Tuesday 4 February 2014

Two Questions on the Kali Yuga

Although it didn't mention it by name the previous post was about what is known as the Kali Yuga. According to an idea taken from Hindu doctrine (where it is most developed though it finds echoes all over the world), history does not run in a linear fashion but is cyclical. Hence the past has several phases which, over a period of thousands of years, descend from a state more or less open to spirit to one more or less closed to it. The Kali Yuga is the final phase in a world cycle when matter has become largely impermeable to spirit with consequences that were predicted and which can be seen to be manifesting today. 

Here are a couple of questions that arose from that post. The first concerns its title which may have been slightly misleading as it was really no more than a reference to the feeling many of us have that something precious but indefinable is lost as time goes by. The article was an attempt to explore the roots of that feeling because I believe that it goes further than a simple reaction to the passing from innocence to experience.

Q. This makes partial sense but are you saying the good old days really were the good old days? Even disregarding material improvements, I wouldn’t like to have been alive at a time of slavery and when a poor man could be hanged for stealing a sheep.

A. No, it’s not as simple as that. The title was just a peg on which to hang an article about the darkening of the cosmic environment over the course of a world cycle, and the effect that has on human consciousness, including the sense of morality, aesthetics and general attitude to life. I have no idea as to whether the past really was better or worse, or, as seems most likely, better in some respects and worse in others.  I do know, however, that the Masters told me in around 1992 that there never was a time of such vulgarity (that was the word they used) as now. Decide for yourself what they meant by that word. To me it implies a loss of the sense of the sacred. They also  stated on several occasions that the world today had become further removed from its source than ever before.

But, anyway, thinking in terms of the recent past is much too limited for, according to traditional teachings on the subject, all recorded history falls within the last phase of the current world cycle, the Kali Yuga of Indian myth. A time of spiritual degeneration and inversion of true values which, we might be justified in thinking, is reaching a peak now. So, although the spiritual world has become progressively veiled throughout the Kali Yuga, a significant point in the thickening of that veil was reached before recorded history even began.

I would also refer you back to the point about compensation at a time of spiritual loss by material improvements, some of which would include improvements on the purely social level. Moreover the main pattern of gold, silver, bronze and iron ages is repeated on a smaller scale within each part of the major cycle and, no doubt, within each part of a part ad infinitum. So it's not so crude as a constant plunge downwards. Nevertheless, despite it all, human beings gradually forget who they really are, and that has definite effects on the way they think and behave.

Where you put your attention is the direction in which you are headed. So the task of the spiritual aspirant is to hold onto the light in a time of gathering darkness. Make sure it is the light of God you hold on to, though, and not one of the many imitations of that light that arise when awareness of the true light is lost.

On to the second question that came in response to the last post. This question brings up the interesting matter of the apparent speeding up of time today. This is a recognised characteristic of the final phases of a world cycle. 

Q. Is time speeding up nowadays? I’ve heard people talk about temporal acceleration but is that real or just an impression because the rate of change is so great these days and we have technology that is so fast?

A. Can we doubt that it is real? Everyone recognises it, though we usually dismiss it as something that it is quite normal to feel as one gets older because each day we experience now is a smaller proportion of the totality of our life. But life really does seem to be speeding up. To our perception, at least, the flow of time itself is accelerating, and this is in line with the belief that, at the end of a cycle, space seems to shrink and time to get faster. 

Now, on what level this is real is difficult to say, whether it is just psychological or, in some sense, actual, but it is certainly a fact in consciousness, and I would speculate that it may be associated with the contraction of matter as the process of spirit becoming matter reaches its conclusion prior to the formation of a new cycle.

So this is one more indication that we live in interesting times. It has various effects, most of which are not very pleasant. It leads to over-stimulation and mental imbalance as the psyche struggles to keep up with the pace of change. It leads to a lack of depth as nothing is allowed to put down roots and establish itself properly, and it creates a craving for excitement and desire for experience which can never be satisfied. In some people it prompts a fascination with the new and the frantic attempt to stay young. It is a true sign that the Kali Yuga is coming to a head. How to react to it? As always we have to centre ourselves in the real, detach ourselves from the unreal and establish ourselves in the point of stillness deep within the heart.

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