About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Time Machine

This is clearly not a regular clock. But it has the power to open our minds to new perceptions of time and even can become a real time machine allowing us to travel in time. Or more accurately, it can help us to experience time in different way than we are used to. 
    This special clock is in Prague on the medieval Jewish City Hall. (It is a different clock from that more famous astrological clock with figures of apostles, which is on the Old Town City Hall.) Hours on this clock are marked in Hebrew letters: Alef for one o’clock, Beth for two etc. And thus this clock shows time in counterclockwise manner, if you wish, backwards thus mimicking the Hebrew way of writing and reading from right to left. 
    In further departure from established customs, clock hands have opposite functions; a shorter raffia points to minutes while the longer one shows hours. Keeping in mind the counterclockwise direction and flipped function of pointers, can you guess what time is shown on our picture? (If curious – the answer is at the bottom of this column)
    If you feel a little dizzy, know that it is intentional. Far from showing backwardness, this clock is in fact a very clever mental tool shaking us up from our settled ways and opening our minds to new perceptions of time. For instance in Hebrew the word for the past QEDEM means not only “the East” but also “that what lies ahead” and the word for the future ACHARIT means “behind ones’ back”.
    Clearly, in the not so distant past people were differently oriented in time. Past was before them and future behind and it was so not only in Hebrew language. There are vestiges of this orientation even in today’s English. We still speak about day before yesterday or day after tomorrow and our “ancestors” are literally (from Latin) those who “went before us”. Time machine on the Jewish City Hall in Prague cannot move us to different epochs but it can visualize for us the magic of time and open our minds to new possibilities in our orientation in and perception of time.  As we conclude this Sunday our quest for forgotten religion, we will immerse ourselves in this magic of time and the role of ancestors in our religion. 
(Time on the picture is about 6:20)

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