The Roots of the American Nation - 2
Every birth has antecedents which conditions its character and define its essential purpose. It has a purpose because it satisfies a need inherent in the time and place of its occurrence. We may think of this need in terms of the desire of the parents for a child who will fill their emotional wants, prolong their existence, perpetuate their sociopolitical and religious beliefs, and contribute to the preservation of the human race. We may also refer this need to an overall planetary process of spiritual-mental development (a religiously inclined person would speak here of "God's plan") which requires that a particular type of person should be born in a particular environment to fill a definite place in that vast evolutionary scheme, somewhat as a particular cell fulfills a definite function in the body of a human being.
Relatively speaking, a great personage or genius uniquely fills some need of his time and society; but, any human being can be said to be born in answer to some collective human need. Whether he is actually able to fulfill this need is another matter. He may fail or only partially succeed, but the potentiality inherent in the fact of his birth was there, whether it is actualized or not. It is this "Potentiality" that a birth chart formulates in the astrological code represented by the positions and interactions of the celestial bodies in the cosmic environment of the birth. The birth chart defines the potentiality, but not the degree or the quality of the actuality — that is, of what the person will turn out to be and to achieve.
This applies equally to the birth of a collective person — a national organism. A nation is born at a certain time, in a particular place and under definite telluric, climatic and magnetic conditions in order to contribute in a more or less definite way to the evolution of mankind as a whole. What it is to contribute is essentially a certain quality of humanhood — a special way of meeting the problems involved in existence within the Earth's biosphere and of responding to the challenges which life in an international and geophysical world constantly brings to a nation and to its leaders in all fields of human activity. We can speak of such a "quality" as the character or temperament of the people participating in the collective activities of the national whole; it is possible, for instance, to characterize the English, American, French, German, Russian, Arab or Indian temperaments.
Such a national character both produces and results from a particular culture. A typical way of life and characteristic institutions are built in order to actualize, consciously in rare cases, but mostly unconsciously and according to "the force of circumstances," the birth-potential of the nation and to externalize the motives that brought about the formation of the national entity and its emergence from whatever surrounded it and led to its birth. A nation is often formed in a violent or somehow cathartic manner by "colonists" from an older nation who wilfully seek independence from the mother country that through them had sought to extend its field of operation and to export its economy and its culture. In other cases a nation is born when after overcoming a disintegrating society, a number of migrating tribes coalesce into their own sociopolitical organism. This is what happened in Europe during the early Middle Ages as Germanic and Slavic tribes developed into small feudal units which eventually were absorbed by a powerful governmental nucleus giving its characteristic organization to the nascent national entity.
The ideas stated above imply a purposive view of history and of human (and even planetary) evolution. They are not likely to be acceptable to most academic historians of our day. Neither is the concept of cycles of civilization popular in academia, in spite of the extensively documented work of historians like Oswald Spengler (whose major work, The Decline of the West, was written sixty years ago) and Arnold Toynbee (whose A Study of History was written after World War 1). The cyclic concept of the development of civilizations, however, is implied in the astrological approach to history, and the study of great planetary cycles and precessional Ages provides an objective and rational foundation for the belief that civilization — or "societies," in Toynbee's use of the term are — much like organisms which are born, develop and disintegrate — according to some kind of structural rhythm.
In this study of the destiny of the American nation we therefore have to deal with two basic factors: on the one hand we should survey the development of the karmic relationship between the new American nation and the nations and cultures of Europe, and particularly England as the official mother country; on the other hand, we should consider the basic reasons and the more external and temporary motives which enabled the people of the Colonies, or at least their leaders, to become I willful and effective protagonists in a vast historical process of transformation of human society which had begun many centuries before the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble of the Constitution set the pace for a spreading sociopolitical revolution. Such a revolution may be only the first phase of a more far-reaching, more deeply rooted, upheaval — a revolution in consciousness.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1974 by Dane Rudhyar
and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
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