With my method of thought established, it seems best to begin with definitions.  The word "time" is used in many senses in modern life.   One might say, "I do not have time to do this or that", or they may say, "It did not happen because it just was not the right time."  Both of these sentences convey two different perceptions of time; one, the former, seems to carry the presupposition that some human error leads to a lack of time to finish the given task, while the other carries an ultimate tenor of fatalism.  In fact, the latter could be said another way, "Time did not allow this to happen."


Each of these sentences is indicative of the varied avenues of human perception in relation to time.  The question we must ask as those who seek to live beautifully is, "Which of these avenues of perception is more helpful?"  Furthermore, one might ask, "which of these avenues of perception is more true?" But, any good philosopher knows that the pure, rational truth is not always the most helpful thing for human life and flourishing.  Therefore, we will leave the question of truth entirely alone and seek to answer the question,  "which of these avenues is most helpful for beautiful living?"  From this consideration, we will derive a general definition for the sake of inquiry.


"Time, the mistress of all great ones, the true wealth of the rich, the fountain of opportunity", says the preacher.


In response, a learned person may say,


"How can time be considered wealth or even an opportunity? For time flows on whether or not we ask it to do so.  It defies all command and resists all attempts against its fortified citadel.  It ultimately is the victor in the game called life.  In all things, time remains while the lives of many great men have ceased. Time, endlessly flowing. Time, the ever-exalted one.  Time, the great equalizer of humanity."


"Quite simply", the preacher responds, "you have confused Time with Eternity, my son. Eternity's citadel, verily, hath not been breached, never, by philosopher, preacher, prophet, or king.  Eternity stands apart from Man as the stars are apart from Earth.  Eternity rises out of sight past the clouds, until it breacheth Heaven itself.  Yet, Time is a woman of these things in the here and now, a simple woman of dignity.  She knows her end, and quietly serves her purpose. Lady Time opens her gates to all who respect her power and give her due consideration.  Thus, the teaching: Time, the mistress of all great ones, the true wealth of the rich, the fountain of opportunity."


In response, the learned one speaks, "yet does not Man seek Eternity?  If Time be the mistress, let Eternity be the Queen!"


"My son, soon you will learn to concern yourself with the things within your grasp.  For those things within the grasp of Man are but little, and to seek beyond these is to seek toilsome labor and pain.  Yet, the Divine has seen fit to place things within your grasp that lead to Eternity, the Queen of which you speak."


"What things are these, Teacher?"


"Namely, Time, time enough to change your inner being, time enough to catch a glimpse of the constellations of Truth, time enough to breathe the clear air of Creation while you await the Divine judgment.  For truly, such things are all that Man has been given in this brief hour under the sun."


"What you say rings true in my ears...Yet Eternity is superior and all that I seek."


"If seek you the Queen of Heaven, Eternity, robed in splendor, then walk with me in the paths of this teaching.  For, after some wandering, doubtless, we shall find such an answer as is good for us.  Will you accompany me?"


"I will."


And so they walked and talked together...


Thus spoke the preacher.