Resilience and Chrysalis Reality: Navigating Through Diaphanous Space and Polychronic Time

Farouk Y. Seif (Ph.D.)
Professor Emeritus, Center for Creative Change
Antioch University Seattle, Washington, USA

The dynamics of continuities and discontinuities seems to have become an appearance of dualism that triggers intractable conflict and overwhelming uncertainty. But continuity and change are the two interdependent states of the paradoxical phenomenon of life. Change does not dismiss the past; nor does continuity ignore the future. Space and time are not absolute. Neither is change the opposite of continuity. Animating and leading meaningful change while simultaneously maintaining the resilience of continuity can be accomplished by epistemologically and ontologically reframing the perception of reality. Space and time are comprehended as elements of a semiotic systemic framework for humans to make sense of their experiences. Spatiality and temporality in human experience are merely ordering systems upon which all of social activities and objects in the world can be perceived as real. Nonetheless, what we perceive is not reality itself but reality exposed to our way of perceiving. Although human perception of space and time is an illusion, illusion is not necessarily the opposite of truth or reality. Like all semiotic signs, the words “space” and “time” are open to multiple interpretations.

Contemporary societies can persevere through the metamorphoses of reality by navigating through diaphanous space and polychronic time. This avant-garde navigation has the potential to stimulate cultural sensitivity and environmental sensibility. To navigate through diaphanous space and polychronic time is to be able to perceive the transparency and integration of the chrysalis reality. This transparency and integration are the hallmark of the age that has been called “transmodernity”, which transcends the visual reality of modernity and the virtual reality of postmodernity into visceral experiences. Our capacity to navigate through diaphanous space and polychronic time liberates us from the current limitations of the present, dogmatic nationalistic ideologies, and uncertainties often associated with the exploration of unfamiliar boundaries.

Keywords: Chrysalis, reality, semiotics, space-time, transmodernity