The Abstract, the Existential, and Your Search for a Normal Day through Time

by Zalysar of the 8

Illustration by Ileya of the 8

Hello. You’re awake! Where are you? There are numerous possibilities. Perhaps you’re in an apartment or house, dorm, hotel, shelter, spa, resort, rehab, car, space shuttle, space station, submarine, plane, tent, camp, roadside, under the bridge, in a parking lot, out in the fields, under the stars in a barren desertscape.

But, you’re up! You’re alive. The day has begun, regardless of it being bright or dark. Welcome!

How is your day going to be? There are countless probabilities. Good news? Bad news? A bit of both? A whole lot of either? No news at all? You do not know what to expect. But you do know you have to expect.

Expectations are important, after all. Expectations are needed. Expectations give meaning to your life or else what is there to look forward to. Nothing at all.

But, is there such a thing as nothing? Are you really nothing? Not really. There is always something. This something is adding to the whole, to the everything of existence.

What is existence, you ask? What defines it? The explanations need to be explained further for you to understand.

Before we journey to the infinite and the quantum, the future and the past, let us address the present, the here and the now.

You wash your face and look up in the mirror — who do you see? A child? A teen? A young adult? Someone middle-aged? Someone old?

Who do you feel when you touch your face? A woman? A man? Neither? Both? Beyond?

Does it matter? Yes? No? Maybe?

Let’s move on. There is no time to think, not yet. It’s for another day.

You brush your teeth, or gargle, or floss, or you don’t. You change your clothes or you stay in them. You prepare a meal or order it or reheat leftovers, or you don’t. You get ready to leave, or you go back to bed. You put music on, or you play a video, or you scroll through your news feed, perhaps read an article or respond to emails. There are so many things you might be doing.

There are so many things you have to do. There are so many things you want to do. There are so many things you don’t want to do. There are so many things you cannot do. There are so many things you will never do.

That’s stressful. Overwhelming. You’re already exhausted. But you’re going on.

You ask, what is the time? You check the time. It’s been only five minutes, or it has been three hours. You ask, what is time? The the is gone, and with it the understanding of time. You ponder over this for a moment, or several, or you don’t.

And then you distract yourself because you need to. Yes, you need to.

There are bigger things to worry about, bigger than time. So, you enslave it with your attention, your watchful eyes observing every ticking of the hand, or changing of the number. You must stay vigilant. You must not slip.

Back to doing what you were, in hope of doing something else once you’re done to get something done that has not been done for a while. But you will do it, you know that. Just a little longer.

What’s that voice? No, not that of your family, lovers, partners, roommates, coworkers, bosses, customers, strangers or fictional characters. The other voice. The whisper. What is it saying?

It’s praising you, or demeaning you. It sounds like yourself, or someone you know — someone you love or someone you hate. It’s there. It is speaking of tomorrow. It is speaking of yesterday. It is happy. It is sad. It is angry. It is proud. It is disappointed.

It is asking you to go on. It is asking you to die.

Quite a few options. There is something to do, or feel.

You ask it to shut up. You ask it to go away. But it won’t. You call in reinforcements. You call in the reminders. The reminders arrive promptly, albeit very late, or very close to the deadlines.

Good. It’s time to act. It’s time to do. But the doing is stressful. The reminders want you to do, a lot. And there is a lot to do.

Your body shakes. There are vibrations that signal to you that you are not alright. But, that’s alright. You’re never alright. You have to keep going on. If you don’t, the world stops working, the universe collapses within itself, and you are to become the destroyer of worlds, and then everybody will judge you. Everybody will blame you.

You will be guilty. You will be wrong. And then you will kill yourself.

Not really, but you will want to. You will blame yourself a lot, and be filled with remorse.

So, you push. Or you crash. Or you do both.

You tell yourself that you’re one step closer, but you’re one step back. You have gained something, and you have lost something else.

You know it. You can feel the achievements. You can feel the failures. You have money. You don’t have money. It doesn’t matter…until it does.

You ask yourself: why?

But, you remember; the question is forbidden. It is not for you to ask. It is not for you to ask about anything other than the tangible, the achievable, the realistic.

So, you push ahead.

But as you do, you realize you’re pulling back. Wait. What just happened here? This is not right. But, what is?

You suddenly have an existential epiphany. It’s an intrusive thought. You cannot afford to entertain it. You need to work. You need to earn. You need to eat. You need to sleep. You need to love. You need to enjoy. You need to keep doing what everybody else is doing so that you can be happy.

Soon.

You can be happy soon. You can escape the past. You can get enough money to live happily ever after with the loves of your life. You can do it. Tomorrow. A week after. A month later. A year on. A decade past. In a weaker body there will be a stronger mind.

The future is yours for the taking and you will remember this moment, this split second of motivation. This energy. This miraculous turnaround to your life. You will make it.

The second passes. Time is back to normal, doing what it does best — messing with you.

It crawls on all its multitudinous appendages, slower than the slowest slow motion, making you feel numb and stretched thin, feeling it drag in the left side of your brain, it’s faint spectral echo reverberating in your mouth, without speech as you feel it on your tongue that’s not moving.

Oh, what. You’ve just made yourself too aware of your perception of the passage of time that time itself reflects back to you through your understanding. You must escape its hold.

It’s a trap.

You must flee.

You must run, and with you must time. It’s working. Time is going by really fast as you think to yourself, the thoughts are rushing by, the hours flying, the words don’t feel elongated anymore, and there is an urgency that is making you forget the essence of time and just remember you need to reach its end points.

You are getting there. The days are turning to nights and nights are turning to days. Before you know it, weeks and months and years are gone. Poof.

You’re older but you don’t feel older. You don’t even remember that moment anymore. It’s gone. Just like all the happy memories of your past.

Unless, you can recreate them! You can revisit them! By going back to the place you experienced them, or writing them down to never forget.

Yes, in forgetfulness there is evidence of time. In remembrance, you are timeless.

But, you are not timeless. You are old. You are old. You cannot return to your past. You cannot retouch what you once touched. You cannot see, hear, smell or feel what was there.

The variables were different. The combined perspectives of everything that exists in its uncreated and created state had come together in that moment to create a perfect moment.

But, what is a moment? What is time? What is space?

Ah, yes. It is spacetime.

You move your eyes on this screen from the start of this sentence to its end, and then go back to the start, and then return to its end that is a continuance of what was before, and you are already in the future and your introspection in the past is lost. You are expecting to reclaim it in the future, but by the time you finish reading this sentence you are profoundly changed, and your present does not matter at all anymore.

So, does time exist at all? You ask yourself this rightfully. No. Your unconscious replies. No.

Time does not exist. Time is not a river. Time is not flowing. Time is not the past. Time is not the present. Time is not the future. Time is only time because we call it time. It exists in a constant state of abstraction. Just like space. But isn’t space real?

Which space are you talking about to yourself? The space between you and your screen? The space between you and me across unfathomable boundaries in directions that are infinitely condensed, convoluted and transcend the solid, the liquid, the gaseous and all at once? Or the space between you and the sun? Or the space between you and the earliest remnant of the universe? Or the space between your subatomic particles?

You just realized that I have made a mistake. I used the word boundaries when in fact boundaries do not exist. Boundaries are an abstraction. We both realize this at the same time.

We realize this together.

Me, right now at 4:34 p.m. on a Thursday, the 21st of May in the year 2020, and you in infinite probabilities of the time beyond this moment — in combination of circumstances, and abstractions, in places that are not mine, or perhaps are, where I have visited and we have met, or have crossed our paths unknowingly.

But, we have done it. In this moment we are one. In the space of a single sentence we have merged time through words that we cannot touch, whose sounds we can only comprehend because of the probabilities that have made us associate them to the introspective revelations of you, me, and all existence.

But, what is existence?

Is it reality? What is reality? Only what we make it to be, together with others and separately on our own, combining both constantly to create and uncreate and recreate in motion within a constant that is stoic and unchanging.

We are filling space, bringing together the quantum, shifting its properties through sheer will and intuition in the service of the abstract that is always replicating and diverging from itself.

And yet, we are only aware of what our senses inform us, afraid of experiencing the mathematical language that pervades existence, not ready to perceive what the universe sees. Not ready to feel the weight in our heads that an ant would when its carrying something in its mouth. To the ant, a sugar-cube is heavy, to us its near weightless.

To our thoughts the smallest particle in the quantum plane is unseen, unfelt, nonexistent. To our thoughts the world is too vast to fathom. To the supposed sentience of the universe our world is too minuscule to fathom. To the states of reality infinitely larger than the universe, we are nothing, and our reality does not exist, nor does time, or space, or matter.

It does not matter at all.

Yet, we are the centre of our reality. We are the centre of all existence. We are here. We are fighting for every abstraction that our abstract understanding can make real.

For all these abstractions of the quantum and the infinite, of the self and the other, of energy and of matter, of space and of time, we exist.

And what are we doing with our existence?

Who do we think we are?

What are we appreciating? What are we prioritizing? What are we judging each other for? What are we pressuring each other for? What are we hurting each other for? What are we exploiting each other for? What are we killing each other for? What are we doing with our perception of time and space?

Where are we spending our abstractions?

Why are we creating more abstractions and giving these abstractions meaning?

When will we stop and ask ourselves what is the meaning of meaning?

How did we come to create the meaning of meaning?

The spectrum of light, sound, colour is an abstract. Time is an abstract. Space is an abstract. Weight is an abstract. Distance is an abstract. Our feelings are abstract. Our consciousness is an abstract. We are abstract.

Or we are not. Because the natural law rides this dichotomy of order from randomness, where coincidences are staple and yet patterns evident in its fractal make.

But enough with this heady take on existential science.

Think about yourself. Think about everyone you know. Think about everything you know. Think about everyone and everything you don’t know. Think about the possibility of everything if you did not realize that you are something within a nothingness.

And once you do, you can dip, dive, and drown in the stillness and silence that solitude births to ask yourselves this:

Who are you? What are you? Why are you? When are you? Where are you?

How are you?

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Plural Creators of Epidrae — a Surrealist Mythopoeia and Public Relations Professionals focused on the intersections of existential science and civilisation.

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SEMZYIRI

SEMZYIRI

Plural Creators of Epidrae — a Surrealist Mythopoeia and Public Relations Professionals focused on the intersections of existential science and civilisation.

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