In 2004, I published an article on the Internet about perception of time. A reader from Georgia wrote to tell me that the Ancient Greeks had two words to describe time, Chronos and Kairos. Since ‘chronos’ had been extended into the English word ‘chronological’, I wrote another article using the word ‘kairological’. Shortly afterwards, I received an email from a doctoral student in New Zealand. He was researching concepts of time, and told me there were only two uses of the word ‘kairological’ on the internet, the other being from a thesis written in Australia. Today the word appears thousands of times on google search. I am glad that this concept has entered more common usage.
In the language of Ancient Greece, ‘chronos’ refers to sequential or chronological time, where everything happens in order. Most of our understanding about time is chronological; where yesterday happened before and tomorrow happens next. The mapping of travel through time follows a straight line, and goes only in one direction. You can’t turn back time.
The Greeks also spoke about ‘kairos’, a different perspective of time which entails a spiritual moment laden with meaning. When we perceive the world kairologically, we are seeing the beauty and perfection of the moment, and therefore seeing the beauty and perfection of every moment. When we feel a beautiful moment, we are not only experiencing that moment, but also pairing it with all the other beautiful moments in our lives. We awaken special memories that are linked not by time but by feeling.
Shifting to kairological time involves linking together experiences with similar energy. When I enjoy the special feeling of Thanksgiving weekend, I am relating to all previous Thanksgivings, and all the special feelings that holiday has awakened. When we feel comfort eating a particular food, we are relating to all the times that food has made us feel comfortable. By remembering our lives in a kairological manner, we strengthen our feelings.
The word ‘kairological’ is not in the English dictionary. As a species, we are too focused on chronological time to fully understand kairological time. What I did find in the dictionary was the word ‘karyology’, which is the study of the characteristics of the chromosomes in the nucleus of cells.
Then it struck me. Chromosomes are structured by DNA, and though we may experience things chronologically, our DNA links together experiences and feelings that we continually remember over time. Who we are and what we are meant to be exists at the very core of our being, and it is in those special moments that we remember. When we remember the special moments, we shine. When we shine, we are reflecting God-time.
God time exists within our DNA. It is awakened at certain moments, when we are closest to God. When we feel love and compassion, we are in God-time. When we feel joy and ecstasy and warmth and comfort, we are in God-time. When we are at peace, we are in God-time.
As you feel your special moments, it is possible to both bask in the glory of now, and to remember all the previous ‘nows’ that awakened the same feelings. Time is only sequential when we want it to be.