Do you share this horror of "wasting time"? It's something deeply rooted, I know not where inside me. It's true that time is precious, and that it seems to grow more precious with each passing year. What's not true is that, to be well used, it has to be by doing something. Doing nothing is sometimes precisely the best possible use of time. I know this rationally, I know it from the experience of meditation--well, that's not "doing nothing"--so why do I not believe it in the gut, where I feel the protest?
It's not just me, I know. This fear is pervasive in our culture. Not only is it impermissable to be doing nothing, you're wasting time if you're not doing several things at once. We have even invented a word for it: multi-tasking. I catch myself reading the newspaper and watching the news on television as I eat! Oh, and compose the next blog entry in my head and plan for the next few hours. That can't be good for me.
Horror vacui, it seems to me, is applicable to time as well as space. In physics, it's the theory that "nature abhors a vacuum"--long discredited, I believe. In painting, it's a critical term that describes the work of those artists who are driven to fill in every empty space on the paper or the canvas. It's a phobia, a fear of leaving any hole left unfilled, any space blank. In the matter of time, it's the fear of leaving any single second unproductive. And, of course, the fear of being late (another of my personal obsessions!) The White Rabbit syndrome.
As I say, it's all perfectly absurd!