Lately in my talks, I have been promoting the notion of “non-linear progress”, i.e., the need to reframe PROGRESS as something that is not about the FUTURE, but something that gets created in the PRESENT moment. Indeed, it is by “expanding the present” that you could gain access to INTUITION, which integrates PAST experiences and INSIGHT into the FUTURE. Deep Creativity as an Energy is something that you can access only if you are rooted in the PRESENT.
But for this to happen, as you rightly pointed out, we need to radically change our perception (and perspective) of TIME and our relationship with time: In the West, time is depicted as an ARROW pointing forward: so civilizational progress is equated with “sitting” at the tip of this arrow and “riding the wave” (of progress). This is also how we practice innovation in the West: we create iPhone 1, then iPhone 2, 3, 4, 5 etc.: as such, innovation is viewed as very linear/sequential/cumulative: the assumption here is that iPhone 2 will definitely be better than iPhone 1, and iPhone 3 will be better than iPhone 2, etc. This also leads to the belief that TOMORROW (version 2.0 of our existence) will be better than TODAY (Version 1.0)! If tomorrow doesn’t work out the way we hoped, then we expect that the DAY AFTER TOMORROW will be better, and so on so forth.
In the East, time is circular: things tend to repeat themselves in cycles (known as SAMSARA in Sanskrit/Pali). In Eastern traditions, the ultimate (spiritual) goal in one’s life is to break away from this never-ending temporal cycle (the Wheel of Time) and commune with the Ultimate Reality (Brahman) that is beyond space-time. In Hinduism, for instance, Moksha (liberation) consists in achieving freedom from the tyranny of time (Samsara) and realize we are ETERNAL (beyond time) and INFINITE (beyond space). This liberation is to be achieved while one is still alive (Jivamukti) so you can enjoy life’s TIME-BOUND pleasures and tribulations (Bhukti) without getting attached/addicted to them and most importantly, without getting “tainted” by them energetically (which creates KARMA, i.e., Action begets Reaction).
Here is a talk where I discussed all this (watch sequence from 45:40 to 48:15): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfM9NQVC52g