What is time in the Mayan Culture?

BY ANA RUIZ

Dear mayas: Thank you for sharing a new perspective of time. We might take for granted the fact that it exists but maybe if sometimes we take the time to question it we could be more thoughtful about how to use it. Or sometimes how to waste it, because we don’t realize what enriches our existence or not. Sometimes I ask myself how life perception changes through the centuries and that’s why today we will wonder together the different types of “time”.

According to the scientific statement of the western culture, time happens to be a physical magnitude that lets us measure the beginning of moments or the closure of eras. These types of sequences help us to see ourselves in the past, the present and in the uncertain future. We can observe these events in the physical space such as day and night, seasons, or even in the cycles of flora and fauna.

They are two types of concepts to define these space events: cyclical and linear. As mentioned before the lineal is the one we are used to things, opportunities and thoughts go by and vanish in the air. The actions we take have a certain impact in our lives. The main difference between them is that the cyclical establishes a certain event to repeat itself periodically in an infinite sequence. This means  that events happen, unravel and redo forever. Nowadays we aren’t that lucky, life is most likely to vanish second chances in fears, mistakes and procrastination.

All these concepts are shaped by religion. In cultures that adopt the passage of time as cyclical, their religion becomes cosmological. This means that every single happening is linked to a tangible effect-cause relationship. Also named “a reflection of divinity”. An important matter that helps us identify cosmological cultures is that they believe that every phenomenon has a specific god  that will do something transcendent in the natural, cultural or social sphere in the real world. Mayans were polytheists and gave real meaning to “Kʼiin” the mayan translation of time.

Is time for us to question what does time means and how does Kʼiin help us as a push to do things we are not used to, such as leaving our comfort zone to explore something new that will take our breath away. We need to start pointing out the little things that complements our time, but most importantly our transcendence here on Earth.

Take a moment to identify what makes you feel alive in your valuable time on Earth.

And we assure you that the synonym of alive is travelling.

Gain time adding your favorite experiences to your wishlist, let us be part of your jaunt.


References:

Voss, A. W. (2015). La Noción Del Tiempo en La Cultura Maya Prehispánica. Liminar, 13(2), 38–52. https://doi.org/10.29043/liminar.v13i2.391

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