Unveiling the Divine: A Journey Through Time and Human Significance

During my youthful days, I delved into Gorky’s profound discourse titled “Time.” Gorky, in his exposition, exemplified profound reverence for time. However, it wasn’t mere admiration; it could aptly be described as an overwhelmingly apprehensive disposition. Indeed, Gorky explicitly employed the term “fear” in his narrative.

He articulated – during the nocturnal hours, enveloped by the stillness, I would lay awake, entranced by the rhythmic ticking of the clock, suddenly gripped by an eerie sense of dread… How bewildering it was for me, in my youth, to encounter such despondency in Gorky’s prose! How could the same author who penned the fervent “Petrel” compose something as melancholic as “Time”?

As I traversed into middle age, a profound reverence for time has increasingly pervaded my consciousness. While I harbor a philosophic equanimity towards existential matters, I find myself harboring nuanced reflections on time.

Theists subscribe to the existence of an omnipotent and deified entity, “God”; conversely, atheists postulate the potential for individuals to ascend to a divine stature, or at the very least, attain a dominion over their spiritual realm.

My philosophical inclination veers towards atheism. Nonetheless, is there a possibility of an omnipotent force that appears mundane when contemplated as such, yet evokes a profound mystique when approached from that perspective? What if such a force exists? I posit that it is none other than time.

I perceive time as the quintessence of divinity. Its sway remains impervious to the volition of any entity. While the endeavors of “The Foolish Old Man who moved the mountains” and “The Jingwei who filled the sea” may be deemed eternal in their resolve, what significance lies in the span of a hundred years to excavate two mountains, or a millennium to inundate an ocean? For time possesses the inexorable capability to erect two loftier peaks within another century, and extend the confines of the sea over another millennium.

Moreover, it can swiftly manifest its “masterpiece” through the vicissitudes of the earth’s crust within a span of mere days. Consequently, posterity would have long relegated the exploits of Yu Gong, the mountain-mover, and Jingwei to the annals of forgotten lore, while time remains perennially youthful. There exists only one entity impervious to the ravages of age, and that is time. It stands as the sole entity bearing a calculable unit yet remains infinite in essence.

The notion of something enduring “the test of time,” upon contemplation, appears nothing more than wishful conjecture – for in reality, naught within the cosmos withstands the relentless march of time. A millennium hence, the pyramids and the Great Wall may have become vestiges of legend, yet the fate of the summit of Mount Everest remains a matter of conjecture.

Ultimately, it behooves me to elucidate – it is by virtue of humanity that time assumes a measurable unit; it is humanity that imbues time with its humanistic hues; it is humanity that confers upon time its preciousness; it is humanity that endows time with its fleeting narrative; and it is within the human sphere that time finds its myriad significances…

Amongst the manifold significances attributed to time by humanity, I contend that its paramount significance lies in facilitating contemplation on the essence of life; for among all earthly life forms, only humanity possesses the cognitive faculty for such introspection, leading to innovative achievements.

Humanity, with its unparalleled understanding of time, stands closest to the divine essence of time. This holds true for each individual; even children exhibit either the anxiety of “scant time” or the serene assurance of “ample time.”

Upon dissecting the myriad determinants of human disposition, one inevitably finds time at its nexus. Humanity imparts a humanistic veneer to the cold expanse of time; conversely, time, imbued with human essence, serves as the ultimate arbiter of the human condition, adjudicating it by human standards. Thus, who dares assert that tranquility is not a quintessentially human concept? Who dares deny that democracy does not spring from the core of human nature? Who dares contest that the aspirations for equality and fraternity are not time’s imperative upon humanity?

Humanity, in its reverence for time, finds it to be more forgiving than a deified “God,” yet simultaneously, more exacting than a deified “God.”

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