Calendars and Clocks

So much of our daily lives are dictated by calendars and clocks. Humanity’s growing understanding of the changing nature of time creates conflicts with the design of the tools we use to track the passage of moments. Various calendar technologies presently operate in the world today, most calculating the relationships between stellar bodies, some signifying moments of great significance for specific groups. Global commerce abides by the Gregorian Calendar, introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII. Like the Julian calendar before it, it relied on tracking Earth’s rotation around the sun. The change shortened the calendar year by 0.0075 days to ensure that the equinox occurred on March 21 for the church to be able to consistently calculate the day of Easter. This alignment of Earth’s equinox with the fixed stars is not and never has been an accurate representation of the passage of time or the immediate present. So long as we cheat every four years and add a day during leap year, it’s a perfectly consistent system that transcends location and culture. But it is a false representation of the passage of moments, one that strengthens the grasp of outmoded philosophies of meaning and value in our everyday lives. 

Changing our calendar may seem arbitrary: why fix what isn’t broken? Despite the knowledge of our present measurements being inaccurate and out of sync with the passage of moments, is there any real harm caused by maintaining the system in accordance with the scope of the universe? Yes, there is. Self-actualization in the age of crisis is the process of freeing ourselves from the influence of a past we had no say in crafting. We undertake this journey to align individual and collective with the single truth and the relational universe. The solar calendars of the present are not accurate representations of the progress of moments and therefore perpetuate falsehood into individual time experience. Humanity cannot transcend our circumstances if we cling to past habits and rituals that we know to be false. Consider also the absurdity of embracing one spiritual calendar technology as primary while rejecting all others, the hypocrisy in arguing that history decides the winner when history is always written in the immediate present. Changing our calendar format removes long histories of military-religious conquest from our present moment. Our rotation catalog no longer represents a winner. Rather, it highlights our collective oneness with the universe and the other. 

Economist Steve Hankey proposes the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar (HHPC). “The HHPC adheres to the most basic tenet of a fixed calendar: each year, each date falls on the same day of the week; in our case, every year begins on Monday, January 1.”80 The first two months of each quarter are made up of 30 days, and the third is made up of 31 days. Each quarter has exactly 91 days, resulting in a 364-day year making up 52 seven-day weeks. Given that the Earth’s actual rotation around the Sun takes about 365.24 days, Hankey’s model proposes an addition of a new week every five to six years. He proposes the name “Xtr” and suggests inserting it after December in the relevant years—2026, 2032, 2037, 2043, 2048, and so on. By his own admission, Hankey’s calendar is arranged around seven days in a week to follow the Judeo-Christian fourth commandment, claiming that any attempt to break from this model “is completely unacceptable to humankind, and that will never happen.” 

Hankey’s model is a great option because it adds a significant convenience to organizing our days and years not available in the present model. Its primary value is that it is a more efficient and consistent calendar for most commercial and personal uses. Unfortunately, Hankey’s adoption of proactive defeatism ultimately reduces its viability as a replacement for our present systems. Our recognition that these spiritual philosophies, technologies, and institutions center themselves around core beliefs about the universe that we now know to be inaccurate disqualifies them from having the final word in our collective organization. This doesn’t mean that we must create a calendar outside of the seven-day moon cycle, only that we must be open to the idea. The Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar is a viable alternative to the present arrangements but is far from ideal given its reliance on time experiences past. Creating a new calendar is an effort to free our understanding of time from the spiritual priorities of past time experience. We will struggle to systemically actualize under the present time catalog. 

Our rejection of the past sheds light on present alternatives. Another option is to adopt a new, simplified calendar structure that abandons the Earth’s rotation around the sun and the lunar cycles as primary reference points. This would be a new form of temporal record that aligns with the accurate tracking moments rather than the traditional agricultural roots of our present systems. As we continue to advance toward space travel and exploration, a more unified form of record-keeping will be necessary. What use will Monday and Sunday be to the individual traveling beyond the confines of Earth? We can accomplish this by replacing our present system with a language of numbers and symbols that expresses our current position in perpetual progression within the universe. New temporal record keeping can improve our present designs by delivering a format that is concise, flexible, and more accurate than anything presently available. Our infinite supply of numbers, letters, and emojis ensures our creation will bring with it a longevity that will last until our collective knowledge discovers a better alternative. 

Any new calendar design must also abandon yearly dating centering around religious figures and institutions. The prevalence of “before common era” (BCE) and “common era” (CE) year catalog began in the sixth century81 and spread throughout the world as a result of the dominion practices of Christian religious institutions. There was no year zero; this record-keeping began in the 500s, most likely to give the illusion of legitimacy to the mythos at the time. The present year system perplexingly faces few challenges given how inaccurately it describes human prevalence throughout the millennia. 

A more appropriate yearly calendar was suggested in 1993 by the geologist Cesare Emiliani, titled the Holocene or Human era calendar. It pegs human history to a shift in consciousness more universally relevant than any religious mythos, the transition of our species from nomadic hunter-gatherers to fixed agricultural lifestyles. As initially suggested, Human era dates are determined by adding 10,000 to the present year. Our present understanding suggests our agricultural transition occurred somewhere between 9602 and 9800 BCE.82 Ten thousand is easy math, but there’s no point in aligning ourselves with specific accomplishments if we’re not being accurate. If we use the exact middle of the estimation, we can derive an exact date. For example, 9701 + 2022 = 11723. Welcome to the year 11723. Here you are.

To embrace the Human era calendar is an act of collective celebration. We tie our moments to the long road behind us and the many miles ahead. It celebrates all of our ancestors, threading a shared history throughout our species presently unavailable. Most importantly, it is a significant step toward alignment with the single truth and our oneness with the relational universe. We cast aside the false necessities of hierarchical spiritual philosophies to lay the foundation for universal commonality, a choice to embrace our collective achievements beyond the barrier of a single faith of state.

Realigning ourselves with nature also involves eliminating practices relevant to former time experiences such as time zones and daylight savings. Time zones were an effort to solve an industrial era problem, the confusion that came with mass transportation and regional time zones that set clocks according to the sun. At one point, the United States had over three hundred time zones, making rail travel confusing for passengers and crew. In 1884, the International Meridian Conference in Washington DC, USA, adopted a proposal establishing the Greenwich Meridian as the prime meridian and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) as the world’s time standard. 

Sixty-two countries presently practice daylight savings. The international 24-hour time-zone system grew from this, in which all zones referred back to GMT on the prime meridian. In 1972, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) replaced GMT as the standard for universal time, creating a shared standard for time not impacted by daylight savings. Implementing UTC as the standard format for tracking Earth’s rotation would create a single shared time for all people of Earth. No matter where you were, how dark or light it might be, every person operates within the same designation. No more checking time zones when scheduling meetings, jumping clocks backward or forward. We unify our shared measurement of the moment. The first year or two might be confusing, similar to how we often write down the previous years immediately after a new year occurs. But it will become embraced quickly. Ideally, we adapt the 24-hour time format commonly referred to as military time, further simplifying our measurement systems. 

Adaption of Coordinated Universal Time is a big step toward aligning humanity around a more accurate representation of our time experiences. Like the exploration of new calendar technologies, changing time systems is an active choice to align collective human experience. Implementing new temporal record-keeping systems embraces our oneness with the relational universe and recognizes the single truth as an active influencer on the nature of our realities. Compared to many of the changes necessary to transcend the age of crisis, calendars and clocks provide a straightforward area of improvement that draw from existing solutions. We standardize human temporal record-keeping to better align the individual and collective with the single truth.

Next Section:
Points of Reflection for Chapter 3
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