Rethinking Time

An old, new way of looking at your life

Andrew Sage
3 min readAug 25, 2020
Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

In such an uncertain and stressful moment in our lives, it’s easy to spiral into despair and hopelessness. Our future is uncertain, our present is fraught, and our past has been, in many ways, a lie.

Not to mention, the spectre of death looms above us all. When? Where? How? We don’t know. That scares me.

Perhaps our existential dread arises from our outlook?

Thanks to colonialism — it really is all connected — our view of time is very specific. The Abrahamic religions view time as linear, beginning with the act of creation. We distance ourselves from our past, pushing toward the end of the world and of time.

Our time on Earth is limited after all. The world is destined to end anyway, right? What’s a little destruction?

Not to mention, our calendar paints an incomplete picture. The year 2020 is quite arbitrary. Humans have been around for hundreds of thousands of years and the Earth is billions of years old.

Many human cultures have not seen the world the way we do today. The Incan, Mayan, Hopi, and other indigenous peoples; the Babylonians and ancient Greeks; Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism; and many others regarded time as cyclical.

If you’ve seen the Arrival, no spoilers, you may recall one of the messages of the film: your language and culture affect your perspective of reality. As the main character developed an understanding of a new culture, she began to see time differently.

In light of my desire to halt my endless decline into disconsolate despondency, I searched for the comfort of a refreshing state of mind.

Cyclical Time

Philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius saw time as extending “forwards to infinity and backwards to infinity”. The universe was administered by organized chaos, an unending succession of eras.

According to the Cherokee people, there is no beginning or end to someone’s existence. They exist before they’re born and they exist after they die. That is why so many spaces are so sacred to them. They are in the presence of their ancestors and their unborn.

Colonized people all over the world have understood that they are never alone.

Thus, they can draw comfort from that knowledge.

We can observe the passage of time. The cycle of the seasons. The ageing of generations. The migration of animals. The growth of plants.

But there’s no need to progress towards an end, especially not at the behest of the Earth. Humanity is here to live with Earth, not destroy it. We are part of nature. Not separate from it. We do not belong to Fate. We control it.

We are not running out of time.

We are not running out of time.

We are not running out of time.

It’s okay to just exist. It’s okay to be content. The fate of the world does not rest on your shoulders. You can release yourself from the pressure of time.

Just as a thought experiment, let go. Realign yourself with the natural cycles of change: the weather, the moon, the sun, the animals, and the plants. Reconnect with and respect the Earth again. Work towards harmony. Welcome the flow.


You can follow Saint Andrew on Twitter @_saintdrew and subscribe on Youtube where I share my thoughts, opinions, and art. You can also buy me a coffee.

← Previous Blog Post:

The “Melting Pot”



Andrew Sage

I’m a writer of words, an artist of arts, and a thinker of thoughts. Founder of Saint Who and Andrewism. Follow me on Twitter @_saintdrew.