From Fundamentalism, Through Atheism, Toward RealizationA Video Autobiography by a Kriya Yoga Student of Paramahansa Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF)
Larry Dominus Reavis, Ph.D.
|Note: Mainstream astronomers now are
openly suggesting that our Sun does indeed have a dual and is part of a
binary system - just as Sri Yukteswar said in 1894. See Part 2.
Segment 2d Part 1 – The Yugas of Sri Yukteswar and Kriya Yoga – additional text that is relevant to the yugas video is below. This information is presented to support the understanding that the quality of human consciousness declined for thousands of years unto around 540 A.D., then began improving after that date.
By Larry Dominus Reavis, Ph.D.
Please feel free to share this file with others; but if you modify it, please identify the modifications as your own so that they won't be confused with the author's text.
Here is the video of the yugas (or download it and play it on your hard disk; or watch on Youtube - P1, P2, P3); if you wish to download it so that you can burn it to a BD or DVD, click hi-bit version:
According to NASA, "Our Sun is unusual in that it is alone - most stars occur in multiple or binary systems." But according to Sri Yukteswar, our Sun is not unusual - it, too, is part of a binary star system. And the consequences?
Among other topics, the above video describes the Flynn effect - the worldwide increase in IQ scores during the 20th century; and other evidence that IQ has been increasing for at least a couple of centuries. It also describes the terrible decline in abstract reasoning ability that was evident during the dark ages - with consequent barbaric behavior. You can download it here.
The following graphic shows the Greek concept of the Great Year (the inner circle), plus the yugas (the outer circle) - as described by Sri Yukteswar.
Introduction - modern knowledge compared to ancient knowledge
Presuming that there is no wind and that gravity is constant, the amount of time that a pendulum takes for each swing is not affected only by the length of the pendulum. Knowing this, in 1668 the English philosopher John Wilkins proposed a universal system of measurement, based on a unit that he called the meter, to replace the great variety of measuring systems that were in use during his time (see Wikipedia). He defined his meter as the length of a pendulum that would take one second to swing from left to right (known as a "seconds pendulum").
However, the French knew that subtle variations in gravity at different locations on Earth would affect the period of a pendulum. Therefore there would be errors in the definition of the meter if based on pendulums.
For that reason, in the 18th century the French chose to define the length of a meter as a precise fraction of the Earth's polar circumference. After precisely measuring the distance from the equator to the North Pole, the French chose to define the length of one meter as one ten-millionth of that distance - which results in a polar circumference of 40 million meters.
Even though this modern definition of a meter was based on the polar circumference of the Earth, the length of a seconds pendulum is almost exactly one meter (in Paris, the length of the seconds pendulum is now known to be precisely .99385 meters). In other words, each swing of a pendulum that is almost exactly one meter long requires one second. Thus the meter and the second are corresponding units of length and time.
Because the meter was defined as a certain fraction of the Earth's polar circumference only recently, whereas humans have divided the day into 86,400 seconds for ages, the fact that there is an intimate connection between the meter and the second of time has to be a coincidence - for the ancients could not have know of that relationship. Right?
The speed of light in empty space is 300,000,000 meters per second. The measured speed currently is 299,792,458 meter per second. Just a coincidence that it's such a nice, round number, right? Since 1983, the length of a meter has been based on this number rather than the circumference of the Earth. Why? The circumference of the Earth varies from place to place because of mountains and other anomalies, whereas the speed of light is the same no matter where on Earth the measurement takes place. This constancy reduces the ambiguity of the meter's definition while maintaining almost exactly its original length - about 39.37 inches..
(Note: Back when I was designing transmitting antennas, I had to include a "velocity factor," because electromagnetic propagation along a wire is slower than the speed of light in free space. Similarly, the speed of light passing through our atmosphere is slower than light that is propagating through spaces that are far from the Earth; and light travels even more slowly through water. My guess: If "empty" space were swept clean of all solar wind particles, intergalactic dust, and other matter, probably the speed of light would be exactly 300,000,000 meters per second instead of a tiny fraction of one percent slower.)
Another "Coincidence": The velocity of the Earth as it travels around the Sun is about 30,000 meters per second; 29,770, to be exact). Just a coincidence of course that it comes so close to being a nice, round number and almost exactly one 10,000th the speed of light.
But enough about the French meter (there are too many other "coincidences" to list all of them here).
The French then constructed a cube with each edge having a length of a 10th of a meter and filled it with distilled water. At standard temperature, they defined the volume of the water to be 1 liter and the weight to be 1 kilogram. Thus was born the modern metric system.
Thomas Jefferson submitted a similar metric system to Congress before the French had completed theirs. Unlike the French who adopted the metric system, the U.S. Congress rejected Jefferson's. Thus the French get credit for crafting the modern metric system rather than the U.S.
Financially, adoption of the metric system by the French was a boon for them, for all scientific work and almost all manufacturing and all financial systems worldwide now are based on the metric system (except the U.S. - the only industrialized country that has not adopted it). In contrast, the awkward system used in the U.S. - 12 inches to the foot, 3 feet to the yard, 5280 feet to the mile, 32 degrees for freezing, 212 for boiling, ounces, pints, quarts, etc. - has increasingly hampered the U.S. in its attempts to compete effectively with other nations.
However, Jefferson was both shocked and puzzled to discover that the old British system had its own interesting coincidences. For example, 1000 ounces avoirdupois of water occupies exactly 1 cubic foot! Many other such coincidences were discovered by Jefferson. After long study, he concluded that the British - and now the U.S. - system had its roots in"very high antiquity," according to his July 4, 1890 report to Congress (see p33 of Civilization One).
"Modern" metric system?
The French scientists had their own comeuppance for their "modern" metric system. Even though they did know that the second of time was used in ancient Mesopotamia thousands of years ago (those ancients, living in the area of modern-day Iraq also divided the day into 86,400 seconds, just like we do, with the same 24 hours per day), guess what?
After the French created the modern metric system, excavations in Mesopotamia discovered an even older civilization in that area, the Sumerian. Modern French scientists soon were embarrassed to discover that the ancient Sumerians also had created this "modern" metric system of which the French were so proud. The ancient Sumerians - or some even older civilization - no doubt did this by going through the same thinking processes that the 18th-century French used. Not bad, for the 5000-year-old Sumerian civilization.
Moreover, it is thought that the second of time already was ancient even when the Sumerians were known to be using it many thousands of years ago. Well, at least our modern scientific measuring system has caught up with that which was created thousands of years ago; aren't we smart?
Another remarkable measurement system devised by the ancients
In the early 20th century, Alexander Thom - a professor of engineering at Oxford - was studying the engineering aspects of British megalithic structures. These date from almost 6000 years ago until about 3000 years ago. Over a period of 50 years Professor Thom reached the conclusion that their basic unit of measure for length was what he called the "megalithic yard." One megalithic yard (MY) = 2.722 feet.
It has long been believed that Stonehenge and the other megalithic structures studied by Professor Thom were connected with astronomical phenomena. This becomes obvious when one knows that the "sidereal year" (the number of rotations of the Earth relative to the stars) consists of 366 days (our 365 solar days, plus Earth's one yearly rotation around the sun - rounded off to the nearest whole day.
Therefore, thousands of years ago the sidereal year in which the circle that the Earth makes as it travels around the Sun naturally was divided by the ancients into 366 units - each resulting from one rotation of the Earth - and siderial year of 366-per-year rotations became the basis for dividing any circle into 366 units. The ancients modified the 366 degrees of arc for a circle slightly so that a circle was defined to have 360 degrees - which we, too, now use. They probably did that in order to make calculations easier: 360 can be divided by 10 and many other numbers with whole-number results. In contrast, 366 does not divide into many whole-number units and thus was abandoned for most practical purposes.
Little did Thom know that his Megalithic Yard (MY), together with the sidereal system of 366 degrees in a circle, would produce their own coincidences. In the following, note the central role played by 366 - the number of degrees (as used by megalithic civilizations) in a circle - when each "degree" is defined by the actual number of Earth rotations in a sidereal year (this information is mostly taken from Before the Pyramids; incidentally, the authors of that book submitted the following "coincidences" to a society of British statisticians who concluded that these "coincidences" could not be attributable to chance alone):
1. 100 of the professor's Megalithic Yards (MYs) times the number of days in one sidereal year (that is, 100 x 2.722 feet x 366) = the number of feet for the moon's polar circumference.
2. The sun's circumference is 40,000 MYs times 366. (Remember that the Earth's polar circumference in 40,000,000 meters; just a coincidence, of course.)
3. The Earth's polar circumference in MYs is 366 squared.
4. If temperature is defined as zero degrees at water's freezing point and the boiling point is defined as 366 degrees, absolute zero then equals a very convenient minus 1000 degrees. Note that our modern metric (centigrade) system still takes the freezing point of water as the zero point on its scale.
5. Continuing: If the circle is divided into 366 degrees (each such degree henceforth referred to as a "megalithic degree"), then 366 MY equals one second of arc of the Earth's circumference if a second is defined as 1/6th of a minute of arc, and the minute is defined as 1/60th of a megalithic degree. In other words, we're defining a system of measuring arcs that is identical to ours except that their minute of arc has 6 seconds instead of our 60 seconds per minute of arc, and the total circle is divided into 366 degrees instead of our 360.
Incidentally, the second of arc of the Earth's circumference that we currently use, in contrast to the highly meaningful MY second, is a meaningless 30.87 meters long. This length is neither convenient nor related to any systematic set of relationships.
6. 366 MY = 1000 Minoan feet. Minoan culture flourished about 4000 years ago. Their unit of measurement of one foot of length was a bit shorter than our foot. In other words, one megalithic second of arc of the Earth's circumference = a very convenient 1000 Minoan feet.
Again, there are too many more such "coincidences" to include here.
But now it gets seriously weird (see Before the Pyramids):
6. Observatory Circle was built in Washington, D.C. by the Navy in 1893. Its purpose, according to the act of Congress that mandated its construction, was to "observe the Sun, Moon, planets . . ." etc. (search the web for references - the government seems to change its web pages often). Its diameter is two megalithic degrees of arc of the Earth's circumference.
7. The Washington Ellipse shows a similar pattern of megalithic measurements.
8. The rest of Washington, D.C., and even the Pentagon, incorporates megalithic units of measure, according to Before the Pyramids (look at their color-plate drawings #11, 12, and 13 with their corresponding text reporting the MY measurements of Washington, D.C). You can verify their claims by using the measuring tool in Google Earth.
According to historical documents, Washington, D.C. was laid out by George Washington and other high-ranking members of the Freemasons. Probably Benjamin Franklin's success in getting Europeans to fund the American Revolution can be attributed in large part to his connections with fellow Freemasons in Europe:
"While in Paris Franklin used his Masonic contacts to raise funds to buy arms for the American rebels."
It is probable that our country could not have gained freedom from British rule had it not been for the Masons; and - had it come into existence by other means - almost certainly would have reflected predominant sentiment at the time that would have made life difficult for Jews and others who did not comply with dominant religious sentiment. Of course, fundamentalists are disturbed by our freedom of religion and presumed Judaic influence (see the website link above).
"As mankind become more liberal, they will be more apt to allow, that all those, who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protection of civil government. I ever hope to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality." – President Washington to a committee of Roman Catholics (March 1790) "
The dollar bill shows the Great Seal of the U.S. It is replete with Masonic symbols, including the pyramid, the spiritual eye, the 6-pointed star of Judaism (just above the head of the eagle), and more.
Be that as it may, the Freemasons claim possession of ancient knowledge. It does indeed appear that ancient Masonic knowledge was used to plan Washington, D.C. As supporting evidence, George Washington presented himself in full Masonic regalia when the cornerstones of some of the District's main buildings were laid (see photo).
Similarly, another high Mason - President Franklin D. Roosevelt - overruled the military plans for a huge, rectangular central command building and instead ordered a pentagon of certain dimensions (specified by a person appointed by himself). Moreover, he did not place this pentagon-shaped building where the military brass had proposed, but instead where it now is located. When asked why, Roosevelt reportedly gave no reason, but replied, "I believe I'm still the commander in chief of the military." So why did Roosevelt place the Pentagon where we now find it? In order to extend the Masonic pattern of the city.
The above is presented as evidence that a very high understanding of astronomy and mathematic measurement existed thousands of years ago. As suggested above, some of it was, in certain practical ways, superior to our own modern systems of measurements.
As implied above, some of that ancient knowledge has survived to the present day. That survival sometimes resulted from preserved knowledge - as in the case of the Freemasons. Other ancient knowledge was rediscovered - as in the case of the French metric system.
How did the ancients know so much? And why did that knowledge get lost?
Sri Yukteswar, the guru of Paramahansa Yogananda, says that the Earth goes though yugas. The dark-age yugas are known as the kali yugas. The nadir of the last kali yuga occurred around 540 A.D.
Fortunately, each kali yuga eventually gives way to the second yuga, known in Sanskrit as the dwapara yuga. A couple of centuries ago we entered the dawning of the dwapara yuga. The third yuga, in Sanskrit, is the treta yuga. If you speak most any Indo-European language other than English, you'll recognize a number progression here, from dwapara to treta (2 to 3).
The name of the highest yuga is not based on this number progression, but is based on the sat, which is the Sanskrit equivalent for God the Father. Hence, the highest yuga is known as the satwa yuga - and can be thought of as God the Father's yuga. You can see the lengths of each yuga by studying the outer circle shown in the above drawing.
All of this is much like the Greek "ages of man." The ancient Greek defined an iron age - the lowest "dark" age, followed by a second "bronze" age. After the bronze age came the silver age, at last giving way to a golden age. These are seen in the inner circle of the drawing above. Many ancient cultures had similar concepts of cyclical ages, including native American cultures, according to Villasenor.
Even the Bible has a description of the ages that is almost identical to that of the Greeks - as shown about 3.5 minutes into this summary video.
According to Sri Yukteswar, these cycles, or yugas, are related to what astronomers call "precession of the equinox." (See the first video on this page.) However, Sri Yukteswar differs from most modern astronomers regarding the cause of precession. Because he includes the motion of the sun as it moves around its ellipse in addition to the wobble of the Earth, Sri Yukteswar says one complete cycle of an ascending yuga sequence, followed by a descending yuga sequence, requires about 24,000 years (of course, it's a coincidence that the number of millennia in one of Sri Yukteswar's ascending or descending yuga sequences equals the number of months in a year). If you would like to read the details, see Lost Star, by Walter Cruttenden. David Frawley also has written or coauthored several books that discuss Sri Yukteswar's yugas. Or - if brave (or grew up in a culture where these ideas are not so foreign) - you could attempt to read Sri Yuktesware's own book, The Holy Science. In that book, he also explains why the energy of consciousness - labeled "chi" or "qi" by the people of the Far East; prana by the people of India; or simply "life energy" by Yoganandaji - waxes and wanes over the 24,000-year cycle (his explanation will be detailed in Part 2 of this treatise).
Sri Yukteswar argued that during the higher ages only a thin veil of maya separated humans from God the Father. If so, then one can understand why the ancient Indians named the highest yuga the satwa yuga - God the Father's yuga. The result was that many people achieved full realization easily, and many more came close. Because of their union or near union with God, they shared the attributes of all fully-realized saints, including omniscience. By means of their omniscient intuition, they knew much that was lost during the later decline into the dark age.
If one accepts this view, it is easy to understand how the ancients in many cultures achieved profound understanding of our universe, and then created the necessary mathematics to express that understanding of space and time - resulting in their basic unit of time (the second), their time-related metric system, etc.
Interesting side note
But even if - some 14,000 years ago (approximately the high point of the last high age) - they possessed the knowledge that many modern authors attribute to them, why should inheritors of that knowledge, millennia later, use that knowledge to go to all the effort to build the 100+ henges of the British Isles and the other monumental construction projects found all around the world?
Because, claim many authors, including those who wrote Civilization One and Before the Pyramids, the ancients wanted to have an early warning system for incoming asteroids that might again splash down in the ocean and create another catastrophic flood. (Caution: Even if this explanation is true, it might not be the sole purpose for those huge undertakings.)
Geological evidence for the Great Flood now is being reported by archaeologists such as Bruce Masse. Moreover, stories of a huge flood are found in ancient cultures all over the world, even in the Americas. They probably have a basis in some pre-historic disaster, and the henges and other astronomical observatories - like Observatory Circle in Washington D.C. - would have been able to detect a light in the sky that didn't seem to be moving like the stars. Instead, it would seem to be standing still - if it were coming straight at us. Given the fact that the Earth is rotating, only such observatories could have allowed humans to spot a motionless "star" that was moving toward us. The huge henges would have provided sufficient accuracy to provide many months or even years in which to prepare for the crash (the larger the henge, the greater the accuracy).
Our universe created by chance?
The gurus of SRF - Jesus Christ, Bhagavad Krishna, Mahavatar Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar, and Paramahansa Yogananda - also accept the belief that our universe did not evolve totally by chance. Yes, evolution of the universe and species happens according to natural laws, and such evolution takes a very long time indeed (eons, says Yoganandaji). But natural evolution is not the only truth: God guides the process, say these great ones.
For just one more "coincidence" example, why should apparent diameter of the moon perfectly match the perceived diameter of the sun as seen from Earth? (It is this "coincidence" that allows astronomers to study the corona of the sun during a full eclipse.) Noting many more astonishing astronomical "coincidences," the authors of Civilization One remark that their work has shaken their agnosticism. Countless physicists also have commented on the amazing coincidences in our "Goldilocks" universe (or read The God Theory or other similar books that also have been written by Ph.D. physicists).
The point? This universe is not chaotic. Rather, it enables "the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics," to quote Eugene Wigner (Nobel Laureate in physics). As physicist Paul Davies has noted, it didn't have to be that way. Without a guiding intelligence, there is no reason to believe that our universe would have been other than unremitting chaos. After all, where do the laws of physics come from? Why should math formulas result in predictions that later - sometimes many decades later - physicists were able to confirm? Could such an intricate set of orderly relationships emerge just by chance? Not a chance - say a growing number of scientists.
And the superior connection to this all-pervasive, law-making intelligence that was enjoyed by those who lived during the higher ages enabled them to intuitively know this mathematics. It was this knowledge that they handed down to the Hindus, the Sumerians, Egyptians, and other ancient cultures that came long after the golden satya yuga ended.
In addition to the mathematics of physical laws, knowledge of spiritual laws also was prevalent during the higher ages. Even more important, people lived those spiritual laws during the higher ages. That's why the barbaric behavior noted in the Flynn-effect video prevailed everywhere during the dark ages - but not to the same extent in our slightly advanced age, nor (with many exceptions) in the highly advanced ages of thousands of years ago.
Consider the remarkable decline in violence
Example: Many people today seem to believe that more people have died during modern times by violence than during the dark ages. Not so. Even during the bloody 20th century, only 5% to 7% of the population died violently. The rest died by natural causes. If you wish to see the evidence that documents the remarkable decrease in violence recently, see A History of Force: Exploring the Worldwide Movement against Habits of Coercion, Bloodshed, and Mayhem, by James. L. Payne (2004). Now we also have Winning the War on War, Twilight of the Nation State, and The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has Declined.
The decline in violence is dramatic. Here are some examples, according to Michael Shermer (in his Oct., 2011 Scientific American p90 article, which draws heavily on Stephen Pinker's book, The Better Angels of our Nature; Shermer is publisher of the Skeptic magazine):
1. In 14th-century Oxford, the homocide rate was about 110 per 100,000. In London today, the rate is less than one per 100,000. That is better than a 100-to-1 improvement. Similar trend have been documented in other nations.
2. Violent deaths of all kinds have declined from about 500 per 100,000 in pre-state societies (prior to William the Conqueror, who - according to some historians - established the first nation state in the 11th century) to around 50 during the Middle Ages to fewer than one per 100,000 in most of Europe. Homicide rates in the U.S. are of course higher; but even here the rate is only about five per 100,000.
3. Even during the violent 20th century with its terrible world wars, only about 3% of the world's population died in violence or the famines and other problems attributable to violence - according to Shermer. In contrast, prestate scocieties lost about 15% of their population to war - according to the author of Our Better Angels.
When the Earth sank into the dark ages (its nadir was around 540 AD), humans lost much of their understanding (in addition to reverting to animal-like behavior). For example, the ancient Indians knew that the Earth was a globe and was rotating on its axis. So did the ancient Sumerians mentioned above.
Unfortunately, that knowledge was lost: Europeans during the dark ages believed that the Earth was flat (the last remnant of the Flat-Earth Society died out in my lifetime). Perhaps even worse, the official dogma of European churches, both Protestant and Catholic, held that the Earth was motionless. Because of this belief, declared to be "infallible" by the Pope Alexander VII (see 2c-physics), Bruno was excommunicated by the Lutherans because of his Copernican heresy, and the Catholic church had him burned alive, partly because of his insistence that the Earth was not the stationary center of the universe. The Indian Hindus showed a similar decline in knowledge, and lost their understanding of, for example, the length of the yugas, according to Sri Yukteswar. (Many modern Indians continue the error, erroneously believing that each yuga lasts many 10s of thousands of years.)
The Jews - the most literate?
There was a time when Jews ceased writing? Say it ain't true! But that's the claim of Israel Shahak in Jewish History, Jewish Religion., who says on p49 "But from 800 AD on, when more detailed historical information is again available . . ." Here he is referring to his claim that almost all Jewish writing stopped between 500 AD and 800 AD, and then resumed after that date. This period of life in Palestine and Mesopotamia - the locale of Shahak's investigation - corresponds nicely to the darkest of the "dark ages," as defined by historians as that period when almost all scholarly activity, such as writing, seemed to stop almost all over the world. That period also corresponds nicely with Sri Yukteswar's claim that the nadir of the last dark age (Kali yuga) occurred round 540 A.D.)
Jewish spiritual decline during the dark ages
Early Judaism has so many examples of advanced spiritual knowledge that one hardly knows where to start the list. We've already mentioned the Jewish understanding of the yugas.
A more important example: The central story of Judaism is the story of the exodus from bondage to Pharaoh. Please note that comments published with the recent translation of the Old Testament by Conservative Judaism, the Etz Hayim, states that probably the exodus never happened - at least not as described in the Bible; and that some details, such as the fall of the walls of Jericho, are historically false (as stated also by Wikipedia).
Be that as it may, the spiritual truth of this story is confirmed by Yoganandaji. According to him, the enslavement to Pharaoh represents our enslavement to our ego and its craving for the comforts of sense gratification. As you may recall from that Biblical story, many of those who escaped with Moses soon wanted to return to the comforts of Egypt - just as many ambitious spiritual seekers soon want to abandon their new disciple and return to their old ways in order to "sow their wild oats." Accordingly, the great battle for freedom from Pharaoh represents our battle to replace the illegitimate ego dictator with the rule of soul - the rightful ruler of ourselves. It's the same battle story as that told in the Bhagavad Gita.
And Jericho? The sound of the horns that destroyed the protective wall of Jericho represents the sound of Aum that is heard by one and all during deep meditation. The fall of Jericho was the first victory by the followers of Moses, just as for many meditators, the hearing of Aum is the first victory on the march toward self-realization.
Jesus the Jew
Jesus always saw himself as a Jew, and all of his disciples were Jews. Jesus came to the Jews because they were more spiritual than others of their generation. But the limited ability to think abstractly during the dark ages resulted in a materialistic interpretation of his words by the Jews of his day. When Jesus said, "the kingdom of God is within," they grappled with the non-materiality of that "kingdom." Unfortunately, most didn't get it and instead expected a material kingdom in which the Roman rulers would be replaced by Jewish rulers. During the dark ages, most people are only capable of materialistic understanding such as this.
Even the close disciples of Jesus could not grasp a non-material, spiritual kingdom. Evidence of their failure to understand can be found in Acts: 1:6 “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel”? Clearly, they were expecting a material, Earthly kingdom, a political freedom of Israel from the Roman Empire, not the kingdom within spoken of by the Gospel of Luke and other Biblical passages, as well as the Gospel of Thomas. Such was the spiritual decline during the dark ages that even the disciples of Jesus didn't get it. And that passage from Acts took place after the resurrection, and after the entire ministry of Jesus on earth. Even after all the teaching of the entire ministry of Jesus, his disciples still could not get beyond their limited materialistic understanding.
Even today, some people whom psychologists describe as "concrete thinkers" are still expecting Jesus to come again and establish a material kingdom. They expect this material kingdom despite the fact that Jesus said of the second coming: "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his Kingdom." - Matthew 16:28
So where are those to whom Jesus promised that they would see the Son of Man come in his Kingdom before they tasted of death? All gone, long ago. So was Jesus wrong? Not a chance. They did indeed see the Son of Man in his Kingdom when they achieved self-realization before dying. Materialists who insist that a material kingdom is coming with Jesus as its Earthly ruler really must engage in twisted logic to square their belief with this verse. But as we enter the dwapara yuga, those who expect a material kingdom become fewer with each passing decade.
Even the ascetic Buddhism, which teaches how to achieve freedom from desire, sometimes degenerated into debauchery during the Dark Ages. According the Dalai Lama, "They were pleasure seekers" - The Story of Tibet, p74.
Hindu spiritual decline
The caste system once placed 12-year-old children into their proper caste after observing their character during their childhood. Those who were very spiritual were placed in the Brahma caste. Those who were loyal and vigorous in their protection of others were placed in the warrior kshatriya caste; and so on. But with the arrival of the dark ages, the caste system degenerated into a rigid system that was designed to perpetuate the privileges of the few who were powerful.
And - like Buddhist decline - Hinduism totally failed to understand the spiritual teaching of kundalini power. Where the ancient scriptures recommended the raising of the sexual energy up the spine so that it could be sublimated into spiritual energy, those living in the dark ages began to believe that sexual arousal was necessary in order to accomplish this feat. Thus the temples that were built about 1800 years ago sometimes were covered in pornography that is not fit to be viewed by those who are trying to conquer their enslavement to sex.
This civilization which flourished almost 5000 years ago between the Indus river and the Ganges (the home of the even more ancient Hinduism) was not the only one that enjoyed advanced plumbing: "According to Teresi et al. (2002): The third millennium B.C. was the 'Age of Cleanliness.' " (Quote from Wikipedia, referenced above, ca. 2009.) The ancient inhabitants of other parts of India, in addition to the ancient inhabitants of modern-day Scotland, also had toilets and running water. But these were only for the rich, whereas the people of Harappa provided sanitation for every family.
Not even the U.S. of my childhood provided such luxury (my own paternal grandparents did not have running water or modern toilets; plumbing didn't get installed in that Independence, Missouri house until about 1950). But sanitation 100 years earlier was much worse. Even in advanced London, poop was piled as high as a two-story house as recently as the 1840s (see The Ghost Map).
Public toilets persisted until the end of the Roman empire, some 1700 years ago, as shown above. Public domain photo.
Graphic evidence of decline and rise of human artistic faculties
Human artifacts older than 4000 or 5000 years are scarce, but they do exist. Among the most fascinating are the paintings found in hundreds of caves in Europe, especially the nearly 2000 cave paintings near Lascaux, France. Radioactive carbon dating show these to be 15,000 years old or older. I found it especially fascinating that their Wikipedia page (ca. 2009) noted that the “crossed-bison” painting (and I quote):
. . . is often held as an example of the skill of the Paleolithic cave painters. The crossed hind legs show the ability to use perspective in a manner that wasn't seen again until the 15th century.
According to Gregory Curtis, an art journalist, this ability to use perspective was not reborn until the arrival of Paolo Uccello in the 15th century. (The professor who taught my art appreciation class at the University of Missouri also gave an animated class on the disappearance of perspective during the dark ages, followed by its re-appearance in recent centuries.) Notice that the figures in the background of this Uccello painting (above) clearly are smaller than figures in the foreground, giving the drawing an admirable sense of depth.
Even when perspective was starting to be used again just before the renaissance, it was confused, as shown in this picture which was painted about 1250 AD. Notice that the lines of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem – and yes, that tollbooth-like structure is supposed to be the great temple – those temple lines, when extended, don't even come close to meeting at a vanishing point.
Moreover, the figure in the right foreground is too small compared to the crowd behind him, and those in the rear of the crowd appear as large as those in front. On the left we have figures that appear to be in front of the temple, closer to the viewer than the crowd on the right; but, nevertheless, they are much smaller than the figures in the crowd – making them look like midgets. And – no offense to people of small stature – who would want to hire such tiny people as those shown on the roof to be stone masons? Clearly, the painter does a credible job of dealing with concrete objects. The physical bodies of the people are realistic; but his limited ability to think abstractly is inadequate to the task of ordering the objects in a way that conveys perspective. My art appreciation professor made much of the errors shown in that painting.
Notice the improved perspective of the picture from more than two centuries later. Clearly, all the lines converge at a single vanishing point. Indeed, this painter seems to be shouting to us, “I get the point” - vanishing point, that is.
In contrast, earlier European art always looked flat, like the above painting.
People from the Far East usually score higher on IQ tests than others. So did Asian artists do better during the dark ages? Well what do you think – does the table look right to you in the above 10th century painting? Me neither. The problem is, the front lines and the rear lines of the table are exactly the same length. Obviously (to us), the lines in front should be longer than the lines at the rear of the table, and the left and right lines of the table should NOT be parallel (but they are). The result is a sort of optical illusion that makes the table look too wide at the far end.
But by the 18th century, this Japanese painter got it right. Notice how the lines at the edges of the white paper on the desk, if extended, would cross at about the same vanishing point as the lines at the left edge and right edge of the table. And, of course, the horizontal line of the paper that is farthest from us (nearest to the scribe) is shorter than the line that is nearest to us (farther from the scribe).
Not only could 18th century artists get it right, they also could get it wrong – intentionally:
The late renaissance artists had fun mocking the muddled perspectives of the dark ages. Note the fisher in the foreground seeming to hold the pole out in front of himself, even though he's pulling in a fish from a body of water that appears to be far to his right. And what about that huge swan over on the other side of the bridge? Isn't it about as large as the horses on the bridge?
This picture shows plenty of other anomalies, but my personal favorite is the lady leaning out of a window to give a light to the smoker on the distant hillside.
In summary, again we see a mental faculty that was evidenced thousands of years ago, according to art critics, but was lost during the decline from the higher ages. Then that mental faculty returned again as we emerged from the dark ages.
Perhaps even more significant in the Lascaux paintings, many of the almost-2000 drawings in the caves show dots in the sky that seem to indicate astronomical phenomena, such as the 29-day synodic month – cycle of the Moon, or – as shown in this photo (in the video) – a pattern of dots over the bull's shoulder that replicate the pattern of the stars in the Pleiades star cluster. Is there any significance in the fact that the animal in this drawing is a bull? Some scholars argue that the painting is a bull merely because bulls were hunted by the cave painters; but the ancient bones of roasted animals that were found in the cave are all reindeer bones – no cattle were found. For this and other reasons, some university researchers argue that a bull was chosen because the Pleiades are part of the Taurus constellation, and – as you may know – the word Taurus comes from an Indo-European root that means bull.
The implication is that perhaps this constellation already was associated with the bull 15,000 or more years ago. For possible reasons that we'll later discuss in greater detail, the Pleiades also are mentioned in the Bible (Job 38:31: “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades . . .”) and in countless other ancient texts, including old legends found here in the Americas. The fact that the Pleiades are so important to so many cultures lends credibility to the notion that the cluster of dots shown over the bull's shoulder, along with astronomical phenomena shown in other paintings, might indeed be intended to represent the Pleides and perhaps might have been associated in the painter's mind with the constellation Taurus. The reason why, perhaps, the Pleides was important to so many cultures has been forgotten – at least until quite recently. . .
(See Walter Cruttenden's book, Lost Star of Myth and Time.)
The tide turns
As suggested above, after about 500 AD, light returned, science rebounded, and abstract thinking ability improved everywhere: "
The Kriya Yoga connection
Unfortunately, the limited intelligence of the Dark Ages made it impossible for the average person to benefit from Kriya Yoga. For that reason, Kriya Yoga was lost for a few thousand years after having been described in detail in the ancient Bhagavad Gita.
I've posted this lengthy summary to my yugas video because it is being heavily revised, and I may not have time to complete it and post it. At my age, one never knows.
There would be no need for so much explanation if Yoganandaji had instructed me to become, say, a Roman Catholic back in 1947, for most of us have some understanding of Catholicism.
But what's Kriya Yoga? Specifically, why did it disappear for thousands of years, only to be taught again in the 19th century? Exactly what mechanism causes the rise and fall of intelligence and spiritual intuition? And why does the ability to think abstractly decline during the dark ages? Answers are presented in the Part 2 of this treatise.
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