In Greek, there are two kinds of time. Chronos time is what we observe when we look at a clock and measure out our days. Kairos time doesn’t operate at a tick-tock pace. It is the “appointed time”, when powers and movements of a deeper world irrupt into our regular lives, when the Greater Trumps are in play.
It is a risky time, offering both opportunity and danger and the excitement of living on the edge.
Jean Houston calls it Jump Time. Lyanda Lynn Haupt says beautifully (in Crow Planet) “It is a time brimming with meaning, a time more potent than ‘normal’ time.”
I sense that Kairos is the spirit of our time. The celebrated Greek sculptor Lysippos carved his image, showing a winged figure with a razor and hair hanging down over his face. As explained by Poseidippos, the razor is “a sign to men that I am sharper than any sharp edge.” His hair hangs over his face because “he who meets me must take me by the forelock.” The back of his head is bald because “once I have sped by none can seize me from behind.”
It is Jump Time in our world, as well as in our lives.
To quote Lyanda Haupt again, we live in a time “when our collective actions over the next several years will decide whether earthly life will continue its descent into ecological ruin and death or flourish in beauty and diversity.”
Quotes from Lyanda Lynn Haupt are from her new book Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom for the Urban Wilderness (Little, Brown)