As We Face the Future - 5
Waves or Waves?
This brief sketch of the growth of civilization during our historical times obviously leaves many questions unanswered. Why should we think that this westward progress refers to CIVILIZATION? It may well have meaning only in terms of our Western civilization and its roots in the past. While Greece was at its cultural apex, Indian culture at Gautama Buddhals time not only flourished — as Greek travellers at the time of Alexander's short-lived conquest related — but with the Buddha a movement of the greatest significance began in India which spread eastward to Indo-China and northward to China and Japan. China has its great civilization, and so had the Incas and the Mayan-Aztecs regions. Nor did I mention the swift spread of Islam in all directions at a time when the crest-wave would have been passing through Switzerland and Provence. Obviously the picture of a single wave of civilization is one-sided and inadequate.
Nevertheless it seems evident that there are waves of civilization — or shall we say waves of dynamic intensity within the formative Mind of our Earth; and perhaps also eddies or whirlpools of civilization. The rotation of our globe produces certain definite effects upon the atmosphere; it gives rise to trade-winds and monsoons quite regular in their annual patterns, but also to tornadoes and hurricanes, which interestingly enough revolve clockwise or counter-clockwise depending upon the hemisphere in which they occur. Why not accept also as a related fact that human collectivities and their ability to give cultural forms to their sense of value and to build institutions are affected, like the atmosphere, by forces emanating from the Earth-as-a-whole, and as well from the state of the solar system and the entire galaxy. As we do not know as yet what these forces are, our religions have transcendentalized and personalized them as gods or archangels, devas or nature-spirits. We have also created around them a mythological astrology with its zodiacal pictures and its mysterious "influences."
My aim, in this and other books, is to reintegrate Man within the organic whole the global field of organized and interdependent activities of the planet Earth. The symbol of the globe is the most fundamental one of the expected "New Age." Applied to the human person it leads us to the concept of what I have called "the man of plenitude" — the total, fulfilled, productive individual person. What the conceptual images of geodetic equivalents and of a wave or waves of civilization should essentially convey to us is that this Earth is "alive," that it vibrates and pulsates, from the ionosphere to its unknown core — which may very well be a peculiar kind of "void" from which unknown forces operate.
Returning again to the postulated wave of civilization: this wave has not only a crest, or crests, but also a trough. What we call the vernal equinox is only one point in the yearly process of relationship between the Earth and the Sun. There are two equinoxes, and two solstices. When I wrote the series of articles "The March of Civilization" in 1946 I could say with great timeliness: "The wave of civilization covers the whole globe. It has a trough as well as a wave. And the trough is located in the longitude of the Marshall Islands, near Bikini Atoll!" A "coincidence" perhaps, but a significant one. This trough was located at about 170º west longitude because the crest (according to my pattern of wave-unfoldment) was at about 1º30' east longitude. The trough of the wave corresponds to the fall equinox (Libra 0º); and Neptune was practically on that degree of the tropical celestial zodiac when the Chicago experiments were conducted which led in December 1942 to the first man-made atomic chain rceation.
The "solstice point" in this wave of civilization then referred to the longitude of Mexico City, Texas, South Dakota and Lake Winnipeg (Canada) — and on the other hand to the longitude of Colombo (Ceylon), Madras (India) and the Tibetan-Kashmir border and the Chinese-Siberian borders — the last two regions becoming soon after important fields of international tension. But this is not all, for in-between the equinoxes and the solstices stand the mid-points of the fixed signs of the zodiac, sometimes referred to as "Avataric Gates," i.e. as points of release of great energy, constructive or destructive as the case may be. Thus a point 45-degrees behind the crest of the wave, or ahead of it, could be significant centers of events related to the whole global pattern — the ever-flowing pattern — of civilization. As the crest is (according to my calculations) nearing 11º west longitude we find 45 degrees back (i.e. to the east) a zone of stress and strain at 34º east longitude; and this is the longitude of Palestine (Jerusalem 35º, Tel Aviv 34º, the Gulf of Araba 35º) — also of part of Rhodesia to the south, and of Soviet Russia to the north.
Forty-five degrees to the west of the wave-crest we find in South America a much disturbed Guiana, and the Buenos Aires-Montevideo region. One hundred and thirty-five degrees west of thewave-crest we find the longitude of our recent State, Alaska — Fairbanks is located at 147º30'.
This of course does not explain the importance of the United States in the present-day world; and this raises the question of whether a new "wave of civilization" did not begin at the time of the Declaration of Independence — or whether what is developing this century in our country, original a departure as it may seem, should not rather be considered as an extension of European civilization — greatly magnified and nearly monstrous in its physical-intellectual as well as political-industrial development, but nevertheless not a truly independent starting point. The continent of North America may very well be, after probable telluric transformations, the "cradle for a New Race," as modern Theosophists have been claiming for nearly a century; but we may witness today only the earliest prenatal stage of the formation of that New Race.
Western civilization is still overshadowing the whole planet — directly or in terms of the violent reaction against its premises which it is eliciting. Soviet Russia is, of course, part of that western civilization, just as Byzanteum and Rome were two parts of the Mediterranean Greco-Latin civilization. And, in terms of our present location of wave-crest which we have been discussing, Western civilization is at sea! It has been so, we found, since about 1933 and the Nazi purgation of the Western world. But "being at sea" may be a very significant situation; for it may mean that we have returned to the great Womb of the biosphere, the one ocean. And indeed if anything is basic in this tormented period of ours it is the tremendous importance of the "Collective Unconscious" — which could mean, fairly soon, a return to chaos. In fact we may be passing, on a planetary time-scale, through the very moment of planetary fecundation preceding the prenatal beginning of a truly new Age, this moment lasting three centuries — what I have called the Avataric Cycle.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1969 by Dane Rudhyar
and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
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