From Fundamentalism, Through Atheism, Toward Realization

A Video Autobiography by a Kriya Yoga Student of Paramahansa Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF)
Larry Dominus Reavis, Ph.D.

 

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Segment 2d Part 2 – The Yugas and Kriya Yoga – text for the yugas video. Backto Part 1 of the Yugas. If you haven't seen the yugas video yet, click here.

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.

By 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 "Mainstream," below.

Sun, Moon, and precession: celestial influences
   As we all know, the 360-degree spin of the Earth about its axis is called the “diurnal cycle,” or “day.”

In addition to the Earth spinning on its axis, the Moon is spinning around the Earth. Let's say we define its period as the time needed to go from one full Moon to the next full Moon. A full Moon occurs whenever the Sun, Earth and Moon, are lined up in a more-or-less straight line.

If the Earth were rotating on its axis in one spot in space instead of traveling around the Sun, we'd get a full Moon every time the Moon traveled 360 degrees around the Earth. This journey would take little more than 27 days, and is termed a sidereal month. Sidereal means that the orbit of the Moon is measured relative to the fixed stars,1 rather than relative to the Sun or Earth. But because the Earth also is moving around the Sun in a counter-clockwise direction (from a vantage point far above the north pole) - the same counter-clockwise direction that the Moon is tracing as it moves around the Earth2  - the Moon has to travel about 27 additional degrees in order to give us a new Moon. This happens because during the 27 days of the sidereal month, the Earth has traveled about 1 degree per day around the Sun (the Earth travels around the Sun in a counterclockwise motion about one degree per day - 360 degrees during every year of about 365 days), thus adding an additional 27 degrees to the 360 degrees of the sidereal month. So the total rotation of the Moon, relative to the stars, from one full Moon to the next is about 387 degrees instead of 360 degrees.

The additional 27 degrees adds more than two additional days for each monthly cycle. Therefore, the total time required is over 29 days instead of 27 days. As we all know, a period of about 29+ days is, approximately, a month. The period of 29+ days3 from one full Moon to the next is called the “lunar” or “synodic” month.

In like manner, the Earth is spinning around the Sun once every 12 months. Like the Moon, its cycle from one summer to the next or from one winter to the next is not exactly equal to a rotation of 360 degrees around the Sun. Unlike the Moon with its 387-degree cycle around the Earth from full Moon to full Moon, the Sun's cycle is shorter than 360 degrees, so that it takes about 20 minutes less time to go from, say, one winter solstice to the next than it takes the Earth to complete its full rotation of 360 degrees around the Sun. Why the 20-minute discrepancy? That will be explained below.4

Definitions
   Reminder – in case you've forgotten: A winter solstice refers to the shortest day of the year for those of us who live north of the equator – the day when the Earth's tilt has made the rays of the Sun shine directly above those who live about 23.4 degrees south of the equator.

Some three months later, those of us in the northern hemisphere celebrate the vernal equinox while those in the southern hemisphere celebrate the autumnal equinox, the day when the northern and southern hemispheres both get the same number of hours of daylight. Or - stated another way - an equinox is when night and day are the same length. 

About six months after the winter solstice comes the summer solstice (around June 21st) when the Sun is perpendicular to a location that is about 23 degrees north of the equator. The time from one equinox or solstice, such as the winter solstice, to its return, is called a “tropical year,” or “solar year.”

Note: In western cultures, the vernal equinox, around March 21, by convention (the exact date varies slightly from year to year) usually is used as the starting point for a new year. In India the autumnal equinox is used.

The slightly longer time required for a complete 360-degree rotation around the Sun, relative to the stars, is called a “sidereal year.” The term Sidereal year simply means – in a way that is analogous to the sidereal month defined above – that the Earth's year is measured relative to the fixed stars rather than relative to the angle of the Earth's axis in its relationship to the Sun. As stated above, the difference between the solar year (also known as the “tropical” year) and the longer sidereal year (relative to the fixed stars) is about 20 minutes (20 minutes and 23 seconds, to be exact). Here's why (Sri Yukteswar's explanation):

Precession of the equinoxes

orbits

The above graphic shows how an extension of the Earth's axis currently points to our North Star, Polaris. When the Great Pyramid was build, Polaris could be seen elsewhere (due to the movement of the Sun, which carries the Earth to another location on the ellipse). For the contemporaries of the ancient Egyptians, the North Star  was Thuban (a.k.a. Alpha Draconis). In the future, the North Star will be Vega. Intervening between these North Stars are long periods when no North Star is visible to the naked eye.

Like the Moon, which has to rotate more than one full circle of 360 degrees - 387 degrees, to be exact - order to go from new Moon to new Moon because of the movement of the Earth, the sidereal year is about 20 minutes longer than it would be if the Sun were standing still. That's because of a phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes.

Polaris

These rings indicate the path of stars as the Earth rotates as shown in this one-hour time-elapse photo. The star at the center of the rotation is our current north star - Polaris. Photo copyright by Kurt M. Lawson. Used with permission.

Perhaps the best way to understand precession is to understand that our North Pole – that is, the ice-covered northern-most point of the rotational axis of our spinning Earth – does not always point to Polaris, the star that we currently see as our “North Star.” We call it the North Star because a straight line drawn through our Earth's axis of rotation and extending into the stars would almost pass through Polaris - as can be seen in the above photo. But - as suggested above - that extension of the Earth's axis moves over a long period of time; and as it moves, it points to one or another star as the centuries pass by.

Sri Yukteswar

Sri Yukteswar. Photo copyright by Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF). Used under "fair use" doctrine for non-profit publication.

The reason, again according to Sri Yukteswar (and, now, many others – see http://www.binaryresearchinstitute.org/bri/research/evidence/lunarcycle.shtml), including prominent astronomers (see below), is similar to the reason why the Moon needs an additional couple of days in order to give us another full Moon. Just as the Earth is, in a sense, circling the Sun in a counter-clockwise direction away from the approaching Moon that, in a manner of speaking, is trying to “catch up” with Earth in order the produce another full Moon, the Sun is rotating clockwise toward the direction that the Earth is tracing during its journey around the Sun. The Sun is moving in this clockwise direction, says Sri Yukteswar, because it is part of a binary system. (According to NASA's Chandra researchers, 80% of all stars are in multiple-star systems - see http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_sources/binary_stars.html.) 

Like most stars, our Sun is gravitationally coupled with another celestial body. The two stars then obey Kepler's laws of motion and travel in ellipses around a common center of gravity. (The retrograde clockwise path of the Sun around the binary's center of gravity is contrary to most objects in our galaxy, for most show a counterclockwise motion; but retrograde motion is far from unique - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retrograde_motion.)  

See this 32-second video in which the Sun (shown as a yellow disk) is circling around a common center of gravity with its dual, shown in blue; or - if you have a slow web connection - download from HERE and play from your hard disk (notice that the Golden Age Satya Yuga is shown on the left of the yellow circle of the age cycles drawing).

This cycle of our Sun and its mate causes the rise and fall of the ages, cycling from higher ages down into a dark age, then returning again to a golden age. This cycle is referred to by the Greeks and Romans as the “great year,” and by Sri Yukteswar as the "electric cycle."

It's because of this precession that the ancient Egyptians, when they peered up the inclined passageway5in their newly built pyramid some 4000 years ago, would have seen the star Thuban (Alpha Draconis) - the star that was their north star. Since then, the location in the sky where the Earth's north pole points now is close to the star that we call Polaris, not Thuban. Polaris, therefore, currently serves as our polestar. After about 2017, Polaris will move away from this celestial north pole. And, far in the future, the star Vega will become our pole star. But during the intervening years we will have no polestar that is visible to the unaided eye.

The wobble hypothesis of Copernicus (NASA's wobble theory)
   Until recently, almost all mainstream astronomers saido that the reason for precession of the equinoxes is that the Earth has a wobble – rather like a top that wobbles when it's rotation slows too much to maintain its upright position. The Earth does indeed wobble, but – says Sri Yukteswar – most of the precession is
not due to wobble. Rather, it is due to the Sun being part of a binary system. 

As explained above, Sri Yukteswar asserted that our Sun is one of a pair of stars that are rotating around a common gravitational center. Although this star that is the mate of our Sun has not been found, it easily could be a dark star – possible a brown dwarf, or even a small black hole. 

A brown dwarf is small and many known brown dwarfs emit little radiation - making detection very difficult to accomplish (although "warm" brown dwarfs emit infrared energy, and some emit X-rays). Likewise, a black hole absorbs all light that comes close to it and only emits radiation if matter is falling into it; even then, the radiation is weak indeed (although, for black holes in a dusty environment, x-rays emitted by the dust can provide a means of detection). Because of their tiny size and weak radiation of energy, either a brown dwarf or a black hole usually is very difficult to detect.

The effects of the cycles
   These cycles – the diurnal, the monthly, the yearly, and the precessional cycle of the Great Year, affect us in many ways, including effects that change our consciousness. The
diurnal cycle, for example, controls the “circadian rhythm,” which is governs our sleep schedule. Trying to change it to stay awake during a night shift at work is extremely difficult, and most people never completely adjust to the change. Indeed, working the night shift increases the risk of serious disease, such as ulcers and heart disease and cancer.

The effects of the monthly cycle are more subtle, but many cultures have noticed that the period of the lunar, or “synodic,” month seems to be the same period of time as that required for the cycle of a woman of reproductive age. In fact, the word menstrual comes from the Latin word for month, mensis. Scientific evidence is weak, but a book by Louise Lacey (Lunation: A Feminine Odyssey into Fertility and Contraceptions,1975) claimed that she and 27 friends found their periods eventually began to synchronize with the Moon cycles after they avoided artificial night lighting. This monthly cycle in women also seems to be accompanied by mood changes – mainly because hormonal activity in the body is affected by the monthly period.

Annual changes have obvious effects, such as the springtime growth of flowers, new leaves on deciduous trees and other changes in plant life. The annual cycle also has documented effects on human psychology, such as the Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, which results in feelings of sadness experienced by many people during the days of winter when Sunlight is minimal. The typical medical treatment for SAD requires exposure to artificial light which mimics the color temperature of the Sun – about 7000 degrees on the Kelvin scale. Old fashioned incandescent bulbs, with their color temperature of about 2700 degrees Kelvin won't work, for the energy of their long-wavelength light just doesn't affect the consciousness like the energy of short-wavelength Sunlight does.

Similarly, precession's Great Year - the long movement of the Sun in its orbit around the common center of gravity that Sri Yukteswar says is shared with a companion star – also produces changes in the mental state of people. According to him, we get more of a certain type of energy, or we utilize it more fully, as we progress closer to the binary system's gravitational center. Just as the energy of light with a color temperature of 7000 degrees K. brightens our mood, the energy that Sri Yukteswar describes enables us to progress into a higher age. I say energy because – as we have seen – Sri Yukteswar refers to the Great Year as an electric cycle; and Yoganandaji similarly says our solar system is cycling around the common center of gravity which sometimes he refers to as the magnetic center (see p735, God Speaks with Arjuna, the Bhagavad Gita). Both Sri Yukteswar's “electric cycle” and Yoganandaji's “magnetic center” imply some type of connection to energy.

Energy
   So let's look at energy. Different cultures have various names for the energy that life depends upon. People in the Far East call it qi or chi, Indians call it prana, and Yoganandaji usually refers to it in English simply as “life force” or “life energy” - although sometimes he, too, uses the ancient Sanskrit term prana. It is the absence of life force, he says, that defines death of the body. Even though you pump food into the stomach of a corpse and flood the lungs of the corpse with oxygen, the corpse won't respond. When death comes, life energy goes up the spine and out through the medulla oblongata (a vital portion of the brain stem, referred to in the Bible as "the mouth of God" - see Matthew 4:4, in which Jesus asserts that man lives by every "word" - vibration of energy - that flows through the mouth of God). When life energy goes, so goes the bodily functions of assimilation, elimination, and so on. No amount of external energy from food or sunlight will compensate for that lack of internal energy.

Where does the energy come from?
   I've implied that life energy comes to us directly from a certain location in space. However, one should not imagine that we receive it
only in connection with the magnetic center of our binary system. Exposure to ordinary Sunlight also is a source of energy, and – for most of us – food is the main source - at least for our present position in the cycle of the yugas. Nevertheless, the yogis assure us that, both for reasons of physical health and in order to accelerate our spiritual growth, we would do well to rely more upon bringing prana directly into our body instead of indirectly, by eating food. 

Why? Because the assimilation of food always produces toxins that cumulatively damage the body. This damage is inevitable despite healthy elimination of the toxins through the bowels, perspiration, and by other means.

For that reason, I practice the recharging exercises twice daily, as taught by Yoganandaji in his Lessons. They may look like an ordinary physical exercise routine to the observer, but they are primarily mental in nature. In fact, they can be practiced from your bed if your body is unwell.

When I perform them with concentration, I am bringing prana into my body through the medulla oblongata – as mentioned is referred to as the “mouth of God” in the scriptures (see Matthew 4:4; also see this). I do this by invoking will power, following instructions found in Yoganandaji's Lessons.

Yoganandaji

Paramahansa Yoganandaji. Photo copyright by Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF). Used here under "fair use doctrine" in a non-profit publication.

Yoganandaji gives this explanation for why direct capture of prana is superior to relying upon indirect sources, such as food:

Prana, the divine life-energy in the body, is the subjective intelligent worker in all the bodily cells. It is the “soul” of the cells. . . . ever since this intelligent life energy was projected as a vibratory force . . . it has been trying to spiritualize the bodily cells, while gross food and breath as secondary sources of life keep the cells matter-bound, in the domain of change and death. (God Talks with Arjuna: Bhagavad Gita, p365)

In other words, even though direct access to prana is difficult given our rather low position in the electric cycle, our bodies are more likely to decay and die when we rely solely upon food instead of learning how to access prana directly.

Here's how Yoganandaji presents an overview of the process (p625, Second Coming): referring to God, he says,

... It is His vibration of thought that has been condensed into light; and that light has been condensed into life force; and that life force has been condensed into electrons and protons; and they have been condensed into molecules and atoms out of which the Earth and man's body and everything in this universe is composed.

He also says:

There is no fundamental difference between matter and Spirit. Thought and matter both originate in the creative vibratory power of God. Thought, energy, and matter differ only in terms of relativity of vibration, thought being the subtlest vibration, which condenses into the light of life energy (prana) and ultimately into the gross vibrations of matter. (Second Coming, p221)

Max Planck

Max Planck - founder of quantum theory. Courtesy of the Clendening History of Medicine Library of the University of Kansas.

Notice how similar Yoganandaji's claim that "thought . . . condenses into . . . gross vibrations of matter" is to the claims of quantum physicists. For example, Max Planck, honored as the founder of quantum theory, said “I regard consciousness as fundamental. . . I regard matter as derivative of consciousness. . .” (The Observer, London, January 21, 1931). Many other imminent physicists, including Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Robert Oppenheimer, and too many others to mention here also argued that consciousness thought is intimately connected to matter. Certainly they did not come to this conclusion easily; most of them had to be dragged to it by the data. Indeed, Irwin Schrodinger once said he wished he never would have become involved with quantum theory (he originated the wave formulation of quantum mechanics); nevertheless, he spent most of the rest of his life studying the Vedas from India. By the 1950s, most of the prominant developers of quantum physics believed that there was an intimate connection between matter and consciousness.

The phrase “God's vibration of thought” is frequently identified as “aum” in Yoganandaji's writings; and the “life force” energy is frequently identified as “prana.” With this in mind, we can paraphrase Yoganandaji's above-quoted overview thus: God's vibration of aum condenses into the light of life energy, prana, which then condenses into electrons and protons, including those in our body. 

Light, consciousness, and physical energy
   Aum could not properly perform its function without guidance by God the Father. According to Yoganandaji, the metaphorically male God the Father metaphorically impregnates the metaphorically female aum vibration (Mother Nature) to give birth to the one metaphorical son, Christ. It is this only begotten Christ, the "true and faithful witness" (faithful to God the Father), which permeates the aum vibration of Mother Nature; and it is this only-begotten Son - Christ - that is guiding creation. (Christ is fully manifest in all fully-realized beings, such as Jesus the Christ.)

And it is the all-permeating, guiding light of Christ within Mother Nature that gives to the physicists' observations the power to condense physical particles out of their wavelike energy, which the physicists call the "wave function." This wave function is not a wave. It is, rather, more like a concept of a wave (see the YouTube videos by quantum physicist Henry Stapp, Ph.D. here, where he talks about evidence for a cosmic consciousness, and here, where he talks about the non-physical nature of the wave function and the active role of our consciousness in these experiments; also see 2c-physics.pdf.)

Albert Einstein 1920

Albert Einstein, 1920. Copyright Expired.

As you probably know, physicists – since early in the 20th century – recognized the intimate relationship matter and light, or – more generally – energy. Einstein said, “What impresses our senses as matter is really a great concentration of energy into a comparatively small space.” - as quoted in Einstein & Leopold Infeld, The Evolution of Physics: The Growth of Ideas from Early Concepts to Relativity and Quanta.

Specifically related to light, he said, “All the fifty years of conscious brooding have brought me no closer to the answer to the question, What are light quanta? Of course today every rascal thinks he knows the answer, but he is deluding himself.”

David Bohm

David Bohm. Public domain, provided attribution is present; which is Magnus Manske and Karol Langner, of www.theosophy-nw.org.

Perhaps Einstein was overly pessimistic regarding humanity's ability to understand quanta of light. For example, several decades later, Dr. David Bohm, (Prof. Physics, U. London) described matter as frozen light. He said, “In its generalized sense, light is the means by which the entire universe unfolds into itself. It is energy, information, content, form and structure. It is the potential of everything.” 

He claims that everything is, in this sense, light, and everything is thus part of a continuum, and that objects that appear to be separate from one another actually blend into one another. This oneness of everything notwithstanding, he maintains that objects still retain their unique qualities even though, at a deeper level, they are all part of a grander reality. Does that sound like the concept of maya that we talked about in the earlier video segment? Maya, as you may recall, is like the plastic household ruler: it is divided into parts, yet remains whole. For a fuller presentation of Bohm's ideas, see his 1993 book The Undivided Universe, published in 1993 with Basil Hiley.

Returning to Sri Yukteswar's line of thinking regarding attempts to overcome the influence of time, it is this light of prana, or life force, that we must manipulate in order to become immersed, or “baptized” in the stream of Aum that flows like a river to us – in the words of the hymn Shall we Gather at the Riverfrom the throne of God.” And that is what kriya yoga enables us to do.

The Kriya Yoga connection
   Here's Yoganandaji's explanation for the connection between Kriya Yoga and prana: Speaking again of God, he says:

His purifying, cleansing, purging power is manifested . . . throughout the universe, but is preeminent in the subtle vital air . . . that is life-giving – prana. When by Kriya Yoga . . . the accomplished yogi distills the life current out of the oxygen in the human breath and uses this pure prana to recharge his body, he unites his life with cosmic life. Breath mastery through pranayama, or life-force control, is not only the best means of drawing on cosmic energy to sustain life in the physical body, but also the highest method for attaining liberation. (see his entire statement in God Talks with Arjuna: Bhagavad Gita, p798)

In the animation (shown above), I have shown that energy, the prana that is increasingly available as we move into the higher age, as if it were colored blue. I've done that because those who have seen the energy say that it is blue. In his instructions on how to perform the recharging exercise, for example, Yoganandaji recommends that one visualize the energy as blue light that is entering the medulla oblongata.

But it isn't just the great saints who see the energy as blue light. Recently I happened to read an excerpt from the book Musicophilia, by Oliver Sacks (2007). In it he quotes a man by the name of Tony Cicoria who developed a passion for music after being struck by lightning. It happened in 1994, while talking to his mother on a pay phone. Mr. Cicoria is quoted as saying,

I saw my own body on the ground. I said to myself, 'Oh s---, I'm dead.' I saw people converging on the body. I saw a woman – she had been standing waiting to use the phone right behind me – position herself over my body, give it CPR . . . I floated up the stairs – my consciousness came with me. I saw my kids, had the realization that they would be okay. Then I was surrounded by a bluish-white light . . . an enormous feeling of well-being and peace.

“Bluish-white light,” he said – just what countless others have reported seeing during near-death experiences, and just as the yogis have describe it for countless centuries. That light cannot be seen by physical eyes, but it can be seen intuitively. Intuition is not necessarily enhanced by death, but the cessation of distracting stimuli flooding into our consciousness from the senses allows us to notice the subtle intuitive experiences.

Where does the additional energy come from during the higher ages?
   I also have shown the energy of prana (in the video) as a field of radiation emitted by the magnetic center, but please don't take that literally. As Walter Cruttenden (author of Lost Star of Myth and Time) notes, the additional energy available to humanity as the solar system approaches the magnetic center may simply be due to the greater velocity with which the solar system moves through space (the velocity of all binary stars that are moving in elliptical orbits accelerates as they approach their common gravitation center).

aurora

Aurora Borealis, Air Force photo taken in Alaska by Senior Airman Joshua Strang. Copyright: public domain because this is a government-created photograph.

This increase in energy might be produced in the same way that a generator produces an electric current. Just as the moving wires inside the generator cut through magnetic lines of force in order to move electrons through those wires, perhaps the magnetic field of the Earth is cutting through much larger magnetic fields from the cosmos to produce a greater charge of free electrons or, perhaps, negative ions, here on Earth. As you probably know, immense currents of charged particles constantly engulf the Earth – producing, among other phenomena, the aurora Borealis – often seen by those who live at northern latitudes (see photo taken from Alaska, above). Perhaps similar currents enhance the light of prana, the life energy. Sri Yukteswar didn't provide such details, but he and many other yogis left no doubt regarding the importance of this energy for the welfare of humanity.

It also is possible that the Sun and other stars were created more through the action of electrical forces than through the weak force of gravity (see this), and that much of their influence on earth is electrical in nature. If so, then perhaps it is the electrical interaction of the Sun and its dual that produce the psychological effects that are identified in Part 1 of this article.

Current scientific view
   As implied above, conventional scientists, for the most part, do not agree with these assertions. Astronomers, especially, are likely to disagree with Sri Yukteswar's explanation for precession and instead accept the wobble hypothesis first given by Copernicus - at least until recently.

Details on the wobble theory vs. binary star theory
   Copernicus was aware of precession, and speculated that it might be attributable to a wobble of the Earth – much like the wobble of a toy top that we previously mentioned. He didn't know why the Earth might wobble, but Newton provided a guess: Perhaps the Earth wobbles because the Sun and the Moon pull on the bulge at the equator. There is indeed a bulge at the equator due to the centrifugal force that results from the spinning of the Earth on its axis. Modern measurements indicate that the bulge is about 12 miles thick - thus adding about 24 miles to the earth's diameter at the equator. It is this ring of extra bulge about the equator, and only this ring – Newton speculated – that is responsible for the wobble that Copernicus had hypothesized. So, in our image, let's substitute an image of a ring for that of the Earth (image shown in yugas video - under revision).

The ring at the equator causes wobble as the gravitation of the Sun and the Moon pull on it. Because gravitational force declines with distance squared (in other words, gravitation declines a lot as distance increases a little), the part of the ring that is nearest the Sun will get a little more tug than the part of the ring that is farthest from the Sun. And because the Moon travels around the earth in almost the same plane as the Earth defines as it goes around the Sun (called the plane of the ecliptic) the Moon's gravitational effects are added to the Sun's gravitational effects: both are trying to reduce the Earth's tilt and make it stand more perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic.

However, the Sun is so very far away from us (some 400 times as far away as the Moon), the difference in distance between the ring of the Earth's equatorial bulge that is nearest the Sun and that part that is farthest from the Sun is so small that we can ignore it for our present discussion. (All agree that the moon's influence is much greater than the Sun's.) 

That leaves the Moon's influence in our simplified model. In the case of the Moon - less than a quarter-million miles from Earth - the difference between the portion of the equatorial bulge that is nearest the Moon and the portion farthest from the Moon is sufficient to create a very real "lever" that the Moon can pull on in its effort to make the Earth's axis move to an angle that is closer to perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic.

The Moon can't change the Earth's tilt because the Earth is too massive. Nevertheless, there would be enough force at to cause a wobble, even though the tilt of the Earth would remain about 23.5 degrees relative to the plane of the ecliptic.

Now, if the Earth did wobble sufficiently (with a radius of wobble of 23.4 degrees), it could account for precession. And the evidence is that the Earth does wobble – at least a bit. However, according to Walter Cruttenden and others, the wobble only accounts for a small portion of the precession of the equinoxes.

Which explanation best fits the facts?
   Given the conflict between the wobble theory and the binary theory, can observations decide which is the main cause of precession?

Both the wobble theory and the binary theory produce many of the same predictions. Both explain the circle of precession, for example. However, there are differences in the models that perhaps can help us decide which is the better model. Let's take a look . . .

First of all, astronomers have known for a long time that precession is accelerating. According to data collected in 1900, the length time necessary for the Earth to complete one cycle of precession, according to careful measurements taken by the United States Naval Observatory, was calculated to be 25,788 years. But during the 20th century, the calculated time for one complete cycle steadily declined, until it was calculated to be about 20 years less by the end of the century. If the binary theory is correct, this 20-minute-per-century decline should far exceed 20 minutes as the centuries roll by. Why? Because our Sun's motion around the common center of gravity shared with its dual should accelerate the near we get to that common center - just as all other binary star systems show acceleration of their stars as they approach their center of gravity. Thus we can see that Sri Yukteswar's model perforce must predict an accelaration of movement, while the wobble theory is at a loss to explain the observed accelaration.

Note that Sri Yukteswar, back in 1894, claimed that the precession cycle took 24,000 years rather than the then-accepted length of 26,000 years. The shorter length of the cycle now being documented by astronomers appears to attest to the superiority of his intuitive knowledge of precession. 

And the error of astronomers of his day was even worse than for modern astronomers. If you would like to see how the accuracy of Sri Yukteswar's predictions held up for the next century compared to the predictions of the most advanced convention astronomers of his day, see http://www.binaryresearchinstitute.org/bri/research/calculations/100year.shtml.


Angular Momentum
   If the Sun and its planets were the result of swirling gases - as astronomers believe - then each should have an angular momentum that reflects that of the swirling gases from which they were formed. That's because the principle of "conservation of angular momentum" is a well-established principle in physics. Just because the swirling gases have taken on the round forms that we now see rather than spread-out gaseous form that existed before the formation of such heavenly bodies, that change in form cannot result in any change in angular momentum.

And all of the planets do indeed show the predicted angular momentum. But not the Sun: it has but a tiny fraction (less than 1%) of its predicted angular momentum. The Sun's angular momentum, according to astronomers, is attributable mainly to it's rotation on its axis.

How did the Sun's angular momentum get lost? This was a mystery for many decades until the astronomers simply decided that the Sun's angular momentum must have simply "boiled off" as it lost matter and energy into space.

Unfortunately for the astronomers, this theory can hardly account for the "missing" angular momentum:

"About 1/10 of the solar mass should thus have be lost by now due to this effect, but if the present mass loss rate was stable throughout the Sun's "life" only about 0.01% of the Sun's original mass would have been lost. This indicates that either the Sun's mass loss must have been higher in the past or that the Sun's magnetic field has been much stronger." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_braking

But there is no need for this (apparently incorrect) ad hoc patch to our understanding of the Sun's motion in order to account for the Sun's "lost" angular momentum. Nor is there any need to suppose that the Sun's mass and/or magnetic field were ever hundreds of times as strong as currently observed.

 To the contrary: Sri Yukteswar's binary understanding of the Sun's movement presents no such "lost" angular momentum. That's because the Sun's angular momentum never was "lost" - it's still there. Where is the "lost" angular momentum? It is there in the Sun's movement around its binary orbit. If the Sun is indeed moving in an orbit around the common gravitation center of a binary system fast enough to account for precession, then this orbital motion should own most of the angular momentum. Mystery solved?

A complicating factor is the retrograde motion (see above) of the Sun. But if the Sun and its dual captured each other to form a binary system in which the two stars move in a clockwise motion, then the angular momentum would not have diminished, but rather would now be distributed according to the laws of physics between the two stars. And indeed, the theory that some binary star systems were created after the birth of the two stars has widespread support among astronomers:

"In recent years theorists have explored four theories for binary-star birth: the capture of one star by another . . ." - http://www.astrophysicsspectator.com/topics/stars/BinaryStarBirth.html

As often happens, each of these theories has problems of its own; but these problems do not necessarily preclude retrograde motion in the binary system.

Thus the puzzle of "missing" angular momentum is neatly solved by the binary-Sun theory without having to resort to any awkward (and apparently incorrect) ad hoc patches - such as the improbable assumption that the Sun has lost most of its mass or magnetic field - a presumed loss for which absolutely no independent evidence exists.

Mainstream astronomers now are suggesting that our Sun is part of a binary system   Numerous astronomers - including NASA's Davy Kilpatric, UCLA's Ned Wright, UC Berkeley's Richard Muller, U. Louisiana's John Matese and Daniel Whitmire, Caltech's Mike Brown, and others - observing irregularities in the Oort Cloud, the strange orbit of Sedna, and other inexplicable phenomena - are openly suggesting that the Sun is part of a binary system.

For example, Mike Brown, the discover of the planet Sedna, says that Sedna shouldn't be where it is. In order to account for its location, Dr. Brown suggests that the most plausible explanation for its location is that it is being affected by a large object that is in a binary system with our Sun - according to Astrobiology Magazine; see http://www.astrobio.net/exclusive/3427/getting-wise-about-nemesis

Summary of this argument
   If our Sun is part of a binary system, with both the Sun and its dual traveling in elliptical orbits around their common gravitational center, then the shape of the Sun's elliptical orbit would determine the velocity of the Sun's movement as it approaches and then departs from the gravitational center of a binary system. And, says Sri Yukteswar, the closer it gets to the gravitational center, the greater the availability of
prana, the energy of consciousness. The result of this increased energy is greater ability to think abstractly (see “the Flynn effect,” below) and the better one's intuition becomes. This superior mental performance accounts for the “golden ages” spoken of by the ancient Greeks, Hindus, American Indians, the Old-Testament book of Daniel, and others (see videos on Page 1).

At the lowest point, the Sun carries the Earth into a region where little prana is available. During such times, intelligence declines and the Earth enters into a dark age – known in Sanskrit as the kali yuga. The lowest point in the last kali yuga occurred around 540 AD.

Note: Other astronomical evidence that the binary theory is correct can be found in Lost Star. It also should be noted that the binary model probably is very old indeed and is not unique to India (see Wikipedia).

Summary note: Where is the physical evidence of these previous high cultures? If the earth has gone through many yugas, as suggested, and if there have been many higher ages in the past, it is reasonable to ask: "Where is the physical evidence"? Presumably, they - like us - would have had the intelligence to create skyscrapers, Coke bottles, and all the other material items that we have created. But no 32,000-year-old Coke-bottle equivalents have been found. To the contrary, there is every reason to believe that during the last peak high age of around 11,500 B.C., the quality of material life was not especially advanced. Why?

I think the answer is related in a surprising way to one of Carl Sagan's answers as to why the SETI project (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) has yet to find any radio signals from other planets that seem to indicate the slightest evidence of higher intelligence. Toward the end of his life, Dr. Sagan - after noting the alarming evidence that our materialistic civilization might soon be headed for self-destruction - began to speculate that perhaps no civilization could endure such intense materialization for more than a couple of centuries before it would destroy its planet. Whether through the development of advanced weapons or because of intense damage to the environment, such intense pursuit of material power inevitable would lead to total destruction of the planet, in his opinion. If no planet, then no people; and if no people, then no radio signals; such was his line of thinking.

That makes sense in the context of the SRF monk's assertion that our current dark age period was one of the darkest ever, and more higher-age knowledge was lost this time than had been lost during many or most of the previous dark-age periods. Among the knowledge lost was an almost complete loss of knowledge of how to control one's own bodily responses to discomfort. 

There are numerous stories of how Yoganandaji could sit motionless in meditation on hot sand under the hot sun of India for hours - totally oblivious to bodily discomfort. Or go swimming with the monks in the frigid Pacific no matter the water temperature. Yoganandaji himself would claim that if his body felt cold, he would simply command it to be warm; then it was warm. Most likely one of Yoganandaji's goals when asking the monks to accompany him during his frigid swims was to get them to practice mind over body - that is, to use the mind to command the body to stay warm even while immersed in cold water.

During WWII, most all of us in the U.S. learned to do something of that. Because of a shortage of coal, neither our houses nor our schools were warm. In our school, I remember a couple of winters when the temperatures in the classroom were really chilly and we never took off our warm winter coats all day long for the entire Missouri winter. Because of the shortage of teachers, all three classes in my grade were crammed into a single classroom. But I didn't complain, for it meant that I and two other kids would be crammed into a over-sized desk with a fold-down bench chair that was taken from some classroom in the school for older kids. Three little boys crammed tightly together meant I got to share some of their body heat. I could have endured without it, but the additional heat was welcome. In any case, we adapted to the cold as Fall turned into frigid winter, and I don't remember feeling especially cold after my body got use to it.

Same in Korea. When the temperatures began to drop below freezing at night, we would fire up the kerosene heater in the metal building. But when the outdoor temperatures dropped below zero, the 5-gallon containers of kerosene that fueled the heater always would empty long before dawn. Then we would wake to frigid temperatures. For a few weeks we took turns running down to the fuel dump around 2 a.m. to get more fuel for the heater. But as our bodies adjusted to the cold, we didn't bother and we spent the rest of the winter sleeping as the room air temperature dropped far below freezing. 

Nearby villagers did the same. I spent many nights with near-broke Korean college students huddled inside a tiny hut - maybe six or eight of us in a small space. They invited me so that they could practice speaking English or just because I was good friends with several of them. But they probably also valued one more warm body in the room, for our body heat was the sole source of heat - a welcome source when the outdoor temperature dropped to 10F. degrees below zero. As the winter progressed, we all adapted and finally scarcely noticed the cold.

It is possible to control the body's response to such extreme environmental stimuli - even to lack of food - by using mind power. Indeed, one of Yoganandaji's goals for us was "mind over body" (and then, soul over mind). The Lessons published by SRF include teachings on how to do this. It is my guess that previous dark ages retained a good bit more of such knowledge than was the case this time. If so, it is little wonder that we turned so drastically to materialistic solutions, for we knew of no reasonable alternative.

After all, how many people know how to utilize the sun's rays when food is scarce? Consider a Catholic nun such as Therese Neumann:

 ("From the years of 1922 until her death in 1962, Therese Neumann apparently consumed no food other than The Holy Eucharist, and claimed to have drunk no water from 1926 until her death. - Wikipedia)

. . . and an Indian "mystic" - here and there can be found an advanced being who knows how to "ingest" prana. But the rest of us? (Predictably, Western-trained MDs asserted, without any evidence, that he and the military men who were interested in his powers, were lying - as can be seen in the above link; whereas Western fundamentalists assumed he was telling the truth and explained his powers as "of the Devil"; and life goes along its predictable path.)

Miraculous" cures without modern medical help also happen. When my late brother in law was a child and the Western-medicine doctors told his mother to take him home and give him comfort during his last hours for there was no longer any hope that he could live, she instead took him to a Mexican curandero from her hometown (Nino Fidencio, from Espinazo, N.L.). Almost immediately the boy improved and within a very few days was completely well and lived until felled by a heart attack some years ago. "Miracle"? Nonsense. The cure was merely the application of laws that most of us are but dimly aware; but those laws were known by Nino Fidencio. Perhaps, just perhaps, enough higher wisdom persisted during previous dark-age periods so that they anticipated the dead end that materialism would bring. Let us hope we, too, can see the error of our worship of materialistic "solutions" before they destroy us.

1 Quasars now are used as the fixed “stars” because their great distance minimizes parallax.

2 Counterclockwise, as seen from far away in the North Ecliptic Polar direction.

3 The exact figure is 29.531 days.

4 Please note that, in order to simplify this presentation, I am ignoring the fact that the Earth rotates 366+ times each year relative to the stars: 365+ rotations relative to the Sun (each one taking 24 hours – accounting for our day), plus one rotation around the Sun (accounting for the length of the year) equals 366+ total rotations relative to the stars.

5 The great pyramid contains a “ventilation shaft” - which is a precision-built, exceedingly straight, tunnel that points directly toward the north star.

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