Posted by: Johan Normark | May 19, 2011

2012: Calleman’s purposeful universe. Pt 4 – Time

While discussing the workings of the Maya Long Count Calleman uses the ancient Greek distinction between Chronos, the quantitative and measurable time, and Kairos, the qualitative time. He sees the Long Count as a Maya version of Kairos which is a time “perceived only at certain critical instances as an opportunity or a crisis, as if some evolutionary process was trying to force itself into existence at that very point in time” (p  31). Note here that Calleman sees points in time. This means that he relies on a spatialized view of time (that ironically is measurable).

Calleman suggests that physics has denied Kairos (“the evolutionary timing of the cosmos” according to him, not the Greeks), they have never included a constant of time when they describe the universe. Mechanical cycles, such as the year, the month, etc. upon which Chronos is based on cannot be the true constants of the universe since they are only relevant here on earth right now, not for the universe since Big Bang. Such a constant, he believes, lies behind synchronicities in human history, such as the independent invention of the telephone by Bell and Gray.

According to Calleman, the Long Count is designed to chart Kairos, the evolutionary time that emanated from the Tree of Life. The constant that supposedly describes Kairos is 360 days, the tun in the Maya Long Count. This constant is used throughout his book. The fact that the Earth circulates around the Sun in a cycle that is just 5 days and 6 hours longer is to him just an example that the Platonic form of the Tree of Life has adapted the orbit of the Earth to this constant. This is clearly not the same as the constant though and on other occasions in the book he come up with so-called  “evidence” that never is exactly the same as this constant (I will cover this in another post.

Now, for anyone with the most basic knowledge of the Long Count knows that the constant of the calendar is 1 day, not 360 days. One day is a measurable unit and hence it is Chronos. Even the tun is Chronos for crying out loud, it is a quantitative and measurable time. It is simply 360 X 1 day. That is the whole purpose of the Long COUNT (you count quantities and qualities). Calleman has even removed the true constant (the day) from his version of the Long Count since it for some reasons does not fit his “Periodic system of life”, which is yet another spatialized, quantified, and measurable chart.

Next in his chapter on time he continues with the Maya and I thought I just quote him here to show that he knows next to nothing about the ancient Maya (which is ironic since he and others claim that he is an expert on the Maya): “The Maya also had scribes and were in fact the only people in pre-Columbian America to have a written language” (p 38). What? Could he not at last have checked Wikipedia on this?

Later on Calleman says that “while Chronos time is continuous and can be measured […], Kairos time is instead quantized and is an expression of an energy state of the Tree of Life with which the entire cosmos is in resonance” (p 55). No, Chronos time is not continuous on all accounts. The fact that it can be measured makes it spatialized and discontinuous in duration from a Bergsonian perspective. Seconds and minutes are spread out in space and they are discrete and isolated from one and another. That is why you are able to distinguish between them. In duration you cannot distinguish between qualities. Kairos is not based on quantum numbers. In fact, because Calleman quantize the Long Count with quantum numbers it becomes Chronos even in his own account, which it already was before he distorted it.

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