Thursday, July 8, 2010
Moving from opaqueness to transparency with time
"I can't right now, I don't have enough time."
There are never enough hours in the day.
"I ate lunch at my desk so I could continue to work on the report. I just grabbed a quick bite."
"I'm exhausted, I ran around all day."
Time in this sense is chronos (chronology) a series of activities, tasks, and events. We feel like the hamster on the wheel running nowhere.
Time is of our own making. We make time by comparing this to that, then to now, now to tomorrow. There is no such thing really except in our consciousness.
Time stands still. Where did the time fly to? I loss track of the time.
The past is gone, tomorrow is yet to come, that's why they call now the present.
What about special time, kairos? Kairos is blessed time. It is a time of grace. It is the time when the past, present, and future merge into the present moment, the now.
When we move from chronos to kairos we move from opaqueness to transparency.
In Unitarian Universalism we are offered the opportunity to embrace what Rebecca Ann Parker calls a radically realized eschatology, a realization that we are living in sacred time right now. It is a life of gratitude for the goodness we have not the deficiencies we don't have.
Time stands still and we become aware of kairos when we realize that we were never expelled from the Garden of Eden and some preachers claim, but we live in the garden that is fouled by our own lack of awareness and greed for more more more. It is the anxiety over lack rather than appreciation for our abundance that has led humans to create their own hell.
Jesus told us repeatedly, "If you only knew how much your Father in heaven loved you". Jesus never condemned people for being sinners but He became very upset over their lack of faith - "Oh ye of little faith!"
We can live in chronos or in kairos. People get so caught up in chronos that they become workaholics and become sick from the stress. Moving to kairos is the step in spiritual formation which indicates a growing up as compared to growing old.
There is a tremendous interest these days in mindfulness. There are many self help books both in the religious section and the psychology section on it. Mindfulness is the movement toward kairos.
The movement, in spiritual formation, from chronos to kairos, is the movement from hell to heaven on earth.