The holidays offer a good example of the challenge. Whether or not you subscribe to a spiritual or religious tradition, this is often a time of year that can be exceedingly busy. In the flurry of activity surrounding holiday celebrations, the real gifts can often get lost in the wrapping paper!
Mircea Eliade wrote a seminal book in 1959 about the interface between what he termed the The Sacred and the Profane. This book speaks, among other things, to the different qualities of time that we experience in our lives. Eliade proposes two categories of time. As you might guess, he terms them sacred and profane.
Sacred time is also called “strong time” and it is described as more “real” than profane time. Profane time is linear and is not connected to the experience of depth that is associated with sacred time. While I might not choose to associate words like sacred and profane with these concepts, as ways of describing the range of experiences of time, they work pretty well.
Anything that causes us to pause and contemplate, I think, offers an opportunity to connect with strong time – with the deepest experience of a moment. Strong time is not about duration but about depth. Getting to strong time often involves some form of tradition or ritual – and these can be family rituals, rituals involving religious traditions, or simple, personal practices, like meditation, that connect you with your heart and the deepest parts of your life.
As we all experience the holidays in our various corners of the world, my wish for you is that your moments are full and warm, and that you give yourself the gift of some strong time along the way.
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Let’s explore time together …