The element of time pressure alters behavior, attitudes, and physiological responses. So subjective time can be an incredibly powerful force. Itís no accident that the word deadline contains the word dead. A deadline implies a threat: ďIf you donít meet this limit, youíre finished.Ē The threat may be subtle or blatant, but it is almost always present. If it were not, we would not feel anxious under time pressure.
Some people are much more sensitive to time pressure than others. All of us, however, feel the pressure of a serious, threatening deadline over which we have no control Ė death itself. If you believe that you have been allotted a certain span of time for your existence, the deadline of death will exert a lot of stress.
How much better not to feel any time pressure, to blossom fully despite the fact that death exists. The attitude that life is a blossoming, not a race, can be achieved. But to do that, you canít believe that time is running out. Sending that message to your bodyís cells is the same, ultimately, as programming them to age and die.
Yet the fact is that linear time is moving inexorably forward, and to overcome that, we must find a place where a different kind of time, or no time, can be experienced and internalized.
To a skeptic, this proposition must sound purely subjective, but quantum events that defy linear time take place within our cells continually. DNAís intelligence operates simultaneously in the past, present, and future. From the past it takes the blueprint of life, applying to the present only the tiniest fraction of the information needed for cellular function, and reserving for the future the information that will be relevant years from now.
The images imprinted on our quantum mechanical body are as complex as you are. In short, these images are you. You live out your stored images, manufacturing your own version of time, and in the process you program the kind of body required by your version of time.
Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1998).