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This blog posts is about 3 types of ‘time’ + an idea I had awhile back for a gadget (The i3T Watch, as I call it for short), which would provide ‘timely signs‘ for all three time modalities. It ties in with ongoing social and environmental disasters, which are being looked at by mainstream opinion makers very literally, within the confines of causal linear time. This restricts the scope of creative solutions that can be imagined. Opening up to other modes of time engagement could be one of this problem’s many possible remedies.
(Although it stands by itself, this blogpost is part 2 of a series, with Four Levels of Perception (1) and Ayahuasca Documentaries (3) being the others offering preliminary background information, and more after these three.)
Manmade disasters, such as nuclear fission reactors (which produce long-lasting radioactive products/waste even “if nothing goes wrong”), have grown out of a deeply sick culture characterized by insensitivity, objectification, rationality, as well as ‘linear (clock) time’ itself, a hallmark of technocentric civilizations, invented at the expense of awareness of natural cycles and sacred dimensions “outside of time” or “in dream time” commonly engaged in biosphere-respecting indigenous cultures.
The i3T Watch, as I’ll describe below, could help people sync up with natural cycles by increasing awareness about them, and give easy access to oracles and various symbolic non-linear time tools to re-familiarize people with this sacred time dimension. If almost half a decade ago it was “ahead of its time”, as some I shared it with commented, perhaps it’s about time now
I’ll describe the inspiration journey, more about the types of time and what I envision to be part of such a watch. It could, of course, also be an app on a smartphone, but I’m sharing the inspiration, which presented it as ‘a times piece’, akin to the often stylish but certainly more boring ‘time piece‘ still worn by many.
- How it came about: in June 2009, I was doing some shamanic tracking (see some basics in my blogpost on levels of perception) along future time lines, towards the end of a night of ceremony deep in the Peruvian Amazon when I felt I had time to do more tracking purely for fun (rather than various specific healing and praying work). (This is also part of the set of tools I learned during part of my shaman training) Tracking along time lines: The idea is simple (to do it without projecting takes mentoring and lots of practice): set an intention of the kind of harmonious archetypal dynamics you’re looking for, and see what you find in some possible future’s more literal sense. See what future resonates with what your heart truly desires. You can then make an energetic connection to that future and as such allow it to inform your current life, so that you can make choices that increase the chances of that future becoming reality.
So, I was tracking for an ecologically sustainable future in which humanity lived in peace and harmony on this lovely planet Earth again. It was beautiful, and really interesting, several thousand years into the future sometime. That specific possible future doesn’t look particularly likely right now, but the point of the tracking is not to find the most likely (there’s doomsayers for that, or just ‘the news‘), but what’s POSSIBLE. Anyhow, what I came back with was a strong sense that this current modern civilization is extremely stuck in rational thinking, and particularly ‘trapped in linear time’, as well as inspiration for “a watch that could help loosen the dominance of linear time”. The result is the i3T Watch:
A 2010 flyer I made to illustrate the gist of the i3T Watch idea:
The Interactive Three-Times Watch – Overview.
What I’m proposing is a broad-spectrum combination of an entirely new watch concept, incorporating distinct “time modalities”, with accompanying technological, design and potential marketing aspects. Please consider:
My proposal requires a leap from the way ‘time’ is currently framed in the watch industry, into an expanded paradigm. The specifics of required technology could probably easily be figured out by any team of engineers; but key here is the overarching vision, which informs the proposed exterior esthetics, software design and interface, as well as many of its marketing possibilities.
This new type of watch is inspired on shamanic perceptual states, featuring three distinct ‘time modalities’, namely linear time, cyclical time and non-linear time; further enhanced with inter-watch interactivity capabilities. See the following pages for an summary of its basics.
As for the inspiration, the gist of the Interactive Three-Times Watch, which -for short- I like to call “the i3T Watch”, came to me in ceremony deep inside the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest in June 2009, where I used some of my focus to ‘track’ for possible harmonious futures. The intention that guided these tracking journeys was to find ‘something helpful’ for shifting the momentum of this contemporary modern era towards such a harmonious future. From one of these journeys I returned with the basic concept for a purely non-linear-time watch, which I since expanded upon.
(In 2010, I went through the trouble of describing the concepts, related ideas and designs in detail to obtain ‘Patent Pending’ status with the U.S. Patent Office. I also registered it as ‘Intellectual Property’ with a European agency. The commercialization process being alien to me, I shelved it after the couple companies I contacted showed no interest. I still think it’s a good idea, though, and if could be created, living up to very high standards and content integrity, I would to see it find its way to the mainstream public.)
The Interactive Three-Times Watch – Basics
- Timepieces have thus far mainly indicated ‘Linear Time’: the mainstream past-to-future Gregorian Calendar (with 12 months rather than 13 moon cycles per year, New Year about a week off from the Solstice, frequent adjustments, etc.), including conventional imposed time zones, much of it alienated from its origins in the sun-cyclical time (as observed on sun dials). Various linear calendar systems (such as the dominant one in use in “2013 CE” can all be included as well, ending the era of eurocentrism in time pieces.
Linear time’s link to the cyclical is still found esthetically through the circular designs and 12 noon roughly being around the middle of the day (though usually off-sync by minutes to even hours). In some cases approximations of astronomical cycles, such as moon phases, are incorporated in the design. Now, the current state of electronic scale reduction is such that previously too-large-to-wear technology can fit in an wrist-wearable gadget.
- To arrive at true ‘Cyclical Time‘, the i3T Watch combines chronograph technology with GPS, and in turn processes the combined data with various astronomical software and an internal database of astronomical information. Aside from the familiar conventional ‘linear time’, it will thus provide the user with GPS-coordinates and location-specific ‘cyclical time’: local “sun dial time” (with 12 noon solar time being the time when the sun is at its highest point in the sky as seen from that location), moon phases, rising/setting times for the sun, moon, planets and constellations, eclipses, planetary alignments, etc. Even location-specific ocean tides could be incorporated.
Here you have a watch that not only helps you to synchronize with “the technosphere” (catch a plane, train, the TV news or your favorite radio show, and be ‘on time’ for an important business meeting), but also helps you keep in touch, as well as synchronize if you like, with the natural astronomical world!
If modern alienation from natural cycles has been aggravated (or even caused as some critics suggest) by our entrapment in linear time, this new watch would be the first to include the possibility of reversing that alienation by re-familiarizing people with natural cyclical time, even in the subterranean depths of concrete jungles!
Astronomical data can in turn be used to provide timely astrological information, an option that would be enthralling for many of its fans.
- The third time modality, ‘Non-Linear Time’, is neither imposed by convention, nor based on verifiable observations. It is of an ungraspable intuitive nature, getting its significance subjectively. Shamanic practitioners often engage this realm to assist their clients in synchronizing their life with their highest destiny. It is most easily accessible through well-established ancient oracle systems, such as the famed I Ching (Chinese “Book of Changes”). Those familiar with ‘the transpersonal’ can use such oracles “to divine” essential archetypal elements of situations, and find assistance in it for fine-tuning of their intuition and decision-making.
As mentioned before, the i3T Watch is inspired on shamanic perceptual states. In a nutshell, we can perceive and engage the world at: (a) the physical / literal level; (b) the level of storyline and emotion: stories we tell ourselves; (c) the level of energy and archetypes (myths, as explored by C.G. Jung, J. Campbell and others); and (d) the level of Spirit (or non-duality, “which can be known but not told”, according to various mystical spiritual traditions). [See my previous shamanic blogpost on just that, HERE, which includes resources to learn more about these.]
The i3T Watch should incorporate all the very best oracle systems, including the I Ching, the (Nordic) Runes, and various Tarot decks, and be capable of generating mathematical “true random”, or its closest statistical resemblance, for the generation of “timely signs” in their consultation. (Some websites, such as ‘Silhouette Oracles‘, allow one to get timely signs with the push of a button already.)
- The i3T Watch thus combines 3 levels of ‘timely signs”: those referring to our socially accepted mainstream calendar and modern ‘clock time’; those referring to scientifically confirmable astronomical facts of natural cycles; and those that provide easier access to the “reading of signs” at the level of myth and timeless wisdom.
- Room for time type combinations. Various Calendar systems (from all cultures) based accurately on astronomical cycles, such as is the case with the Mayan Long Count, ought to be included as well. Dreamspell and other time engagement tools and games, some of which combine cyclical and non-linear time modalities, could find a larger audience through this gadget (or app if it’s done right) as well.
- Add to this ‘inter-watch interactivity’ – (such as through close-proximity BlueTooth technology), and i3T users could get “timely signs” upon meeting, from mainstream clock time, to planetary positions, to astrology, relationship astrology (when they enter their personal data), and ‘omens’ from selected oracles (whose meaning would depend entirely on subjective factors, including the intention for consulting the oracle in the first place.). As such, an ‘interpersonal’ and ‘interactive’ quality of time would also be incorprated. A company making this would have to have an aim for Integrity, Technology, and Design. As I envision it, the Interactive Three-Times Watch would be a technological and design achievement, and extend the ‘air of integrity’ to the wholeness of the spectrum of time experiences, something no other watch ever before can claim.
- My vision of this ‘provider of timely signs’ for an unprecedentedly broad spectrum of time perceptions includes an exterior design that would set it apart from the known linear/cyclical timepieces. My preference goes to the most exterior outline of the ‘Sri Yantra’ (see right), a square with
distinct protrusions on its sides, found in Hindu and Buddhist iconographic mandalas depicting “the timeless/nowness realm”. A rough sketch of this shape’s use for the proposed watch (with some of the i3T Watch’s features, in the flyer above.
The search for deeper meaning, spiritual guidance and interpersonal connection is only increasing in our ever-accelerating global materialistic modern culture. The i3T Watch not only reflects the same qualities of the pre-i3T era watches (dependability, precision, technological integrity, the allure of ‘timelessness’ any quality timepiece strives for through its beauty, elegance and durability, etc.), but also -through its Non-Linear Time options and interactivity- qualities of time that could be considered “contradictory” to the former: qualities of time that are uniquely subjective (personal, transpersonal), interaction-specific, non-repeatable, unpredictable, and intuitive.
All advertising claims for classical watches aside, this times-piece would actually truly bring masculine and feminine time aspects together under one roof. All this gives it a flair of revolutionary potential. Can you sense the cultural implications and marketing potential?
Significant investment, R&D focus, and marketing would be required to create and launch the Interactive Three-Times Watch successfully.
MORE ABOUT THE ‘Non-Linear Time’ ASPECT of the i3T Watch
I’ll include here a basic overview of selected divination systems (and showing some of the books describing them), which should be evaluated by themselves in order to better understand the Non-Linear Time aspect of this watch proposal.
What is provided through this particular aspect of the “interactive Three-Times Watch” are signs from a versatile set of ancient and modern, established and obscure oracles and divination tools. Relevant copyright issues may have to be sorted out for some systems before incorporation. Some of the best and best-known of such inspired guidance systems include:
- The ‘I Ching’ or ‘Book of Changes’, one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. The book contains a divination system which is still widely used for this purpose. The text of the Book of Changes is a set of oracular statements represented by 64 sets of six lines each called hexagrams. Each hexagram is a figure composed of six stacked horizontal lines, each line is either Yang (an unbroken, or solid line), or Yin (broken, an open line with a gap in the center). With six such lines stacked from bottom to top there are thus 64 (26) hexagrams represented. There are many dozens of translations and commentaries to aid in the interpretation of the divination.
Some of the most respected translation w/ commentaries include The Book of Changes: A New Translation of the Ancient Chinese I Ching by Blofeld, J. (1965, New York: E. P. Dutton); The Complete I Ching: the Definitive Translation From the Taoist Master Alfred Huang, by Huang, Alfred (1998, Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions); and the very well-respected The I Ching or Book of Changes, With foreword by Carl Jung, by Wilhelm, Richard and Baynes, Cary (1967, 3rd. ed., Bollingen Series XIX. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press (1st ed. 1950))
- Nordic Runes. Runic Divination systems tend to employ a ‘set of runes’. Generally the 24 runic letters of the runic alphabet (Elder Futhark, the oldest of the runic alphabets is to be used for this purpose) is written on tokens, with sometimes also a ‘blank rune’. These tokens can be randomized for divination purposes in several ways. For example, they can be drawn a from a bag, tossed onto a cloth, or arranged in various ‘spreads’. This would have to be done by random-incorporating software. The meanings of the runic characters are then interpreted by the rune-reader (the user of the watch). My preference for runic divination interpretive guidance is the 1982 publication ‘The Book of Runes’ by Ralph Blum.
- Card Decks, including the Tarot.
The tarot is a pack of cards (most commonly numbering 78), used in various parts of Europe to play card games such as Italian tarocchini and French tarot. From the late 18th century until the present time the tarot has also found use by mystics and occultists in efforts at divination or as a map of mental and spiritual pathways.
There exist many dozens of artistically unique tarot decks, including but not limited to Angel Tarot, Aquarian, Celestial, Chinese, Classic, Crowley, Esoterico, Feng Shui Tarot, Goddess , Herbal, Hermetic, Lord of the Rings, Magic Manga, Marseilles, Medicine Woman, One World, and Universal Waite.
- Indigenous Wisdom systems which convey timely ‘Totem Animal‘ medicine, as described in popular books such as Ted Andrews’s bestselling ‘Animal Speak’ and Steven D Farmer, Phd.‘s ‘Animal Spirit Guides’.
Among card decks and corresponding divination interpretive guidance I favor the ‘Medicine Cards™: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals’ authored by Jamie Sams and David Carson, illustrated by Angela C. Werneke. It stands out for its wisdom quality and art. Jamie Sams’ ‘Sacred Path Cards™’ is equally worthy of inclusion.
- a variety of other symbols, colors, quotes, images, even short video clips, particular sounds, should also be included in the extensive non-linear time signs database.
- Given the (potential, because it depends on the user) spiritual aspects of the Non- Linear Time watches providing of “timely signs”, wisely selected excerpts from the world’s religious and spiritual traditions written sources and inspirational books could be included as an option for randomly ‘timely messages’.
In regards to this, it will be very important for quality assurance that all content is of very high luminous quality, in the sense of “emitting the light of wisdom”, aligned with the vision of a dignified, strong but humble enlightened society (a la “Shambhala”), resonating with the teachings of Christ, Buddha, Lao Tsu, prophets, saints, wise indigenous elders, etc.
- In the spirit of self-determination, users could also given the possibility to add new content (through the interactivity device’s channel).
This “Non-Linear Time” is a “time” that is not provided: not as ‘an imposition’, nor as referring to ‘scientifically observable cyclical aspects of reality’. It is a result of a qualitative interaction between the synchronistically appearing (in the Jungian sense) signs and the mind of the signifier.
This “Non-Linear Time” is either of a transcendental nature (allegedly originating in a transpersonal and/or timeless realm, outside of the realm of linear/cyclical time), and/or of a subjective nature (the signs get their meaning from the subjective significance for the perceiver). This makes it completely different from the other two time modalities mentioned above. Here it is up to the subject (the user or ‘signifier’) to ‘track’, ’see’ or ’intuit’ the meaning of the shown signs for that time. The significance of the oracles’ answers cannot be objectified, though various “universal themes” could be recognized by a multitude of individuals, and quality guidance can be provided for this purpose, as well. The significance and importance of the significance depends on the subject’s clarity on the sought-after guidance, the clarity and strength of intention brought to the consultation, the psycho-spiritual setting, as well as the skill level of symbol interpretation (archetypal literacy, knowledge of symbols, etc.), and possibly other factors. At this non-linear level of the Interactive Three-Times Watch, time becomes very personal, and thus as subjectively unique as the user.
Thus, the attitude with which the user approaches the Non-Linear Time ‘signs’ determines their significance. If for instance one were to randomly and frivolously check this non-linear time, one could then make up a nonsensical story based on the given signs. Though this could be entertaining, it is unlikely to be of much profound depth and journey significance. But if the user were to approach the feature as a set of true oracles: ceremonially ‘opening sacred space’, setting clear intention, and asking for ‘divine guidance’ and then ‘consulting’ the Non-Linear-Time aspect of the device, then the interpretation of the provided ‘answers’ can be chosen to be perceived as guidance. The Non-Linear-Time watch will offer the user the opportunity to fine-tune one’s sensitivity to this subtle aspect of one’s journey in life. Shamans, yogis and yoginis and spiritual and religious people of all traditions and stripes have maintained prayers of peace and held prayer ceremonies since time immemorial without which this modern world would have long spun out into complete global annihilation, as I see it.
SO for the mindful i3T Watch user, the device can aid in cultivating the very energies that foster peace, harmony, health and personal and community well-being is probably the most helpful thing ANYONE can do. Now as much as ever. Indirectly I and many others have pointed at this before (see for instance, my blogpost ‘The Japanese are held in loving prayers’ (March 29, 2011)).
It is becoming increasingly clear that the time I spent on clarifying the literal news may be better put toward laying out the operational archetypal dynamics and ways to shift the situation energetically in ways that will improve disaster response, decontamination and wellbeing in general. (Disclaimer).
I hope this watch idea, and the information about ‘times’ and in particular non-linear time tools is beneficial towards that vision.