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Who’s Controlling Your Inner Clock?

Who’s Controlling Your Inner Clock?

Why not speak of “my time” and “your time”? A clock on the shelf mindlessly taps out its seconds and minutes, but our inner clock possesses as much intelligence as the brain that houses it.

After years of searching, physiologists in the last decade have pinpointed the biological clock that governs all the rhythmical functions of the body. A tiny core of cells in the hypothalamus regulates all these wheels within wheels, orchestrating rhythms as long as the twenty-eight-day menstrual cycle and as short as the three-hour burst of growth hormone. Even the chemical reactions inside individual cells, which take place thousands of times per second, must obey the body’s master clock.

To use the word “clock” here is deceptive, because we can dictate the flow of time within ourselves, breaking free of any mechanical ticktock. We wake, sleep, eat and breathe at will, overriding the preset cycles for these functions.

Some women seem to be able to reset their ovulation cycle, delaying their periods under times of stress (they may not realize that they have made this choice, but their bodies apparently are responding to a specific brain signal triggered by the woman’s emotions).

In more extreme cases, women suffering from multiple personalities can have a period for each personality, separated by several days or weeks each month. A woman with three personalities and three menstrual cycles does not have three separate clocks inside; instead, she has better control over time than we generally acknowledge.

To have so much freedom of choice can play havoc with rhythms that should not be thrown off – jet lag temporarily disrupts our major sleep-wake cycle, pulling dozens of smaller cycles along with it. Yet the very fact that time and mind can blend into one another points to the possibility of total freedom, an escape from mindless clocks into a reality where every second is alive.

Adapted from Unconditional Life: Discovering the Power to Fulfill Your Dreams, by Deepak Chopra (A Bantam Book, 1991).

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

97 comments

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9:57AM PST on Nov 15, 2013

Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

2:40PM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

Interesting article.

8:57PM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

Thanks.

4:52PM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

interesting !

4:41AM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

Great article. Deepak Chopra always has some great insights.

3:08AM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

Thank you, Deepak.

7:46PM PST on Nov 28, 2011

There's so many points of view to look at the time.

5:11PM PST on Nov 22, 2011

Since time is not an actual 'thing' as we may think, it's more like a tool of energy which organizes events, I will say that time is a multi-dimensional energy system which has many controls, and only a few are within my conscious awareness.

10:49PM PST on Nov 18, 2011

Time is an illusion.

Experimenting, I found I could stretch time or shorten it.

It's just a matter of experimenting.

9:43PM PST on Nov 18, 2011

~Thanks for the eye opening article!!~

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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