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Friday, 14 November 2008

how many heartbeats do we have?

A quote one from of my favourite authors, Theodore Zeldin (lifted from here though)

"The wider the choices before them [in this case dissatisfied wealthy French people but in truth many more of us] and the more numerous their desires, the less time they had to give each one. Leisure has become organised, and so full of opportunities too tempting to miss that it does not necessarily offer freedom. The wish to live as intensely as possible has subjected humans to the same dilemma as the waterflea, which lives 108 days at 8' Centigrade but only 26 days at 28'C, when its heartbeat is almost four times faster, though in either case its heart beats a million times in all. Technology has been a rapid heartbeat compressing housework, travel, entertainment, squeezing more and more into the allotted timespan ..."

Do we have a limited number of heart beats? If so, is it better to live, as the saying goes, one day as a tiger than a thousand as a sheep?

Does the search for meaning in intensity miss the point of life? Which is not to say one should sleep walk through life, but will we still have time to hear the grass grow as we hurtle along at the hyperspeed of modern life?

Strangely i feel pleased that we may share something with the humble waterflea....


Anonymous said...

This post is almost as if you are speaking about someone i was very close to.

Leisure time!!! What is leisure time???
I must admit though, my life is happier when im going full speed ahead. When i do have time off i appreciate it much more...and i have time to still hear the grass grow.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Scot, im a lot better.x

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhh Scot ;) I see you are back...LOL

A wave to you.

Charli said...

I read your post and my first reaction is to jump and shout in the name of INTENSITY.

But I am reminded of Buddha and the middle way.

I think perhaps we are not meant to live as tigers, nor are we meant to live as sheep.

We are meant to live as birds, creatures in between. We are meant to fly and also to walk.

scot in exile said...

i like to think i like life lived at full speed ahead, but in a funny way i find myself not living the life i think i like. i wonder if i don't delude myself sometimes about how much excitement i want, thinking that i crave more than i actually do.

still i've gone to tea with assassins and flown in private jets with prime ministers so i do ok...

work and leisure time can be (though not always) false distinctions - though there's an underlying principle about having enough time to replenish oneself in a way that other work related activity might not.

do you have enough time for such things cory?

but i think charli may be right about the middle path, howsoever it manifests itself. we are not tigers nor sheep after all...

Anonymous said...

Hi Scott, im going to be completely honest with you. Sometimes im afraid to comment here. Im embarrassed that what I will say will sound silly…LOL. So please forgive me if that is the case.

I had a long period of not working and it just doesn’t sit well with me. My anxiety seems to get worse with the more free time I have on my hands, this is why I prefer to work as much as I can these days.

My leisure time consists of two Saturdays off every month, but I try to treat myself every year by heading away on my own to Devon or London. This doesn’t include my holiday vacation to the sun J. I have been to Devon twice now, where I have gone for a weeks fasting and relaxation. The week consists of yoga, meditation, fasting and colonics. I always meet interesting people when I go here and I love the fact that we all support each other during the fast. If I go to London, its usually for a day or two and I treat myself to a nice hotel and do some shopping. Im afraid its nothing quite as exciting as having tea with assassins or being flown in private jets with prime ministers…lol.

I love travelling by myself as I enjoy the freedom it gives me and I enjoy the company of the people I meet on my travels.

As for excitement I think we all crave it….Perhaps this is why we blog, for the attention, meeting new people, for the fun and excitement.

Anyhow, I hope you find time tonight to sit down, have a cup of tea and chill out.

Speak soon I hope


Anonymous said...

Why am i calling you Scot..LOL????

scot in exile said...

i know,scot does seem odd. i'm calum.

please never be afraid to post, i've never thought your posts silly, quite the contrary. besides i really want this blog to be a conversation and not just a monologue...

funny you should mention fasting, that and pilgrimages were my next topic for a post... when i get a chance away from the day job!

Anonymous said...

Will look forward to it :)