happy face for Mauna Kea global time

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Global Midnight on the Mauna Kea Meridian

 

what do you see when you look within this graphic? A smiling face? A mysterious array of circles, icons and radial tick marks in geometric display?

The new face of time?

I see a blue planet, illuminated from below by a small central sun.  A thin lisp of atmosphere, a mountain so big it starts at the center of the planet.  So tall it almost scrapes the moon, stars and sun.  So little between the summit and the heavens.  And lots of zeros. Something is about to begin.

 

Over the past 300 years, Western astronomers  have now accumulated data supporting the existence of about 2,000 other planets around about 1,000 other suns, and candidates for several thousand more. Most of them are huge and hot and far away from – centuries of light years away.  Even if they were listening for our radio activity, few of them have ever heard Elvis croon, or seen the pictures from our moon.

But of all the hundreds of hot jupiters and  a handful of super-earths, only the one wee blue ball — the one we are on — with itʻs broad blue oceans, kid-sister looping moon,  and 365 revolutions per orbit, has been found to be teaming with life, some of it possibly intelligent.

You would think that this colossal pile of stupendous data, the  momentous wonder of this world we find ourselves on might be enough to say “WOW! What we have here IS pretty effin special!  Perhaps we could take better care!

Because the planet is round, at midday  in the center of the Pacific, itʻs closing in on midnight on the other side of the world.  Turns out the English had it right – if Greenwich is the center of time, Hawai`i island is the alpha and omega.

mauna kea meridian

the largest surface feature on our world, and the most expansive sea of liquid water anywhere on our solar system, massive volcanoes tower above the surface, their summits kiss the sky.  If we were to begin to discover this planet anew, in all itʻs glory and wonder, here, is where we would zero in – not in some suburb of London – on these mighty equatorial landmarks, the tallest peaks on the planet.  Here is as good as any place to mark the beginning and the end of time.

When is your “zero moment”

itʻs about time

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Now is the time when those of good faith, passion and an emergent global consciousness can set aside artificial zones of time that divide us, and begin working together in a single shared global now. Together, we can begin to turn the world in a new direction,  a counter clock wisdom.  a wise unwinding from our legacy industrial catastrophe.  Now we can join forces, unify our efforts, and begin to tell a new story.  Of how we caught ourselves in the nick of time, pulled back from the brink, rediscovered the heritage of our indigenous humanity and restored our connection to the living world.

Back before there were clocks, machines and empires, it was simple to look up into the sky and watch the sun and the moon and the stars wheel across the heavens.   when they rose, when they reached zenith, when they set.  the tides too rose and fell, the seasons cycled, and so not just because our lives depended on it, but because were actually of it, we were naturally entrained to these durations.  not machine metronomes, but the pulse and pattern of life.  though our connection to the living world we could not recognize ourselves as separate from, this time was intrinsic to our being.   we woke.  we slept.  we laughed.  we ate.  we toiled.  we sang.  we made love.  we had children.  we moved in rhythm.  not on time, but in it.  now.  always. forever.

 

 

The expanding industrialized technocratic Eurified western world made a break with the rhythms of the natural world, and began to marched to the beat of a different drummer.  With their locomotives and telegraphs, their steamships and undersea cables, their factory production schedules and quarterly profit reports, those 18th, 19th and 20th century empire builders began coordinating their extractive and commercial activities at a larger and larger scales.  As their sense and scope of ʻhereʻ grew incrementally, so too did their ʻnowʻ expand elastically to keep pace.

To rationalize, suppress, and control the infinite variety of 360 degrees of  local time of day— the fact that on a spherical world , we all view different local horizons –they defined and Taylorized standard local time ʻzones,ʻ hour-wide  segments of imposed industrial ʻnowʻ to make sure the trains ran on time, instead of crashing into each other.  But as they wove their Victorian machine dreams around the world, an unexpected thing happened when they came to the ends of the earth: they split the date in two.

The International Date Line is an imaginary line in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but even if you are Umberto Ecco, you will be sorely disappointed  if you ever go look for it, for it does not exist. It is a conceptual fiction ʻcreatedʻ from the illogical necessity of compartmentalized thinking.  A bandaid on  the broken idea that time comes in zones, that now can be stamped and clamped, divided into separate pieces.  The IDL ʻenduresʻ only as a result of cultural inertia, a lack of imagination and failure of our thinking to evolve.  The truth is there are no ʻzonesʻ of time.  Time can not be limited or controlled by state or national boundary.  There are not 24 versions of present on the planet.  There are no separate dates in effect.

Today,  in our globally networked world where millions increasingly have  access to instantaneous global communication, legacy 19th century notions of 24 separate bands of ʻnowʻ and 2 simultaneous different dates seem utterly antiquated, incoherent and nonsensical.  But old habits endure because change is difficult;  it often seems easier to kick the can down the street, than fundamentally redesign your thinking to match a new understanding of the world.   Yes our planet rotates roughly 365  times each orbit the of sun.  Yes, our moon orbits roughly every 30 days, and yes this happens 12 or 13 times each year.   But beyond these gravitational and kinetic realities, the manner in which time is further subdivided and socially regulated is quite arbitrary.

How we inherited the hodge-podge of 24 hours, 60 minutes and seconds is a long, complicated and fascinating tale.  These frameworks weave their way through many cultures and epochs before arriving into the third EuroAmerican millennium.  But there is nothing divine or inevitable about the 7 day week, neither springing forward nor falling back.  February has 28 days assigned.

If you can imagine a ʻnowʻ big enough for the entire planet, or if you just want to collaborate smoothly with others around the world to blunt the destructive drive of Transnational Neoliberal Global Capitalism, then it is time to upgrade. The future is now everywhere.

Welcome aboard.

Mauna Kea Time

the shadow of the peak of mauna kea extends into space eclipsing our moon. can you say wow?
The shadow of the peak of Mauna Kea marks the center of Earthʻs shadow in space as it extends to caress and eclipse the full face our sister Moon.

 

Some things are so magical and vast, they seem almost impossible for you wrap your your head around… and for a very simple reason; they are.  Some things – as it turns out most of the universe – one simply can not think oneʻs way through.  How to resolve this conundrum?

Stop thinking.  Can you do that?  Try.  What do I hear? What do I feel?  What am I experiencing?

Donʻt think about it, simply feel.  When thinking does not clarify, when words do not communicate, allow the quest for thinking and words to fall away.  When experiencing connection, simply being present, perhaps simply allowing, and experiencing experience in itself is enough.  Now, a gift.  Called the present.

There are so many ways of connecting with ourselves, each other and the world.  Many indigenous cultures, like the Polynesian, have long been present with these other ways of being in the world.  Navigating and charting the vast oceans of our interiors.  We could learn a lot, if we just started listening.  Of Context.  Relationship.  Connection.  And not just knowledge.  But meaning.  Wisdom.  Love.  Think about that… just kidding 🙂

In contrast, with itʻs focus on the external, the West is so technologically driven, so powerful, so overwhelming, so unaware of missing at least half of the big picture.  This monstrous strength is a weakness that leaves us deaf, dumb, and blind to ourselves, each other, and the living universe we strive to dominate rather than simply inhabit.  It gets in the way of learning, connection, obliterates possibilities, and stunts our spiritual growth.  Not really so smart.

So stop thinking.  Try just be.  Like a mountain.

Mauna Kea is the tallest peak on Earth.  Beginning  20,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean,  it then soars another 14,000 feet up into the heavens.  But this million-year-young shield volcano on the Big Island of Hawai`i is not done yet.  Itʻs merely dormant, taking a short geologic nap before the eruption cycle inexorably begins again.  Further shall it rise,  an evolving Ten-thousand Meter Temple on our living planet.

As if with enormous lungs, Mauna Kea breathes in and out once a day, in perfect sync  with the rising and falling, warming and cooling cycle of the sunʻs rays with each planetary revolution.  Once up and in towards the summit, once down and out to the sea.  If you could meditate like that for one million years, breathing in, breathing out, 365 times each year, imagine what stillness of mind you could achieve.  What could we learn from this mountain?  What can you find in your inner mountain?

Close your eyes.  Imagine yourself on the summit.    Here you float above 40% of the Earthʻs atmosphere, a tenuous veneer is all that separates you from the infinite heavens beyond.  The ʻseeingʻ here is beyond believing.  It is stupendous.  But donʻt just imagine yourself stuck viewing from the summit, imagine yourself as the summit.  What is it like to be this mountain?

How big is your now?  How deep is the bedrock of your soul?  How much love, life and connection have you embraced in your eons?  How far does your shadow extend into space?

Breathing in.  Breathing out.  Like a mountain.