Spring Forward

13 Mar

Amongst some of the more incredulously silly ideas humans have come up with is the notion that we can manipulate Time.

The logic behind “Daylight Savings Time” has been accredited to many things, not the least of which include giving Farmers an additional hour to work their fields, energy conservation and folks just wanting more “time” to enjoy sunny summer days.

Time itself, at least standardized regimented time, was a development of the railroad systems. Here’s a brief history from a California state energy site:

History of Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time is a change in the standard time of each time zone. Time zones were first used by the railroads in 1883 to standardize their schedules. According to the The Canadian Encyclopedia Plus by McClelland & Stewart Inc., Canada’s “[Sir Sandford] Fleming also played a key role in the development of a worldwide system of keeping time. Trains had made obsolete the old system where major cities and regions set clocks according to local astronomical conditions. Fleming advocated the adoption of a standard or mean time and hourly variations from that according to established time zones. He was instrumental in convening an International Prime Meridian Conference in Washington in 1884 at which the system of international standard time — still in use today — was adopted.”

In 1918, the U.S. Congress made the U.S. rail zones official under federal law and gave the responsibility to make any changes to the Interstate Commerce Commission, the only federal transportation regulatory agency at the time. When Congress created the Department of Transportation in 1966, it transferred the responsibility for the time laws to the new department.

The American law by which we turn our clock forward in the spring and back in the fall is known as the Uniform Time Act of 1966. The law does not require that anyone observe Daylight Saving Time; all the law says is that if we are going to observe Daylight Saving Time, it must be done uniformly.

Daylight Saving Time has been around for most of this century and even earlier.

Benjamin Franklin, while a minister to France, first suggested the idea in an essay titled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light.”

Time in the physical sense is a measurement. Manipulating a measurement is slightly arrogant. The idea that we humans can alter the laws of Physics or control the Sun borders on the absurd. It’s just about as silly as us thinking we can control the weather. (Although there is evidence that scientific technology exists and is being tested to “create” weather and geological events, and not necessarily to the benefit of the human population at large).

So “Spring Forward, Fall Back” is an annual ritual in the U.S. – and other countries – that allows us the illusion that we are in control of natural forces and Physics Principles.

Personally, I think this is more a reflection of how far removed we live from Nature. “Nature” is not something that we live isolated from, try as some of us may. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we humans exist in Nature. We are part of an eco-system, an environment called Planet Earth.

Grandmother Pa’Risha has often shared how traditional Indigenous Peoples live connected to the Earth and Nature. What may be surprising to some is that Indigenous Cultures possess the wisdom of science, mathematics, physics, etc. Understanding and living in harmony with the planet’s natural forces to hunt, raise crops, build many of the “natural wonders” of the world and live in abundance is a part of their Being. They understand and live as the Wheel of Life.

The further we grow away from our connection to nature, the natural forces and Principles through “civilization” we dull our senses and greatly curtail our quality of life. It’s a contradiction that is daunting. As we strive to improve the quality of life through technology, inventions and gadgets; the more we attempt to live by “convenience” and “comfort” – manipulating our environment, or even Time itself, the more we actually lose one of the greatest opportunities of Life itself – Living in Harmony with Creation.

Our time here affords us the opportunity to explore, know and celebrate the Mystery as One with Creation. We need to open ourselves to our connection with Nature, not isolate ourselves from it.

“Be in Nature, stay in harmony with Nature, it is you…Learn of Nature, then understand yourself!” Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha

As has been evidenced by the devastating earthquake in Japan this week, there is no escaping the forces of Nature. But when we open ourselves to communicating with and being communicated to we can learn to hear her “messages” and have a greater awareness of when the Earth is clearing itself. With that knowledge we can live like the Indigenous Peoples still living traditionally around the world who, like the animals, birds, and fish, know when the Earth is relieving her stress through earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis or whatever and move to higher ground.

-Deborah Adler

“If you have your attention on what is see its fullness in every moment you will discover the dance of the divine in every leaf in every petal in every blade of grass in every rainbow in every rushing stream in every breath of every living being. …beyond memory and judgment lies the ocean of universal consciousness.”— Deepak Chopra


©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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