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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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Planetary and Social Cycles - 6

HPB's claim that at the beginning of the last quarter of each century a "Messenger" from the Occult Lodge has appeared and sought to influence the mind of Europe is rather difficult to prove; yet if we look back to what happened at the corresponding time in preceding centuries we can perceive significant traces of such developments.

The Theosophical Society was formed in N.Y. in 1875 and marked the definite beginning of HPB's public work as an emissary of the trans-Himalayan Brotherhood. France's defeat in 1871 and the rise of a powerful Germany produced one of the most fundamental factors in the future development of the Western world during the twentieth century, as it led directly to our two World Wars. Before the nineteenth century ended, the discovery of X-Rays and radium, then Planck's Quantum Theory and, at the psychological level, Freud's revolutionary ideas, also set the stage for the two other most significant developments in our present century: (1) the Electronic Revolution and Atomic Power, and (2) the fantastic growth of concern with man's neuropsychological problems and the development and/or transcendence of his ego.

In 1776 the Declaration of Independence and France's Revolution struck the keynotes of various attempts at transforming the social-political life. This fall period of the eighteenth century saw the earliest application of new discoveries on which the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century was based. According to H. P. B. and some of her later disciples, the mysterious Comte de Saint-Germain was the main guide in the occult operations which took place at that time; and he has been considered the head of the Hungarian Lodge of Adepts, whose earlier work was related to the original Rosicrucian Movement. Anton Mesmer, as we already saw, also started a movement of great importance that influenced a number of leaders during the nineteenth century.

What occurred at an occult level during the last quarter of the seventeenth century is not too clear, but Locke in England brought forth new ideas in political theory which greatly affected the attitude of the French Encyclopedists and American leaders. The Masonic Movement may have been planned in some secret groups, leading to its public emergence in 1717 as a powerful sociocultural force. And there were most important years in the earliest development of the American Colonies (King Philip's War, William Penn in Pennsylvania, etc.).

The last quarter of the sixteenth century was the last part of the Elizabethan Age, in which Francis Bacon and Shakespeare were reaching maturity, while France was torn by religious war between Catholics and Huguenots. The first unsuccessful English attempts to colonize the East coast of America failed, but soon afterward the Virginia Colony was a success (1607).

The last quarter of the fifteenth century saw the beginning of the Italian Renaissance and, at its close, the "discovery" of America and other "great voyages." And, according to the occult tradition, the Rosicrucian Movement began at the end of the fourteenth century.

When we deal with the seed which falls into the ground at the theoretical fall equinox we refer, by definition, to a more or less hidden or occult process. The more materialistic a civilization and the more dominated it is by powerful and oppressive religious or political institutions, the more difficult it is for spiritual impulses to take public forms. They have to operate through the minds, and even the passions, of individual leaders or creative persons who are normally not conscious of the source of their inspiration; they also affect the collective mind of the society in a less focused manner.

As the new century begins, what has been started at the mental or occult level becomes affected by two types or trends: the seed ideas become popularized and often vulgarized and their consequences are being applied, at least in the more progressive circles; on the other hand, the karmic momentum of the collective forces released during the now ended century relentlessly pursue their course. Thus, in our century we have the Russo-Japanese war, symbol of the rise of the non-European people, and World War I which resulted from the conflict between the great national entities who, during the nineteenth century, had been impelled by the results of the Industrial Revolution to expand in a competitive egocentric manner in search of raw materials and new markets for their industrial products.

A century earlier, the Napoleonic era marked an expansion of the forces that triumphed in the French Revolution under the leadership of a great military and managerial genius who became a model for what later became the powerful Executive type in politics or business — the Caesar type of national leader. Such a type replaced that of the "King of divine right" or the divinely appointed Emperor of the medieval tradition — religious authority having now become secular power, yet power linked, in the mind of the person wielding it, with a "star," a celestial or evolutionary Destiny.

The spring quarter of the century seems to bring out a collective, emotional reaction to what has just occurred. After the fall of Napoleon Europe witnessed a regressive and conservative political movement; but the seed-ideas of the 18th century began to pierce this heavy reactionary trend, leading to an upsurge of Romantic and revolutionary fervor climaxing in the late forties. Romantic poets, novelists, musicians, artists flourished. And the frustrated revolutionary mass-movement of the popular aspect of the French Revolution, transformed eventually by the impact of the now spreading Industrial Revolution, was reborn into the Proletarian Movement of Marxist Communism just before the "summer" period of the 19th century began.

In our present century, 1925 saw the emotional revolt against Puritanism and the traditional position of women resulting in what is often called the Jazz Age. The power of American industry and finance soared to new heights. Soviet Russia began its amazing rise to power after nearly total devastation. China and India had begun to move toward a completely new future, and Japan dominated East Asia.

The Theosophical Movement as such may seem to have no connection whatsoever with Asia's awakening; its founder had been discredited in the eyes of many, and the organization she inspired had split into several fragments. Yet the seed also splits as germination occurs. What is important is that in the last part of the nineteenth century, a spotlight of consciousness had been aimed at the occult wisdom and power of Asia, and that some of the seed concepts released at that time had begun to take root in the collective Euro-American mind. The second World War increasingly involved America's youth in Asia. At the same time the earlier revolutionary ideals of eighteenth century America and of the beginnings of Communist Russia became crystallized, and these two nations, armed with atomic power, faced each other in the cold war — somewhat as France under Napoleon III faced Prussia under Bismarck before 1870.

Ghastly as atomic power is in its destructive aspect, this very fact has, during recent crises, prevented a global repetition of the Franco-German war. Atomic power is an occult form of power, as it deals with normally invisible forces which, unnoticed, can destroy all life (radioactivity, fallout, genetic mutation, etc.). But it is not the only danger confronting the world, as we now are beginning to realize. More subtle, because more widespread and more difficult to control, are the effects of pollution at two levels: the pollution of the biosphere (air, water, soil), and that of the mind and feeling responses of the masses of mankind under the deleterious pressures of masterful propaganda directed by intellectuals and technocrats without moral responsibility and sense of spiritual values.

Polarizing this official type of thinking and the immense power of vested interests all over the world, we find the often confused and unsteady protest of youth, and the growth of a vast number of groups intensely (but usually not too discriminatingly) concerned with supernormal, parapsychological, occult and mystical phenomena. As this "summer" season of the twentieth century is ending, the most significant conflict is taking place in the field of consciousness. It is an occult conflict which can best be characterized and symbolized by the biological fact that, as the seed takes form within the fruit, the annual plant begins to crystallize and die. The presence of the seed kills the plant. The future destroys the rigidly institutionalized power-patterns of a past which refuses to realize its obsolescence.

This occurred in the eighteenth century when, just before the "fall" season of the century began in 1775, the old privileged classes were unable to face the impending revolutionary spirit. The American War of Independence was a special case in that it was officially — but, alas, not too realistically — waged in the name of an ideal new society. Freedom was won, but many of the old patterns of the past remained in great strength — not only slavery, but the aggressive drive to conquer and recklessly use the vast "real estate" of our continent, after destroying most of its nature-worshipping inhabitants. A new class everywhere was rising to power: the bourgeoisie of wealth fascinated by intellectual games and technique, and brutally materialistic in its desire for power, comfort, and glamour.

During the last quarter of the nineteenth century this growth of the industrial, commercial, and financial elements of our society reached a point at which counterbalancing forces had to increase in power — mainly the forces of Labor, but also subtler forces challenging the materialistic-scientific approach. These had actually begun to grow — as seeds do — around the "summer solstice" of the century, and mainly during the late forties. I am referring to Spiritualism (an inchoate attempt to break through the boundaries of bodily consciousness), Marxist Communism (a passionate and millennium-oriented attempt to force, through total anti-religious despair, the violent rising of the working masses), and the Bahai Movement (at least the first phase of it, begun by the Bab in 1844), a religious attempt to organize the whole of mankind on a global scale through the power of faith and all-inclusive love.

We probably lack the perspective required to understand what, in this century, began in the hidden seed around or just before 1950. But the generation of young men and women who became the new rebels, the hippies entranced with psychedelic visions and "flower power," were born after the end of World War II and Hiroshima. They were born in our affluent suburban culture, in an atmosphere of total permissiveness and spiritual emptiness and, during the cold war and under the menace of a nuclear holocaust, of insecurity. Under the inspiration of some of their elders, they developed a countercultural approach to life. They have represented the seed as yet surrounded by the fruit.

Now seeding time is at hand. A still very confused call for a new kind of metanoia — a going beyond the individual and rational soul (nous) — is being heard from many places. The greed and jockeying for power on a world scale, alarmingly revealed by the energy situation, as these pages are written, have explosive potentiality. Autumn begins in the harvesting and self-sowing of the seed, but ends in storms and the decaying of the leaves. 1789 saw the beginning of the United States as a strongly organized federal nation; but, a few months later, the French Revolution exploded. The two developments represented two ways of dealing with the past, neither of which led to spiritual success, in spite of America's tremendous material achievements — nay more, because of them — and of the highly significant Napoleonic vision of a united Europe, which, alas, personal ambition and insecurity vitiated and destroyed.

Soon 1989 will come; and with it a massing of planets in the zodiacal sign of political large-scale organization, Capricorn. We will consider various possibilities presented by this "autumnal" situation. But first of all we should discuss some of the characteristics associated with the capacity in men to act as transforming agents for the creative forces leading mankind along its evolutionary path toward a New Age.

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

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