THE EPOCHS OF THE WORLD
I stand before Him. He begins: 'The earth and its inhabitants are not yet conscious of the forces which reach the earth from out of the cosmos and maintain it. Consequently the inhabitants of the earth aren't able to control these forces and transform them at will. The earth receives these radiations from out of the cosmos and is immersed and bathing in these waves of energy. Everything that happens on earth is a direct reaction to the action of these radiations ... a kind of resonance resulting from their inter-action.
'The sun magnifies to a tremendous extent the radiations of the particular constellation in which it stands at any given moment as it radiates its force to the earth simultaneously with the radiations of the constellations concerned.' This fact has a bearing on the way in which the four seasons have come into being.
'The movements of the earth give us the impression not only that the vault of stars is rotating about us, but also that other movements are taking place. One of the most important movements the earth makes is that its axis describes the surface of a cone. Whereas one of the end points of the earth's axis remains relatively fixed, the other describes a circle. Because of this movement, the vernal point in the cosmic wheel is slowly displaced. Seen from the earth, it appears to be moving backward.
'The time it takes for the axis of the earth to complete one full conical movement—moving from the vernal point in the zodiacal circle right round to its starting point again—corresponds to 25,920 terrestrial years. We call this a cosmic year. Divided by twelve, this number gives us a cosmic month, mainly 2,160 terrestrial years, the time it takes for the vernal point to move through one zodiacal sign.
'The vibrations from the cosmos have such a great effect on the earth that they even influence world history. The leading ideas in religion, science and art are the result of the radiation of the particular constellation in which the vernal point is moving throughout the course of a cosmic month. The incarnated spirits on earth—that is to say humanity—must always achieve a new epoch by reaching a new milestone in human development and establishing themselves in the ideas of the time.
'A nation is a group of spirits,
the incarnation of certain concentrations of energy. Each epoch brings
to the earth a different group of spirits, a different race, and when
this race has fulfilled its task of carrying out the new ideas and developing
a new civilization for the space of a cosmic month, it leaves the earth
in order to develop further on another planet. In every race, of course,
there are always individuals who don't quite "make the grade"
before the end of the epoch. These remain behind, like the dregs in a
drink, and must continue to develop on earth. That's the reason why a
nation experiences a sudden decline after achieving a high point in civilization.
The highly developed fathers of the nation are followed by degenerate
and weak-willed descendants, and the nation which was once greatly esteemed
gradually falls into debility and disrepute. These descendants are the
dross of the nation which has reached the highest degree of earthly development,
become spiritualized, and departed from the earth.
'We are now living in an epoch
in which the vernal point is moving into the constellation of the Bull.
God (Ptah) reveals himself to us in the radiation of
this constellation, and that's why the divinity manifesting itself in
the atmosphere of the earth is represented in the form of a bull, in the
form of the divine bull Apis. The complementary constellation
of Scorpion-Eagle is represented as I he temptress—a
serpent crawling upon the earth—or in the form of the divine falcon
Horus. You know that this energy, as long as it is earthly
and expresses itself on the low plane binding spirit to matter, is the
serpent luring man back Into further incarnations. On the other hand when
this force is spiritualized, It helps man to experience, while still in
the body, the highest degree of spirituality.
'The constellation of the Bull belongs to the threefold manifestation in which the face of God has an earthly-material effect—contracting, drawing together and hardening. This means that at the present time the forces that build up matter and operate within it are the easiest and most immediately available forces for the inhabitants of the earth to use. Our task is one of conquering matter with matter, that means conquering matter with the energies making up the essence of matter. We use the frequencies of matter, these unseen and immeasurably powerful forces—in other words, the spirit of matter—in order to conquer matter itself. We charge the matter of the ark of the covenant with the entire octave of these energies and thus control the laws of matter—the forces of construction and destruction, materialization and dematerialization—as well as the weight of matter which we can either overcome or increase at will.
'In time our truths will come
to flower. But then as celestial movements and changes continue, the earth
will gradually move out of these regions in the cosmos in which certain
specific energies are working together to produce our present epoch. Little
by little certain of these energies will diminish, while new ones come
into the picture, and thus the total pattern of vibrations affecting the
earth will gradually shift. This means of course that the people being
born into life on the earth will be gradually changing. The time will
come when they won't understand our truths any more. The symbols and words
we use to express the mysteries of the laws of creation will lose their
content, becoming empty husks for thousands of years. Mankind will have
to learn through new tasks and surmount new obstacles in their accomplishment.
'Come, my little daughter,'
says Ptahhotep, 'Now I'll lay my hand on your head and you will see pictures
of times to come.'
Ptahhotep bids me lie down,
and no sooner has he laid his hand upon my brow than I get the well-known
buzzing and prickly feeling in my head. The very next moment I see pictures
which, in the symbolic language of dreams, shows me the significance
of events in the distant future.
Now the vision changes. The
godlessness and selfishness of the Egyptians causes new plagues and afflictions
of growing severity. But still Pharaoh does not yield. He still refuses
to liberate the people from their bondage. Finally the gravest scourge
of all descends upon him. All the first-born of the people and I heir
animals, and even of Pharaoh's own household, are killed by the angels
of God in a single night. Only those who have eaten of the flesh
of the lamb and have written their names with lamb's blood on their doorposts
are not killed by the angels.
Then I see a new vision. The
mighty initiate leads his people out of Egypt. And because the Ram
is a fiery sign, a pillar of fire moves ahead of him
to show him the way. He leads his people out of the spiritual darkness
prevailing in Egypt at the end of this epoch. But Pharaoh's heart hardens
again. He regrets that he has allowed these people to leave his country
in freedom. With his entire army, he starts out in hot pursuit of the
refugees. But the great initiate, in order to protect his people, uses
his staff of life. He directs against Pharaoh's army the frequencies of
ultra-matter which greatly intensify the earth's gravitational force.
Suddenly, Pharaoh with all his warriors, chariots, and animals become
as heavy as if rooted to the spot where they stand. Their tremendously
intensified weight pulls them irresistibly down into the earth. And as
all of this takes place on the seashore, the great waves of the sea finally
roll over Pharaoh and his entire army.
In the meantime the great
initiate is 'on the mountain' and speaking 'face to face with God'. He
is in the very highest state of consciousness, identical with God. He
is the bearer of the will of God. It is God's will that he proclaim the
new ideas to his people through two religious symbols, the sacrificial
lamb, symbol of the constellation of the Ram, and the
two tablets with God's ten commandments, symbol of the constellation of
The two tablets of commandments,
like the ones in our temple, on the head of the sacred falcon Horus,
symbol of the divine self, the creative principle traversing
space, stand as symbols for the inner structure of the self
manifesting itself in the soul as moral laws.
When the initiate brings the
finished tablets of commandments and sees his people worshipping the golden
calf, he bursts out in such a fit of rage that he dashes the tablets to
the ground and smashes them in pieces while he asks God to punish the
The visions of the future
go on. The great initiate leads his people up to the threshold of the
new epoch, up to the borders of the promised land. Then
he goes up into a mountain and disappears. No one ever finds his body.
I know that he has dematerialized himself just like the last initiated
high priests have de-materialized themselves with their secret instruments
and apparatus in the great pyramid.
A person who in his consciousness
identifies himself with his body lies in inner darkness and resembles
a stable with animals—the animal-physical instincts—living
in it. In this stable and in this darkness—just as in the darkness
of night—the divine child is born, the consciousness of
the self. Two kinds of people recognize the divine child and
bow low before him: The plain, simple, unlettered and unlearned who do
not yet know the doubting of the intellect and who live in unison with
nature, like shepherds for example; and the knowing ones and initiates
who have already travelled the long path of the intellect, have overcome
their earlier propensity towards intellectual cleverness, and have learned
to look at things with their inner sight after the manner of the wise
men and mystics in the East.
In medical science too water
dominates the picture as a therapeutic agent. Everywhere I see bathing
establishments, spas and medicinal baths making use of water for all kinds
of cures and treatments: Salt water baths, marsh baths, hot and cold baths,
compresses, and many many other applications of water for the curing of
physical ills. People even take advantage of the healing power in dew
by walking about barefoot in the wet grass.
A vision from the time when
the energies of the Water Bearer are working with full
power shows me that the great teacher of this epoch abolishes all the
boundaries between the three dominant religions. With his own person he
proves that the inner core of all religions is one and the same truth,
one and the same God. The boundary between religion and science disappears
too, as people discover that everything, even matter,
is a wave movement. They learn that the only differences between manifestations
of the spirit and those of matter are differences of frequency, while
in its essence everything is only the manifestation of the one, single,
prime source of all forces, God. Everything
is a wave, just as the symbolic representation of the Water Bearer
constellation shows: a supernal being pouring waves out of his pitcher.
The constellation of the Water
Bearer belongs to the airy face of God. And
mankind conquers the air with air, with energies won from matter in the
airy state. I see people moved onward from the steam engine to other machines
operated by gas. And then my astonished eyes follow huge locusts high
up in the air, made by human hands and carrying people
in their bellies! These machines are powered by gas: Air
conquers air ...
Through the complementary sign of the Lion people again recognize the strongest manifestation of God on earth. The sun, the great Ra, is again acknowledged as the prime source of all manifestation of earthly energy. Once more people have become sun worshippers, even though not in a religious sense. The influence of the Lion shows itself in another plane too. The effect of the Water Bearer is to abolish all boundaries, all limitations. But the absence of boundaries without a concentrating mid-point means mental disease, spiritual death. The boundlessness of the Water Bearer would affect the unconscious masses as a mental illness running throughout all humanity, causing anarchy and chaos, and destroying everything. Through the complementary sign of the Lion, however, dominion is concentrated in individual persons—dictators —who group the people about themselves and guide them.
In this epoch people discover
traffic and intercourse with other planets. Boundaries and obstacles disappear,
and with them the isolated state of the earth in cosmic space. And as
the boundaries between countries disappear too, all humanity is governed
from one centre. 'One stable, one shepherd.' The eternal wheels roll on,
and the earth moves into a new epoch, under the sign of the Goat and its
complementary constellation, the Crab.
The combination of the two
zodiacal signs of the Goat and the Crab
has a strong influence on the spiritual life of mankind. The great teacher
of this epoch reveals unto man the mystery of the immeasurable sources
of power hidden in the depths of the human soul. Those who hold the key
to these sources of power possess abilities which the ignorant call 'supernatural'.
All over the earth I see public schools where even little children are
taught to attain these higher abilities through the kind of exercises
which only candidates for the priesthood are permitted to practise in
our temples. This high and wonderful knowledge spreads into ever greater
circles, reaching ever greater numbers of people.
'As you see, my child, the inhabitants of the earth receive their initiation in small groups and then in larger and larger ones, all inter-related one with the other. A person can be initiated individually within his own lifetime, and a nation can receive initiation if it works its way up to the highest level of development and fulfils its task here on earth. Eventually the whole world will receive initiation by completing the full circle of the four faces of God, experiencing step by step all stages of initiation in a systematic development, and finally achieving complete spiritualization—salvation from matter. Measured according to earthly time standards, it will take ages and ages for this development to be achieved. For countless times the earth will have to go through the zodiacal circle, both in terrestrial and cosmic years. I've shown you only the tiniest part of this exceedingly long path of development. The history of mankind on earth is not a matter of accident or happenstance. It's important for you to know that every step of development takes place according to divine providence, following a divine plan. A person can cover this infinitely long way in a single lifetime if he concentrates his will exclusively on this goal.'
As he gives me his benediction, Ptahhotep says, 'Come back again tomorrow; I have important things to tell you.'