Untimely Time

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Things are untimely. Maybe we have to ask the question: how time gives us? Time is always fleeting. It is always passing us. We cannot catch it. We cannot stop its flow. It cannot be framed into our present as it instantly moves into the past and opens itself to the future. Everything is in time but time is not a thing. We cannot reduce time to something. We cannot see it as a succession of small instants. Instants or moments cannot be fully present. Every instant and moment simultaneously passes or becomes absent and moves it the past and the future. Time has to be thought of as a gift. As a pure gift, it can only give.

The pure gift remains only in the giving. It cannot belong to the order of exchange, reciprocity, restitution. The moment it belongs to it, the gift is annulled. The gift then belongs economy of debt. We cannot even take a thank you for giving. This is why the pure gift is giving without taking. It cannot belong to the order of the market which gives to take. It belongs to the order of excess. It gives and gives without seeking anything in return. This means for the gift to remain a gift it requires not to be recognized as such, not to be identified as such. We give without giving. Hence, giving of time has to be through the economy of gifts. It is giving without giving anything. The gift becomes the opposite of the experience of time under the condition of radical finitude.

This means giving of time also cannot be recognized and identified. It just gives to everyone and everything that comes on the horizon of its giving. Time gives by not giving. It gives by destroying itself. Every moment that is given dies and remains outside the economy of the gift as past. Even the future that is an anticipatory expectation remains outside the economy of gift. The gift of time cannot be recognized as, past, present, and future. It is cannot be presentified as a thing. Time is not a being. Its being is only in the giving. We cannot onto-temporalize time. But it is not a no thing. We can only live time by destroying it. We can temporalize in the Heideggerian sense only by annulling time and recognizing a past, present, and future. Time, therefore, gives us to the point of its effacement or death. Thingifiying time we annul it. Time as giving stays totally other of our experience of time.

We can also think time through the economy of pure event. The event cannot be anticipated in advance. The event stays in its coming. It is coming as totally other. It is experienced only in the unexpected irruption of absolute surprise. The moment we recognize the event it ceases to be an event. We reduce the subset of the event as the event. We onto-eventize it. The event as such is eventing and cannot be closed or singularized. History that we know closes events. It onto-eventizes it. This means the event and the gift remains unforeseeable. The event can be only recognized as a disorder or disruption of the reigning order. Hence it is a disorder. As a disorder, it does not belong to the order of the pure event. The event gives us as disruption and disorder but pure event stay above it. This means the event gives without giving.

Event and gift and time do not belong to the order of presence. Instead of being present, the event is that which is always in the coming. This is why time is always untimely. It stays out of joint. Hence, remains always in order of ‘to come’. This means time dwells in the exteriority as the other. We cannot recognize the other. It remains in the realm of the coming. The moment we recognize the other as familiar, yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we enter the closed horizon. Time belongs to the open horizon. It is at the level of this absolute horizon that time gives without giving. The absolute horizons do not have any closures. Closures of time as past, present, and future belong to the level of possibility. Time is impossible and therefore it is untimely. It is always displaced. It is out of time.

We who temporalize put time under the order of past, present, and the future. The challenge is that we have to say yes to the unknown future where time is a pure gift. When we say yes to the absolute horizon, we let the other come. We do the impossible and the novel. But the moment we recognize the time, we lend again into the horizon of the possible. This means we live between the absolute horizon where we live time as a gift but our need of temporalization as beings in the world and beings in time, our lived time is possible only at the possible horizon. Time gives us without giving, we also have the challenge to receive it without receiving it. The moment we receive it, we enter the lived time, the time of temporalization.

We need a non-dual thinking of time in the absolute as well as closed horizon. This non-dual thinking of time challenges us to stay open to the giving of time in the absolute horizon so that we remain open to the other that always remains in the coming. Time remains in the coming and stays open on the absolute horizon. Time in the absolute horizon is the other. It is the other of lived time. As the other of lived time, it is on the other side but is not siding against our lived time. it is siding for us. We close time as well as the other at the level of lived time. This is the level of the possible horizon. Being open to the absolute horizon, we will be welcome the otherness that can transform our life by transforming the semantic dimensions of the closed horizon. Although time is somewhat timely in the closed horizon, it is untimely in the open horizon and stays always in the coming.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao