Time Out and Timelessness
Kronos (as in chronology) was a very low echelon characteristic in the mythological hierarchy of ancient Greece. The “ex-static” characteristics of Khaos (emotional genius) and Kairos (being “in zone”) were considered to be at the apex of the hierarchy. The early Greeks were very aware of “time traps” that would stultify human wisdom and experience. Most of the major components of our modern day western cultures (philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, democracy, drama, medicine, architecture, etc.) were incubated by the great minds of the Greek era, when they lived in a state of virtual timelessness. Materialism, productivity, the industrial revolution and the plague of “time is money” have paralyzed authentic modern creativity. For example, when the Europeans colonized the indigenous peoples of North America, they banned their wampum (labour theory of value) and required them to use coins and currency and to pay interest (capital theory of value).
I had the great honor of taking a retreat workshop called the “Physics of Consciousness” with Dr. Itzhak “Ben” Bentov, the author of “Stalking the Wild Pendulum”. He was an expert on the confluence of Einstein’s theory of relativity and Zen Buddhism’s Satori meditation. He was able to prove to the thirty of us in this workshop that the concept of time is an assumption and an illusion. In the Satori state of consciousness, time as we know it does not exist! In this meditative state, we were asked to look at our watches and write on a folded piece of paper what we observed. We were then asked to give the piece of paper to another person in the group. When we opened each other’s pieces of paper, we all said the same thing: “My watch has stopped!” This is profound! It fits with the theory of relativity that says that, as the speed of light is approached, time dilates.
In my hypnotherapy practice, I gently suggest to my clients that they ease into “clearing thinking” and then drift into Kairos and a state of being totally “grounded” HERE. Chronological time disappears and my client is in a state of pure experience. There is a direct link between death and time. If a person is living fully each moment and is not focusing on dying someday, vast amounts of psychic energy are released for creativity. Many religions instill a regime of time, guilt, and fear of death into their practices. For example, many of the people of Provence in southern France were living in an almost blissful state when the Church of Rome decided to build a bell tower to aid in their conversion to Catholicism. After someone torched this tower, Pope Gregory IX launched the Inquisition into that free-Spirited environment. The subsequent reign of terror lasted for centuries and led to the hunting down, torturing, and killing of millions of “heretics” throughout Europe.
I suggest to my partners-in-healing (clients, colleagues, friends, etc.) that they just focus on being HERE! I do not say the here “and now” because, if there is a focus on time, most experiential value is lost. I call these “time traps”. They cause a person to leave the experiential domain and move into the disjointed and sequential domains of thinking and disassociating. They are then out of cadence, just as one can be “out of step” when dancing. These days, because of electronic devices, many young people are “time-shifting” into an abyss called instantaneous gratification. When time is abused, it can have a destructive effect on relationships. When used wisely, it can be enhancing.
Just before he died, Joseph Campbell, the famous mythologist, was asked what he considered to be the most important discovery he had come across while researching and studying world mythologies. He answered, “Follow your bliss.”
This article was written in March of 2015 by:
Richard M. Haney, M.Ed., Ph.D. (Counselling and Mediation)
Richard has been practicing Wholistic Counselling, Coaching, Hypnotherapy and Mediation for the past 25 years in Ottawa.
Richard by phone: (613) 234-5678. By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org