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Dane Rudhyar's Occult Preparations for a New Age. Image Copyright 2004 by Michael R. Meyer.

by Dane Rudhyar, 1975

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A Planetary Approach to Occultism amd Its Source

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To Michael R. Meyer
and Nancy Kleban
In warm appreciation
and friendship.

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This title was first published by Quest Books, 1975.

Cover for the online edition copyright © 2004
by Michael R. Meyer.

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Time and the Cyclic Structure of Cosmic Process - 2

Unfortunately, when the intellectually college-trained person of our century is confronted with the concept of "cycle,"his or her first reaction is to think of it in terms of the Nietzschean Eternal Return, and usually to dismiss it. Since the Council of Constantinople in the fourth century A.D. the concepts of cyclic activity and cyclic process have been repudiated by the church and the official mentality of the Euro-American culture, having been declared heretical. This repudiation had very grave results in the development of our Western thought. It was part of an attempt to make the coming of Christ a unique event dividing the history of mankind into a radically different "before" and "after." In so doing the Fathers of the Church followed the Jewish tradition which also gave to Exodus and the relationship between a personal God and Moses, his Lawgiver, a definitely historical character — history being conceived as a straight line, unidirectional movement. During the nineteenth century, as men's minds were glowing with pride in the achievements of science, this movement took the form of irrevocable "progress" from barbarism to ever more glorious and expansive manifestations of civilization; but unfortunately our Western world understood and interpreted such a linear development almost exclusively in terms of material well-being and inflated technological productivity. This interpretation made of it a tragic shadow of the divine world of spontaneous and radiant creativity — thus evoking satanic powers and perversions of the mind which may lead to "black magic" on a large scale.

It became essential therefore to try to reinterpret the linear straightforward motion of evolutionary progress at a spiritual level, and to show how that movement of the divine time-process could be integrated with the circular movement of time. The result of this integration is the concept of time as a logarithmic spiral which is the true representation of the world-process. In this world-process spiritual creativity — straightforward motion operating in many directions (many universes, many dimensions of cosmic existence) — is constantly associated with the circularity of the formative Mind and its processes of focalization and functional integration. Thus three fundamental types of motion, and therefore three essential modes of activity, are found represented in man's experience of change and process, an experience which at least reflects the basic realities of the COSMOS.

To these three kinds (or modalities) of time, three different concepts (or modes of apprehension) of space correspond: (1) multilinear space defined by the character and intensity of intentional relationship, and in which distance is qualitative rather than quantitative and measurable; (2) three dimensional space in which every existential unit occupies a definable and measurable place and at some distance (minute as it may be) from other units; and (3) space in which the interpenetration of everything by everything else is an essential factor in the development of ever more inclusive and "plenary" modes of relatedness and interdependence, the motive power of which is universal Love.

HPB in The Secret Doctrine speaks of three schemes of universal evolution: spiritual, intellectual and physical.(1) These can be related to the three basic concepts of time and space just mentioned; and to the experiences which have given rise to these concepts. It is also stated that "each [of these three systems] is represented in the constitution of man, the Microcosm of the great Macrocosm; and it is the union of these three streams which makes him the complex being he now is."

Circularity and cyclicness are related to mind, but to the mind which establishes order in the apparent chaos of "chance happenings" in a world in constant change. One may call this mind cosmogenic because it generates order and also beauty (the two main meanings of the Greek term, cosmos) in the human consciousness. It relates the confusing and apparently irrational sequence of life-events — that is, what Western man calls and almost worships as "chance" — to basic principles establishing a cosmic frame of reference. Science tries to discover such principles, referring to them as "Laws of Nature" — an awkward term for scientists who refuse to believe in a Lawgiver — but modern science shies from making of them the expression of an overall purpose that would relate end to beginning, and postulates an omega state to polarize an alpha state now appearing in scientific theories as a "Big Bang" starting the universe.

It is the end of a process that makes the start of it meaningful. The value of the world outlook presented by the eminent Jesuit philosopher-scientist, Teilhard de Chardin, resides in his providing a meaningful end to evolution. But such an outlook essentially is a reflection of the ancient traditional occult picture of the universe upon the inspired mind of a Catholic thinker — and interestingly enough much of this outlook took form while Teilhard lived for many years, as an anthropologist, in or near Central Asia.

The ancient picture of world-processes recurring at an always new level (or dimension) gives a far greater and more enlightening meaning to human experience because it is holistic. The vast cosmic cycle is reflected and multiplied almost ad infinitum in a myriad of smaller cycles, which form a hierarchy of manifestations extending from the level of unity to that of ever increasing multiplicity, until the "bottom" of the process is reached and multiplicity is transformed into unity through a series of periodical integrations, and thus through the gradual simplification of relationships between the Many.

Each phase of a cosmic process begins in a new though secondary, tertiary, quaternary, etc. release of spiritual energy. Each of these releases (or "quanta") of energy has a unitarian character, reflecting at a new level the original One that started the entire cosmic process. It manifests or expresses a spiritual quality. This quality can be personified as an Entity. Being a reflection of the One Source, it can be called a "Monad." A name can be given to it symbolizing the "quality" it characterizes within the entire world-process. Thus Occultism speaks of a multitudinous hierarchy of Beings each having specific attributes and a sacred (and secret) Name. Yet, at a more abstract and esoteric level of understanding, it is the phase of the process which is the essential reality. Then the cosmic Office is emphasized rather than the Officiant who performs the activities required by the Office: the particular type of Mastery, rather than the being who, when he occupies the position of Master, ceases to be, strictly speaking, an "individual" in the sense that he has become identified with a phase of the process and thus with a cosmic or planetary quality. Nevertheless, he appears as an individual person if he has to deal with and affect men who are still at the level of individualized egos.

The value of such an "occult" picture of the world-process resides in giving to all activities at all levels of space and time the character of identifiable phases of processes of different scope and length. Each of these activities, as a phase of a structure and purposeful process, has a particular meaning. This meaning can be perceived by the mind who thinks in terms of process and cyclic phases. Such a type of thinking brings to man's consciousness intellectual understanding. It should be associated with an intuitive grasp of the everpresent reality of the creative straightforward motion of spirit lest it lead to the Nietzschean concept of everrepeating identical sequences of events. This Nietzschean concept denies that there are infinite possibilities of solutions to the problems of existence. It denies the infinite capacity of the Divine Mind to "imagine" always different universes for Its manifestation. Geometrically speaking, it reduces all spirals to closed circles.

The seed that ends a cycle is always potentially susceptible of mutation. But while there undoubtedly are wild mutations produced by a polluted environment or (at a human level) a perversion of the spiritual power of imagination, mutations normally occur according to a pattern of cosmic (whether microcosmic or macrocosmic) order. They significantly lead to new phases of the process of activity according to an archetypal "plan" defining the structural order of activity-sequences and the character of the agents able to bring to a focus the precise quality of action required for the operation of every particular phase.

The structures of cycles are, in the occult sense of the term, archetypes. Archetypal knowledge does not deal with events per se but with their structural sequence. It is indeed most important to differentiate between "archetypal" and "existential." The same archetypal structure may link — "contain" would be a rather inadequate term — very different events. To these different events it gives the same cyclic meaning. The rose blossoming on the rosebush in the spring 1975 is not a combination of the same molecules and atoms which formed roses on the same bush in 1974; and if the 1975 weather is bad, the new roses may be imperfect. Yet they will still embody the archetypal quality, Rosehood, and will still be springtime in the year-cycle.

We should never forget these facts when we think of cycles or try to draw conclusions from a knowledge of cycles. This knowledge does not allow us to accurately predict all events, but only the structural relationship between events. It helps us, if we are a gardener or botanist, to envision the oak in the seed; but too many possibilities concerning the relationship of a particular oak to its total environment may become precipitated into concrete events affecting the growth of the tree to allow us to be certain of the exact character of each phase of this growth. We can be sure nevertheless that the acorn will not grow into a plum tree.

Cyclic knowledge is mind — knowledge — however vast and encompassing the mind may be. It is structural knowledge. It is only one mode of knowing; but this mode is all-important in situations where disorder, confusion, and emotional biases prevail. It does not take the place of direct experience, whether at the personal or the spiritual level; but it enables the experiencer to place his experience in a frame of reference which reveals their econic significance — i.e. the function they occupy within the entire life-span. And many a mystical vision or peak-experience results in no permanent, basic transformation of the consciousness because it cannot be formulated and assimilated. It does not "belong" anywhere. It may turn into toxic material for the confused and unstructured consciousness.

Such a possibility became most evident as a result of the Industrial Revolution of last century. This produced a definite psychological need, and this need has increased a hundredfold during the last decades. The ancient concept of cyclic time which was declared heretic some fifteen centuries ago has to be revitalized and expanded to meet that collective need of Western humanity. As the traditional frames of reference of the Euro-American culture are shattered by the relentless surge of new creative spiritual currents, of which our society reveals so far mostly the dark materialistic reflection in its insane worship of unstructured "growth" and productivity at all cost, the study of cycles can bring back to distraught individuals a new, deeper, yet also intensely personal, sense of order.

Order, meaning, beauty and the inner sustainment arising from the conviction that one has a place and function to perform within a vast planetary process whose essential nature is rhythm and harmony regardless of the grinding noise of passing dissonances — what could be more valuable for men, women and children of our civilization headed toward chaos?

1. The Secret Doctrine I:181 "There exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme for the formation of three periodical Upadhis; or rather three separate schemes of evolution, which in our system are inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point. These are the Monadic (or spiritual), the intellectual and the physical evolutions . . . Each of these three systems has its own laws, and is ruled and guided by different sets of the highest Dhyanis or Logoi." The term, intellectual, may however be confusing. It refers here to the higher Mind and is said to be represented by the givers of intelligence — and consciousness to man — the Promethean Spirits of Kumaras.  Return

By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1975 by Dane Rudhyar
All Rights Reserved.

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