II. CONCEPTUAL FORMULATIONS
Existence implies activity and change; cycles are series of ordered changes.
A cycle is a whole in time having a more or less well-defined beginning, middle (culmination), and end. It begins in a "seed condition," with a release of potentialities which will be actualized (at least to some extent) during the "spring" and "summer" quarters of the cycle. The culmination of the cycle, its symbolic "flowering," reveals its harvest of positive accomplishment, its failure to actualize some potentialities, and the by-products and waste of its course of development. During its "autumnal" and "winter" phases new "seeds" are formed, out of which a new cycle will proceed the following "spring," while "leaves" (inevitable by-products) decay to provide raw materials for the new cycle. The next cycle (be it cosmic or personal) proceeds in answer to the need of these raw materials to be given a "second chance" for harmonious embodiment.
While succeeding cycles proceed according to the same pattern, which is characteristic of all cycles, whatever their scope or level of operation, the contents of two cycles are never exactly the same. This is because the relatedness of the multiplicity of factors operating within a cycle introduces an element of unpredictability or indeterminacy. Hence, for Rudhyar, there can be no Nietzschean eternal return; cycles follow and build upon one another in a spirallic way. Moreover, for him,
"The concept of the cycle is at least potentially the most inclusive of all symbols, because it 'constitutes a frame of reference for all symbols [and experiences]; it enables us to situate and to give a structural meaning to any and all symbols [and experiences]. It answers perhaps to the most profound need of the human mind, the need to harmonize, within an intelligible pattern of order and significance, ideas and beliefs, modes of feeling and behaving, which though radically different must be granted an objective and historical-geographical value."
(Planetarization of Consciousness,
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1983 by Leyla RaŽl
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