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

OCCULT PREPARATIONS
FOR A NEW AGE
by Dane Rudhyar, 1975




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CONTENTS


PART ONE:
A Planetary Approach to Occultism amd Its Source

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

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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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CHAPTER SEVEN
Planetary and Social Cycles - 2

The daily rhythm has been "cosmified" by India's vulgarizers of the esoteric doctrines into the Days and Nights of Brahma, the Creator. These refer to immensely long periods of cosmic Manifestation, and equally long periods (though here one can no longer speak of time in our human sense) of non-Manifestation. The state of Manifestation (Manvantara) constitutes what we call "existence." All existence ceases during non-Manifestation (Pralaya). Yet the mind can make a conceptual picture of a process, no longer of existence, but of "in-istence," referring to the Pralaya state, the cosmic Sleep, which can also be symbolized at the biological level by the state of hibernation.

At a more transcendentally human level, we can also consider as a Pralaya condition of the human consciousness, the period between death to the physically objective world of bodies and a new birth defined by the karma (positive as well as negative) of the past. "Existence" refers to the exteriorization of consciousness as the result of a particular relationship between (1) a Soul and (2) a human body produced by the long evolution of material organisms on the biosphere. This particular relationship is made possible by (3) the integrative power of a monadic spark of the Divine. Therefore the Occultist speaks of man's threefold nature, and more generally of three schemes of evolution.

When this relationship is dissolved, the Soul and the body each goes its own way — the Soul to a condition of subjectivity, the body (and this includes all its psychic overtones) to a condition of reabsorption into the material (the "humus") of the biospheric "ground", the matter of which is not only physical-molecular, but also includes a kind of planetary psychic stuff filled with the decay of all strictly "personal" and nonspiritualizable aspects of the human being during the life just ended. Death therefore brings about a definitely dualistic state of affairs in which Spirit and matter are seemingly completely separated. That separation, however, can only be temporary in a world founded upon the harmony of two polar principles. After a relatively subjective state of consciousness in which the Soul experiences itself within itself (the Devachan state of theosophical literature), it is compulsively drawn by the Law of Harmony (which is what karma is) toward a new manifestation, that is, a new relationship to a new human organism.

Mythological cosmologies speak of Brahma's "desire to be" as the cause of the creation of a new universe, but this is personalizing what to the Occultist is simply the operation of an impersonal metacosmic principle of absolute Harmony, whose polarities are Subjectivity and Objectivity. Likewise, it is sometimes said that the Soul "chooses" a new personality before it is embryonic in a human mother's womb. Very likely at a relatively high level of spiritual development such a possibility of "choice" may exist, but back of it stands the karmic Law, which simply refers to the momentum of past successes and failures and the unexpended energy involved in them. It is only as this momentum is exhausted that the condition of Nirvana may be reached. But then another and more inclusive type of dualism arises, opposing those who succeed in reaching that state and those who fail and drop along the path — or who became positive expressions of Darkness, while the Nirvanee merged into the Light of pure subjectivity.

This same basic process operates everywhere and at every level, but evidently in infinitely varied forms. It is, for the Hindu mystic, a Play — the lila of Brahma. To the Western mind it seems more like a drama; or to the ancient Greek, a tragedy. Each drama or tragedy has a certain number of acts. If complete, it has also a prologue and an epilogue, because nothing begins except it be born out of some past, and it leads toward a more or less distant future. The dramatist selects a specific situation as the main theme of the play. He starts the action at a certain moment, when the personages of the play have reached a definite and potentially dramatic (or hilarious, if it is a comic farce) condition of interrelationship. Yet somehow he has to explain how everyone in the cast came to that significant moment in their interconnecting lives, and this is stated in the prologue.

The student of cyclic processes faces a related problem when he is attempting to understand the character and meaning of the cosmic, natural, or historical events or situations which he is able to perceive as phases of a cyclic process. This problem is the determination of what is to be considered the beginning of a cycle. The nature of such a problem can most easily be understood when we consider the cycle produced by the yearly revolution of the Earth around the Sun, and the manner in which such a cycle affects the type of vegetation which most characteristically reflects this seasonal rhythm of change. When should we say that the year cycle begins?

We have only to look at the various calendars in existence today to realize that the question can be answered in several ways. It seems, however, that most of the answers use one of the four cardinal moments of the year as the at least approximate starting point of the year cycle; yet I personally do not know of any society using the summer solstice, or a day near it, as New Year. In our Western world the year begins after the winter solstice; the Jewish year starts around the fall equinox, and many ancient countries and the recent Bahai Movement — together with the astrologers of today and of old — use the spring equinox as New Year day, speaking of it usually as the beginning of "Nature's year."

The meanings attributed to the various phases of cycles inevitably reflect the character of the collective experience of the people whose culture formulated and symbolized such meanings. Human beings find in the vegetable kingdom their basic sustenance, either directly in the vegetarian mode, or indirectly by eating animals which have fed on products of the vegetable kingdom. The trees of that kingdom have also been responsible for the development of an oxygen-rich atmosphere needed for man's breathing. The vegetable kingdom is the foundation of biospheric activity, and this activity is dominated by the rhythm of the seasons, and of related atmospheric and climatic changes of a cyclic character. The cycle of life on Earth can therefore significantly be symbolized by the seasonal changes in vegetation; but in order to understand these changes and what they symbolize one has to realize that the life of a plant — and more characteristically an annual or deciduous plant manifests in two modes, represented by the seed and the leaf.

Every aspect of the plant's life outside of the seed can be referred to the leaf and the development of its pattern. Even the trees which develop trunk and branches, and a complex root system balancing them underground, are essentially modifications of the leaf pattern. The seed, on the other hand, has a character and shape all of its own. It serves a function totally different from that of the leaf and its derivatives, which include the flowers and fruits. Seeds are mostly invisible except for a very brief period when they drop upon the soil; leaves and flowers are visible and have a direct relationship with the sunlight and all the lives that use them as food. The leafs chlorophyll, which gives a basic green tonality to the biosphere, fulfills through the process of photosynthesis an absolutely fundamental function in the development of the biosphere of our planet. The leaf becomes transfigured into the flower, whose color and fragrance attracts insects who help in the fertilizing process, insuring the perpetuation of the species. After fertilization, the new seed is reformed under the protection of various enveloping membranes, which in many cases develop into succulent fruits. As the fruit decays, the seeds contained within its womb are released, some falling heavily upon the ground; others, endowed with wings, are carried by the wind to give them a better chance to fall on fertile soil.

The realm of the leaf and all its derivatives is the realm of existential manifestation. The realm of the seed refers to at least relatively unmanifested essence. The seed is an agency through which the archetypal reality of a vegetable species reaches and is able to affect the existential world of the Earth's biosphere. Through the seed the species acts, focusing the specific type of energy and structuring forces which characterize this generic form of life. Within the seed a tiny reflection of a transcendent reality vibrates.

Whatever belongs to the realm of the leaf must disintegrate at the close of the cycle, but the seed has the power to retain its identity and remain as a potentiality of creative renewal after the cycle's end. Eventually it will perform the sacrifice of the seed to the new vegetation. It will die so that new life once more may arise and ascend toward the Sun; but that kind of death is a victory over nature's entropy, of Spirit over all material forms. New leaves will unfold and in turn become the flowery womb for a multiplied harvest of seeds.

This should not be interpreted as a picture of exact cyclic recurrence insofar as existential realities are concerned. The molecules and atoms in the rose that grew on a bush in 1974 will not be the same atoms as those in the rose of spring 1975. Besides, from one seed germinating into a plant a vastly increased number of seeds may grow; and on this power of self-multiplication all agriculture, and also cattle-breeding, is based. The archetypal structure of the process remains the same, but the existential products structured by it may not only produce an increase of substance — an increase affecting the whole environment — but they may lead to creative mutations.




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






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