“It is not more time that we need,
it is more timelessness that we need.”
The Ancient Greeks understood two distinct kinds of time. The first, Kairos, refers to the timelessness that arises when we are present in the moment. Kairos speaks of the cycles of nature and is defined by the turning of the Earth. Kairos reflects the rhythm of our bodies and the timeline of our souls.
The second is Chronos, from which we get the word chronological. Chronos is time as defined by the forces of empire. It is the lens through which we have come to view our lives in increments of minutes, hours, months, and years. It allows time to be measured, recorded, bought, and sold. In many ways, Chronos can be a useful tool but makes for an oppressive master. While furthering the interests of industry, its influence has eroded our humanity.
How we relate to time is culturally defined. It is our perception of it, which dictates its influence on our lives. The faster we move, the less of it we seem to have. The more we slow down, the longer we can linger in each moment. As paradoxical as it sounds, the only way to create more time is to slow down. The widespread acceptance of Chronos has nearly erased the gentle reality of Kairos from our collective psyche. But this strange and ancient god of time is beginning to return to our world.
Although many people have more free time than ever before as a result of the pandemic, most seem to feel just as busy as they did when they were working eight-hour days. Even in the absence of routines that previously define our lives, time seems to fly by. But we know in our hearts there is a better way, and we are all being invited to step back into relationship with it now.
Read on for a practice that will forever
change the way you relate to time.