I don’t know how this managed to elude me for so long, and I don’t really know what prompted me to look this up. Somehow I had stumbled upon the word kairos, which up to now I had merely thought of as the high-school retreat that my high school, along with many Catholic high schools, has seniors participate in. At my school, it wasn’t mandatory, so I never went. I hear that it can be quite life-changing and that it’s very touchy-feely. There insider motto is “Live the Fourth.” Since the Kairos retreat is three days long, I have been told that “the Fourth” means the fourth day, which basically means that one’s life should be lived as an extension of the Kairos experience.
But, as usual, I digress.
Kairos is a Greek word that literally means “right or opportune moment,” sometimes also rendered as “time in-between” and “God’s time.” Whereas the Greek concept of chronos denotes linear, quantized time, the time that is measured by clocks and calendars, kairos denotes an unquantifiable kind of time.
I suppose that kairos would be the proper word to use for the Big Bang, and anytime that might have preceded it, since chronos did not exist until the Big Bang. Or perhaps kairos can be applied to the literally imaginary time (as in time quantized by units of i) required by the theory of eternal inflation.
This is still not my point.
Where kairos led me was to the Sanskrit word kālá which sort of means the same thing. But what was interesting is that Kala is also the Javanese god of destruction, the son of Bathara Guru, the high lord of the gods.
The word “Bathara” or “Batara”, which means “god”, specifically referring to a class of gods distinct from dewata and dewa, seems clearly related to the Tagalog word Bathala, and apparently Bathala is an indigenous Southeast Asian concept.
Interestingly, Batara Kala is the consort of Setesuyara, the goddess of the underworld in Balinese mythology. It’s a stretch, but I wonder if she is related to Siginaugan/Siginaguran, the Visayan equivalent.
Anyway, I’m rambling.