Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quantum Physics and the Dual Nature of Time

Since the dawn of Time, we've tried to understand her nature. Why? In order to control her. But time is a holy mystery, a gift meant to be experienced, not understood. Certainly not controlled. Why do you think we're crazed half the time. 

Even Quantum Physics is finding that time is a mystery and something that cannot be pinned down.  This is a mystery that is difficult for most of us to appreciate because we have so little of it. Although we have been allotted twenty-four hours in a day, it doesn't seem to go very far. 

So if we experience anything at all it is dread, because we keep running out of time. It doesn't matter what kind of time it is - daylight saving, standard, eastern, mountain, central or pacific. All that matters is that we never seem to have enough of it. 

For centuries those with time on their hands  - saints, poets, mystics, masters, sages, and philosophers - have pondered time's enigma. They have discovered her duality. 

The sculptor and poet Henry Van Dyke explains: "Time is/ Too slow for those who Wait/ Too swift for those that Fear/Too long for those that grieve/ Too short for those that Rejoice..." Slow and swift are time's parallel realities, the yin and yang of existence.

Quantum Physics too is discovering that we do not have the same perceptions of time, at any given moment. And  that there really is no past present or future, only the Now. 

In order to know a semblance of serenity during the days of our lives, we also need to discover Time's twin nature, which the ancient Greeks called chronos and kairos. 

Chronos is clocks, deadlines, watches, calenders, agendas, planners, schedules, beepers. Chronos is time at her worst. Chronos keeps track. Chronos is delusion and grandeur. In chronos we think only of ourselves. Chronos is the worlds time. 

Kairos is transcendence, infinity, reverence, joy, passion, love, the Sacred. Kairos is intimacy with the Real. Kairos is time at her best. Kairos let's go. In kairos we escape the dungeon of self. Kairos is Spirit time.

We exist in chronos. We long for kairos. That's our duality. Chronos requires speed so that it won't be wasted. Kairos requires space so that it might be savored. We "do" in chronos. In kairos we're allowed to "be." 

We think we've never known kairos, but we have: when meditating or praying, when lost in music's rapture or reading, when painting a picture, when making love, when planting bulbs or pulling weeds, when delighting at a sunrise or sunset, whenever we revel in our passions. We know joy in kairos, glimpse beauty in kairos, remember what it is to be alive in kairos, and we reconnect with our Divinity in kairos. 

So how do we exchange chronos for kairos? 

We do it by slowing down.

By concentrating on one thing at a time. 

By going about whatever we are doing as if it is the only thing worth doing at the moment. 

By pretending we have all the time in the world. This allows our subconscious to kick in and make it so. 

By making time.

By taking time. 

It only takes a moment to cross over from chronos to kairos, but it does take a moment. All that kairos asks is our willingness to stop running long enough to hear the music of the spheres. 

Brightest of Blessings,

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