How many times have you wondered about time? Time rules our lives but we can’t see it, touch it, or feel it. We talk about spending time, saving time, and time is money, unfortunately there is one big difference between time and money – you can’t bank it, or use it later; once it has gone it has gone!
Time and Philosophy
Time is the subject that many philosophers over the centuries have wondered about. One entry in Wikipedia says “…… time is part of the fundamental intellectual structure (together with space and number) within which we sequence events, quantify the duration of events and the intervals between them, and compare the motions of objects. In this view, time does not refer to any kind of entity that “flows”, that objects “move through”, or that is a “container” for events. This view is in the tradition of Gottfried Leibniz and Immanuel Kant, in which time, rather than being an objective thing to be measured, is part of the mental measuring system. The question, perhaps overly simplified and allowing for no middle ground, is thus: is time a “real thing” that is “all around us”, or is it nothing more than a way of speaking about and measuring events?”
Our perception of time
So have you ever wondered how your brain deals with time? We must have some way of doing it because if we didn’t we would not know the difference between something that we did last week, last month, last year, or next week, next month, and next year. What is the difference between these things, and how do we know? Well here’s an easy way to find out how you order or sequence events according to their time. To do this you must have an understanding of sub modalities.
Discover your time line
Take some routine thing that you do almost every day, cleaning your teeth, having dinner, watching TV- anything like that will do. Now keeping with the same event, remember doing it five years ago, one year ago, one month ago, one week ago, yesterday, tomorrow, next week, next month. Now, you probably had some sort of visual image of these events and they would probably be still or moving, depending on the language you used when thinking of them. If it was something that you were doing it will probably be moving, if it’s something that you did, it will probably be a still. OK, the thing to do next is consider the sub modalities of those events, find the differences between them. Some may be far away, some may have a specific position, that is different to another´s position. They may be colored or black-and-white. There may be variations in all of their sub modalities, in fact, if there weren’t any variations or differences, how would you know one from another?
Types of time line
When you have become familiar with these events and their sub modalities you can move on to the next part. The really interesting sub modality, with regard to time line, as we shall now call it, is location. There are two general patterns and yours may be any combination or variation between the two. One common occurrence is that the older memories will be in front of you and to your left and your future thoughts will be in front of you and to your right and everything in between will be in a line. It may be straight or curved. The second common format of time line, is where past memories are behind you and future thoughts are in front of you. The first is called through time, and the second is called in time and each of these general forms has its own peculiarities and generalities. You may notice that the images that are nearer to you in time are bright and clear and the images that are farther away from you are less focused, have less color and are less bright. You may also begin to notice that lots of the things we say have allusions to time: for example, “In the dim distant past”, “the future is looking brighter already”. People with a bright clear future find it easy to meet deadlines, whereas others whose future is less bright are not sure about how things will turn out, seem to be less enthusiastic and are concerned with what’s immediate, and so have difficulty planning and meeting deadlines and goals. This is particularly true in the case of in time people, whereas through time people can usually clearly see the future mapped out to their right. The past is sequenced off to their left so it’s as if they can easily recall their past experiences and whatever they learned enables them to better plan their future. People with this view of time line tend to be careful, well ordered and well-planned compared to their opposites. The in time people tend to be more spontaneous, will do things on the spur of the moment, and will also make the same mistakes that they made in the past as they don’t seem to carry forward the information from their past experiences. Another general trend is that through time people will tend to be dissociated and in time people will tend to be associated.
Coming out of these discoveries by Tad James and Wyatt Woodsmall and others, is a whole new NLP-based therapy, which has developed a range of techniques for clearing past negative or traumatic incidents. Richard Bandler has also many variations that he uses with clients in therapy. In further sessions, we shall be looking at these developments. For now, spend some time to get familiar with your time line and, as your perception develops, you may notice the sub modalities of the time line itself. You may see it as a line nearer or further away from you in different parts. Some parts may be brighter, others darker, some people even have gaps in the line.
OK, so that´s enough for this session. In future articles I will cover more of the things that you can do with time lines that have been of great benefit to people, enabling them to overcome the effects that past events were still having on them. I will also cover clearing past events, something called “the Now positions”, and how to “program” your future.
and to help you remember, you can just slip a picture of this blog into your future time line at weekly intervals and then you will discover that time line can be a lot of fun !