|Change in Velocity divided by Duration (Change in Time)|
1 an increase in how fast something happens
2 the rate at which a vehicle increases speed
3 the rate at which the of an object changes
I am certainly not alone in noticing that this year has been mind-blowing. If you, reading this, have not experienced this frenetic sense of change coupled with a consistent, unrelenting pressure from both inner and external alchemical processes... that has driven a good number of people to the brink of losing their minds, and resulted in a reality that seems absurd to the point of ridiculousness most of the time (when you're not too overwhelmed with the process to pay attention), I don't know if we live on the same planet. :-)
It is not just that things are moving quickly. Things have been moving quickly. Things are accelerating.
It is one thing to be zipping around in a Ferrari at 90 mph. It is another thing entirely to be in a Ferrari that was already going 90 mph and feel the g's press you to your seat, as you watch the world begin to whiz by so fast you are not even sure what you are looking at. The pressure you feel is the proof positive that you are going faster by the second. You can go any speed and if you maintain it, you will not feel any pressure. It is the acceleration and deceleration that push you around... especially the extreme change in speed involved in hitting a wall (i.e. going from 90 mph to 0 in a second).
It seems to me that all definitions of Acceleration are at work right now, including such obscure types as centripetal acceleration (where an object undergoing circular motion is considered to be accelerating even while maintaining speed due to change of direction i.e. moons & satellites). It is this kind of acceleration that lets us "slingshot" space probes like Cassini around a moon to speed it up and redirect it.
We are probably also collectively experiencing what is called proper acceleration (acceleration relative to free-fall i.e. what an accelerometer measures). The feeling that we are falling faster and faster is a common theme, for sure.
As crazy as January and February were, March and April were nuts... May and June were bonkers... and the summer was just off the charts wack-a-doo. It is hard to remember what a normal year even felt like. People talk about a "new normal" (in relation to any metric or topic), but we really have not plateaued, but are still accelerating... so such conceptions are meaningless. The rate of change may not level off, and if it does, who knows what the physics of that FTL travel will even look like?
I sincerely doubt I am telling you anything you don't already know and feel deeply in your heart, mind, gut and other sensory organs. You may not have thought about it in these terms, but now that we are discussing it this way, I'm sure you see what I am driving at.
So... we are speeding up. Our acceleration is accelerating.
In engineering there is a term somewhat comically named jerk that describes the rate of change of acceleration. It is sometimes called surge, jolt or lurch, and is mostly talked about by roller-coaster designers. It is the derivative of acceleration with respect to time, and as such, the second derivative of velocity, or the third derivative of position. Blah, blah, blah.
What is important, is the way humans respond to jerk.
Humans maintain an equilibrium of antagonistic muscles that keep us integral at rest and during smooth motion. When the jerk reaches a certain level, this balance can not be maintained and the structure collapses in a variety of ways... the most famous of which is termed WHIPLASH.
My point with this is both metaphoric and literal... and may even extend to being a pataphor (a metaphor is an analogy that is one step removed from reality, while a pataphor is at least 2). Note, I am not promoting 'pataphysics, but it is an interesting absurdist school of thought along the lines of dadaism, surrealism or discordianism. (all of which are worth checking out IMHO) Also, feel free to insert all the other definitions of jerk into this, as it is unavoidably funny. I like the circle and chicken varieties, myself. ;-)
But what we really want to know:
How do we deal with this jerk... and the apparent surge of jerkiness? How do we all keep from getting whiplash (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually etc.)?
This is the billion dollar question.
I will give you the answer for free. :-)
The answer to this physics problem lies in Special Relativity. I am not going to bore you or downplay Einstein with a real explanation of that landmark theory. The link is to the "for dummies" page on it, but it, like most of those books and posts, is certainly NOT for dummies. A dummy wouldn't care to educate themselves.
Cutting to the chase, Special Relativity sets the speed of light as the universal speed limit. Whether this is true or not, or applies to other universes or dimensions is another matter. Our observations have proven it to be workable here at this time... and looking back the 13+ billion years we can see into the past with our space telescopes.
What it says in relation to this, the matter at hand, is that as the relevant speeds increase toward the speed of light, acceleration no longer follows classical equations. As speeds approach that of light, the acceleration produced by a given force decreases, becoming infinitesimally small as light speed is approached; an object with mass can approach this speed asymptotically, but never reach it.
In English, this is saying that forces of acceleration (and jerk) are decreased in exponential proportion to how close to 671 million miles per hour you are going. In more direct vernacular, the faster you go the less the forces affect you.
This is impractical on its surface, as physically, as we don't have easy access to that kind of speed. But keep 2 things in mind.
1 Even at lower speeds this is in effect to some degree
2 We don't have to do this physically
In truth, the whiplash we are all resisting now is more of the mental, emotional and spiritual sort. As such, it is this "speed" that we need to deal with. Luckily, in these realms it is easier to approach the "speed of light."
If we could throw on the brakes, I am guessing most of us would have done so by now. In fact, it is the attempt to brake that is causing most of the problems I am seeing. We are kind of hydroplaning at the moment, so any sudden "knee-jerk" reactions to stomp the breaks might lead to a crash. We really only have one option. To go through it.
As such, we have to embrace this acceleration, and do our best to remove the obstacles in its path. We have to move toward light speed in order to stop being tossed around.
If this sounds like mumbo jumbo to you. I get it. No harm no foul.
But some of you know what I am driving at here. Physical light speed is an extended metaphor for being in the light. Darkness and all the shadow stuff that has been coming up lately... amounts to resistance to the light.
Decrease that resistance down to nothing... and you become a superconductor.