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The Earth is Flat: Time is Linear

Lesson 2 from: How to Expand​ ​Time​ ​and​ ​Live​ a Full Life

John K. Coyle

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Lesson Info

2. The Earth is Flat: Time is Linear

Lesson Info

The Earth is Flat: Time is Linear

First let's talk about a huge human error that's swirling in the room right now. Think back to, back many, many years ago when everybody in the world, everybody that walked the face of the planet Earth believed that the Earth was flat. Every single human being until Plato and Aristotle believed the Earth was flat, because despite some pretty obvious cues, be it the crescent shape of the moon, rising and setting, the fact that ships disappeared over the horizon, and that if you climbed a tall building or a mountain you could actually see said edges of said Earth. But the same amazing people that invented algebra, the Keystone, the flu d door columns of Greek temples, all believed that the world was flat despite this evidence. In fact, it wasn't until the 1800's that the idea the world was a sphere penetrated modern mainland China. So this perpetua ... this error, this, this farcical notion was perpetuated for tens of thousands of years by very smart people. I think the same thing's happ...

ening right now. I think that the way we view time as a linear, chronological, clock-like metric is absolutely, fundamentally imposed to our actual experience of time. Let me prove it to you. So, have you ever sat down for a business meeting with an acquaintance and it's a long, boring, monotone from the end of the table, and you look at your watch after what seems like three hours and only twenty minutes has gone by, uh, or a friend comes in from out of town. You haven't seen him for quite a while. You sit down and start to have a cocktail, you chat for a few minutes, you look at your watch after what seems like twenty minutes, and three hours has gone by. Or if you've said I can't believe that was yesterday, it feels like a year ago. I can't believe that was a year ago, it feels like yesterday. I can't believe this day is over, it's gone in a flash. I can't believe this long this day has took. Then you have experienced non-linear time. Which is, by the way, the way experience time. And the Greeks had a word for this. The Greeks are in many ways smarter than us, I think. We have one word for time. It is the most common word in the English language--time. Other than a, an, and the. The Greeks had two words: Chronos and Kiaros. Chronos is clock time. It's the one that we use ubiquitously. But Kairos, they used even more, and Kairos is human time. Or the etymology of Kairos is actually literally the moment you release the arrow. The distinction is everything happens at once, and all trajectories are set. And this is the notion that small moments can have massive impact in terms of our humanity and the way we experience time in the future. But first, is there even such a thing as time? Physicists generally agree that there is. Some questioned it. Einstein's on record saying the only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once. But generally speaking, people agree that time does exist in the Universe, and in fact, space creates time. There is not time without space. Before the Big Bang, there was not time. So space and its expansion creates time. I suggest to you that memory is the same. The metaphor is the same. When you create memory, the more and deeper and expansive your memories, the more time you have. Time and memory are the same. So, here's the bad news here. Time seems to be speeding up. A vast majority of adults feel that time is speeding up. And that's the dark secret underneath this clockwork that we consider time, as if time is speeding up. If it's non-linear, then life isn't just short, it's actively getting shorter.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Innovate Your Life Worksheet
How to Expand Time Summary
Event Horizon Summary

Ratings and Reviews

Susan Burks

This is an important class. John reminds us of the incalculable value of filling our lives and those of people we care about with what is truly important - the gift of meaningful time. I loved reflecting on experiences that have truly changed the course of my life. John's stories and the science behind them was so inspiring.

Anastasia Shatalina

Very interesting and inspiring. Thank you.

Student Work