"Time is the Mercy of Eternity" -William Blake
What is the speed of time?
Time is the principle of differentiation.
We are culturally conditioned to see objects in space as distinguished by a sort of solidity of constitution. But we know that this solidity is actually a process in space rather than an unchanging solidity in space. And the reason we don't perceive this directly as ordinary experience is because this process of an 'object' usually moves at a speed that is much slower than the speed at which human attention is focused. We can directly see the processional dissolving of a snowflake or even a May fly, but we can't see the dissolving of a diamond because its dissolving happens at too slow a speed in relation to our conditioned attention.
Now someone might at this point say that we simply don't live long enough to see the dissolving of a diamond, but such a statement would only confirm my underlying point that we perceive time from a relative and culturally conditioned position. We do in fact know that diamonds do eventually dissolve, but because we see ourselves as existing in a certain limited time-frame, we don't explore more deeply and freely our actual perceptual capacity, our evolutionary capacity, and allow that capacity to shape our picture of ourselves. Instead our picture of ourselves is created by an emotional reaction to the conditionally perceived process-objects we call our mortal bodies. And please observe that we don't even perceive the dissolving of our own bodies except in separated fragments of perception. You don't watch your hand grow old, you just one day 'suddenly' perceive that it has changed in a way that we call growing old. Why can't you actually see your hand growing old? Because the process moves at a speed that is so much slower and wider than the speed at which your attention and identity are focused. The process of differentiation in your hand is happening at a speed that you believe you can't adjust to. It's simply too slow. But is that actually true? Why do humans perceive the speed of time as they do? Because humans are obsessed with, and afraid of, death. The speed at which humans perceive time is the exact speed at which humans try to flee reality.
If one imagines a person sitting alone high on a mountain in the stillness and silence of 'nature'; and this person has the experience of perceiving the growth movement of a tree, we would say that this person had a 'mystical' experience, an experience outside of time. But it would not be outside of time. It would simply be an expanded perception of time. To say it is outside of time just shows how small and self-centered we are in our belief that our ordinary perception of time is something absolute and proper while in fact it is deeply neurotic and narrow.
Time is the principle of differentiation and therefore of novelty and true beauty. Time-differentiation unrolls in fathomless omnificent complexity. There is nothing outside of time because time is eternity becoming itself. It is evolutionary time that moves us toward freedom.
Becoming itself. Is this a paradox? Are the apparent opposites of being and becoming equivalent? Not yet. But they will be. When? When humans stop trying to flee the fathomless mystery of reality, the fathomless mystery of their selves.
A place to begin is in one's perception of time.
We here in the US appear to be perhaps doomed to die in war with Russia or in the aftermath of such a war. We see multitudes of sick humans scrambling for positions of power in a context that is itself already a warped and deluded perspective on reality. (Just seeing oneself in this corrupted context is sickening for any sane human, even apart from the war question.) Within this context, how much time do we have before war overshadows and buries us? How fast does time move? In this context it moves at the exact speed of humans trying to flee reality. That is how fast the war is coming. Are you caught and terrorized within this closing time-vice? If you are, then stop and step outside this frame. Slow down and be quiet and watch your hand growing old. See it. See how huge the reality of your hand is and how small that war-mad world is. If you can do this then you will have entered the movement of time as evolution, as movement beyond the war world into the future of endless beautiful differentiation, the future that is the real NOW and not that false hallucinatory now, that little hell of the war world rushing into nowhere. Slow down and be big, be fathomless, be a hero in the war against war and know that time is on your side. Go ahead, jump off of the Titanic into the black water and ride the evolutionary wave into reality.
If you think that I have said here that you don't have to worry about the material world because you are really just a spiritual being then you have not understood at all. What I am saying is that what we need is an evolutionary leap and that leap must be both material and spiritual at once so that the material and the spiritual fuse together as one new reality. But this leap must begin in consciousness and in particular in how consciousness relates to time. What evolution is demanding of us is that we walk into the fire, the material fire and the spiritual fire, and forge a new world. And if you think that the death of your material body is the end of the material aspect of your existence then you are in for a shock and I hope it is a joyous shock of liberation.
Slow down and see the fathomless reach of your material existence in life and in death. Time is eternity realizing you.