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How to Make Time Serve You

Live Youthfully Now front cover

Live Youthfully Now

Russell A. Kemp

Chapter 3
How to Make Time Serve You

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What is this thing called time, which we believe has such power to produce age in our physical makeup? We know of course what it is from the standpoint of our visual sense. Time is measured by the movement of the hands upon a chronometer, clock, or watch. We observe the position of the hands on the face of the timepiece, and we say it is such-and-such a time.

The movement of the clock hands, in turn, is produced by the clock’s mechanism, which is delicately adjusted to coincide with the time consumed by the passage of the sun across the sky during the day, and during its absence at night. Time adjusted to the passage of the sun is called sun time. There are other kinds of time. Astronomers in specially equipped observatories calculate time not only from the position of the sun, but also from the earth’s position with reference to certain stars.

Extremely delicate measurements have to be made and mathematically computed from observation of the moon, stars, and planets, in order to coordinate the information gained from these sources and calculate what is called “Greenwich time.” Greenwich time is defined as “mean solar time of the meridian at Greenwich Observatory at Greenwich, England,” and is used as the basis for standard time throughout most of the world.

This “mean solar time” is not actually based on the movements of the sun in the sky, but on a hypothetical sun which is used in time reckoning. This is called the “mean sun.” There is also “apparent time,” which is measured by the real sun. In addition there is sidereal time, measured by the stars. All these have to be combined to produce what we call “the correct time.” Little wonder that the chief astronomer of the Royal Observatory in England was quoted in a Unity magazine of many years ago as saying: “There is no such thing as the correct time. We fake it.”

At any rate, the thing that stands out in all these definitions of time is this: time is essentially man-made. It is based on the movements of the heavenly bodies through space. But these movements are used by men’s minds as a means of measuring the duration of any event, or to fix the point when it occurred, with reference to previous events. Time is immensely useful, in fact indispensable in our present existence. It enables us to regulate our life, order our movements, and control traffic. It enters into almost every phase of our everyday life. Without the use of time life woidd be chaotic, confusion would be disastrous.

Yes, time is necessary; but should we let it control our life to the extent that we do? Should we let this manmade convenience, this hypothetical standard of measurement, determine the length of our life, as we do now? Because the earth makes a trip around the sun in a little more than three hundred and sixty-five days, are we justified in saying that we are therefore a year older? And if we have been on the earth for sixty or seventy of these trips around the sun, should we expect to die because of that? Should we say that we are “a year older,” or should we just say happily that we have enjoyed another swing around the sun?

And if we have lived through another circuit of the sun, what difference does that make? Were we not receiving the same vitalizing rays from the sun during the whole trip? Do we receive life force from a clock, or from a calendar on the wall? Do we receive life force even from nature? Or is our life a force, an energy continuously radiated to us from the presence of God, of whom nature is only an effect?

If we believe the Bible, we must believe that our life force is given to us from God. "He himself gives to all men life and breath and every thing. ... for in him we live and move and have our being.” Jesus urged us not to believe that we receive life from a physical father. He said, “And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.”

Now if God is our father, if we live and move in God, then we do not live and move in time, as we have imagined. Time is just a wonderful convenience that we invented, to serve us and to keep order in our comings and goings. It comes in handy when boiling an egg or catching a plane. But it is, as we have seen, only an invention of the mind of man. It has no actual existence, as a thing or a force or an energy in itself, in the way that light or heat have existence. They are forces, but time is not a force. It is a product of the mind and senses of man; it exists only in the mind of man, as a mental concept, a measurement device.

It might be compared to the mental concept that two and two make four. This too is a measurement, a means of reckoning, but it has no force, no existence of its own. We would never expect a mental concept such as two and two make four” to exert any force or have any effect on our body. Why then do we expect the mental concept called time to affect our body, and cause deterioration and death?

Time pertains to outward events, to the use of the senses, and to the right use of physical movement in space. It is not related to the inner man, that is, to the part of us that functions in the realm of mind. In our mind, we can have a dream in which the events that occur apparently require the passage of hours or days. But this dream can be experienced in an extremely short period of time, perhaps in seconds.

So the inner man — that is, the man of mind — has a different relation to what is called time than does the flesh-and-blood man. In his mind man can expand time, so that seconds seem like minutes, and minutes seem like hours. How long do a few seconds seem if you are in a hurry, waiting for the car ahead to move after the light turns green?

Or the mind can contract time. How long does an hour seem if you are having a good time with friends? Doesn’t it seem more like five minutes? Our own feelings and reactions can determine how long time seems to us. Hence, in the mind, time does not measure duration, but feeling does. This is an important thing to remember, because we have just established the very way in which the passage of time seems to affect our body.

Our feeling reaction to our observation of this measure called time is a thing of the emotions. And our emotions are forces for good or ill. They are prime factors in bodily states of sickness or health. So our emotional reaction to the passage of time is a force. It can affect the physical body.1

Let the emotional reaction to the passing of a year be one of sadness and regret; let the passing of a year be connected with a marked emotional reaction of fear, and emotional acceptance of such a concept as “Another year older, another year nearer the grave” — and we can readily see what effect this can have on the body.

Fear casts its cold shadow over the feeling nature. The natural enjoyment of life is lessened. The very cell activity connected with metabolism is affected adversely. One unconsciously begins to look for signs of approaching age and diminishing strength. And what one looks for in this way, one usually finds.

For instance, any unusual exercise or exertion causes stiffness, no matter what one’s age is. But a youth does not associate this stiffness with age. He interprets it as a natural phenomenon, caused by unaccustomed use of his muscles. He expects this stiffness to disappear as a result of further use of his muscles in the same way, and it does.

The tendency of a person a little beyond his youth, however, is to attribute this stiffness to age. He may say: “I must be getting old. I feel so stiff and sore.” He forgets that he was stiff and sore as a result of unaccustomed exercise when he was sixteen, or eighteen, or twenty-five, or thirty. Young ball players in the prime of their youth are stiff and sore in spring training. But every age compares itself to a previous, lesser term of years, and calls itself “old.” Is not this to a great extent a matter of human thoughts?

We cannot remind ourself too often that there is more to us than meets the eye. We are not a body only. We are also a soul and a spirit. And the important thing is that our body, soul, and spirit exist and function simultaneously, even though they have different rates of vibration. At one and the same instant, a human being is functioning as a physical organism, called a body; a nonphysical organism, called a soul (that is, a psychic organism); and a nonpsychic organism, called a spirit.

Of the spirit in man, I believe that we know little or nothing. We are beginning to suspect, perhaps even to know, a few things about the soul. But knowledge of the soul has been greatly limited because the soul has been associated only with the question of survival after death. The soul has been connected in popular thinking with ghosts, apparitions, spectral manifestations in cheap melodramas. The very existence of the soul has never been conceded, much less established, by materialistic science, because the soul is nonphysical.

How could we hope to prove the existence of the soul by material means? Can that which is nonphysical, nonmaterial, be weighed or measured, photographed or analyzed? No, if we are to prove the existence of the soul, we shall have first to prove by faith that it exists. And this faith will rest upon logic. Logic shows the necessary presence in us of some medium other than the body, to record and preserve the intangible effects of experience upon the human being.

For example, do we not as a rule have better judgment in mature years, as compared to our best judgment in youth? Then what is this thing called judgment? Is it a property of the body? Is it improved through obtaining a different body structure than one had in youth, when our judgment was not so good? If so, where do these changes in the body occur? Is there any visible evidence in any part of the body that such changes have occurred?

Or is the thing called judgment a product of certain intangible factors such as memory, observation, reasoning, shrewdness, and the ability to use inference and elimination in weighing the factors of making a decision?

Consider also the quality of mind called patience. Is patience a mental and emotional phenomenon, or is it based on body structure or some physical characteristic? We have observed persons of both sexes, of widely different physical characteristics, who displayed marked patience.

One must conclude that good judgment and patience are the products of mental or emotional attitudes; they represent traits of mind, disposition, or character. Therefore they must have their ground of existence in something nonphysical — perhaps in what we vaguely call the personality.

A great deal of our difficulty in living effectively, and coping with the challenging problems life inevitably presents to us, springs from just this habit of identifying ourself exclusively with the flesh, and not with whatever it is that gives life and animation to the flesh. How can we live effectively when we attempt to deal with the whole range of our experience by using only a fraction of our resources?

We would not consider a man very intelligent who covered one eye so he could not see with that eye, plugged one ear so he could not hear with that ear, put his arm in a sling, and tied a ten-pound weight to each foot. He would be severely handicapped. But this is only a suggestion of the extent to which we handicap ourself by depending solely on the limited resources of our intellect and our senses for the knowledge and intelligence we need in daily life.

The mind of man is equipped with such staggering powers and potentialities that at present we do not have the courage even to guess at their existence. But this condition will not be tolerated too much longer by all people. We are entering what might be called the “age of the mind.” More and more colleges and universities are beginning to investigate and to study what is called extrasensory perception. That is, they are beginning to try to prove by sensory evidence that man possesses powers beyond his rive senses. This is good.

Soon the study of the unseen, intangible, nonphysical aspects of man will be considered respectable by educational institutions. This will lead to a great intuitive leap of the intellect in comprehending a series of mental powers far transcending the intellect’s scope of performance, right within the mental makeup of every man.

We are witnessing even now the effectual challenging of former mental barriers in many fields of learning. For instance, who would have dreamed of reading at such speeds as four, five, six, or even ten thousand words a minute, as some persons can do now? A fresh approach to ways of reading, aided by modern scientific methods of observation, brought this to pass. Rapid reading is a fact. Young people in some schools are learning to read at these incredible speeds.

What other advances in knowledge await us around the corner? It would appear that since we are entering a new age, the age of mind, at long last we are going to obey the ancient maxim “Know thyself,” and really use the mind with which our Creator endowed us. Since we have already enormously expanded the scope of our senses, by the use of instruments that mind has devised, it would seem logical to expect that we shall also enormously expand the scope of our mind, using for that purpose the mind’s own hitherto unsuspected powers. Then we shall have real extrasensory perception — not what is now known as ESP, such as experiments in guessing card symbols, or trying to cause motion in matter by purely mental means.

No, this will be true perception beyond the range of the senses, such as witnessing with the inner senses events taking place far away, hearing with the inner ear sounds made at great distances from us, tasting with an inner sense the flavors of nonphysical substances, and so forth. How greatly these will expand the mind of man! How far reaching the effect of such new mental powers will be in human life!

And of course, the effect of greater knowledge of our potential mental powers will at once be observed in a new attitude toward the question of length of life. At present, ideas such as the noneffect of time on the human organism seem highly theoretical, and perhaps absurd to many people. But in the world of the next few years, such ideas will be considered commonplace. Anybody who claims to be intellectually literate will either be aware of them or will actually be using them. But why should we wait for public acceptance of these ideas before using them?

Why not have the thrill of pioneering in this field? It seems highly probable that our great tradition of pioneering will be experienced all over again in the field of mental science. We can again lead the world by pioneering research into the undiscovered country of mind and soul. We shall explore its resources, survey them and develop them in the way we did our natural resources. In other words, we are going to discover, explore, and do research in the mental side of matter.

Even the vastest of physical resources can eventually be depleted or exhausted. But in the field of mind, resources are always unlimited. A mental quality or resource or power is limited only by the belief of our own mind in its existence, and the extent to which we cultivate its proper use. So in entering this new field of mind, we are dealing with what is always virgin territory. The resources of the mind are always virgin in the sense that they can be renewed constantly by their correct use. This means that the new territory, and the abundance awaiting us in the exploration of man’s mental and spiritual nature, is so great that it can only be compared to the riches described in such fairy tales as the story of Aladdin’s lamp.

There is a well established principle, spoken of in occult and philosophical writings, that everything in the world of the senses has a counterpart in the world of mind and soul. If this be so, then what we call time must have some spiritual idea or reality back of it. What is the spiritual reality of this thing called time? Is it not the exquisite rhythm and order in which the observable activities of the universe take place?

Since we take our time from the sky, literally, through astronomical and mathematical calculations, could we not take what we believe to be the spiritual reality of time also from the sky? That is, if time is to have another meaning for us besides the useful and convenient one of ordering our movements and measuring events, where better can we look to find this meaning than to the stars and planets which give us the time we already know?

Thought of in this light, we have a vast spiritual “Greenwich observatory” all around us, and even within us. It is the rhythm of the spheres, of the tides, of the sun and moon and stars, which seems also to affect our body at certain times.2 We can feel the rhythmic pulsation of our own heart and our own breathing. This rhythm is also an integral part of our health and our life.

Then in our consideration of the factor of time, we should not only deny that time has any power to age our body, but we should also affirm that we arc thinking and living in keeping with certain fundamental rhythms that we can observe in all living things.

What are these rhythms? In the simplest terms,they might be spoken of as alternation of work and rest. Next would come the keeping of a balance between work and rest. Then would come the keeping of a balance between output or expenditure of energy, and intake or renewal of energy.

If time has anv deeper meaning for us than the convenience of clocks and calendars, that meaning must be its constant reminder that we are closely related to the observable universe. Since our rhythms are a part of its rhythmic movement, we live by the universe and in the universe, and we cannot live apart from the universe.

Just as we now take our time from the order and precision of the heavens, so we should try to take from them something of the vast, serene impersonality, the beauty and peace we see in them. Men have always looked with awe and longing at the stars. “The stars come nightly to the sky,” said John Burroughs, in assuring us that our own will always be ouis. And looking up into the night, Emerson seemed to hear the stars saying to him, “Why so hot, little man?”

Do not the stars always seem to cool our feverish thoughts? Do they not expand our mental horizon as we gaze at them? Perhaps they are saying: “Take your time! Why are you so rushed, why are you so hurried, so out of breath? Take your time! You are a child of the universe, as we are. And just as we always have plenty of time, so you always have plenty of time. Take your time!”

If you and I are really children of some vaster scheme of things than the world of time clocks and traffic lights, should we be slaves of the clocks and the traffic lights? Should we not put these things in their place, esteem them for their convenience, use them with respect and appreciation, but also at the same time learn to live by far greater, more universal rhythms of beauty and peace? It is the claim of this book that we can learn to do this.

Time does not really age us. Habits of thought concerning time, learned millenniums ago, age us. We can by effort, with persistent care and reeducation of our ideas, change this habit of believing that time automatically causes changes in our body for the worse.

The persistent repetition of this idea – I do not live by time; I live by God’s life force within me, which knows nothing of time-will gradually change the subconscious habit of belief in time and age. Daily expansion of the thought, by dwelling even for a few moments on nontangiblc and nontemporal values, such as eternal peace, eternal truth, eternal love, eternal life, will tranquilize our emotions, and give a new frame of reference to our outlook.

If you find yourself feverish with impatience, think of the evening star. Ask yourself: Could impatience, frustration, raging at traffic delays, a perpetual sense of rush and strain, shorten my life?

Ask yourself also: Could patience, poise, calmness, freedom from rush and strain, actually add days and years to my life?

Ask your doctor these questions. (If he charges you money for his answer, you will probably pay more attention to his answer!) But don’t you already know the answer? Doesn’t your own common sense tell the answer? Of course it does!

Once an incomparably wise and loving Person, seeking to motivate His followers to make use of the great insights into spiritual matters that He had given to them, summed it all up in these words: “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” Let me humbly urge you to use these ideas. Why sigh for vanished frontiers? The new frontiers are in the realm of mind, now! There are frontiers within you that will test your mettle, as those of the old West tested your hardy ancestors.

Say to yourself, quietly but deliberately: I do not live by time. I live by God’s life force within me, which knows nothing of time.

Seek to make this a mental attitude. It will take practice, but everything takes practice. Even growing old takes practice! We start rehearsing for it almost in our cradle. When we are very young we learn that some people are “old,” and that some day we shall be like them. This rehearsal for old age continues at an imperceptibly faster and faster tempo, as life goes on. Finally we have mastered the part, and we play it to perfection: aches, pains, disinclination to exercise, mourning the “good old days,” and so on. Our make-up job is perfect.

Shouldn’t we be able to do just as good a job of rehearsing youth, if we start as soon as possible, and keep at it persistently? Start your rehearsal for permanent youth, youth that endures, youth that is yours, now. Mentally take ten years off of your calendar age, right now.

Think back ten years. Recall as vividly as you can how you felt ten years ago, with respect to energy, pep, enthusiasm, and eagerness to live. Start to feel that same degree of life, right now. At first it will be difficult, perhaps. But you can do it if you try.

Form a good, clear idea of looking, feeling, and acting ten years younger. Rehearse it in your mind. You are trying out for a part. It means everything to you. Ten years younger means ten years more of life, at maximum enjoyment. And this is only a start! If you could buy, for any sum within your power, a guarantee of ten years’ more life, wouldn’t you pay for it in a hurry?

But these ten years are not going to cost you a cent ... only the fun of practicing and thinking as you want to feel.

You can actually look, feel, and act ten years younger, just by practicing your denials of time, and mastering this new attitude in your mind. Remember the key statement from the first chapter: Time of itself has no power to age me. God gives us life, not age. I am alive, thank God. and the next key idea: I do not live by time; I live by God’s life force within me, which knows nothing of time.

What a miracle these can work in you!

Dr. Robert W. Kleemeier, Washington University psychologist, gave intelligence tests to persons aged sixty-five to ninety, over a twelve-year period. He found no evidence to prove that there is a normal and steady intellectual decline because of advancing years. When older people stay healthy and vigorous, there does not seem to be any decline in their intelligence, Dr. Kleemeier declared.

Noah Piquette of Marinette, Wisconsin, showed up at city hall to get his 1957 bicycle license, the day alter his younger brother Charles obtained one. Noah was ninety-two at that time, and Charles was ninety-one. Nothing like exercise to keep age away!

  1. “We age, not by years, but by events and our emotional reactions to them.” – Arnold A. Hutschnecker; “The Will to Live.”
  2. Joseph F. Goodavage, writing in Family Weekly, says: “New York’s Upstate Medical Center and Syracuse’s V.A. Hospital have discovered the human bio-magnetic field which reacts to the position and phase of the moon, the planets and the sun, as well as distant stars.”