Slowing Down Time.

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Feb 8, 2013 16:28
One of the most remarkable internal experience I had when I moved to the UK was that, for the first time in my life, my internal "time" slowed down dramatically. Ever since I became aware of myself, time had been monotonically accelerating. Initially, when I was a kid, the acceleration was subtle, and a day felt quite long. Summer vacations seemed never ending. However, by the time I reached 30, time was literally flying. A year seemed like a month or a week. Somebody told me that it would still become much faster when I become older.

There was an exception. It really slowed down when I arrived in the UK. The slower time lasted for about a year, until I experience all the seasons in the new place. After that, it regained its speed, and now it's flying ever faster.

I was sure it was the completely 'alien' new environment that caused the slowing down. The change was so radical that my mind couldn't keep its own tempo. I need to emphasize this; it was absolutely fantastic to live in that state. I was simply enjoying new discoveries, looking forward to seeing the unseen and upcoming week. Life was so vivid and everything looked 'shining.'

Now I'm reading Eckhart Tolle's best seller books, "The Power of Now" and "A New Earth" in English. They're truly eye-opening books to me. Now I feel I can understand better what happened to me at that time. To put it simply, he thinks that it is the voice in our head that causes a lot of problems in our life. (More precisely, it is the identification with that voice, rather than the voice itself.)

Although I have been fighting against the language barrier since I arrived here, now I feel that I lost something precious by learning and acquiring English.

When I arrived here, I didn't know what to call things around me. I couldn't mentally label things, because I didn't have enough vocabulary in English. Sure, I could have label things in Japanese. But everything was quite different from my country, so basically translation doesn't work very much. When you can't mentally label things, what happens? The voice in your head, your 'mind', cannot describe well what you see and it kind of stops working. Stillness arises within. You simply enjoy watching things and listening to sounds. You're not interfered by your thoughts. You can more directly access to the world.

This state is actually similar to being small children who haven't acquire language yet. (Actually my son is now in that wonderful stage!) They can't mentally label things, so that they can fully attend and enjoy their experience without interference by mind. This is why they look so happy when they play. Sometimes they look quite serious during playing; they are fully concentrating on what they're doing. They're experiencing the flow, i.e. the peak performance. And, of course, time goes slowly for them.

It took about a year for me to acquire the basic English sounds, the major hindrance for English-learning Japanese people. It was about that time when I started realizing that this place was not heaven after all, although it was great in many aspects. With newly acquired English skills, I became able to access to gossips and things. I started to access to collective 'mind' of English speaking world (of a small group of my colleagues....). I obtained basic vocabularies to cover common stuff. I became familiar to the environment. Then I established English version of my mind, so to speak, although it was still toddler's mind. Whatever mind you have, mind-generated thoughts and inner voice obscure and spoil your experience by mentally labelling things.

I was desperate to become fluent in English and made huge effort only to end my heavenly experience in slowed time! Oh, dear... :)