The Here And Now – chronos for kairos

photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes

40 beats per minute is a common enough heart rate when asleep. A little low but still normal, especially for a trained though exhausted body. The living heart is in constant motion, not exactly translating and rotating like a planet does, but close enough. This measure can be measured as a rhythmic repetition in sequential time.

The ancient Greeks had two names for time. Chronos refers to measurable time, from past to future, the numbering of the days, a line, a sequence. Kairos refers to the instant, the moment of opportunity where action ignites consequence and change happens. If that moment is seized. If not, it belongs to chronos, the cannibal.

Kairos also refers to the moment in archery when the tension of the bow achieves the maximum and the arrow is released. Or in weaving, when the wooden shuttle passes between the threads tied taut in the loom.

The Here And Now is of kairos but entangled in chronos. Aren’t we all?

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