Margaret Newman argues that nursing shift work exemplifies the artificial compartmentalisation of natural time. Furthermore this artificialisation is said to compromise the natural rhythms of interpersonal nurse-patient relations.


The paradigm shift from personal perception of time to interpersonal patterns of time now extends to global patterns of time. Arguelles (2002), a scholar of the Mayan calendar, asserted that “time governs the whole order of the universe in a manner that transcends all spatial limitations” (p. 13). The true nature of time is as the universal frequency of synchronization. By not understanding this nature, humans have created their own concept of time. Arguelles hypothesized that this artificial time constructed by humans will deviate from natural time to the point of self-destruction. Take for instance the shift work that characterizes many nursing situations. This artificial compartmentalization of time serves to maintain the operation of the hospital bureaucracy, but not the natural rhythm of nurse-patient relationships. It is difficult to honor the natural interpersonal rhythm when the nurse’s presence must conform to a prearranged schedule. The rotation of staff from shift to shift is based on the erroneous assumption that nurses are interchangeable. In such situations nurses answer not so much to the patients as to the artificial time structure. Arguelles (2002) pointed out that whoever owns your time owns your mind. There is a need to get back to the natural cycles of the universe. The time of civilization (clock time and the Gregorian calendar) is not the same as the time of the rest of the biosphere, our living planet earth. Natural time is radial in nature, projecting from the center, and continuously moving in the direction of greater consciousness as it moves back and forth from the galactic core in an instantaneous flow of information. Viewing time as linear sees only half the process. Arguelles (2002) said, “time is such a vast and important topic in the orientation of human consciousness within a biosphere that we may declare it is paramount in human affairs” (p. 35). Time is inseparable from the issue of consciousness. It is the medium of instantaneous information transmission through the universe. Both time and consciousness are factors of the implicate order and can influence changes in the explicate domain regardless of whether or not one is aware of it. The Internet, for instance, is a third dimension reflection of the noosphere, a field of consciousness to which humans are evolving. Arguelles (2002) called for a new paradigm “that is all about time” (p. 3), a shift from artificial time to universal time.

Newman, Margaret. 2008. “It’s About Time.” Nursing Science Quarterly 21(3): 225-27.


Jose Arguelles characterises human life as occurring within an artificial time that is separated from the natural rhythms of the biosphere’s (planet’s/universe’s) time. The clock is portrayed as an artefact of artificial time. Contrarily, the Law of Time is said to show that energy, combined with real time, equals art. Time, governing energy, is here positioned as inherent to naturally artistic creation.

From my experiment in time, seeing and studying the human as part of the larger self-evolving fabric of the biosphere, I came to the conclusion that the human is living in a time apart from the rest of the biosphere – an artificial time whose climax and termination is inevitable, for nothing artificial can withstand the force of truth. If the human is living in artificial time, the clock is an artifact whose system of measure has nothing to do with natural cycles but is a totally abstract standard, then there must be something called natural time. I will go even farther and state that not only is there natural time, but that there is a law governing natural time, and that is the Law of Time. Just as Newton only discovered gravity some 300 years ago, though gravity has always existed, so the Law of Time has always been in operation, even though it was just recently discovered…

The Law of Time is formulated very simply, and in some people’s way of thinking, rather unscientifically as T(E) = Art, “energy factored by time equals art.” All phenomena in the material world represent some state of energy, and every state of energy is governed by time, the resultant product of which is always something beautiful or elegant. Have you ever seen an ugly sunset? A hideous flower? Even if you examine a scorpion with some objectivity you will be amazed at the flawless and elegant manner in which its parts are organized. Yes, all of nature is organized by time to produce in you the sensation of beauty. And time itself, well, believe it or not, time is a frequency, and a frequency is not measurable by a clock. The Law of Time states that time is the universal frequency of synchronization. It is the nature of time to synchronize and to maintain all things in a condition of synchronization. Synchronicity, then, is the experience of real time. When we say that time is a frequency, we can be more precise and say that time is a universal constant expressible by the mathematical ratio 13:20. That is, the 13:20 ratio is the frequency of synchronization (Arguelles 2002, 3-4).

Arguelles, Jose. 2002. Time and the technosphere: The law of time in human affairs. Rochester: Bear & Company.