The Circular Time
Part 3: The historical proof and general conclusionLet me present now the historical cycles of several ancient societies in the first place, and then the more general and all-encompassing cycle of the present Kali.yuga as defined in previous posts. In doing so, we will be able to do away with any doubts that may subsist as to the validity of the Hindu scale 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 10 even though, given the scarcity of cultures that offer accurate enough chronological data, as well as of societies whose relative isolation guarantees their authenticity, we will be limiting ourselves to a few cases which clearly show the scale as the general pattern that governs the length of any historical cycle.
Bearing this in mind, in the first case selected, the ancient Egypt, we will review the strictly dynastic periods and leave out the post-imperial phase, which no longer can be regarded as genuinely Egyptian. Thus we will obtain a first phase, or “Golden Age”, which goes from the First Dynasty, in around 3100 BC, to the so-called First Intermediate Period, about 2300 BC – that is, a length of 200 x 4 = 800 years.
Fig. 1 – The strictly dynastic Egypt cycle broken down
into four ages or “yugas”
Of this phase, in which writing starts quite suddenly, I will just say that its material realizations stand out by their honest, simple grandiosity and exquisite care – the great pyramids of the third and fourth dynasties being the perfect demonstration that the only truly creative period of the ancient Egyptians is at the start of their civilization, indeed superior in technical perfection to the posterior ones.
The second period, or “Silver Age”, would span from about 2300 to 1700 BC – a length of 200 x 3 = 600 years – the latter date being the one around which the so-called Second Intermediate Period is to be found. Over the course of this phase, the germ of which must actually be traced to approximately one hundred years before, there is a weakening of the monarchy in the face of a decentralization which culminates, after Pepi II’s death (around 2180 BC), in violence and anarchy; the so-called “Ipuwer papyrus” provides insight into this period, strangely reminiscent of the Puranic descriptions of the end of the Kali-yuga and the Gospels’ announcements of the end time. And while there follows the Middle Kingdom, with rather admirable achievements, shortly after 1800 BC there ensues the so-called “great humiliation”: the state sinks and, around 1700 BC, the Hyksos invade Egypt.
The third period goes from approximately this date to 1300 BC – a length of 200 x 2 = 400 years – and although it exhibits apparent big achievements like Egypt’s trading expeditions to the Land of Punt and – among other great architectural works – the erection of the obelisks at Karnak and the temple of Luxor, as well as literary and artistic creations of great refinement like The Book of the Dead, it actually marks the beginning of end: General Horemheb is forced to stop the Libyan penetration of Egypt and proclaim himself Pharaoh after the reign of Akhenaton, the famous “heretic Pharaoh” who antagonizes the Memphis priesthood, and Ramesses II is forced to sign a peace treaty with the Hittite King Hattusil III in 1283 BC. So it may be around the end of this time that the Syrians enter and sack Memphis, defiling the streets and beheading and enslaving the people – yet of this event, called “the Syrian interregnum”, there are, for obvious reasons, no major records extant.
Lastly, the fourth period, from approximately 1300 to 1100 BC – a length of 200 years, or a tenth of the total period considered – announces the proximity of disaster: After Ramesses III saves Egypt from the Libyans and the pressure from the “Sea Peoples”’ (and incidentally loses his life as a consequence of a harem’s plot), scandals break out everywhere: the laborers of Thebes’ workshops rebel out, corruption prevails on all levels, the people suffer from hunger, the royal tombs are sacked. After a period of general chaos, a high priest of Amun, Herihor, rises in rebellion and relegates Ramesses XI to a subordinate position and, about 1085 BC, puts an end to the XX dynasty. Around the same time an old viceroy, Smendes, seizes the power in the Delta, wherefore Egypt is divided between Upper Egypt in the hands of the Army, and Lower Egypt in those of the military aristocracy. From then on, feudal dismembering will increase until it culminates in the Ethiopian empire, which in turn will give way under the Assyrian invasion: Never more will Egypt be the master of its own destiny.
Fig. 2 – The Sumerian Cycle broken down into
four ages or “yugas”
Though I should have presented it chronologically first, our second example, due to the insufficient available data, and in order to abide by the standard usage, will be the Sumerian civilization (see figure 2).
In this, the first period or “Golden Age” spans from approximately 3500 to 2800 BC, i.e. over some 700 years (175 x 4). At the start of this period, the Sumerians appear suddenly in Lower Mesopotamia bringing copper and, as early as that, tablets with ideographic inscriptions. Their provenance is uncertain, though it is very possible that they came from India (most likely as a remnant of the Mohenho–Daro and Harappa civilizations), as suggested by the remains found by archeologists in the earliest strata of these cities, by the sea deities present in the oldest legends, and even by the very name of this culture, Sumeru, surely derived from the famous Mount Meru of the Hindu tradition. This earliest civilization first flourishes in Uruk, approximately between 3100 and 2800 BC.
The phase that may be called “Silver Age” goes from the latter date to 2275 BC, i.e. some 525 years (175 x 3), a period of time in which the Sumerians plainly enter into History. It is the so-called Proto dynastic period of which abundant tablets with cuneiform inscriptions are preserved, and in which urban, developed states emerge together with a religious - civilian administration and the use of slaves.
This phase concludes in an invasion by a Semitic people, the Akkadian, whose leader Sargon of Akkad, after defeating the famous Lugalzaggesi, inaugurates the first Mesopotamic Empire; and whose grandson, Naram–Sin, renowned for his commemorative stela, must face in turn an invasion by the Guti, who will control the area for long centuries. This whole period spans from 2275 to 1925 BC, that is, lasts some 300 years (175 x 2) and would belong to the “Bronze Age” of this culture.
Finally, around the latter date (1925 BC) there is a “rebirth” of Sumer with the third dynasty of Ur, which lasts some 175 years – a phase of great apparent splendor which ends up catastrophically about 1750 BC after an invasion by the Amorrites and the Elamites, who cause the ruin of the city. From then on history, which has ceased to belong to the Sumerian civilization, will continue with the Amorrites’ period of Mesopotamia.
Our third example deals with the history of Israel. It covers from the departure of patriarch Abram from Ur of Chaldea in about 1950 BC to the moment that Jerusalem surrenders to the Romans, who around 60 AD destroy the temple – thus spanning over a full 2,000 years (see Fig 3).
The first phase, which may be called pastoral, is that of the Hebrew patriarchs – a Golden Age which comes to an end with the so-called captivity in Egypt. It spans from 1950 BC to 1150BC, that is, some 800 years (200 x 4).
Fig. 3 – The Hebraic cycle from Abraham
to the fall of Jerusalem
The second period or “Silver Age”, from the latter date to 550 BC (a length of 200 x 3 = 600 years), begins dramatically with the so-called “plagues of Egypt” and goes from the Exodus of the Hebrew people and their crossing of the Red Sea, possibly parallel to the great flood known as “Ogygian deluge”, to the exile in Babylon – with their entering into Canaan (the Promised Land), the period of the Judges, and the glorious reigns of David and Solomon in between them.The third phase or “Bronze Age”, which goes from 550 BC to 150 BC (a length of 200 x 2 = 400 years), ends up, after the rebuilding of the temple and other events, in Alexander the Great’s conquests – a period of servitude for the Hebrews, yet at the same time a period which does not lack in episodes of grandeur like, for instance, the Maccabeans rebellion just before its end.
Last comes the “Iron Age”, with approximately 200 years in length, which may be regarded at best as a period of partial freedom, in which the Romans take the control of Palestine – a phase which, after the occupation of Jerusalem by Titus, ends up in the Jews’ Diaspora.
Thus ends my study of a few concrete cases through which I have wanted to show, at least in the case of the peoples which have remained relatively isolated from all foreign interference, that the phases of their history are not only naturally reduced to four, but also that they decay gradually and in all aspects, even the material one; and that as concerns their length, it always decreases by the scale 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 10. It goes without saying that I would have liked to include a greater number of cases, for example, those of the Aegean and Roman civilizations; but the uncertain character of the phases and dates, in the first case, and the difficulties inherent in determining the precise time of their start and end in the second, have prevented me from doing so.
Let us go now to the main purpose in this last part of the study as we approach the whole Manvantara from the same point of view; but this time, based on 3102 BC as the starting year of the Kali–yuga, by again considering the year 2082 AD as the final date of the whole cycle.
This will yield the year 49758 BC (51,840 – 2,082) as the starting point of the first phase or Satya–yuga; 29022 BC as that of the second one orTreta–yuga (49,758 – 5,184 x 4), a period which will witness the apogee of the Atlantis civilization; 13470 BC as that of the third phase or Dvapara–yuga (29,022 – 5,184 x 3), the likely epoch recreated by the stories narrated in the Ramayana; and 3102 BC as that of the fourth and last phase orKali–yuga, this being the one alone that can tell us anything in the historical proper sense. So if we want to demonstrate that theManvantarabroken down like this has any chronological validity at all, we will have to again resort to the expedient used in my previous post in relation to the same cycle, regarded as a “dual” zodiacal year: namely, to consider theKali–yuga as a small-scale image of the whole cycle, and break it down into the same number of phases according to the same proportions (see Fig 4).
As can be seen from the above figure, this procedure does enable us to arrive at dates of great historical significance. In 3102 BC, in effect, there begins what paradoxically may be regarded as a “small-scale” Golden Age, as the great political organizations are formed in Egypt and Mesopotamia (and, as has most recently been discovered, in Asia and America) and as the monarchy and priesthood are created as dominating classes in those agricultural societies which have a well-developed state apparatus. At the same time, major hydraulic works as well as buildings for political and religious use are erected – which, in a way, will never be improved – and copper, silver, and gold metallurgies are created. On top of all this, the writing systems of Sumer and Egypt, among others, are developed.
Fig. 4 – The Kali–yuga broken down into
four ages or “yugas”
Thus, contrary to what might be thought, the next phase, which can perfectly be called “small Silver Age”, the start of which would be in 1028 BC (3,102 – 518.4 x 4), represents a reversal from the previous one – even though the opposite can be true from a material point of view. For example, after the apogee of the Ramessides in Egypt, there follows the empire’s decadence and final disintegration, as the cruel threat of the Assyrian expansionism and domination looms on the horizon. In the area of the Aegean Sea, on its part, it is around this date that the great fortresses of Mycenae are destroyed and set to fire and the Minoan state collapses. However, I do not pretend to develop a philosophical discussion on so controversial an issue, too ample to be studied in only a paragraph. And though it is all too difficult to generalize on matters of such magnitude, it has already been said, in examining the present Kali–yuga, that all depends on the point of view we use; and if this view is spiritual, in spite of the eventual and contingent periods of seeming grandeur that may have occurred on the second phase – mainly the boom of such civilizations as the Greek and the Roman in the Old World, and the Mayan and the pre Inca cultures in the New – then it is not difficult to see how there around the world takes place a progressive, general decadence, not so much in the area of morality and customs as in that of culture, which reaches its lowest precisely at the end of this second “age”, around 527 AD. However, I have elsewhere mentioned the curious fact that, in examining the new phase and the one that follows – which would correspond to the “small” Bronze and Iron ages – it can be seen that precisely those dates which are “dragged” back 72 years, i.e. the ones which are based rather on the year 2010 as the final point of the presentManvantara, become more relevant, almost as if in some mysterious way, Jesus Christ’s well-known words concerning his announcement of the end time had to do with it: «And if those days were not shortened, no flesh would live again. But for the sake of the chosen then, those days were shortened.» (Matthew 24: 22)
Of course, a more “scientific” approach to explain this discrepancy would resort to the difference of five days plus fraction between the ideal year of 360 days, traditionally used in all calculations related to cycles and ages, and the year of a little over 365 days, which according to some versions, would have started some five thousand years ago as a consequence of some catastrophe possibly related to the beginning of the “El Niño” phenomenon, which would have accelerated the Earth rotation in such a way that the days would have literally “been shortened”; and since the period that may be regarded as fundamental to the total manifestation is precisely the day, it would become necessary to make an adjustment of some 26,000 days or 72 years. However, there is the fact that the cited discrepancy is perceived not so much in the case just mentioned, in which the year 455 AD, 72 years before 527 AD, abounds in unfortunate events to the Western Roman Empire – including the stabbing of Emperor Valentinian III and the sack of Rome by Genseric – as in the episode that would start a new era: the discovery of America by Columbus, exactly in 1492 AD, compared tof which 1564 AD – which would be the normal starting date of the “last” age – loses relevance, even though it does not entirely lack transcendence as it is around it when the Wars of Religion break out in France.
Be it as it may, between the years 455 y 1492 there ensues a long period that is usually viewed as inferior to the previous one – so much so that it is referred to as the “dark ages”: a term which somehow reflects the image of a “Bronze Age” in which men, mainly those in the higher classes, seem to basically have been born to fight in war (with the exception of those that are not good at them and are so destined to some other trade, like clergy) but in which a certain grandeur, moral principles, and a gentlemanliness and romanticism that constitute their ideal are not altogether absent; the quest for the holy grail is a beautiful example of it. Even so, it is near its end that there starts a new decadence, this time mainly in the fields of morals and customs – a process which through various stages has been accentuating down to our days – until it ultimately produces the birth of the movements known as the Renaissance and the Reformation, which to many may signify a time of great progress in the arts, sciences, and literature, but to others represent the loss of many things of real, transcendental value.
A single example should suffice to demonstrate this assertion: during the Renaissance, hunting, which previously was referred to as ars nequissima (“a cruel exercise”) by the Popes, becomes a favorite pastime for many ecclesiastics – among them Leo X, the first Pope who is a hunter. However, that which in my opinion represents an irreplaceable loss is the disappearance of the traditional philosophy, as well as that of the great, authentic art which characterizes the mature epoch of this period and is best represented by the Gothic cathedrals, unfortunately later on replaced by an imitation of ancient art which no longer expresses anything genuine. This brings us to the central point in this process: the dissolution of Christianity, a faith the civilization of the Middle Ages essentially identified with and around which all human activities centered, precisely as a consequence of the Reformation and the beginning of “humanism”, which ultimately is but the secularism and materialism that dominate our time. A time when, in spite of everyone’s expectations about modern technology helping mankind to evolve into an ideal society, there is only disappointment and frustration; and in which history, ever increasingly accelerating, seems to have reached a culminant point which foretells of its imminent end – the signs of which are perceived everywhere: a total reversion of values, a “technological revolution” which is at best a by-product of the industrial revolution and one of whose consequences, environmental pollution, is causing the planet’s warming and the disappearance of the ozone layer; the emergence of countless Messiahs posing as guides and saviors of mankind and announcing the arrival of a “New Age” whose founders and leaders are, naturally, themselves; and finally, the proliferation of abortive clinics and of certain practices which, out of an elemental reserve, I would rather avoid referring to, but which have to do with the utilization of human corpses…
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This short study has not pretended to be exhaustive. However, I expect to have described what in good account has been the present Kali–yuga, as well as briefly discussed its main characteristics. To the end of anticipating, however, objections from the most recalcitrant skeptics, I will endeavor to extrapolate the foregoing remarks and try to imagine what the times prior to 3102 BC could be like. In the case of Egypt, for example, as the dynastic period set in and the small communities became big states, an “urban revolution” probably occurred which brought along a predominance of specialization and a depersonalization of individuals. Formerly societies were small, homogeneous, self-contained and strongly traditional, founded upon deep religious and family roots. Now they are secular and, since trading activities are interdependent, they have become complex and chaotic. And this, though with little variations, is what has happened everywhere and in all times, even in our days. For the rest, if through a similar process and broadening this reality out to the spatial aspect, we look back to an epoch when society is essentially pastoral and lives in a state of almost perfect happiness, we will be traveling back from age to age to ultimately arrive at the primordial civilization that I have located in the Hyperboreas – a civilization depository of the transcendental knowledge which, through space and time, has arrived in our days in one piece only by way of the Hindu tradition, though covered in a symbolic guise so as to preserve its confidentiality. This knowledge, whose ultimate origin can only be regarded as extra human, has been exposed summarily all throughout my posts.
Finally, does the doctrine of cosmic cycles offer a pessimistic view of the world and of history, as those who hear of it for the first time are apt to believe? Nothing could be farther from the truth. For if on the one hand the doctrine teaches how our civilization is to hopelessly disappear after an era of such great tribulation as the world has never seen, on the other hand it also announces new times and a new earth that are to come immediately after its consummation and which will be inaugurated by the saviors I have briefly alluded to in the course of my exposition, who obviously are all but different representations of the same Redeemer. How this salvation will be carried out may naturally be represented to the reader’s predilection, though of course, we New Age believers have a good idea of how it more or less is going to be; and on the other hand, it cannot be sufficiently emphasized that what I am talking about is the end of a world, our world – i.e. an order of things, and not the end of “the world”. For such an end, announced by all the scriptures and traditional texts of the world, and which embodies the hopes of thousands and millions of beings, is to be the inevitable and necessary prelude to the restoration of order, after which the earth will know a new Golden Age where everything will be perfection and happiness as it was in the beginning, when man lived in perfect harmony with the whole universe and God.
Luis Miguel Goitizolo