Chronus and Kairos

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As we approach the start of 2009, and another New Year, we are very conscious of time, a mysterious realm that we don’t really understand. Chronos and Kairos are two archetypal markers of this mystery; Chronus — that logical, mighty, masculine keeper of clocks and calendar, of past and future, while Kairos, portal to the eternal now, the present, can be likened to the intuitive swirling, feminine space of “once-upon-a-time.” Like dancers on the stage of eternity, these two aspects of time are locked in an eternal tango in which the ever-present Chronus sets the rhythm and beat for an unfolding reality. Kairos confounds us with the color and flow of movement that tantalize us with a sense of new possibilities and ancient tales from the world of myth and story that reveal and then conceal themselves once more.

As Kairos dips and swirls into awareness, we grasp for the wisps of an alternate and complementary reality that seems to withdraw just as we reach out. Kairos introduces chaotic sparks of possibilities that slip in and out of the pattern of order established by Chronus. Kairos is a portal to an eternal, “once upon a time” dimension that is home to our souls; the realm’s “lingua franca” of imagery that is the language of our souls.

Most of our days are filled with Chronus ‘form’— the fore-grounded, outer reality of our existence that separates and differentiates us as individual human beings, each living our own ‘story’ with beginning, middle and end. Sadly, for many, temporal Chronus time is all that we know. It is where we spend most of our waking moments, remembering the past or anticipating the future and in so doing, missing entirely the present moment. Eckhardt Tolle, a contemporary mystic and spiritual teacher, reminds us that if we are able to still our ever-restless minds, we have possibility of opening to the realm of Kairos, mostly relegated to the background of our awareness.

Synchronicity. Serendipity. These words have a special magic and a musicality just as words; sparking through the drabness of our daily routines, they are portals to mystery and intrigue of Kairos where we acknowledge and celebrate our similitude. It is here that we recognize and remember that although we are all totally unique individuals in the world of form in Chronus, at the same time, we are also all interconnected, identical sparks of The Eternal.

This all came to mind in a very real way several months ago, when my little dog was gravely ill with an undiagnosed problem. Deeply concerned about his very life, I was startled by the doorbell and the arrival of a friend I had not seen for some time. Miracle of miracles – not just a friend I respect and love, but a medical intuitive par excellence, who just ‘happened’ to arrived unexpectedly when I most needed her insight. She immediately recognized the problem with our beloved dog and we were able to formulate a plan. Her arrival on our doorstep at that exact moment was a clarion call of Kairos, a synchronous and serendipitous event graphically reminding me of how interconnected we all are on a very deep and mysterious level.

As we contemplate a New Year, a new administration in Washington DC and a new beginning many more levels than just in Chronus, my New Year’s resolution is open myself more fully to the mysterious and celebratory realm of Kairos. My spiritual practice is becoming more regular and I intend becoming more conscious and appreciative of the inner landscape in which we are all one.