Book 4 Unit 8中英对照

How to Take Your Time  如何从容使用时间

[1]    Dr. Larry Dossey has two antique clocks. "One fast, the other slow," says Dr. Dossey. "They remind me that my life is not ruled by clocks, that I can choose the time I live by.


[2]    How a person thinks about time can kill him, according to Dossey, a pioneer in the emerging science of chronobiology, the study of how time interacts with life. One of the most common ills in our society, he says, is "time sickness", a sense of time pressure and hurry that causes anxiety and tension. These symptoms can contribute to heart disease and strokes, two of our most frequent causes of death.


[3]    Dossey has discovered that these and other stress-induced ills can often be successfully treated by using simple techniques to change how a person thinks about time.


[4]    Dr. Dossey became interested in time and health when he noticed how many patients insisted on having watches with them in the hospital, even though they had no schedules to keep. They were all time addicts, taught since childhood to schedule their lives by society's clock, and all felt lost without the security of a timepiece. Time seems to rule our lives. Time is money, to be saved and spent wisely, not wasted or lost.


[5]    Almost all living things in our world carry their own biological clocks synchronized with the rhythms of nature. A crab can sense when the tide is about to change. A mouse wakes when night nears. A squirrel knows when to prepare for its long winter nap. These living clocks are not accurate in any robot-like mechanical sense. They adjust to changes in the environment.


[6]    Light is the most powerful synchronizer in most living things. But in humans there is another powerful synchroniser: other people. Pioneering studies in Germany reported that when people were put together in groups isolated from external time cues of light, temperature and humidity, their own complex internal timekeeping rhythms became desynchronized; then they resynchronized in unison. Even body temperatures started to rise and fall together, a sign that subtle biochemical changes in each body were now happening together. The experiments may have discovered one of the mysterious forces that reshape individuals into members of a team, cult or mob.


[7]    The mind can alter rhythms of time in various ways. People brought back from the brink of death often recall their entire lives flashing before them in an instant. Those who have been in a serious accident often report that, as it occurred, everything happened in slow motion; apparently this is a survival tool built into the brain, an ability to accelerate to several times normal perceptual speed, thereby "slowing down" the world and giving the victim "time" to think how to avoid disaster.


[8]    Because the time our society keeps has been taught to us since birth, we think of it as something that everyone everywhere must somehow share. But cultures differ in how they perceive time. In North America and the industrialized countries of northern Europe, life is tightly scheduled. To keep someone waiting is frowned upon. But in southern Europe and in the Hispanic countries of Latin America, people are given priority over schedules—and in making appointments the starting time is more flexible.


[9]    Each view of time has advantages and disadvantages. But the costs can be great. When our natural inner rhythms are out of synchronization with clock time, stress results. Under the tyranny of clock time, Western industrialised society now finds that heart disease and related ills are leading causes of death. However, such "time illnesses" can be treated and prevented by changing the way we think about time, according to Dr. Dossey. He applies simple techniques that you can also use to change and master your own time:


[10] 1) Unclock your life. Stop wearing a wristwatch. Time become much less a concern when we break the habit of looking at clocks or watches.


[11] 2) Set your own inner sense of time. To illustrate that time is relative, Einstein observed that to a person sitting on a hot stove, two minutes could feel like two hours; to the young man with a pretty girl, two hours could seem like two minutes.


[12] 3) Tap your body's power to change time. We all possess an inborn ability to relax. Most people can summon it up merely by dismissing disturbing thoughts and by controlling their breathing—for example, by thinking the word "one" with each outgoing breath. Within several minutes this can produce deep calm.


[13] 4) Synchronise yourself with nature. Take time to watch a sunset, or a cloud cross the sky. Remember that there is a time far older than what humankind has created with clocks.


[14] The cultural pattern we call time is learnt, and if we wish to live in harmony with nature we must learn to recognize that its time still shapes our world and should not be ignored. We created the mechanical time around which our society operates, and we have the freedom to choose whether we will be its slave or its master. (838 words)


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