From Christ to Buddha - 3
The Beginning of the Piscean Age
Various dates have been advanced on various grounds for the beginning of the present "Piscean Age." The earliest is, I believe, that given by David Davison in The Great Pyramid: Its Divine Message
. The date is 317 BC — and the Piscean Age is made to end in 1844 AD ; a span of 2162 years. In the Encyclopedia of Astrology
by Nicholas de Vore (New York 1947) several articles written by Charles A. Jayne — who for several years published the remarkable magazine In Search
— give numerous astronomical data referring to the precession of the equinoxes (cf. especially page 307-309), data which are rarely, if ever, mentioned by astrologers.
One of these data deal with the "Invariable Plane" of the solar system; another, very revealing, to the difference between the cycle of the gyration of the earth's poles and the cycle of the precession of the equinoxes. This difference is due to various factors too technical to mention in this volume,
but which apparently lead to rather important variations in the precise length of the precessional cycle — from 25,413 to 25,976 years. The 25,868 year period, which was given by H. P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctine
as well as in other books during the nineteenth century, refers seemingly to the length of the present
precessional cycle. However, Charles Jayne states that the cycle of the poles last 25,694. 8 years. He claims that a new polar cycle
started around 25 to 28 AD.
Gerald Massey, a deep student of Hebraic and Egyptian culture, gave 255 BC as the date for the beginning of the so-called Piscean Age. The astrologer Thierens gave 125 BC; Paul Council 0 AD; Cyril Fagan — father of the Siderealist movement in present-day astrology — 213 AD According to Gavin Arthur, the date should be 496 AD, a date apparently given by Max Heindel and corresponding to the time of the baptism of Clovis, king of the Franks after defeating the Romans at the battle of Soissons in 486 — events that marked the spread of Christianity in Germanic-French Europe. Celtic Ireland had been converted to Christianity some fifty years before; and Rome had been largely destroyed by Alaric in 410 AD.
The fifth century AD date seems quite impossible to accept as the date when our sidereal zodiac of constellations and the tropical zodiac (of signs) coincided; but it points to something significant at the historical level — that is to say, to the final collapse of the Roman Empire. Actually the Empire in the West could hardly be said to have existed as a real power after the middle of the fifth century. The history of ancient Rome lasted about one thousand years; and these thousand years witnessed most radical changes in the mind of Man and in the concept of social organization, in Asia as well as in Europe.
According to H. P. Blavatsky, "the close of the Archaic Ages occurred in 608 BC" (cf. Secret Doctine
). It is not clear on what that date is based, but it is interesting to note that 2500 years later Bahalu'llah — who is regarded by the great number of Bahais all over the world as the Divine Manifestation ushering the New Age — died in May 1892, thus just after the last conjunction of Neptune and Pluto. H. P. Blavatsky had died on May 8, 1891, and the year 1898 marked the end of the first 5000 years of the Kali Yuga according to the traditions of India — an important turning point in the great 10,000 year cycle which has been already discussed in a preceding chapter.
The sixth century BC was undoubtedly a most significant turning point in human civilization. Gautama the Buddha was then living and bringing to mankind a new mentality. (Some traditions make him born in 563 BC — others state that he died in 543 BC at the age of 80). It was the time of Pythagoras and Solon in Greece, that of Lao Tze and Confucius in China, and of the historical Zoroaster in Persia. The Babylonian captivity of the Hebrews began in 586 BC The old Egypt ended its long history and became a Persian province.
Five hundred years later, Rome became the dominant power in the Mediterranean world after destroying Carthage and annexing Alexandria, center of the late Hellenistic culture; and after another five centuries it collapsed as an empty shell kept in existence by its Army and the effectual administrators of its provinces. The glorification of this Roman civilization which has been traditional in European and American circles of learning has been a rather extraordinary phenomenon. It has been due no doubt to the fact that our Western culture has inherited from the Rome of the Caesars one of its basic Images or myths (in the deepest sense of the term) — the other being the Image of Christ, the Redeemer and Savior of souls.
The image of Caesar is that of a centralized form of social-political organization backed by a powerful military and administrative structure able to control an immense mass of slaves. We call this today "Fascism," in the broadest sense of the term. Against this Caesar Image stands that of Christ. The Administrative Order of Rome was confronted by the Mystical Order of Christianity, and the latter won. But having won and destroyed from within the Roman society, Papal Christianity re-embodied much of the ideal of "world administration" characterizing the Roman Empire in the partly spiritual and partly-political patterns of the Catholic Medieval Order. The relative greatness of the Gothic culture of a religiously unified Europe has often been belittled by our modern civilization founded, in the early days of the Renaissance, upon a denunciation and downgrading of the Middle Ages. What concerns us here, however, is the chronological pattern of the development of our Western civilization; but in order to select the really crucial dates beginning the basic phases of such a development, we have to understand the nature of the forces operating underneath the superficial conflicts between States and personalities.
To reach such an understanding, we must go beyond Caesar and Christ in the past, and try to grasp the evolutionary meaning of the mental revolution which began with the great Sages and leaders of thought of the sixth century BC Beyond Jesus the Christ stands Gautama, the Buddha. The challenge of Jesus to the Administrative Order of Rome is rooted in the challenge of Gautama to the Caste-system of India — and, beyond what had crystallized as a binding Castesystem, to the entire way of life, and the collective mode of thinking-feeling which characterized the Vitalistic era of human society.
This Vitalistic era was based on the principle of the multiplication of seed — whether it be the vegetable, the animal or the human seed. "Increase and multiply" is the great command of the gods of tribal societies, agricultural and hypnotized by fertility and the dualism of sex. And the Catholic Church even now finds it still almost impossible to give up its subservience to this ancient vitalistic mentality conditioned by the principle of scarcity and the "struggle for life" perhaps with a certain kind of prophetic (bio)logic, considering that we might be facing a world-wide catastrophe of one kind or another. On the other hand, what Buddha and Christ brought to mankind was — stated in two different ways to fit two different types of racial-cultural mentalities — the vision of a humanity freed from earth-bondage and from the classifications required for the proper functioning of a largescale Administrative Order; freed also from vitalistic urges, sexual compulsions, and the drive for man-made comfort and sense-intoxicating abundance.
Buddha taught the conquest of Nature and of the vital forces driving man to an ever-repeated round of desire, frustration, pain and more desire — a conquest through mental processes of unrelenting awareness. Jesus' method was that of total surrender to the will of God through the intensification of the basic feelings of love, trust and faith. The Hindu Krishna — a great statesman — had also taught a complete surrender of the human will to the Divine Will; but his teachings were focused apparently on action
. Buddha stressed the transformation of the mind
, and Jesus that of the feelings, the most powerful of these being "love."
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