By Matthew Cosgrove
This year, hundreds of thousands of people are gathering throughout the world to mark the winter Solstice on December 21 2012. Long before people in Europe and elsewhere in the world celebrated Christmas, the winter Solstice was the primary event that cultures revolved around. It marked the beginning of a new cycle when at the darkest moment the light is reborn, and the moment from which the days grew longer. In the early circular calendars throughout the world, and still for some today, it is the north direction where life begins anew, and it is winter, where in its cool and dark stillness we dream tomorrow. The winter Solstice represents the moment of conception of all living beings when nature’s great breath of life once again begins its outward momentum.
This year’s Solstice is drawing a lot of attention because it marks the beginning of a cycle that been foreseen as being pivotal in the evolution of consciousness on earth by ancient cultures including, not only the Mayans, but also The Hopi and Egyptians, to name only a few, There has been Hollywood movies and some general hype around this event, but as (hopefully) people realize that the world is not ending, we may then be asking ourselves if there is some deeper message in these predictions, and if so what could this really mean for us in our lives?
The Age of Air
Western Astrology views this period as being a time when we become fully anchored in the Aquarian age, which is the 2000-year long age of air and of communication, which began around the turn of the millennium. The advent of this age has brought us flight, space travel, radio, television, computers and the Internet, which are all things that would have been unimaginable in the last century. Along with these technological advancements, inwardly, many feel under more stress from what can feel like an increase in pressure. Some cling more than ever to, and try and find security in old beliefs, religions and the shaky financial system. Others, to try and adapt, are prompted to turn to ancient practices such as yoga and meditation, making these become increasingly a part of mainstream western culture.
Could it be that the increase in pressure some are feeling is caused by something other than the rapid and expediential growth of technology? I know that this is where I lose the rationalists, but for the rest of you, please bear with me.
According to the inconceivably old Hindu Vedic scriptures, 5,000 years ago the world entered the Kali Yuga, which is one of the four stages of development that the world goes through as part of the cycle of eras. These scriptures also predict that a Golden Age will start 5,000 years after the beginning of the Kali Yuga,(now) and will last for 10,000 years. It is interesting that this prediction of the emergence of a new world is prophesied to appear about the same time that the Mayans predicted it to come The Mayan calendar began with the Fifth Great Cycle in 3114 BC and will end on 21 December 2012 AD. The Hindu Kali Yuga calendar began on 18 February 3102 B.C. There is only a difference of 12 years between the Hindu's beginning of the Kali Yuga and the Mayan's beginning of the Fifth Great Cycle.
The End of Time?
The Vedic scriptures describe the Kali Yuga as being a period of darkness for humanity, but the golden age we are now entering is described as a time of peace when we re-connect with our higher or God self. According to these Vedic scriptures, what is keeping us from our realizing our God self in the here and now are 5 illusionary veils or Kunchukas through which we must pass in order to re-connect with the truth of our higher nature. These terms may sound foreign, but the truths behind them are very familiar. Modern Spiritual teachings such as “Be here now”, “Drop it and leap into the unknown” and even F.D. Roosevelt’s saying “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”, all suggest the crossing of one of these thresholds that these ancient teachings identify and describe.
One of these veils is called Kaala, which keeps us limited by the false notion of time. The passing of time in ancient times was measured in circular calendars based on the seasonal, solar, and planetary cycles. There is an eternal aspect to the circle as it contains within it the endless cycles of life. It does not need to go anywhere because it already is. It is the revolving wheel of life that constantly renews itself. Time itself has an eternal and circular aspect to it. But with the modern calendar, which measures time in linear increments, time no longer belongs to the present. We now never have enough time; we are always running out of it, it chases us or we are always trying to catch up with it. It may not be so difficult for many today to understand how our concept of time can keep us stressed, our attention divided, and forever pursuing a projected point that does not really exist.
There are many references in books and in the media these days saying that the Mayans predicted the end of time. If this is true, it is easy to grasp how in a metaphoric sense our awareness may be growing out of the illusion of time, and the increase in pressure some are feeling is a resistance to the momentum of some kind of evolutionary force. Will time tell whether or not we are on the verge of a golden age, or will we stop waiting for it and simply rest in the freedom and clarity of each and every ongoing moment thereby accessing a potential beyond the limited linear thinking mind?