Understanding Temporal Sovereignties

Time is omnipresent. It lives in us and we live in time. Time sets the tempo of life. It vilifies our hopes and electrifies our desires and aspirations. There are several lines of time co-occurring along the sides. Each of us aligns our life to these times flowing through other humans, livings things and our cultural forms and institutions. Time, therefore, is dynamic and has multiple flows. This understanding of time is different from a linear and forward movement of time. Time can be linear, it can oscillate, circulate or stretch in all directions. We are experiencing accelerated time. Hermut Rosa teaches that we are living in an accelerated society.

With the advent of modernity, the structure of the synthesis of time changed from social time to individual personal time. The individual got sovereignty over time. Earlier it was community time that was sovereign. But with the rise of consumerist society, the individual experienced acceleration. This set a new tempo for one’s life. It gave an opportunity for the individual to forge temporal sovereignty and what can be called I-time was born. An individual who was alienated from different accelerated lines of time could withdraw into his/her personal time and space. This polarization of time between public time and personal private time is the hallmark of our society. This polarised time is the engine on which capitalism is running. The polarisation creates a dialectic that creates a sense of being left behind by the running away time. Capitalism makes use of the temporal gaps to build its profits.

It is important to ask how are we letting the market or even political establishments use our temporal sovereignties. Often our temporal sovereignties under a market economy become a status symbol and feed our narcissistic selves. It gives space for our triumphalists selves to come on their own. Time becomes a resource that we use to generate ourselves and promote what we enjoy. The colonisers during colonization also used time as temporal sovereignty. It offered them the energy and the impulse to do what they enjoy. Maybe they blindly rode their temporal sovereignties. This is why we have to understand that there is an impulse in time. Maybe Hindutvadis feel that their time has come. They wish to enjoy their temporal sovereignty. But this uncritical and blind riding of our temporal sovereignties is not far removed from the colonisers and has its costs to our society.

We stand in time and relate to it. This makes time an important temporal resource. We feel inserted into time and feel the energy of time to live up to the possibilities that are open to us. Time, thus, becomes a deeply politicized time. Time then evokes and missionizes us to keep our promises and bring to fulfilment that which we deeply feel impelled about. This means time becomes an appropriation and expression of our temporal sovereignties. Therefore, we need to watch critically and discern how we relate with time lest we convert time into our sovereignty and unknowingly commit evils which we otherwise are ashamed of. Therefore. It is important that we realize that we are challenged to let our engagement with time be emancipative. This means we have to remain sovereign over all our temporal sovereignties.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao