spring might be the time for new projects, investing in new businesses, or investing ourselves. Who says we aren’t primed for growth at this time too?
This is just me, the non-expert, questioning the status quo.
The question remains: What method of timekeeping, calendar, or schedule should we adhere to?
The capitalist system has it’s own cycles: business hours, business day, work week, sales cycles, quarters, and the fiscal year. And this is inextricably is tied to the Gregorian calendar. Our society forces us to operate on these monetary-based schedules. Undoubtedly this lifestyle is stressful.
We know this system intimately. But the average person knows very little about our innate rhythms other than the human circadian rhythm, the woman’s monthly cycle, the lunar month, the seasons and the earth year.
(There is an entire branch of science dedicated to the study of biological rhythms and cycles: chronobiology.)
We know about the cycles we can see in our day-to-day lives, but how often do we take the “time” to pay attention to them, to feel them? To incorporate these cycles into our decision making processes?
In my opinion, this is the best place to start. It’s where I’m going to start.
I’m a strong Type A personality. It’s genetic. (If it’s not “nature,” it definitely “nurture” spanning three generations!!!) I want everything to happen at a consistent time. I want a schedule. I don’t like to be late. I want my daughter in bed asleep by 7:45 pm every day on the dot. But attempting to force another human being into my personal concept of a schedule is very stressful, and emotionally taxing– for both of us. It’s not working.
However, there is nothing wrong with timekeeping as a tool for collaboration. I mean, how would I know when a doctor and I agreed to meet for my daughter’s appointment. I can’t abandon modern conventions: Doctor’s offices don’t accept, “when the sun is at it’s highest point in the sky” as a time. I could ignore the clock and show up when it seemed right, but without using our current standard, I probably wouldn’t show up in a timely fashion.
In order to become a more slow-paced, easy-going parent, I’m realigning myself with the Earth’s natural cycles.
The two things I’m working on now are days and months. I’m currently wrapping up a no clock week–A week focused on using the sunrise and sunset as guides for setting my daily schedule.
I started the experiment last Thursday and have been relatively successful all week. The only “times” I had to
worry about be aware of were my online classes Monday-Wednesday, and a doctor’s appointment on Monday. Fortunately, these were all very early morning appointments. And at the onset of this experiment, I hoped I could avoid dwelling on the time once I completed my business.
It has been a very beautiful and insightful week. Read about my results on Sunday. There were even some surprises. I’ll talk a bit more about artificial time and how ignoring clocks for a week affected me.
And secondly, I’ve been using a 28-day calendar designed by a New Age author, José Argüelles.
Argüelles conducted extensive research on the Mayan Calendar. He said our current method of timekeeping operates on the 12:60 frequency (12 months/60 minutes in an hour) and rejects it. The 12:60 frequency signifies the old adage: time is money. That adage governs the daily lives of millions of wage-earning Americans. And we all know how stressed out they are.
After studying the Mayan calendar, specifically the Tzolkin, Argüelles concluded that the natural frequency of the universe is 13:20.
In the 13:20 frequency, time is art. In the 13:20 frequency, people are ruled by their heart, nature and art and guided by dreams and synchronicity. Spiritual cultivation is the number one goal. In the 13:20 frequency synchronicity is the norm. Everything is always in perfect order. Everything is always on time. Everything is always new. Each day is a cosmic unfoldment.
(The 13:20 frequency is very, very interesting but I’ll be honest, requires an in-depth study in and of itself. From what I’ve read so far, it’s technical and requires more investigation on my part, so I’m going to have to save that discussion for another day.)
My heart, my instinct is telling me to abandon living by the daily grind. It’s not working. My instinct is telling me to reconnect with the universe and live by the signals of nature.
However, it’s challenging to create personal cycles and patterns to guide my life when I’m tethered to an awkward calendar.
Every month has a different number of days and it doesn’t start or end on the same day of the week. There is no consistency in a Gregorian month as a whole. How the heck am I supposed to plan a budget, let alone make meal plans for a month that is 4.3 weeks long? (If my Dad wasn’t in accounting, I don’t think I would have ever figured out that a month should be 4.3 weeks long smh.)
I wanted something more cyclical. I initially wanted to use a lunar calendar, but the length of a lunar month varies slightly… and that’s how I found Argüelles’s calendar.
(My husband came across the lawoftime.org website and sent it to me at an earlier point in time. I didn’t even know they had a calendar–talk about synchronicity!)
So, I’ve been printing out and using these 28-day month calendars by the Foundation for the Law of Time. The calendar is a reconfiguration of the Gregorian calendar into 13 months of 28 days- with a “Day out of time” between the “years.” There are different names for the days of the week, and different numbers for the dates. The calendar is designed as a transitional calendar, so it does include our Monday-Sunday and standard Gregorian dates on it for convenience’s sake.
I don’t have the link to the PDF I downloaded a while back, and as of right now, I don’t have permission to repost it. They do have a printable pocket calendar.
I can hear your skepticism all the way through the internet. I mean, who wants to be the weirdo with a new, strange calendar, with different names for days of the week. I totally get it. This is not a widely accepted timekeeping system. It’s based on the 13:20 frequency, and there are a number of details that I haven’t taken the time to learn yet.
And frankly, I doubt the American business system is going to switch over to this calendar any time soon.
But, this 13 month, 28-day calendar gives me an alternative to what is currently available. I haven’t started using new names for the days of the week, or the new dates.
However, it is easier for me to conceptualize my schedule when I look at it in a 28-day month. It makes sense, and I like to go with things that make sense. I was thinking about getting a blank whiteboard and filling it in, 28 days at a time like the calendar I’ve been printing.
I don’t know if this is a long-term solution, but it is something to try.
Thank you for hanging out with me this long. It’s been a pleasure. We can talk more about artificial time, the 13:20 frequency, chronology and timekeeping in the coming weeks/months. Hope to see you around!
On Sunday, I’m posting about my life-changing no clocks experiment. Be sure to check it out.
What has been your experience with artificial time? How do you schedule your life in conjunction with your natural rhythms? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear about your experiences.