Culture, Crisis & Creativity

by Dane Rudhyar

10. Old Myths, New Myths,
& the Creation of a New Culture

Human senses convey to the brain impressions they receive. These are the raw data of knowledge. Once the brain decodes and correlates these signals we can speak of them as "in-formation"; they acquire a preliminary form as percepts. Working further upon these percepts and relating them to similar or opposite ones received in the past, the human mind builds concepts. Through the process of building concepts the mind reifies or "entitizes" the raw sense data. To reify is to organize a set of sensations into the concept of a "thing" (in Latin, res, from which the word, "reality", is derived). If we attribute to a thing a more or less independent and autonomous character, we think of it as an entity and, when this character is further emphasized, as a being or even an organism.

When all apparently normal members of a human community agree in their conceptualizing of a set of sense data into a thing, an entity, or a special sequence of events, we speak of "facts." The common consent of the group to the existence of a thing makes it a fact. What does not elicit this common consent is only an individual experience. It has a subjective character. Facts are objective; they have reality. The subjective experiences of an individual may be called either illusions, hallucinations, or suppositions by the other members of his community; or they may be tentatively accepted as possible facts if the experiences is considered sane and known to possess either unusually developed sense perceptions or the intuitive ability to discover relationships between what normally are considered separate objects or concepts.

All living organisms have in varying degrees the ability to perceive an external objective reality and to integrate the percepts into conceptualized things and entities; their existence in a specific environment depends on such an ability. However, as every class of organism has its own way of perceiving—its own kind of senses and brain centers—it seems evident that the facts perceived and the way in which these facts are organized into conceptual entities must be very different from ours.

A further and most characteristic difference arises, as far as we know, from the apparent fact that man alone has a mind capable of going one step further than conception; the human mind can give meaning to its concepts. Humans attributes meaning to the relationships between events, and we gives names to what we have reified or "entitized"—names which reveal the character and meaning of the entity whose presence and description have been accepted as a fact by our community or at least by our peers in the field of a specialized knowledge, a science.

In the second chapter of Genesis, Adam is said to have "named" all that he perceived in the Garden of Eden (the symbolic realm of embodied prototypes); and God accepted these names as relevant characterizations. The story is profoundly significant. God creates; but man's role in the divine creation or Play (or lila) is to formulate the meaning of the Play. God releases a vast amount of energy in the Creative Act, then that energy unfolds its latent structural potentiality of form according to the character of the creative impulse behind the release. It is man's function to give a formal meaning to the relations evolving out of the process of differentiation of the complex original energy-release. Though the creative Word "in the beginning," of which John's Gospel speaks, is a unity, it is nevertheless composed of a myriad of "Letters"; and all the potentialities latent in this original and originating Word can be actualized only if every one of these trillions and trillions of Letters relates itself to all others. The result of this incomprehensibly vast process of interrelationships is what man calls the universe or COSMOS.

To use the word universe or cosmos is to interpret and synthesize the multitude of facts which human minds, operating within the psycho-mental boundaries of a culture-whole, perceive and agree to call "real." To speak of a universe is an interpretation of sequential and spatial relations between the perceived facts of existence. Such an interpretation gives to the immense variety of human sense-experiences and inner feelings the meaning of unity—thus, the "divine".

Man's most essential function as he operates within the field of some vaster whole, planetary or cosmic, is to give meaning to all his experiences. To give meaning implies being conscious of the many aspects of the reality to which meaning is given. Of all living organisms, man is the most adaptable and the best able to experience the immense variety of conditions and relationships existing in the Earth's biosphere, and beyond it in interplanetary space. This ability to experience, then to give meaning to experience, is seemingly unique.

To give meaning is to create a myth. Essentially, a myth is a meaningful interpretation of the conceptualized data of human experience. More precisely, it is a meaningful interpretation which at a particular time in human history fills a definite collective purpose because it is a convincing and power-releasing answer to the collective need of a cultural group, a culture-whole, or even of humanity as a whole. Man is above all a myth-maker.

The capacity to create myths is the mythopoetic (or mythopoeic) function. In an unpublished and mostly discarded book written in 1940, Man Maker of Universes, I spoke of this capacity as the "cosmogenic" function, because any meaningful and purposeful field (or organized system) of interrelated and interdependent activities having an autonomous, self-sufficient, dynamically balanced and inherently "beautiful" (i.e. harmonic) character constitutes a cosmos. Whether such a system is described as small or large (a microcosm or macrocosm) does not alter its essential meaning. "God" creates the facts of existence, but man gives meaning to these facts by interpreting them. Human interpretations differ greatly, but their difference does not invalidate them. It simply reveals the inherent complexity of man's environment and the ambivalence or multivalence of all facts of experience.

To say that "'God' creates the facts of human experience" is, of course an interpretation. It is a myth, the Myth of Deity. By means of that myth, human beings who accept it as a valid, or even incontrovertible and self-evident, fact can give to at least certain aspects of their existence and to some inner feeling-intuition of centrality (the I-feeling), a fundamental character generating a sense of security, of acceptance, equanimity, and indestructible inner peace. For them this myth fills a basic existential need. Thus it has "value."

Validity is what counts at the level of existential facts. If one speaks of "truth" one has to state at once that every phase of existence has its own truths. What an existent needs to believe so as to insure optimal conditions of survival, growth, and eventual fulfillment is "true" for that existent. Because what applies to an individual organism applies as well (at least in basic structural terms) to a collective organism such as a culture-whole, we indeed find that each culture-whole has its own "truths"—the paradigms, the Prime Symbols, the great myths of that culture. As long as the collective mentality of the people of the culture needs these myths to provide sociocultural security and psycho-spiritual stability, the myths are meaningful and valid. Once the meaning fades away and the myths no longer provide an answer to growth and to the longing for fulfillment through significant action, the validity of the myth and of all the so-long-taken-for-granted assumptions on which it is built, either gradually fades away or is violently challenged and denied.

Because we are now living in a period of history when most of the myths of ancient culture-wholes now still in existence have all but lost their power of psycho-spiritual sustainment and creative mental stimulation it is imperative for us to understand what is implied in the mythopoetic function and to know where we can find it in operation, if it still operates anywhere! If it should not operate at all, we should still try to discover how it might be once more stimulated and made effectual; for without it there can be no "New Age."

Can there be truly a New Age? Has it already begun? Do we understand its present and future implications? Today these are crucial questions for our society. They should be straightforwardly faced by every individual whose psyche is consciously or semiconsciously disturbed by sociocultural uncertainty or tortured by a sense of alienation, emptiness, and futility. This is especially true for those seeking in drugs, outlandish experiences, or perhaps catabolic relationships and perverted forms of magic a soul-satisfying revelation of meaning to stabilize their consciousness and their emotional lives. But first of all we should inquire as penetratingly as possible into the nature of the myths our Euro-American culture has lived by, and of those as yet tentative and largely unformulated or misunderstood myths which could become stabilizing foundations for a new culture.

The Myth of Reality

A man in deep meditation, or stirred by a peak experience of communion with his beloved or his guru, may become aware of motions, shapes, entities transcending his ordinary perceptions; he may feel ecstasy, bliss, or extraordinary pain; his mind may be vibrant with as yet unthought ideas no words seem able to formulate. All these are subjective experiences. They do not fit into the normal frame of reference his culture has built within his consciousness to contain, localize, and give meaning to the everyday flow of his experiences—experiences of separate entities; objective things, or classifiable beings. This does not mean that one's peak experiences and extraordinary feelings are not "facts" for him. If, however, he finds that other human beings have or have had unusual experiences which seem to closely resemble his own, and that these experiences are expectably and consistently linked with certain practices or chains of events which can be summoned more or less at will or under special but repeatable conditions, then the subjective experiences acquire the character of objective facts. The substance of the visions, the words heard, the stirring emotions felt are "real." Somehow, sooner or later, one will be able to relate them to a wider frame of reference and thus give them a meaning on par with the meaning attributed to the entities, things, or inner events once considered normal for others of his particular culture and possibly, once a global culture is formed, for all humnity. If, however, the person of the group of persons who have experienced the supersensible, superintense facts reacts to the experience by stating and teaching to others that only these experiences are real and the normal ones of his culture are illusory, then he may be creating a myth—the Myth of Reality.

The individual person or the group creates that myth if it is felt to fill a definite purpose in answer to a vital or essential need, be it personal or collective. It may be a personal myth, if the need it fills is not shared by a number of other individuals; and the person creating it may be called a psychotic, building a schizophrenic world of reality having value only to himself. But it is a collective, sociocultural, and potentially religious myth, if it turns out to be a constructive or regenerative answer to a collective need, even if only a few members of the community at first are fully conscious of having such a need.

A typical example is Plato's allegory of the cave: men chained at the entrance of a dark cave able only to watch on the cave's walls the shadows of other beings moving freely in front of the cave and thus behind their backs. According to this allegory, the spiritually unaware mind is like the chained men able to see only shadows; if these men could turn their bodies and face the world outside (the world of light) they would perceive the "real" world.

What Plato presented to his fellow Athenians was a myth of Reality. It was a myth because the Athenians (and those of us, Western individuals, who have inherited their particular intellectual and sense-bound consciousness) needed to be spurred into seeing the world of existence in a new way. They needed to have their conceptual world devaluated. For this reason that world was presented to them as a world of intellectual shadows. Nevertheless the experience of shadow on the cave's walls is as real to the chained men at the entrance of the cave as the outside world is real to the supposedly free people walking in the light. Free in relation to what? A "real" world with reference to what?

All that can be said is that because a person walking in the lighted world in front of the cave's entrance is able to see both his three dimensional body and its two-dimensional shadow he has a more inclusive frame of reference, a wider sense of meaning—the meaning of shadows and of being chained adding itself to what, to him, is the meaning of solid being in a world flooded with light. But this world of light is not without shadows either! To call the outside world Reality (with a capital) and the world of shadows in the cave "illusion" is to formulate a myth. If the world of shadows is a consistent frame of reference for the experiences of the chained men, it is for them as real as any other world is for other persons for whom their own world is also a consistent frame of reference. Both worlds are equally valid for their respective inhabitants.

The world of shadows ceases to be valid only when some of the chained men have come to understand that the chains can be broken. Then those men find themselves in a crisis situation. They are challenged to move, to stand, to experience the three-dimensional reality of bodies in the light-world. If, after they have been "liberated", they return to those with whom they had shared bondage and tell them of the new experiences, the story they tell will be for the chained men a myth—a new interpretation of reality, a revelation of new and more encompassing meaning. In this myth the shadow world will be devaluated as "mere illusion"; it will be devaluated in order that the still chained people may experience a sense of hollow emptiness, of tragic discontent, of the futility of living as they always have been living. It is a transformative, cathartic purpose, filled with the hope that the tragic experience may arouse in the people an irresistible desire to break their chains and turn to the world of light. The fact remains that the shadow is as "real" as the body casting it; samsara is as real as nirvana, except when the moment of crisis has come, when the liberating, chain-breaking, turn-back act is not only possible, but necessary.

The Creation Myth and
the Myth of Conscious Plenitude of Being

The self-conscious human mind feeds on centrifugal energy. Biological instinct is unitive; but the individualizing consciousness of men stirring within the psychic unanimity of the tribe is driven by a will to differentiation whose aim is to reach a state of individual uniqueness. Such a centrifugal will obviously tends to disrupt the wholeness of any community, even at the primitive tribal level. Tribal unity has therefore to be at least periodically re-emphasized; and this is the role religious rituals, tribal festivities, and public sports are meant to fulfill. Religion is essentially an attempt to turn back the attention of differentiating and individualizing tribesmen to the experience of a primal unity from which they all arose; it is to re-evoke the great Cosmic Event which propelled the myriad of existential entities into existence, the Act of Creation.

Of course, no medicine man actually knows the facts relating to the Creative Act or, at a later more civilized stage of sociocultural development, to the utterance of the Creative Word, the Logos. Neither do astronomers today know what their postulated Big Bang that started the universe actually consisted of. All creation myths are extrapolations backward. In religious societies these myths were meant to be magical evocations of the unitarian release of power in which all differentiated entities had their common origin.

A common origin, a common center: in occult numerology (or "arithmosophy") this refers to number 1. At the spiritual level of energy release, this number 1 operates by adding itself to itself ad infinitum. At the level of "life", number 2 incessantly multiplies itself by geometrical progression through the process of self-division (mitosis). Then number 3—the union of the One and the Two, of spirit and substance—manifests as Mind, or what Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine calls "cosmic Ideation". Number 4 symbolizes the embodied Idea, the Archetype becomes a Person; 5, the power of transformation which number 6 can and should illumine. Number 7 recenters what has been transformed and illumined; with it we reach the omega state with which the alpha unites; and number 8 is the symbol of "eternity", the serpent swallowing its tail, re-infinitizing the process of Creation into the transcendent plenitude of ineffable "be-ness", while transcendentalizing all that remains into the Prima Materia (Mulaprakriti).

At the universal level of Number (and leaving aside for simplicity's sake such irrational numbers as √1 and Pi) this is the Creation Myth. But in tribal days the myth most often evoked mysterious cosmic animals, perhaps the spider, master geometrician, or the primordial Man and Woman; and, as monistic religions took form, God the Creator was seen as the personification of number 1—yet a 1 holding within Its incomprehensible essence the potentiality of all numbers.

India has her Brahma, the Creator emerging periodically out of the ineffable timeless and spaceless (or rather time-transcending and space-transcending) Brahman. In our Western Creation Myth, the Creative Act is performed by Elohim, but Elohim is a plural noun; it is unity pregnant with multiplicity; or is it not rather the multiunity of the unanimous group of Perfected Beings at the omega state of a previous universe (a "cyclocosm") reappearing as the unified alpha condition of the new cycle?

Why should the Myth not be a Cyclocosmic Myth rather than a Creation Myth? Is not the beginning dependent upon and, what is more, implied in the cycle's end? Must the consciousness of differentiated and still centrifugal human beings only be drawn back to the alpha-beginning? Why not also to the omega-end, as these individualized human beings struggle through the conflicts and dramas of the mu state, the mid-period of the cycle? Is mankind not ready for a new myth spelled in its existential as well as in its essential totality—not merely the Ouroboros Myth of the serpent swallowing its own tail, but the Spiral Myth with its concomitant infinitude of potentialities of existence?(1)

The Creation Myth binds to the past, the great Ancestor, the one Creator-God, number 1. But beyond, yet within number 1, is the principle of integration and individual existence, ONE! the principle of cyclicity within all cycles; yet not an exclusive principle, not a binding cause-and-effect sequence, because there are also irrational numbers. Every circle begins with a 1, an energy-radiating center; yet the relation of the creative power of radiation—the radius of the circle—to the circumference that sets boundaries to the centrifugal radiation is an irrational number with a never-ending series of decimals. The omega state is irrationally related to the alpha of creation, perhaps because an infinite number of possible radii are bounded by the circumference, and all of them are interrelated and interacting within the two dimensional wholeness of the circle—a fullness of space, of relationship and therefore of consciousness, because consciousness is the expression of relatedness embodied in harmoniously balanced form.(2)

We therefore should be able today to formulate a cycicocosmic myth, the Myth of Conscious Plenitude of Being, to supersede the old Creation Myths. Greater than the mind whose strength is its rootedness in an Act of Origin located in a collectively re-evokable and experienceable past, is the holistic ("eonic") mind whose vision encompasses beginning, middle, and end, yet is not bound by the repetitiveness of circularity (Nietzsche's tragic picture of an Eternal Return). It is not bound because, as it accepts and is open to the irrationality of total relatedness to all there is within its life-field, it transforms circles into multidimensional spirals.

To the development of such a mind of plenitude of being the New Age, for which so many persons today are longing, should consecrate its spiritual power as well as its transpersonalized life-energies.

The Myth of the Free Individual

Our Western Society worships the individual and glorifies individual freedom, or what passes as such. The free individual is a myth; the concept of individuality is a magic carrot held in front of the instinct-bound, soil-conditioned, culture-emprisoned mind of tribal man. It is the glamour driving him toward taking the next step in his evolution; it is a myth because it is a visionary answer to the evolutionary need of mankind at a particular stage of its development. Man needs glamour. At the biological level the glamour of love-making insures the perpetuation of the species. At the social level the glamour of wealth and power goads human beings to spectacular efforts in business or in war, and the process of civilization uses these efforts and their inharmonic results to destroy and transform. At the psychological level men and women lured by the fetish of individual freedom, or of "liberation," find the cathartic strength to break down biopsychic tribal or sociocultural chains binding their consciousness.

Of course freedom can be "proven" to exist as a fact by the apparent actions of the rugged individualist or of the vehement crusader for social rights or women's liberation. What our senses perceive and our brain-mind reifies takes the form of a factual sequence of events, measurable and classifiable. But what is freedom for? What happens at the level of the consciousness of "liberated" individuals? Are they really "in-divisible" and unique? Does not "man's common humanity" undertone and sustain all the acts of self-styled individuals, often wildly gesturing in order to prove their originality to themselves as well as to others? Yet in a world of change and step-by-step unfoldment, would-be individuals must be given the courage to take the next step, to "walk on,"—inevitable falls making possible the necessary recoveries. In order to learn to realize and give sustained attention to "the One-within" (the center of the mandala of personality) man had to believe himself indivisible, thus, an individual. When the centrifugal drive toward ever-renewed differentiations and the restlessness of the analytical atom-splitting mind dominate a phase of human evolution, and when the possibility of interpersonal relationships is immensely multiplied generating traumatic confusion in the mind, it becomes necessary to emphasize the uniqueness of individual souls and the constancy of monadic being. The myth of the free and responsible individual acts then as a catalyst to the process of differentiation, giving it a steady direction and centralizing its many and varied by-products. It is formulated by great Civilizers. The visions it evokes pervade the entire culture-whole, rousing the spirit of free enterprise, but also generating the crises of selfishness and ambition.

The Man of Reason and
the Compassionate God-man

The mythic figure of the Man of Reason living a balanced and harmonious life in a well-proportioned world of beautiful things is the greatest contribution of the classical Greek culture. The Man of Reason emerged out of the matriarchal field of the polis , the city-state. He is the "civilized" man able to transcend the biopsychic conditioning of the tribal community and its vitalistic cults, yet accepting as a psychic background the birth-death-rebirth cycle featured in the ancient Mysteries. The ideal of the Man of Reason, before it became intellectualized and argued about, drew root strength from the Mysteries, but he rose above their horizontal circularity as the upward reaching germ rises from the dark soil fertilized by decay to the clear light of the sun-drenched Mediterranean atmosphere. This clear light is the light of Reason. Logic, clarity, reliance upon numbers and measures, a sense of proportion and, summing all these, the worship of Form superseding the cults of fertility glorifying life and its passionate embraces: these are the basic elements of the new myth Athens bequeathed to Rome and thus to our Euro-American culture.

It was a myth, the vision a few clear minds evoked in the hope of transforming a culture still based on slavery and retributive violence. It brought little peace to the city-state where it shone most admirably; the pressure of the world of material things and the personal ambitions of men whose egos at times drove them to emotionally unstable activities, while at others they became lost in the sophistry of intellectual arguments, made a sham of the emergent potentialities appearing during the sixth century B.C. The Roman empire translated reason into political order. The Middle Ages placed the sanctified mask of Thomas Aquinas upon the mummified countenance of Aristotle. Later on, Cartesian philosophy replaced reason with rationalism; the Pythagorean experiences of the Music of the Spheres were replaced with French logic, and Greek prosodic rhythms with the pompous, even if at times majestic, flow of twelve-syllable Alexandrine verses.

Myths do degenerate as human beings try to incarnate the vision they seek to communicate in the quicksand of cultural materialism and individual mediocrity. Yet in some way, at least partially, they serve their purpose, even if it should only be by stimulating the birth of their spiritual complements, which at first appear to be opposites. Greek intellectualism and mental cleverness in building concepts out of percepts called forth the downpour of the supramental light of love through the skylight of Jesus' soul; and in the same manner, the Mosaic "I AM" myth, once enthroned in the tribal citadel of the collective ego of the Elect People, when starvation for spiritual food became too intense, aroused the incarnation through Christ of the ideal of sublime compassion. Compassion also became the substance of the myth of Bodhisattvas renouncing the time-transcending and ego-extinguishing state of Nirvana for eons of compassionate service to last until all sentient creatures would have crossed to "the other shore" of the river of time and cosmic manifestation.

In the West the traumatic nature of the sense of guilt gnawing at the soul of the Hebrew culture forced upon the Christ incarnation the mythopoetic mask of "the Man of Sorrow". Compassion became divine atonement through suffering. But, in Asia, where the sense of guilt is not a socio-psychological issue, compassion took the form of translucent waiting—the immeasurably long waiting of noble souls through which the boundless light of the clear Mind, beyond form and name, would be able to illumine the as yet hesitant and unsure rise of humanity out of the biopsychic darkness of the mass-mind. Radiant myths which, when created, can stir human beings into taking a new step in their evolution and fulfilling a new collective dharma, soon become formalized and desiccated in the hands of men who can think only of institutionalizing them into dogmatic religions. Then new ones are needed.

Civilization is the celebration of the birth of new myths, revelations of always new possibilities of response to the immensely varied challenges of transformation the universe presents to mankind.

The Myth of Democracy

The ringing slogan of the eighteenth century revolutionary spirit, "Liberté, Egalitée, Fraternité", is perhaps the most ambiguous of all mythical pronouncements. It was nevertheless a necessary correlate to the spreading tide of individualism, once this tide had reached the rocky shore of the political life. That shore, famous for recent shipwrecks, is now called democracy. On this shore every grain of sand, rock or cliff carries a number. Quantity is king and statistics the Law of the realm. It is a mythical realm. On the map it looks wonderful; it calls all the ships at sea to its harbor; but when the passengers debark, they soon become feverish with the ego disease which magnifies everything out of natural proportions, changing reason into rationalism, and latent capacities into vocal demands for immediate actualization and public recognition.

This is the dark side of liberty which can also, but does not need to, mean freedom. The English language is blessed with two words which unfortunately are so often, and senselessly used interchangeably. When Patrick Henry proclaimed "Give me liberty or give me death," he clearly referred to the objective state of affairs, liberty, which is the opposite of tyranny or authoritarian rule. Freedom, on the other hand, should refer to a subjective state of individual consciousness and being. Freedom from fear, anxiety, or sense of guilt, refers to a subjective condition. Unfortunately the possible discrimination allowed by the two words, liberty and freedom, between objective facts and subjective realizations, is usually ignored. For the French, however, there is only liberty; for the German, freiheit, which implies that French people have been specifically chafing under authoritarian rulers and yearning for the ability to act as they individually please, while German people are more specifically concerned about overcoming an inner state of binding acquiescence to traditions and biopsychic feelings of conformity.

What most Americans call freedom is the ability to act as they please, to go where they want, to read or see what (for no special reason) they personally feel like reading or seeing. This is liberty, rather than a subjective condition of freedom—freedom from whatever within them binds them to Puritan traditions, to a craving for money, social prestige, and "being liked," or simply to fashion. Likewise what is meant by sexual freedom is the capacity to make love, to act in ways individually decided upon; but the unasked question is: why the decision? That question refers not to action, but to what in a person makes or fails to make significant decisions—significant solely in the sense that they are signs or symbols of what the person is as an individual.

No one thinks or longs for liberty unless he or she is experiencing external constraints. The tribesman of ancient times would not have understood what liberty meant as long as he lived in his own tribe. The word would have had meaning only if he had been enslaved by another tribe. Archaic tribal taboos did not bind—any more than having to breathe binds—simply because in either case there is no sense of bondage. The yearning for liberty presupposes external restrictions against which a person's own nature rebels. Of itself such a yearning has no meaning or value. The situation is different where inner freedom is concerned, for such a freedom essentially implies the ability to transform oneself personally when the time for transformation has come. Such an ability can be partially or totally restricted by outer pressures and binding situations, in which case liberty is curtailed. Its manifestation within the personality can also be stifled or perverted by psychic and mental laziness or physical inertia; in which case the individual is not free, even if nothing is there socially to curtail his liberty. He can act as he pleases, but it does not please him to act!

When destiny demands of the individual that he open himself freely to a process of transformation, yet his mind and feelings cling to the status quo, this individual is not free, however permissive his environment. The permissive education experienced by young Americans now in their teens, twenties, or thirties gave them liberty, but not freedom. A permissive society allowing ugly and love-perverting pornographic movies to be produced and widely advertised provides liberty, but by creating a binding fashion may in fact curtail the freedom to love naturally, spontaneously, and meaningfully. To put it in a different way, it is not the freedom from fear caused by lurking external danger, or from hunger caused by outer scarcity, which is most important; it is the ability to significantly decide what freedom is for. Providing the outer freedom (liberty) to do anything at any time, yet at the same time confusing the mind with so many doubtful or unconvincing alternatives that the will to decide on a personally significant course of action is not aroused, can lead to countless spiritual miscarriages. If the child is not provided with anything against which he can develop an individualized will; if he is not held within a matriarchal structure from which he can emerge only by an act of conscious and self-directed exertion, this child may lack the incentive to operate as a truly free individual save in exceptional cases and within a very special community.

The concept of equality is as ambiguous and ambivalent as that of liberty. Does it refer to a quantitative or a qualitative value? Is majority rule the panacea that will cure all social ills, or will functional adequacy (if not excellence) define social position and condition the character of a person's participation in the sociopolitical process?

These are crucial questions. They have been answered in our Western democracy in a rationalistic rather than in a reasonable way. The answer has been abstract and theoretical, rather than existential and functional or organic. It has led our society to unrealistic make-believe and officialized hypocrisy. Majority rule makes no sense unless the voter is considered not merely an abstract number, but first of all an operative whole functionally able to make significant decisions. Yet what are the alternatives in a society based on the premises of individualism, self-determination, and personal responsibility? There are, as of today, no more valid alternatives.

What this means is that mankind is in a situation of crisis of transformation. It is experiencing such a radical crisis because the premises on which the democratic ideal can only meaningfully operate have in most instances not consciously accepted validity in the lives of the people of officially democratic societies. They are abstract concepts, founded on quantity, not on organic quality. There is no available majority of self-determined, self-reliant, functionally effective individuals totally ready and willing to assume personal responsibility for their decisions and the eventual results of their actions; therefore democracy is only an ideal.

It is also a myth, according to the meaning I give to this word, because at this stage of human evolution the ideal is a necessary answer to an all-human evolutionary need. Yet, necessary as it is, as we usually understand and attempt to formulate in practical terms the meaning of the myth, the actual results represent a perverted form of the myth. We are dealing with abstract quantity, with intellectualized and analytical numbers, and not with what the great civilizer, Pythagoras, experienced as Numbers referring to essential, archetypal qualities or modes of formation. We juggle with numbers, or get caught in the spider-webs of complex instrumental measurements abstractedly extended to n-dimensional intellectual frames of reference; we worship statistics giving us an insecure hold on a world of existence reified by the common consent of scientific minds hypnotized by an empirical methodology. We rarely experience with mind open to the subtlety of qualitative changes, to the polyphonic interweaving of dynamic currents of energy whose rhythmic and melodic interactions form the warp and woof of life-experiences. For instance, we build at high cost and with strenuous intellectual efforts "computer music" presented by an incredible array of taped numbers instead of listening within us to the qualitative Music of the Spheres.

As to the third element in the myth of democracy, fraternity, how unrealistic it too can be in our society based on acquisitiveness, competition, and the violence, overt or covert, of ego-structured power-motives! We should realize now the difference between an ancestor-worshipping tribal order totally rooted in the past, and the companionate order harmonizing distinct, consciously aware, and self-determined individuals into a communion of consciousness founded on their unanimous consecration to an envisioned purpose. Of course we can imagine the ideal case of a family-group in which the companionate order would operate in the linking of cohabitating children, parents, and grandparents. We can dream of such a type of family relationship and see it superseding the type of interplay which has so far existed in biologically united and culture-bound families. If humanity needed now such an ideal type of family, we could try to evoke a new family myth, the myth of the companionate family. But is it really what the evolution of human consciousness demands today? At today's level of consciousness, is it possible, except in the rarest cases, that such strong biopsychic compulsions still exist?

An "occult Brotherhood" always seems to be bound to the past in terms of ancient rules and traditions, which accounts for the sociopolitical conservatism of the great majority of people deeply involved in occult contacts and in the philosophy they derive from these. But as mankind passes the mid-point of its planetary evolution, is it not time for individuals who have experienced a birth in spiritual freedom to reorient their consciousness futureward rather than pastward, to think of themselves as Companions rather than as Brothers and Sisters, especially when family relationships today are so filled with tensions, conflicts and unsolvable problems of personality relationship? The old Church speaks to us of Father and Brothers; but in Free Masonry, the terms are Apprentices, Companions (or Fellows), and Masters, and the goal is the common dedication of each participant in the Lodge's activity of the building of the Temple of Man. Originally, Masonry was to be a workshop for the development of a democratic consciousness based on the efficient functional workings of the Companionate Order, through rituals revealing the archetypal essence of the process leading from the mid-point (mu) state of consciousness to the omega completion of the Temple of Man, a temple built, not by material hands, but by consecrated minds illumined by all-encompassing love. But, like the various fraternal Orders, developing from its trunk as rather spiritually fruitless offshoots, Free Masonry has retained the forms and lost the spirit.

The slogan of democracy has now a hollow sound. Yet the myth it betrayed by its ambivalence and ambiguity could yet experience a rebirth of meaning, together with another myth to which it has clung for support, the Myth of Empirical Knowledge.(3)

The Myth of Empirical Knowledge

The statement "The sun rises in the east" may seem self-evident, yet it implies a number of assumptions which could be replaced or superseded by others. To speak of "the sun" is to express a concept; it does not refer to a simple sensation. The sensation of light on the retina, when transferred to and reified by the brain according to cultural patterns of thinking, is interpreted as "the sun"; but such an interpretation can only be reached in its inception by many steps of perception and conceptualization shared and discussed by many human beings. The words "rise" and "east" are also simplistic; they imply a peculiar conception of "the sky," an ambiguous feeling of verticality (if "sky" is interpreted as a celestial sphere) and an abstract concept of "east" which a series of successive experiences actually would deny, as sunrise occurs at the exact east only at the two equinoxes.

I have already referred to the character of "facts"—and the word fact comes from the Latin factum which means "having been made." Man builds the facts of which he speaks when he develops the concept of empirical knowledge. Empirical knowledge, built on facts not only perceived by human senses but reified by the human conceptual and cultured mind, is only one type of knowledge, resulting from one mode of "knowingness." To say that it is the only valid mode, or even the most basic and valid, mode is a form of mental myopia or cultural provincialism. Yet at a certain time in our historical evolution the nearly exclusive value of empiricism and of the modern scientific method of objective observation, aided and abetted by machines refining man's physical capacity for measurement and recognition, was undoubtedly an answer to a collective human need. The validity of the method had to be assumed and conveniently left unquestioned because our Western society was meant to develop a kind of knowingness enabling it in the long run to perform highly meaningful deeds: to circumnavigate the Earth-globe, to overcome the Earth-binding pull of gravitation and directly or indirectly to bring every human being in contact with all other human beings, thus establishing an evidential basis for the belief in the unity of all men living within a finite "spaceship Earth" with equally finite resources.

Therefore, after the Renaissance, the medieval approach to knowledge could not have produced these results required at the present stage of human evolution because it was a scholastic and dogmatic interpretation of the Aristotelian world-view, which in turn led to the materialization of the great vision of Pythagoras and probably of a few of the Greek minds of the sixth century B.C. Moreover, the Mind of Reason, once divorced from cosmic supersensory experiences, had to become the empirical mind; "pure relations" need some kind of substantial contents and experienceable facts, at one level or another, in order to have communicable materials to work on—just as automated factories need raw materials to process. The European intelligentsia of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries had therefore to be fascinated, even seduced, by the Myth of Empirical Knowledge in order to deal with something it could experience concretely and with which it could build. The descendants of these intellectuals, in the nineteenth century, realizing how far humanity had advanced, reacted by excitedly describing a new myth: the Myth of Science, source of unchallengeable Progress.

Francis Bacon, the Civilizer, had impregnated the collective mind of his epoch and of the succeeding century with his empirical method; Descartes and Newton, each in his own way, then stressed concepts which buttressed the citadel of empirical knowledge. Yet the last decade of the nineteenth century and those of our present century have revealed that the magnificent building was not earthquake-proof. Thus a new myth, having the power to gain the allegiance of deconditioned and adventurous minds, is now necessary. It has to become a new frame of reference for a transfactual knowingness, a new revelation unerringly pointing to a new dimension of experience. In terms of such a transcendent, because more inclusive, dimensional frame of reference, the old principle of exclusion and other paradigmatic concepts of a gradually more obsolescent methodology have become unapplicable; they are far too crude and simplistic for a mind able to experience the interpenetration of all the facts and entities it had in the past laboriously conceptualized as isolated and independent of each other. Holism, at a new level of experience and realization, will have to supersede, though not negate, the relative value of atomism. The principle of holarchy, relating hierarchical levels of experience to each other, will have to be taken as a foundation for the development of a New Age type of knowledge. On that foundation new myths are bound to arise. A very ancient one is now experiencing a crisis of potential transformation and, what is more, of transfiguration. I am speaking of astrology.

The Myth of Astrology

When in 1933 and 1934 I began to write articles for the first popular astrology magazine American Astrology, just started by Paul Clancy in New York, and when, in 1936, my book The Astrology of Personality was published by the Lucis Press at the instigation of Alice Bailey, astrology attracted only a limited public, mostly interested in fortune telling. Evangeline Adams in New York had pioneered a rebirth of astrological practice and won a well-publicized court action. Max Heindel in California had written The Message of the Stars; Alan Leo in England had for some years attempted a theosophical interpretation of classical European astrology, also undertaken at a more occult and kabalistic level by Sepharial; and Marc Edmund Jones had begun to write for his Sabian Assembly twelve mimeographed lessons on astrology. These lessons marked a basic departure, for they dealt with ancient astrological concepts on the basis of a profound and utterly consistent type of philosophical conceptualization.

It was Marc Jones' presentation which made me aware of the potential of psychological revelation inherent in astrology, if astrology were reformulated in terms of the then newly developed schools of depth-psychology, particularly that of Carl Jung. Thus the holistic, harmonic, and (as I called it much later) humanistic movement in astrology began and is now widely spreading. It is especially spreading among the youths of today; they are longing for new paths to personality integration and are wide open to ideals of transcendence and to the possibility of death-rebirth, a possibility more or less effectively and healthfully revealed to them by ancient Asiatic techniques and the use of ecstasy-inducing drugs. Following the lead given by "Third Force" psychologists—since Jung and, later, Maslow, Anthony Sutich, and many others—humanistic astrology is now being reoriented and, in many recent works, reformulated along transpersonal lines.

As I have conceived and presented it, astrology should be considered a powerful myth, perhaps one of the most powerful New Age myths. Indeed the very concept of a New Age, the Aquarian Age, has an astrological basis. It is a myth because it is, at least potentially, a consistent, well-organized and all-inclusive answer to personal human needs, collective as well as individual. These needs today must be met. A sense of organic wholeness and significant relatedness must be re-established in minds deprived of the support of now repudiated classical frames of reference and deeply confused by a multitude of possible alternatives, while these minds search for transcendence and hope for rebirth in a new social and cultural world that would be attuned to the superpersonal rhythms of the cosmos.

The keyword here is attuned. The most dynamic and restless members of today's youth, and many of their elders, poignantly feel "out of tune." Their entire society appears to them a discordant magma of wrong notes. By shrieking their out-of-tuneness louder than anyone else, they dare an essentially inert middle class, drugged by the gloss of suburban comfort and slick materialism, to face the horrendous possibility that their agitated and empty living is actually a magnified medieval "dance of death." In the past, the mythical violinist-leader of the dance was a skeleton; now, as more and more people begin to believe, it is the Pentagon and CIA, and their counterparts in other nations, that play the nuclear tune, while big business beats the drum.

This apocalyptic vision seems increasingly to take on the massive character of reality. The jungles of the biosphere, where small tribes of men once eeked out a difficult death-haunted existence, have become equally dangerous megalopoles of cement and asphalt scarring the once beautiful earth. Death or rape may still wait at the corner; neurosis is as endemic as malaria in tropical swamps.

Primitive man looked to the starry sky and studied the movements of the Moon and the Sun because there, in the "Above," they could see the magic of order at work. The sky was indeed magical, a revelation of transcendent divine harmony to which man and his society could attune their cultural endeavors as well as their agriculture, because man essentially belonged to that Above. Was it not his task and responsibility to make of the earthly "Below" a reflected image of the celestial Order? So indeed thought the old Chinese philosophers and emperors, and the Hindu seers, raising their consciousness to a point not only of response but of identification with the Above.

Astrology then was the supreme Myth of Order and Being. Primitive men needed that celestial answer to their earth-bound insecurity, their fears of the unknown, their yearning to commune with whatever they visualized as anticipations of a future godlike state of humanness. We need just as poignantly today an answer to our modern insecurity, our fears of personal disintegration under the pressures of city-life, of business passion for power, and of the menace of nuclear war or ecological disaster. Where can we find such an answer? Only a new myth can provide it for us, a myth relating our seemingly incoherent and tragically out-of-tune social and psychological movements to an all-encompassing and universally acceptable frame of reference whose vastness can absorb conflicts and redeem them into harmony.

How could such a "redemption" be possible? It can be possible only if the collective consciousness of Western people realizes the crucial need for a change of frame of reference. As Count Keyserling (the great German philosopher and culture-interpreter) once said: No basic conflict can be solved; it can only be transcended. By reaching a position in consciousness above the opposites, we may realize that both polarities are valid; both have something essential to contribute; both are essential participants in the counterpoint of life, not to be rejected but to be understood and, through understanding, harmonized.

The myth of the sky should give form to the as yet mostly inchoate and insecure feelings that, essentially, harmony prevails in the universe, once that universe is perceived and understood in its totality. We are blind to it because our perceptions are only partial and biased by emotional reactions, and particularly by our fears. Yet everything is related to everything else in a polyphony of interdependent and interpenetrating activities. If we lose this sense of relatedness—which is also love— everything falls apart within us, and our world collapses into meaninglessness. We must regain that sense of relatedness. We may achieve this through astrology, but it is not the only way.

Astrology can be, and has been at least tentatively, reformulated as a myth that could inspire and, here and there, has already inspired distraught human individuals to see within the magic mirror of their birth-charts the revelation of their truth-of-being, their dharma. If truly understood as a power of transpersonal revelation of order within—a mandala of archetypal selfhood and destiny—it is not a religion. It does not "bind back" to an external source to be worshipped. Yet it can reveal the outline of the process of growth gradually evolving on the foundation of the persistent and never-silent AUM-tone of individual selfhood, sustaining all that we are and can potentially become. It is guidance, not subjection; companionship with our greater celestial Self, not worship of an absolute Other, called God.

In my recent book The Sun is also a Star (Dutton and Co., N.Y. 19 75) I spoke of "the Galactic Dimension of Astrology." We are in the Galaxy. We have not to go elsewhere to reach our galactic form or fulfill our galactic destiny. Galactic space pervades and illumines every cell of our body, every circuit of our thinking brain. If we are willing and ready to abandon our subjection to the dictates of an autocratic Sun, ruling over our personalities with the compulsive power of biological drives and psychic emotions; if we are willing to surrender our dependence upon the ego-Sun and see ourselves as one small star in the immense choir of galactic centers of radiant light, then our voice may rise above the apparent discords of interplanetary relationships, symbols of our social and personal limitations. Our life may then become a mythopoetic expression of trust in the harmony of the universe and of "that" out of which universes are born, then die and are reborn. In this realization our problems may fade into peace. We may learn who we are, where we stand, and how best we can fulfill our role in the cosmos.

This is evidently not what, for most people, astrology means today, or has meant in Western cultures since Athens, Alexandria, Rome, and classical Europe. But it is what it can mean to individuals who take seriously—and intelligently attempt to formulate by their actions—the real, yet so rarely understood significance and purpose of our recently emerging counterculture. The problem our Western society faces is to give stability, meaning, and validity to that counterculture; it is to give to it a mythopoetic character. It should be able to give birth to new myths, or at least to do for the new myths in process of revelation what the Mediterranean "proletariat" of the Hellenistic and Roman world (to use Toynbee's term) did with the Christ-myth propagated by the seed-sacrifice of a few illumined and courageous men and women.

The New Age Myth

If one asks: Does the idea of a New Age now beginning, or about to begin, correspond to actual, concrete, expectable facts, or is it merely an illusion, a dream-like utopia? The only possible answer is that the need for a radically new departure in human affairs is evident. What is much less evident is whether mankind's response to that need will be sufficiently strong, lucid, and sustained to produce a new and viable global culture encompassing the whole of humanity within some complex form of sociopolitical organization.

The astrological fan may exclaim: "But don't you believe we are at the beginning of the Aquarian Age?" The answer is that it is we make the Aquarian Age. We perceives certain facts, such as the precession of the equinoxes mentioned in a previous chapter; we organizes these facts of experience into a conceptual picture by using the symbolism of Number, because we believe in cosmic laws and the invariance of the basic motions of our Earth and in general of all celestial bodies. We speak of twelve precessional Ages dividing the assumed length of the cycle of precession; we study what we know of past history and establishe correlations between historical changes of major significance and the divisions of the precessional cycle the use of numbers has produced. And as these correlations release into our consciousness a deep and illuminating source of meaning, the astrologer states that we are at or near the threshold of the Aquarian Age.

Such a statement is a concept, because it takes for granted what could also be interpreted (i.e. given meaning to) in other ways. The most basic statements made by astronomers are also concepts based on theories which evidently depend on the scope of perception of man's senses and the machines his particular type of intellect has built to assist him in a particular type of endeavor dictated by the particular mentality of our Western culture. In spite of what the Declaration of Independence proclaims, no statement should be called an absolutely "self-evident truth." What is evident is that at a certain time the need for taking a particular statement as self-evident arises. The asserted proposition answers the need, and therefore it acquires the validity and power of a great myth.

Only a naive and unhistorical mind can think that facts are more powerful than myths. All radical changes in human history are the results of the spread of a myth that, in a totally convincing manner, answers a crucially experienced need during a period of crisis. When, in the defeated and chaotic Russia of the fall of 1917, Lenin gained power by his mantram-like repetition of the slogan "Peace, Bread, Land," he formulated the myth that answered the traumatic need of the mass of the people. What immediately followed was neither peace, nor much bread, nor privately owned land. Yet what Lenin started and Trotsky's army was able to defend led, in an extraordinarily short time, a huge backward country to a position of world-influence equaled only by the United States.

Lenin created a myth giving a totally unexpected form to Karl Marx's dream-vision. The myth triumphed over the facts and over the interpretation which anyone in 1917 would have given to them. A band of Christians likewise triumphed over the massive administrative machinery of the Roman empire which the facts had proven to be eminently successful in its ability to bring order to a collection of disintegrating culture-wholes.

These myths won the day because they aroused in a few individuals an ineradicable and irrefutable faith in the validity of the answer they gave to the collective need of a large collectivity of human beings, and the contagious power of that faith proved irresistible. Yet there was blindness in that faith, and it led to a basic perversion of the ideal vision. The faith of the early American pioneers in total self-reliance and individualistic freedom of action also led to the robber-barons and the widespread murder of Native Americas during the westward rush toward more land and gold. The "American dream" was also a myth, answering to the need of oppressed classes in Europe; alas, it has come to the disillusion of the Vietnam war and Watergate.

The Aquarian Age concept is a myth in the sense that mankind today needs to believe in not only the possibility but the inevitability of a rebirth of culture, however delayed it might be and however much man may cling to the old. Most people have to believe in a renewed descent of divinely transforming power and Wisdom. Because Western man has lost faith in the ability of political and religious leaders (and increasingly of late even in the ability of scientists and technologists) to reshape our chaotic society in terms of obsolescent, if not actually obsolete, traditional values and concepts, he has to create new myths or his world will crumble, if not physically and ecologically, then spiritually. Whoever creates the convincing myth that truly will answer the crucial need of men, women, and children will prove to be the agent of the potential of ever-renewed transformation inherent in Humanity.

All great transforming myths are backed by facts; but we should now realize that these facts are also made by the same historical and evolutionary forces which generated the need to which the myth is an answer. The validity of the myth of an astrological New Age depends on the ability Western man has displayed to invent telescopes, photographic and electronic mechanisms, and also mathematical formulas to organize and conceptualize in a plethora of new sense-data. On the other hand, it is this intellectual ability which has been responsible for the Industrial and Electronic Revolutions and the attendant disorganization of culture-wholes all over the globe. This is the periodically repeated paradox. Science and technology at the same time gave rise to the present world-wide human need, and to the facts on which a mythopoetic creation could base new symbols evoking a potent creative answer to that need. This answer is based on a precise calculation of the cycle of precession, on the discovery of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, and the realization of the nature of the ordered multitude of stars we call a galaxy.

The great astrological New Age myth is the Galaxy Myth, for the symbols we have to use in order to conceptualize our basic sense of belonging to a greater Whole no longer have to take a transcendentally superexistential character. We do not have to say that in Christ he "lives, moves and has his being," as the New Testament asserts; because now the new facts of astronomy tells us that he lives, moves, and has his being in the Galaxy. Galactic space pervades every cell of every human being's body. We all are as much galactic beings as fishes are organizations of sea-water. Yet we do not normally realize this is so. We need a new, powerful myth to entice our minds into vividly, indisputably, unforgettably experiencing that fact. We need a myth which at the same time will transform on the one hand our human sense of physicality and on the other the ancient concepts of the solar system, the constellations, and the Milky Way. In the past such concepts made of the sky a celestial abode for celestial Hierarchies of gods (the old vitalistic myth), or else pictured it as a black emptiness in which stars separated by incomprehensibly vast distances shine in lonely isolation (the nineteenth century materialistic myth).

Both types of concepts no longer answer to the intellectual, or even the emotional, needs of modern humanity. A new galactic myth should now rephrase the message of the sky and give it a new meaning in terms of a newly experienced manifestation of cosmic order. It seems probable that the creators of the myth of the New Age will evoke in the minds of the new generation a "cosmophanic" rather than a theophanic vision of the wholeness of existence. God would not be displaced by the new cosmic realizations, but rather made integral with a cosmos irradiated through and through by the divine Presence. Without such a cosmic revelation as a background, and by merely basing our hope for a New Age on the vague ideas of Aquarius being an "air sign," succeeding the watery devotionalism of Pisces, the fervently longed for New Age could well be a deceptive dream, a utopia without factual consistency.

The statement that we are entering the Aquarian Age because at the vernal equinox an infinitely prolonged line passing from the Sun to the Earth is reaching, or will soon reach, the space designated as the constellation Aquarius is an accurate astrological deduction. But it is deduced from the old picture of the sky which we have inherited from now disintegrated and mostly unknown cultures reconstructed from only fragmentary records by archaeologists lacking really adequate data. These cultures "made' the constellations and gave them characteristics represented by names whose symbolical meaning for modern man has lost its experienceability. The meanings of the elements Fire, Earth, Water, and Air have to be carefully explained to and memorized by students of astrology. Other cultures used other names. If there is to be a really New Age (and we have to believe in that possibility if we are to retain our spiritual sanity and our will to create) we must find within ourselves the answer to the need for its formation. And first of all we must, as individuals, experience the incontrovertible pressure of that need and an inner spiritual compulsion to allow the universe's answer to take form within our open and expectant mind.

What we have to watch for is the tendency of our minds to follow the line of least effort, and thus to use the immediately available and easiest way of giving form to this inner creative answer, the way that is already encumbered with familiar words and stereotypes. The first characteristic of the creative mythopoetic individual is his courage, his determination not to follow the easy path. I have repeated elsewhere the statement made by Erik Johnson during World War II "Beaten paths are for beaten men." In the realm of mind nothing beats a path as effectively as the indiscriminate use of old names into which small minds try to pour new meanings. Surely we cannot impulsively break away from all past formulas, lest we have eventually to return to them as supplicants for sanity. But we need not be rooted in the form the gradual rise of mankind has taken in more or less recent culture-wholes; we may allow ourselves to be drawn into the very flow of the great river of civilization while remaining conscious of its distant source and aware of its eventual merging with the cosmic ocean.

The New Age is to be created with new symbols, not manufactured by the use of reclaimed mental materials which once substantiated the creative impulse that gave birth to what then was some other culture's New Age. Astrology in its traditional form can point the way by showing us how the order of the sky, in contrast to the chaos of earthly jungles, can provide for us the substance of mythopoetic creations ensouling the efforts of material builders. The soul has to have a body; it is the new astronomy which is providing us with the body of new myths whose messages can be deciphered in the sky. Astronomy challenges us to write new poems of creation to give meaning to the new facts it has obtained.

There will be a New Age if and when we create it. We will find in us a readiness and the will to create when, having attuned ourselves to the rhythms of the Galaxy, we can let the immense Company of the Stars project upon our minds the hieroglyphs of the New Age. Why should they necessarily be the words of a latinized Chaldean-Greek tradition? We had to start with these words as scaffoldings; but let the Temple rise!

There is a schedule for its completion. We have to believe there is, in order to challenge, every morning, the laziness of our minds and the weariness of our spirit deafened by the noise and chaos of the building process. That there is such a schedule is what constitutes the myth of an impending New Age. This myth is an answer to our impatience, but also to our innate demand for ordered processes of growth. We accept the myth; yet need be neither bound nor haunted by our concern for its implementation. The New Age is our creating it.

1. For a more detailed formulation of the concept of cyclocosm and of the process of existence, the reader is referred to my book The Planetarization of Consciousness, Part 2 (Harper and Row, N.Y., 1970; paperback edition, Aurora Press, N.Y., 1977).   Return

2. The never-ending number Pi, 3.14159 . . . rightly expresses the relationship of circumference to diameter, rather than to radius, because any radiation from a center inevitably, it seems, operates in two opposite directions. Any action moving to the right is, at least potentially, balanced by another moving to the left. Any release of potentiality into actuality can, and we must assume has to, evoke a release of power of opposite character. This is simply a corollary of the dualistic interplay of Yang and Yin. In this sense, cosmic existence is a Play, a lila of Brahma, a game of chess. But it is not a repetitive circular play. One side wins. The circle turns into a spiral. Yet, perhaps in one universe the spiral goes up," in another "down"—a matter and antimatter, the physicist would say.   Return

3. Some of the ideas stated here were developed at greater length and within a somewhat different frame of reference in my book We Can Begin Again-Together, Part One (Omen Press) written in 1970. In Parts Two and Three I outlined structural principles on which the eventual development of a new global society could take place. An earlier attempt, Modern Man's Conflicts: The Creative Challenge of a Global Society (originally entitled "New Goals") was written in 1945-46 and published two years later by the Philosophical Library, New York. This book has long been out of print.   Return

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