The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos and kairos. Chronos was personified as the deity, represented similarly by Saturn to the Romans and Kali to Hindu’s. He is the master of sequential clock time, time that can be measured in seconds, minutes, hours, years. The gods of chronos are typically depicted in stark terms as destructive all-devouring forces: the Grim Reaper carrying scythe and hourglass who swallows each of his children as they were born. Chronos’s Sanskrit equivalent, Kali, is depicted dancing on corpses with a belt of skulls and severed hands.
Where chronos is quantitative and all-consuming, the qualities of kairos time are qualitative and elusive. Kairos is the opportune moment where measurable time is indeterminate – and stands still. In this momentary stillness something of remarkable can happen – a realisation, an idea, a feeling that can dazzle and transform. Unlike the grim representations gods of chronos, Kairos is depicted in Greek antiquity as a winged god with a only a forelock of hair. This forelock represents opportunity; it must be grasped as Kairos fleetingly presents himself or hesitation will see the opportunity pass and the moment being lost.
With seemingly increasing levels of demands for our attention and time, this pace can feel overwhelming and we can feel as though time is racing along with unprecedented speed, draggling us along. We are like also the White Rabbit racing around in Alice in Wonderland, with ‘so little time, so much to do’. Quality and meaning of life can be easily lost as we deal with the sheer quantity of demands we place or have placed on our time. It is perhaps even more opportune to remember and call on Kairos to appear, arrest us and remind us how we can redeem time and with it our quality of life moment by moment as part of our hectic schedules.
In establishing the GnosticAcademy.com there is a real sense of seizing that forelock and making the profound materials developed by the community of the Masters in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred more widely available. It is opportune that these are shared now, brought we hope by Kairos himself to our readers. In doing so we are deploying those other powers of Chronos, personified by Father Time, and ensuring that these papers and insights are available in perpetuity. We hope you enjoy.