Tuesday, June 27, 2006

One long day

I’m a writer—I live by wordcount. So I was fascinated to read on CNN about the most popular nouns in the English language.

Here they are, according to an Oxford project:

time, person, year, way, day, thing, man, world, life, hand, part, child, eye, woman, place, work, week, case, point, government, company, number, group, problem, fact.

If you want to explore where these words are in the overall ranking of words used, check out Wordcount, a great online project by The Washington Post. Here, time is 66, and the next noun person is 351. But man (142) and woman (393) are in a different placement than the Oxford list. But I guess they’re in close enough agreement since the total list is 86,800. (No. 86,800 is conquistador, in case you were wondering.)

Interestingly, I is 11, and you is 14. Heck, I could play around with this all day.

It seems, according to the Oxford study, that when something happens is very important to us. After verbs like is and did, and pronouns like they and she, it’s concepts of time that make up a lot of our communication. Here’s that list with the time words highlighted:

time, person, year, way, day, thing, man, world, life, hand, part, child, eye, woman, place, work, week, case, point, government, company, number, group, problem, fact.

Why is time so important to us? Can it be that it’s the one thing we so take for granted that it gives some sense of order to this human existence? Time marches on, it never stops, it’s unidirectional, moving inexorably forward whether we want it to or not.

I love that the first three “time” words in the list have spiritual definitions in Science and Health. I also love that these definitions, if read in order of the list, take us ever more Spiritward.

TIME. Mortal measurements; limits, in which are summed up all human acts, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, knowledge; matter; error; that which begins before, and continues after, what is termed death, until the mortal disappears and spiritual perfection appears.

--p. 595

YEAR. A solar measurement of time; mortality; space for repentance.

"One day is with the Lord as a thousand years." (II Peter iii. 8.)

One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity. This exalted view, obtained and retained when the Science of being is understood, would bridge over with life discerned spiritually the interval of death, and man would be in the full consciousness of his immortality and eternal harmony, where sin, sickness, and death are unknown. Time is a mortal thought, the divisor of which is the solar year. Eternity is God's measurement of Soul-filled years.

--p. 598

DAY. The irradiance of Life; light, the spiritual idea of Truth and Love.

"And the evening and the morning were the first day." (Genesis i. 5.) The objects of time and sense disappear in the illumination of spiritual understanding, and Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded. This unfolding is God's day, and "there shall be no night there."

Perhaps we need time to organize our lives and to make sense of this existence. But existence that is simply one long day—what will that be like?

And how will we talk about it?

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 6/27/2006 03:09:00 PM, Blogger Al Belote said...

Interesting post. In practical terms, I like the possibility of not being focused on time as a limitation or passage of moments from "available" to "not available." The issue of when becomes a reference point -- a location in relation to other things -- not a sense of something being either unknown or lost.

Regarding the last two questions, I think we'll have to start thinking of existence as "irradiance of Life" and "the spiritual idea of Truth and Love" (as the definition says) rather than as "one long day." Of course we can and maybe should do this now. And how will we talk about it? We won't -- I don't think anything will be in the context of time.

At 6/28/2006 03:05:00 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Hmmm, not sure that people take time for granted - at least many that I know! They seem more obsessed with it: wanting beat it, manage it, and more. But it certainly is something that gives the human day and life order.

What a great things that will be when the spiritual day is fully realized. What will that one long day be like? Thanks for raising those questions. Haven't thought about that idea for a while and look forward to pondering more deeply over the next day or so. ;0

Ever read the book "Einstein's Dreams" by Alan Lightman? There are some interesting thoughts and twists on our perception of time.


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