First of all, I want to thank Mr. Kall for a very brave and timely plea for some out-of-the-box thinking (click here for Rob's call). I spend most of my time thinking about where we, as a nation, and as a world are, and where we are going. But, while I have not come up with a genuinely coherent vision, I do think I'm aware of what some of what it's basic ingredients must be. Most of these, I do realize, are bound to be dismissed as insane & absurd, particularly by the the over half of readers of OEN who claim to be atheists.
So, since we're talking crazy, I just may be your guy...
Let's begin with the somewhat less
crazy: There is a very famous (not so much in this country) 19th century Italian philosopher named Giambattista Vico (click here
) who wrote a very influential book called "The New Science" (click here
to read it free at Google Books). This is considered by many to be the first attempt to present a "philosophy of history". A professor friend of mine who has a degree in philosophy, and a doctorate in Italian literature, once called Vico "a mystic nut-genius, but was onto something" which is probably my favorite summary of the gentleman. In any event, James Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake" is based on Vico's view of history, and the chapters in Harold Bloom's "The Western Canon" are divided by Vico's historical epochs, "The Theocratic Age", "The Aristocratic Age" and the "Democratic Age". Bloom also included a "Chaotic Age" which technically is not one of Vico's epochs, but was added as the period following the "Democratic Age".
Essentially Vico said that all major civilizations go through these three phases. He believed (being the "mystic-nut" my friend called him) that the "Theocratic Age" was a "Golden Age", and it involved "adoration of the gods." No, he did not say "God" (which probably got him into enough hot water to be partially be responsible for being unable to secure a decent paying academic appointment during his lifetime.) He then asserted that after a few centuries, this pure "Theocratic Age" devolves into and an "Aristocratic Age", which he still called "heroic", but was not quite a Divine standard of things. But, eventually, the "Aristocratic Age" degenerates into, yes, a "Democratic Age". This is marked by ever-increasing corruption and greed, (any arguments?) until there is "chaos", followed by an inevitable and unavoidable catastrophe. But, then, the cycle somehow starts all over again. If this sounds similar to Spengler ("The Decline of the West") and Toynbee and others, it's not a coincidence. They all read Vico.
Harold Bloom actually said in his introduction to "The Western Canon", back in 1996, that we were already past due for a Theocratic Age, having already passed through the Chaotic period (which was the title of the last chapter of his book). Please have no doubt: Mr. Bloom, as most individuals of the Jewish persuasion (which includes myself) absolutely dread (for obvious historical reasons) the idea of any kind of "Theocratic Age"- no matter how idyllic Mr. Vico believed it generally would be. Nonetheless, the estimable professor Bloom apparently was (and is) in accord with Mr. Vico's perspective on history.
Martin Seymour-Smith, the great 20th century British poet and critic, in his "The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written" (which includes the "The New Science") made the savvy observation that this philosophy of history bore some resemblance to the Hindu concept of "Yuga".
The ancient Indian seers believed that the world was divided into four Yugas ("Ages") which began very pure (in fact Krishna, speaking as an Avatar, said the reason He had to create a somewhat more corrupt age was because everything was so
pure, no one was doing any procreating...), but gradually over time becoming more degraded (with the "Cow of Righteousness" eventually to be left standing only on one leg.) But this cycle of ages totaled more than 4 million years altogether. The age of the earth itself (they believed) was 1000 of these cycles, leading Carl Sagan click here
, H. G. Wells, Albert Einstein and other to credit theses seers as being the only ancient peoples whose cosmology was greatly in accord with modern science. But their concept was much more far-reaching than anything Mr. Vico was espousing.
Well, I guess I'm segueing into the Hindu as gently as possible, as a way of easing my readers (the few perhaps remaining...) into the "crazy" part of my "idea". But, actually, it isn't really my idea. It has been told (and copiously written about), to me as well as to millions of others. It has been done so by individuals whom I could have no reason to consider to be (after over 20 years of interacting with them), as anything other than divine, yes: gods and goddesses, living on the earth, all working together to bring about yet another "Golden Age". I do not believe this simply because they claim to be so (which they do surprisingly little of). I believe it because those of us who have found ourselves in their presence, all have the same (or at least similar) experiences: the "energy" of these beings can sometimes be overwhelming; and yes, they heal the sick, raise the dead, materialize objects out of thin air, tell you things which happened to you (or that you said) 30 years ago while living on a different continent (very specific things mind you), they can describe your future in minute detail (one such fellow told a friend the exact numerical score he'd receive on his college final exam), and speak absolutely sublime scriptural wisdom.
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Some of their names are: Sathya Sai Baba (click here
for a 2011 OEN post on him), Ammachi (click here
for a "PBS NewsHour" article on her and click here
for one of four Huffington Post articles), Karunamayi, (click here
for a very interesting interview with this particular Goddess), and Mother Meera (click here
for a story in the NY Times which includes Andre Gregory explaining why he believes a very young Mother Meera made his film "My Dinner With Andre" a reality and click here
for a great book on her). These are just the few of whom I have personally come in contact with. Mother Meera says there are, in fact, many such beings now alive in the world, all working towards bringing about a Golden Age (Sai Baba said, before he died in 2011, "Believe it or not, in 15-20 years the nations of the world will be living in harmony.") I could tell endless stories of genuinely miraculous occurrences which have happened to myself, members of my family and others (not vague "oh-you-just-think-these are miracles", at all). And there are indeed, literally thousands
of books by doctors, lawyers, teachers, Supreme Court Justices etc, chronicling their truly incredible experiences, with regard to these divine beings. Perhaps some OEN members who know exactly what I'm referring to would like to now speak up...
So, that's my personal out-of-the-box belief: we are now in transition from a chaotic period to a Golden Age; a phenomenon which has happened over and over again throughout history. The Gods themselves have, quite literally, descended, are present today among us (if almost invisibly- for now), and are in the process of moving all of humanity, to this Millennium.
Believe it, or not...
(Article changed on April 26, 2015 at 09:40)
(Article changed on April 27, 2015 at 08:19)