Learning Goal: I’m working on a humanities question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
Since March of 2020, it seems the world has been turned upside down first with the Corona Virus and the egregious cost to BIPOC communities. The unjust killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Abery ignited millions of people to march with the Black Lives Matter Movement to demand complete systemic change. We have just all found ourselves at the unexpected crossroads between an old world and a newly emerging world. We find ourselves stepping into a mythological crossroads begging for a change in the great narrative of humanity. Meade calls this a “Kairos Moment” in his book, The Genius Myth on pg 56-57:
Change, which is the only constant thing in this world, happens in the flash of a moment. People can prepare for a great change and make careful plans, and yet, in order to make the change, all preparations and expectations must be released in favor of the flash of vision and inspiration. Of course, ancient people had a name for that moment when time stands still when the usual forces are suspended and almost anything can happen. In Sanskrit, the opportune moment was called ksana, “or the flash in time, the inspired instant.” In Greek, the moment that becomes momentous was called Kairos. The Kairos moment opens before us and we must become swift as a bird or else miss out on the opportunity to slip past the guardians and ride through the gates of time. Kairos names the moment of sweeping change that arrives “just in the nick of time” and turns everything around. The opportune moment is a crack in time in which, a breach in the march of time in which the eternal enters and redeems us from certain doom.
The ancient Greeks had two primary words for time: kronos and kairos. Kronus referred to sequential time, the “chronological” order of time marching on; the arrow of linear time always moving forward. Thus, time waits for no one. Kronos is quantifiable and measurable time; the hourglass emptying out, the end of time coming ever closer and closer. Kairos referred to a different order of time altogether, a timeless stretch that cannot be scheduled ahead of time. Whereas kronos stands for quantitative time, Kairos time is qualitative by nature. Under the unforgiving rule of kronos, we have to be on time, do our time, and pay our dues. When we are under the influence of Kairos, time opens up before us, there is a break in time as something timeless and beyond time enters and alters the world around us. The Kairos moment arrives when it will, when the time is just right when things become more possible and life is ripe for change. Kairos is the mythic moment, that is the end and beginning at once, when the hard pulse of time becomes “once upon a time,” and past, present, and future secretly converse with one another, (56-57).
If you were to analyze our culture, why could you call these last few years the time of Kairos? What opportunity has Covid, BLM, and all the other large events of these unprecedented times presented to us? What were some of the structures of our society, of our species, that clearly needed to be re-visioned? Think of Inanna lending her ear to the Great Below, or the Child Archetype of Kirakou arriving just when we had become complacent in our unsustainable practices. Does Allegory of the Cave come to mind with the veil of illusion seems to have dropped? What is this Kairos moment trying to teach us? How have you found yourself growing or deepening? How has your genius met this Kairos moment?
Your paper should be a minimum of three pages. Please quote from within the class readings or media at least three times. Your paper needs to have a works cited page. The paper is one-part personal journey and one-part conversation with ideas presented in Meade, Paris, Jung, Kimmerer, Kiriakou, “The People Could Fly” and Mythic Journeys, and one-part analysis of the changing times. How are these writers helping you to discover the writing on the walls of your heart?