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JRDOG
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Truth matters. You matter too. Life is art! www.jrobinwhitley.com

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Salon.com
JUNE 24, 2009 8:13PM

White Rabbit missed the meaning of time

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  White Rabbit

The White Rabbit is a character in Alice in Wonderland's famous tale. His infamous words, "I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!" have become a sign of the times in the modern world. Consumed by worry about time, Rabbit focuses only on chronos, time that can be measured by ticks and tocks; time measured by hours and clocks.

In life, there is another time and it is kyrios "The Spirit's Time" and kyrios is not something that can be measured at all. When someone says, "She had perfect timing, I don't know how she did it," that is an example of kyrios. Kyrios is born of waiting and paying attention. Notice a theme happening? Notice how "paying attention" seems to be the phrase of choice? In the play Alice in Wonderland White Rabbit is so busy worrying about time that he mistakenly thinks Alice is his house maid, Mary Ann. White Rabbit was so focused on his watch, on the chronos of time, that he was blinded to the unexpected happe

nings around him. He shows us in his mistakes how we too can caught up on time so much that the important things, the unexpected visitors (may be angels or simply beautiful friends), the new rose blossom are all but forgotten in our race against the demon chronos.

Kyrios - pronounced similar to "curious" (kee-ree-os) is a time vital to spiritual growth but few are curious about kyrios. Kyrios is a time that cannot be planned, manipulated, saved, or watched. Kyrios cannot be controlled. We live in a world like White Rabbit's where it's important to meet deadlines, attend appointments in a timely manner and set aside time for family and friends. However, the time of the Spirit,

Dragonfly Clock

is not on a watch; does not hang on a clock at the office. Kyrios is a time that happens willy nilly and often happens in your life, in your heart, perhaps even this moment. Kyrios is about letting go, freeing oneself from the stopwatch, the clock, the timetable. This is a task that is hard to do because the world wants results and results can only be found in how much work is done in a certain time period.

When talking about time in relation to spiritual growth we are called to a time different than White Rabbit. White Rabbit stands as an icon of the modern times, each person racing to her next engagement. Kyrios is about slowing down, smelling the flowers or the coffee, whatever scent might make you glad. Kyrios is about taking the watch and leaving it at home while the rabbits run wild on the hillside. Kyrios is now, is you and all that matters is that you are here.

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Comments

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Funny, I was just reading about Alice and the White Rabbit this afternoon. Apparently, the Australians have a book about a little girl who follows a white kangaroo down a hole:

http://www.amazon.com/Alitji-Dreamland-Nancy-Sheppard/dp/0898154782

I guess we all need time for spiritual growth. Good reminder!!
I appreciate your post. I must now go read my all time favorite: The Walrus and the Carpenter.
oh, this is fascinating stuff. i knew for sure that different cultures -- here, different states and regions -- have different senses of time. my favorite book that played with time was "A Wrinkle in Time" from whose author i took my middle name. love love love
Sometimes I believe that if I could just do this, just free myself "from the stopwatch," that I would do everything better & be calmer & not so panicked all the time. I stopped wearing a watch just because I was always looking at it.

I am going to copy this out & place it in my "wisdom" book which is this notebook I keep in the kitchen with recipes & articles that are calm or wise, writing that I run to whenever I'm stressed over stuff I really shouldn't be stressed over.

Now I take a deep breath -- release it -- & thank you.
I had not realized there was a word for this other kind of time. Thanks for pointing it out, and for reminding us to seek it from "time" to "time."
Alice In Wonderland will be a movie this year. Thanks to ChristopherF for bringing it to the comments. Here is a different link

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/22/johnny-depp-as-mad-hatter_n_218747.html
Greek word? Interesting post about the difference between short run and long run optimization.