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Quotations on Time and Eternity
October 2, 2000
Time has no divisions to mark its passage; there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins, it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.
What, then, is time? I know well enough what it is, provided that nobody asks me, but if I am asked what it is and try to explain, I am baffled.
Noble machine with toothed wheels
Lacerates the day and divides it in hours …
Speeds on the course of the fleeing century,
And to make it open up,
Knocks every hour at the tomb.
Calendars … do little more than synchronize us with the rest of society. … We cannot do without these devices, which in a manner of speaking help us pay what we owe to Caesar, but there is no reason why we cannot keep one calendar for Caesar and another for ourselves. At best this subversive calendar should ignore the usual pattern of weeks and months, reflecting instead the homogenous and coherent flow of time, the natural similarity of one day to another. … Leaving schedules and obligations to the conventional calendar, we should consecrate our own to a more internal dynamic: to essential outlays of vital energy—our growth, achievement, pleasure, and love.
Every act should be performed as though all eternity depended on it.
Time sometimes flies like a bird, sometimes crawls like a snail, but a man is happiest when he does not even notice whether it passes swiftly or slowly.
You cannot kill time without injuring eternity.
The time has come to talk back, to insist that clocks are made for men and not vice versa. Timeliness is more important than efficiency.
Time crumbles things; everything grows old under the power of time and is forgotten through the lapse of time.
When you sit with ...1