Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The universality of esoteric knowledge

Following the works of some scholars, I have already suggested that the many correlations and analogies among diverse traditions in the matter of ages and cycles, as well as the universality of certain esoteric knowledge, can only be explained if a common origin is admitted for them all; and in other posts I have reviewed the countless coincidences among different traditions, all of them elements whose study, along with the study of certain archetypical universal forms, might help us trace back such origin.

So continuing our quest, which ideally should take us back to the primeval origin of the doctrine, in this post and the next we will deal with the quaternary cycle, considerably more frequent and of an eminently temporal nature – although it also shows spatial correlations, basically with the four cardinal points. Omnipresent in our study, its main feature is its variable length. In effect, it is a cycle that appears in all orders of existence, from the total universal manifestation to those of any historical peoples or societies, each with their own chronology and their own starting date.

One of the better known examples of these particular applications is the famous dream interpreted by the prophet Daniel (2, 1 ff), which he refers to four civilizations that he identifies with the traditional ages of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Iron (they are actually five, but the last one is irrelevant). However, it would not be difficult to find many other similar examples in all of which we will be dealing with cycles of a descending nature, where every phase is worse than the previous one; although only the Hindu tradition, the one alone that has received the primeval knowledge in one piece from the original center, has preserved that of the proportion by which the respective lengths decrease, whatever the total length of the corresponding cycle.

This latter fact carries an additional and most important conclusion itself: namely, if the length of the last period of the quaternary series is, by definition, a tenth of the total length, then such period can obviously be sub-divided into other four ages which follow the same proportion (and in fact not only the last period, but any of them). For example, if the Kali-yuga really has an effective length of 5,184 common years or a tenth of 51,840 common years, we can safely assume that it will consist in turn, always following the corresponding proportions, of four periods whose lengths will approximately be 2,074, 1,555, 1,037 and 518 years. In other words, we are talking about cycles within cycles so that one may refer, say, to the kali-yuga of the current Kali-yuga – that is, the darkest phase of the Dark Age. Naturally, this is a hypothesis that must be demonstrated, and in the following posts I will do my best to do so. Meanwhile, I will face an objection that is usually presented with regard to the doctrine as a whole: namely, whether we are not dealing with mere “numerological” speculation; for, were not the ancient so ignorant that they merely possessed some basic technical knowledge?

Without referring yet to the possibility that in remote times entire civilizations may have disappeared without leaving a trace, I will try, in my next post, to refute such objection: quite simply, I will prove that the ancient cultures possessed, among other advanced scientific information, a most precise knowledge of the chronology and calendar computation, probably born of their liking for the great observation of stars in the case of the Egyptian and Babylonian civilizations, and, particularly among the Mayas and Aztecs, for the accurate measurement of huge lapses of time. Even more, we will see that the ancient had such advanced knowledge in mathematics and astronomy that only recently, after long and dark millennia, has been equaled or improved – yet not always.

(First published on Qassia 02 Jul 2008)

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