Introduction

ANCIENT GREEKS
by JDW

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About 2,500 years ago, Greece was one of the most important places in the ancient world. The Greeks were great thinkers, warriors, writers, actors, athletes, artists, architects and politicians. My experience of working in Crete is best described by the ancient concept of Greek time, Kairos, a propitious moment for decision or action.



 
My experience of working in Crete is best described by the ancient concept of Greek time, Kairos, a propitious moment for decision or action. I understand Kairos as being ‘engrossed in the moment’ so that the time for action becomes clear instinctively. Since change is the only guarantee trying to force the issue of a plan is a pointless exercise and can be considered rude in Greece. Making deadlines and dairy arrangements becomes stressful as by contrast events happen in a moment by moment basis, energy seems to flow on an almost psychic plateau, this sensation has also inspired the Event Horizon analogy. I have learnt not to scorn the apparent ‘wasting of time’ because this is not the right approach. When you strive for achievement in Kairos time the right or critical moment presents itself to you, it is up to you to grasp the opportunity.

In rhetoric, kairos is "a passing instant when an opening appears which must be driven through with force if success is to be achieved."

Kairos was central to the Sophists, who stressed the rhetor's ability to adapt to and take advantage of changing, contingent circumstances. In Panathenaicus, Isocrates writes that educated people are those “who manage well the circumstances which they encounter day by day, and who possess a judgment which is accurate in meeting occasions as they arise and rarely misses the expedient course of action".

Harmony' and Rhythm
"Imitation, then, is one instinct of our nature. Next, there is the instinct for 'harmony' and rhythm, meters being manifestly sections of rhythm. Persons, therefore, starting with this natural gift developed by degrees their special aptitudes, till their rude improvisations gave birth to Poetry." - Aristotle



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