From Christ to Buddha - 8
A 100 BC Starting Point?
We must now return to the difficult task of trying to establish a significant date for the beginning of the Great Sidereal Year and of its Phase One, the Piscean Age. From what has been said about the Christ-Impulse it might be expected that the new cycle should start at the time of Jesus' life. But there is also a never quite ended controversy as to exactly when Jesus was born — and even about who he was and what he actually did. Then there is the disturbing fact that the phrase, "the beginning of a cycle," is always ambiguous. When does a human being begin? At the moment of the impregnation of the ovum by the sperm, or at the time of the first breath?
When we study the present period stretching from the 18th to the 21st centuries it will perhaps become clear that what I once called the "Avataric Period" should be said to last three or even four centuries. A cycle begins successively at different levels. The Christ Impulse may not have to be linked only with the life of the man, Jesus. It may have operated before him. When does the germinating process begin? Certainly not when we can observe the small germ breaking through the earth-crust into the light of the
Jesus may indeed represent the Son-aspect of the divine creative descent of new power — the actual embodiment of a new quality of existence, the prototype and exemplar. But before this concretization of the Christ-Impulse into a human person, there should indeed be an essential creative stirring up at the level of the planetary Mind; and this may be the Father-aspect — and the Father, of whom Jesus constantly spoke, may have had some kind of "hidden" manifestation, perhaps a century or more before the appearance of the Son among men — an idea which explains much concerning what is taking place today in our world.
We know that the Essenes referred in their recently discovered records to a great "Teacher of Righteousness" who must have lived before 100 BC. There is also a Hebrew and Gnostic tradition studied by G. R. S. Mead according to which Jesus was born in 144 BC. As I stated before, the star Regulus apparently entered the sign Leo (i.e. reached longitude 1200) around 137 BC, and the astronomer Hipparchus who made a complete map of the heavens and of the zodiacal constellations lived at this very same time. I have felt for a long time that this star was the celestial "Guiding Spirit" of this Phase One of the Great Tropical Year. The name "Lion of Judah" may have some significance in this connection, as Regulus (the "little king") is the star supposed to mark the heart of the celestial Lion.
It was around 100 BC that the Mahayana School of Buddhism developed, stressing the ideal of the Boddhisattvas who renounce Nirvana and perfect bliss out of boundless compassion for all living creatures — thus the primacy of "Love" over any other factor in man. Indeed the insistence on the universalizing power of Love (agape) can be considered as one of the main key-notes of this Phase One of the Great Sidereal Year, for the basic drive of this entire cycle of 26,000 years is Universalization — while the key-note of the preceding cycle was most likely Cultivation (whether at the level of agriculture and cattle raising, or at that of human "culture" — thus of the control of vital urges and of the sublimation of instincts through rituals and art-creations).
The drive for universalization operated in the Rome of Caesar and his successors at the root-level of the Administrative Order; without such an efficient group of administrators and a deep sense of "law and order" there can be no universal society. With Jesus, this drive had a transcendental and idealistic nature. And the dynamic and restless character of the Christian-European (and now American) cycle is an expression of this drive for universalistic knowledge -for the conquest of what is always "beyond" the conquered and the experienced, for universally valid "laws," and for some single theory or formula which can be universally applied to solve all basic problems.
I believe that such a universalistic approach began to operate in the minds of men constituting the vanguard of humanity during the first century BC, even though the thoughts of the great Sages of the sixth century BC prepared the way for such an operation. Exact dates in such matters are not very significant; yet we shall see in the next chapter how if one begins around 100 BC and one divides the, 2160 year-long Piscean Age that follows that date in various ways consonant with astrological practice (decanates, degrees, midpoint of cycle) one sees clearly emerging a pattern of development which fits well the facts and elucidates the meaning of turning points in the historical process.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
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and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
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