Each spring and autumn we fool with Mother Nature in an attempt to depose her. We purloined another natural process: the passage of time. We try to bend time to our will. I guess it’s logical, since we invented time in the first place. Standard time zones in the United States are less than 100 years old*.
In nature, time is relative to a place or a natural event. For most of human history, the words, “It’s time to…” declared something in sync with nature. “It’s time to wake up,” meant the sun was rising in the east. “It’s time to pick some apples,” was heard only if apples were ripe for harvest. “It’s time for lunch,” was a combination assessment of many natural factors, including how our body felt. Today, activity is based on a static calendar or a ticking clock, having little to do with nature.
Arrested Development. Back in the day, kids played outside instead of watching digital screens. Mom often struggled to convince Johnny or Jane to come inside for dinner. Kids wanted to stay outdoors until the last ray of sunlight. Well, you can blame an adult form of juvenile petulance for the confusion, stress, energy waste and idiocy known as Daylight Savings Time and the twice-yearly clock-fiddling that accompanies it. See, DST was actually thought up by someone. An Australian entomologist, George Hudson, is credited with the concept of lengthening daylight hours by setting the clock forward in the spring. Hudson wanted to stay outside later in the evening to collect bugs instead of coming in for dinnertime. Just like a kid. Only thing is, in 1895 when Hudson came up with the idea, he was 29 years old. In England, the same idea garnered support from outdoorsmen who wanted to golf longer into the evening. Kids! But it was imperialist Germany that took action, setting clocks forward in 1916 to save coal. The rest of the world fell in and by the 1970s, the U.S. was pretty much in goosestep with the idea.
Money makes the clock go ‘round. Though there are dozens of claims as to why DST makes sense, almost all stand debunked. But one group of world citizens collectively likes it: business. With more sunlight to play with in the evening, more money is spent consuming and buying.
Does anybody really know what time it is? Humans have been keeping time for millennia. Ancient Egyptians used towering obelisks to serve as gnomons in giant sundials. The Washington Monument is a version. Where its shadow falls indicates the hour of the day. Obelisks dot Europe, including the Vatican. Asia and the Islamic world use forms of sundials to indicate prayer time. Druids used Stonehenge and tors. But the official notion of timekeeping didn’t gain wide implementation until technology demanded it. That technology was the train. With “rapid” transit a reality, people were moving East and West and subjected to the real difference geography makes in solar time schemes. Railways operated on their own time frame but local time could be different. A train might pull into a town and the conductor’s watch said one thing, local time another. So, there had to be regulation. In 1883, railways invented time zones. Time — and activities — became based on a clock, no longer on nature. The problem is, we’re still natural beings.
Tick tock to nature’s clock. The human body has an internal clock that is in sync with nature. Unless, of course, we mess with the mainspring or let it run down. When our internal clock is challenged or stymied, we can suffer mild to extreme consequences.
The ancient Indian medical system of ayurveda, still widely in use today, defines and describes most of modern science. Only thing is, ayurveda uses ancient terms and Sanskrit language. Ayurveda accurately describes atomic physics but using terms not understood by Western science. So, of course, we keep on researching, trying to “reinvent the wheel,” as it were. Recently, Western science has “discovered” that the internal human clock is real, something ayurveda described thousands of years ago. In ayurveda the internal clock is known as dinacharya. The term is also used to describe the scheduled routine that is associated with the internal clock. In Western science, this clock is often called the diurnal clock or circadian rhythm.
Push to reset. The idea of getting an extra hour of sleep by setting the clock back on a Saturday night in the fall sounds enticing. Who doesn’t want an extra hour in lala-land? Indeed, studies have shown that there are fewer than usual heart attacks on the Monday following “fall back”. Of course the downside is that come next spring, on the Monday following “spring forward,” there will be statistically more heart attacks. And the physical compromises aren’t limited to heart attacks. Traffic accidents, suicides, fatal car wrecks — all increase due to DST. The best recourse may be to hide your watch for a couple weeks. Rely on your own internal clock. Find a link* to nature’s ayurvedic schedule at HeartlandHealing.com/time.
Be well.
Heartland Healing is a New Age polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Visit HeartlandHealing.com for more information.

Time Travel: Fall Back

posted at 09:17 pm
on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

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