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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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Human Cycles of Unfoldment - 3

All life-cycles should first be divided into two halves. The first hemicycle considered from the point of view of the creative power of spirit, can be called involutionary because (at whatever level it may be) it refers to the gradual actualization and embodiment in some kind of concrete substance (not necessarily physical substance) of an originating initial impulse, a creative Word. The first hemicycle is essentially a period of activity — activity leading, if all goes well, to the incorporation of the quality released by the original impulse in some kind of organism; and by organism is meant here any organized system of interrelated and interdependent activities having a definable purpose and life span.

The second hemicycle is evolutionary, if seen from the point of view of the consciousness having developed within the organism. If all goes well, this consciousness then radiates in and through mental constructs: ideas, symbols, conceptual systems and theories, and any sociocultural manifestations. Through these and the harvest of meaning they bring to focus, the human being gathers the material which will reach a point of synthesis at what the Hindus call "the last thought in death." This "thought" — or rather this moment of synthesized consciousness — is said to condition the karma of a future cycle of existence in a new human body.

According to such a cyclic pattern, the thirty-fifth birthday is the turning point. At that point in time the human being should normally reach maturity as a "living soul" able to focus its energies and its generic consciousness in a mind at least relatively well integrated, and thus able to participate in a mature and emotionally steady manner in the building of the higher sociocultural aspect of his community, tribe, or nation. This man or woman may not be truly individualized in the sense of having actually transferred the center of his or her consciousness from the biopsychic to the mental-spiritual level; yet he or she can act as a mature person with a clearly distinct character in the fulfillment of whatever place and function he or she occupies in the social environment. The term "personality" is used here to mean the capacity a human being has to take a distinctive stand among the crowd and more or less forcefully and effectively to impress upon others the quality of thinking, feeling, or behavior this stand implies.

Theoretically, and indeed in most instances after thirty-five, the biological forces acting through the physical organism begin to lose some of their power. A slow process of devolution becomes set and eventually leads to crystallization and deterioration in old age, and perhaps to senility. But another process may and should begin to operate in an opposite and polar direction, and at another level. If it takes place at all, this process represents a building in consciousness, succeeding at a mental-social-cultural level the earlier process of building a concrete organism of personality, which theoretically reaches some kind of apex in the vicinity of the thirty-fifth birthday. Thus, during the first thirty-five years, the building forces in man operate biologically and psychologically at the physical-personal level; then, if the momentum has reached a proper basis of operation, they become repolarized at the sociocultural communal level along lines of forces established in the mind-field of human activity.

This repolarization could lead to a continual process of development until bodily death occurs, but if this should be the case it would be because the human being has been able to transfer the very center of his consciousness, the focus, from the biopsychic level of natural man vibrating to the planetary 4 to the mental-spiritual level of a definitely individualized person in whom the vibration 5 has become dominant. Such a dominance is needed if the entropy (or disintegrative trend) of the body energies and cellular substance is to be effectively counteracted after the age of fifty-six; but even then the counteraction may only be partial and fade out. If it succeeds in keeping the bodily instrumentality of consciousness — mainly the brain, but also the endocrine glands and the heart-responsive to the expanding and self-clarifying consciousness, this is ample proof that the person's life has become reorganized in mid-life and shifted to the rhythm of the eighty-four-year cycle. Such a shift undoubtedly was potential at birth, but the definite evidence of its having actually occurred in most cases should be looked for at some time during the late thirties — perhaps around the turning-point of the seven-year cycle from thirty-five to forty-two. Very often at that time some event or decision can be found pointing to a further change during "the dangerous forties."

If we should try to ascertain the character of each of the ten seven-year cycles within the whole life-span of the human being we should once more be sure to realize that only general trends or principles can be stated. These should help us to understand the meaning of actual events in a person's life but in no way should serve as a reliable basis for prediction.

The first seven years constitute above all a period of body-building but, in a deeper sense, they are concerned with the original and most basic adjustment of the innate potential of the newborn to the pressures of the environment. What at birth is a field of "pure potentiality" faces the constant challenge to define its main lines of response to body functions, family, society, school, etc. The child tries to find out how far he can go and retain his base of operation — this with reference to whatever he touches or experiences, especially with the parents whom he absolutely needs, yet whose psychological pressures he tries to resist at every step.

The second cycle (seven to fourteen) reveals the child normally more sure of himself (unless the environmental pressures have been unbearable) and eager to assert his urge to active self-expression. He is still one of the tribe, yet the energies of his nature demand to be released in their own way. The child not only responds to changing stimuli and pressures in a differentiated manner, he seeks to affirm his own biopsychic rhythm (which, however, must not be confused with the true individuality). We spoke of this level as that of power because it deals with the building of the ego as a focus for the release of life-power.

The third cycle (fourteen to twenty-one) starts with puberty and the rise of the sex urge. A mostly unconscious yet disturbing feeling of incompleteness forces the adolescent to seek a new orientation toward his associates, toward society in general, and the knowledge and traditions of his culture (high school and college years). This is the period during which the emotions dominate and control the ego-center of power.

The fourth cycle (twenty-one to twenty-eight) is one of attempted consolidation and fulfillment of expectation — or of great restlessness and rebellion against family and social demands. If the latter prevails, whether outwardly or within the consciousness stirred by the ego, the stage is set for the process of individualization. However, real individualization is not proved by one's eagerness to repudiate the past and assert one's ego-will in emotional outbursts against unbearable sociocultural situations. It can manifest in one's ability to transform oneself and to transfer one's center of consciousness to a conscious mind-level in at least relative freedom from biological and emotional compulsions.

We shall presently see the importance of age twenty-eight in the eighty-four-year long life-cycle, but in the seven year pattern it marks the possibility of focusing the results of one's experiences at the sociocultural level as a foundation for the building of a personal status, or even stature. The twenty-one to twenty-eight period is theoretically the one during which a human being finds himself attracted to, or deliberately selects the type of associates, comrades or companions with whom he feels he will be able to develop and stabilize his personality as a functional unit in the larger social process — and therefore this fourth seven-year period (twenty-one to twenty-eight) archetypally represents the natural time for marriage or its present-day equivalents. If, as is now so often the case, such a union of boy and girl occurs before age twenty-one, this tends to mean that the basic tone-quality of the marriage or steady companionship is conditioned by psychological factors and emotional needs or impulses rather than by the realization that the union has a procreative and/or sociocultural purpose, i.e. the perpetuation of the human race and/or of one's culture, religion, and family-tradition. Here again, from the point of view of such a study of life-cycles, what matters is not the actual events in the associative process, but the quality of the performance and the character of the purpose with which it is associated.

With the fifth seven-year period (twenty-eight to thirty five) the creative potentiality inherent in the outcome of the four preceding periods should be released. However, there may be no creative or transforming release whatever, and the still young person simply becomes gradually more set as a replica — with only superficial modifications — of a particular human type and of the social pattern which his parents exemplified before him.

Whatever happens conditions the second half of the life. If maturity in the mid-thirties brings at least a relatively important development of the personalized consciousness in terms of the traditional and quasi-official structure of culture and society, the human being is able to go on with that process, whose field of action is the mind associated with feeling responses. Such a person may make a real contribution to his or her society. At least he may effectively fill a role determined or conditioned by his or her karma. Yet that contribution usually has a crystallizing effect upon the character. In other cases, the period thirty-five to forty-two may witness some cathartic experiences, especially during the thirty-ninth year (after the thirty-eighth birthday), which may contain in germ the crisis of the mid-forties.

During the "dangerous forties," either the individual settles to routine and a resigned acceptation of a life pattern which he or she seems unable or unwilling to alter, or a sharp revision of attitude may occur, especially toward one's intimates or one's religious beliefs. This very often leads to an emotional and often confused attempt to make a new start, or merely to an escape from a seemingly unbearable situation. This is the age period which used to send most people to psychiatrists and analysts; and it still does, except that now every age period seems to reveal a similar need for psychological problems and more or less real emotional crises.

After forty-nine mental crystallization often sets in, at least to a degree and as a limitation to the power of changing one's self image and accepting the possibility of radical life changes. On the other hand, the socially successful person may then assume greater collective responsibility as a managerial figure or executive. The physical condition of the body and the state of the vital forces largely determine what occurs after fifty-six and especially sixty-three. Each particular case differs, the more so the more the human being has experienced, even to a small extent, the transforming power of the process of individualization. One point nevertheless is worth mentioning for, in many instances, it may help one to a deeper understanding of what is taking place after thirty-five.

The basic concept is that the thirty-fifth birthday is like a kind of hinge. What happens afterward can be said to reflect the karmic imprint of what occurred from thirty-five back to birth. This means that at thirty-six and thirty-seven the life reflects some of the karma of what occurred at thirty-four and thirty-three. Seven years after thirty-five is related to seven years before thirty-five. Thus the eighteenth birthday is reflected in the fifty-second birthday; the seventeenth in the fifty-third; the sixteenth in the fifty-fourth, etc. At forty-nine one reacts to the karma of what occurred at twenty-one, because forty-nine is fourteen years after thirty-five; and twenty-one, fourteen years before thirty-five. Age sixty-three reflects age seven; and seventy reflects birth, as the end of a cycle reflects its beginning.

There is no question at all here of similar events. The connection between after thirty-five and before thirty-five is subtle and can easily elude the mind conditioned by thinking only of very specific, actual events. What is involved is the quality of the living, and the manner in which past experiences and, even more, events which failed to happen (man's "unlived life," as a psychologist would say), affect the development of the later life. This must not be taken as a general rule applying to every year and every person's life, but many significant examples could be given.

Here the difficulty is that only a very intimate knowledge of the life of a person could reveal this type of connection. It is mostly a technique to be used by the person himself in order to gain a more holistic picture of his entire life and understand in a new way the complex ramifications interrelating its various phases. Moreover this seventy-year archetypal pattern tends to be modified or overshadowed by the rhythm of the eighty-four-year long life-cycle when, as is the case in our modern civilization glorifying individualism, the mid-point of the cycle shifts from age thirty-five to age forty-two.

This eighty-four-year cycle theoretically refers to the level of development of the individual soul; its basically mental rhythm at birth is merely a potentiality which in most instances develops only progressively. The numerical basis of this rhythm differs from that of the "living soul" (seventy-year) cycle. The eighty-four-year cycle — which turns out to be the length of a complete revolution of the planet, Uranus, around the Sun should be divided into three twenty-eight-year sections. The cycle proceeds according to a three-phase rhythm, whereas the seventy-year pattern is basically twofold in structure. A two-beats rhythm is primarily biological; and at the level of the "living soul" in the Earth's biosphere the numbers 2, 4, and 10 are dominant. At the level of the mind, at which the process of individualization operates, numbers 3, 7, and 28 are the essential factors — and 7, by Kabbalistic addition, gives 28 (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 = 28) which, occult tradition claims, is the number of Man.

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

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