Mauna Time

The Ancient Greeks might have said “χ marks the moment” the Greek letter ʻchīʻ  (“kai”)  being the first letter of the their word for time  ʻchronosʻ.   In Latin we could just as easily use ʻtʻ for tempus or in English for time to describe this brief moment.

In the hawaiian language, “olelo hawaiʻi”  the term for  ʻa brief moment’ is ʻiki.

And so for Mauna Time, ʻiki  is the term to describe the subtly elastic duration of 1/100,000 of the apparent solar day. Elastic?  Apparent?  What???

the ancient hawaiians were, and remain to this day, an astonishing culture of amazing and subtle sophistication. Their notions on space and ʻtimeʻ describing motion cycles and duration into language and calendar systems, and the cultural frameworks they brought to the motions and cycles of the heavens and the living environment in which they thrived, are profoundly different from ʻWesternʻ base assumptions and mechanistic models. Indeed, they are a delightful to discover.

Unlike the Western materialist/mechanistic standardized/stabilized and fixed model of time, Mauna Time is quite different

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the ʻiki is wikiwiki – fast! Clocking in at  under 9/10ths of a second, the ʻiki is slightly faster than the (legacy Babylonian) second.  Instead of the more familiar tempo of 60 bpm of the (Babylonian) second, the Hawaiian ʻiki streams along at almost 70 bpm.

Unlike conventional models of time, Mauna Time is fluid, not fixed. Averaging 864 milliseconds each, the ʻiki is not of fixed duration, but remains subtly elastic and alive to the earth’s actual decimal angle of rotation in respect to the Sun at the center of mass of our solar system, such that 100,00 ʻiki always equals one complete day no matter the longest nor shortest of the year.

100 ʻiki make up the ʻHawaiian minuteʻ , which is almost one and one half ʻlegacy minutes long,  or about 90 seconds).

10 minuke (1,000 ʻiki) is 1 kē, a duraton equal to about 15 legacy minutes (or .24 hours; exactly 1% of the 24 hour day), so named for the sound of a bell or gong struck to indicate the passage of time.

10 kē adds up to 1 wā hawaiian for an interval of space or time, because the Hawaiians saw thes two qualities ofmour universe inextricable linked morebthan 1,000 years before Albert Einstein had his insights a mere 120 years ago  No wonder they beat us to these islands by morw than a millenium!

In the image above – a three dimensional bathymetric view of the youngest volcanic cluster islands feature the last 6 million years of erruptive  output of the Hawaiʻi deep mantle plume;

the million yr old bigisland hui of 7 volcanoes,

the 2-3 myo maui cluster of now seperate islands, of kahoʻolawe, lanaʻi and molokaʻi

the 4 myo Oʻahu

and the 5 & 6 myo Kauaʻi-Niʻihau group

Far out of frame, are the significantly older islands of “Nihoa” and MokuManaMana, roughly 150 and 250 miles further to the northwest. At roughly 8 & 10 myo, these severely diminished rocky islands are the hardest and most durable stubs of much larger islands that may have been similar to the more familiar hawaiian islands on their youth. What remains today are but the remnant lava cores, stumps hardened in the throats  of the volanos that created them. The only parts that could endure millions of years of pacific pumeling, that will eventually level everything.  The ocean always wins.

Intriguingly, even though these older northwestern islands are small, inhospitable, remote, difficult and dangerous to voyage to, there is a bewildering concentration — in fact, the highest density  of sacred religious observation platforms and artifacts in all the archipelago — all out in the middle of “nowhere”.  Clearly to the Hawaiians, their significance and importance to the Hawaiian culture is vast  What might seem like “nowhere” today, was clearly somewhere very important to them.. Why?

As luck might have it, MokuManuManu (‘Island of the Multitudinous Birds’),  the remnant basalt stub of an islet that juts 400′ from the surface of the sea 300 miles nw of Kauaʻi,  is  a j-shaped fishing-hook island located at almost the precise latitude of the tropic of cancer – the northernmost latitude on earth where in late June (of the Gregorian Calender), the sun appears to pass directly overhead.  The name they give to this latitude is poetic and deeply evocative; ‘The great shining black road of Kane’, This name suggests volumes of a kind of profound understanding it is difficult for us today to fully fathom.

As one of the premier navigating cultures in human history, able to locate themselves indelibly on the surface of this world – intrinsically and directly from observation – with no inference from nor corroboration from any ‘external’ technology – and  move about with comfidence and precision, the ancient Hawaiians were well aware of this unique geo-spatial condition. Likely, they used these islands as geolocating navigational beacons.

And so too does Mauna Time reflect and celebrate the sacredness of these and other summits — the planet over.

Somewhere, there is a mountain that is sacred to You.  It could be any of the submerged table-tops in the seamount arc north and west from the main Hawaiian cluster, that extends under the surface of the pacific ocean thousands of mies away where finally, they islands that have been majestically conveyed by the vast conveyor belt of the spreading pacific plate for the last 70 millpn years, dive deep into the subduction trench under the Siberian continental shelf to be recycled into the  molten 4.5 billion year interior of our planets inner liquid layers.

Somewhere,  right now — and it is always now, for there is no other ʻwhenʻ on this incredible spinning planet — a new Mauna now rotates into view and  illumination from our central sun.

Is this Mauna You?



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