Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Reflections on Time

Our concept of time is a Sumerian invention of about 6,000 years ago. This explains the use of 60 seconds, 60 minutes and 24 hours because the Sumerian civilization used a Base-60 rather than our decimal system of – say – 100 seconds, 100 minutes, and 8.64 hours. Without the Sumerian notion of time, we might only have used yesterday, today and tomorrow.

For several decades, I was mostly living in the future. As a result, I was hardly able to enjoy my successes in the present. Before achieving those successes, I was already contemplating the next one. I do not regret my strong future focus. It has allowed me to be who and what I am today.

Today, I mostly live in the present. Perhaps, I will mostly live in the past in 30 years time. While writing this, I just realised that there might be a hidden cycle in our focal points from cradle-to-grave: past => present => future => present => past.

Not being bothered by time, gives a peaceful easy feeling (lyrics, song). I’m much more relaxed nowadays; much less uptight. The old me, with my inflammability, is still around but only shows itself in certain circumstances. In most other provoking situations, I just bite my tongue.

Several years ago, I became aware that I was approaching the age that my father died. Next year, I’ll be 60. My father died one and a half months before his 62nd birthday. Initially, that feeling made me somewhat anxious but not anymore. However, my almost compulsive daily writing might be related to that anxious feeling I once had.

Many people fear death but I no longer do. My 2013 burnout, including its suicidal thoughts, and my subsequent 18 month recovery took away that fear. I know that I’m still here for a reason. It might well be for my writing. I think, feel and believe that helping others is the main goal in our life. Obviously, you can only help others, once you first help yourself (lyrics, song).

Perhaps, death should come as a relief to us. I believe in the Sumerian views on the afterlife of the (divine) soul (ie, zaqiqu or ziqiqu) and the (earthly) spirit (ie, eṭemmu). Our worries are usually about wandering spirits, following a life not lived well. Little was/is known about the destination of the (divine) soul, although Sumerian people believed souls travel while we sleep (

Death probably opens an unknown spacetime dimension for our travelling souls. We should probably worry more about our living years than our death and/or our afterlife. Also see my 2016 blog: The meaning of Life = living a meaningful life.

The Living Years (1988) by Mike + The Mechanics, ft. Paul Carrack on vocals
artists, artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2, Wiki-3

I know that I’m a prisoner to all my father held so dear
I know that I’m a hostage, to all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Note: all markings (bolditalic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.


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