Dear reader, my name is Luis Miguel Goitizolo. Below is an abstract from my book The Wheel of Time - A Study in the Doctrine of Cosmic Cycles which I recently translated from my Spanish original and will shortly be published in the United States.


The Universal Doctrine

 

The notion of Ages or Eras ended by violent cataclysms is common to the traditional cultures from all around the world, from the most primitive to those that reached a higher level of civilization. They may differ in number, length and in the characteristics of the evoked catastrophes, but at the same time the coincidences are extremely significant: in the majority of cases, as you will see below, the Eras are four or seven, their lengths are “circular”, and the disasters that finish them are usually floods and conflagrations that occur in alternate fashion and are attributed to planetary influences.

 


Seven Eras of the World
 
Thus, for instance, according to Latin scholar Varro (116 BC – 27 AD), the Etruscan annals recorded seven preterit ages whose ends had been announced to men by diverse celestial prodigies. On its part, “Bhaman Yast”, one of the books from the Avesta, speaks of seven World ages or millennia; according to Zoroaster, the prophet of Mazdeism, at the end of each there are signs, wonders and a great chaos all over the World. A Buddhist text, Visuddhi–Magga, in its Chapter “Cycles of the World”, says there are seven ages separated by global catastrophes of three kinds – by water, fire, and wind – at the end of which there appears a new Sun; after the seventh Sun, the World bursts in flames. Curiously enough, this notion of seven “Suns” also appears on the Sibylline books, where it is said that we are now in the seventh Sun (though yet two more are prophesized to come), on the Mexican Annals of Cuauhtitlan, written in Nahuatl tongue around 1570 on archaic sources, which likewise allude to seven epochs or “Suns” (the “Chicon–Tonatiuh”); and among the aborigines at North Borneo, who assert that six previous Suns having now perished, the present one is the seventh to light up the World.


On the other side of the World, in North America, the legends of the Hopis, who from old were apparently familiar with the fact that the Earth rotates on its axis, speak rather of four ages or “worlds”. Having the three previous ones succumbed to fire, snow, and water, the current World would be the fourth (another version says the fifth), which will in turn be consummated when the Earth stumbles on its own axis as a great blue star, referred to as “Sasquasohum”, precipitates upon it. Apparently, however, the humankind will have to go through seven worlds in total.
 
The scheme of seven ages or Eras is also predominant in the mysterious Chaldean legends about seven “kings of kings,” the last of whom, Xisuthros (the biblical Sisera) saves his kin from the great flood; in the seven Manus of the Hindu tradition, in which also the last one, Satyavrat, with the name Vaivasvat, saves a few chosen from the flood; and in the seven “Edomite Kings” from the Hebraic Cabbala, who like the previous ones govern by turn upon seven “Earths” that may be taken both in a temporal and spatial sense.

 


Some variations in the number of Ages

 

Seven “Earths” appear as well in the Islamist esoterism, in this case governed by seven “Poles” (in a presumable allusion to the phenomenon of precession of equinoxes), a reference which also figures among the ancient Egyptians, who apparently recorded seven successive Pole Stars; and on its part the Rabbinical tradition, which crystallized on the post Hebrean Exile, asserts that there have been six successive re-creations of the Earth, after an equal number of global catastrophes; on the fourth Earth lived the generation of the Babel Tower, and now we are on the seventh. According to Philo, the Jew philosopher born around 20 BC, some perished by floods, others by conflagrations.

 

On the other hand, in an obvious correspondence with the seven “days” of the biblical Creation, we have seen elsewhere that the Hermetic tradition refers to seven “creation days” of 25,920 years each – the length of a precessional cycle.

As
can be seen, the notion of seven ages or Eras is common throughout the World, which manifests an almost absolute concordance on this mater among most traditions. There are, however, a few exceptions.

The Icelandic Edda rather refer to nine ages, such as the Sibylline books (yet preterit ones) and the Hawaiian and Polynesian legends do. As to the Chinese tradition, it talks about ten kis or ages since the beginning of the World till Confucius’ times, and the Sing–li–ta–tsiuen–chou, an ancient encyclopedia that deals with the periodicity of nature’s convulsions, refers to the very long periods of time between each other – though without specifying their number – as “great years”; the same is true of texts by Sse Ma–chien and Mo–tzu, which allude to large floods and long periods in which order and cataclysms alternate on Earth.

 

 

The Quaternary Scheme

 

By contrast, other traditions, like the Greek (derived partially from the Hindu), the Tibetan, and particularly those from Central and South America, which will be addressed later on, stick more strictly to a scheme of four ages.

We have seen, for instance, that the Greek and Roman traditions talk about four preterit Ages of Mankind, equivalent to the four yugas of the Hindu tradition; and in India itself, apart from Bhagavata Purana and other Puranas, other sacred books like the Rig and Yajur Veda allude as well to four preterit ages, though differing in the lengths of each. Also, it is not unlikely that the Buddhist tradition according to which out of the one thousand Buddhas who appear on a kalpa, only four have manifested till now, may be related to the four yugas that make a maha–yuga and to the one thousand maha–yugas that make a kalpa; as to the Buddha Maitreya, who is to appear at the end of the cycle to inaugurate a new “millennium”, he is clearly identical with the avatara Kalki of Hinduism and with other inaugurators of the coming “millennium”, such as the “Christ of Glory” of  Christianity and the Messiah of Judaism and even the Maddhi, “the well guided”, of Islam. And here is another remarkable coincidence: both the avatara Kalki and the “Christ of Glory” from Revelation 19:20 ff are supposed to appear riding a white horse.
 

 

A few Universal Symbols

 

On the other hand, the quaternary scheme very closely correlates with certain universal archetypal forms which, while dramatically separated from one another in space and time, do not vary in their innermost essence.

 

For example, according to the Hopi people, since the arrival of the white man in North America, we are on a fifth and final “World”, worse than the four previous ones, which will aggravate with the desertion of the four “cosmic guards” who look after the columns that support the universe. On their part, the Mayas believed in four bacabs who played a similar role and were identical to Atlas of the Greeks, who copied it in turn from the Orientals. (Atlas actually supports the heavenly vault, not our planet.) In turn, the Egyptians received from the Sumerians the tradition of four giants who supported the heaven’s cover, and who were correlated with four great mountains (one was Mount Ida, in Greece, another stood on the Atlas mountain range in Morocco). In China there also existed this tradition: four guardians look after the World’s columns, surrounding a fifth element (identified with the Emperor); when Kung-kung, an evil spirit, broke one of the columns with his head, taking advantage of the guardian’s negligence, all water from heaven fell down, causing a tremendous deluge. Again, the Scandinavians believed in four guardians correlated in turn with the swástika, another universal symbol (yet of unpleasant remembrance because of Nazism), which is the same as that of the Hindus and Greeks and the Olin of the Aztecs (the “Sun” of Earthquakes), who in turn took it over from the Toltecs; and here we have another archetypal form that spread out over the World in a virtually identical manner.

 

Up to here we have reviewed a number of global symbols and traditions in which the numbers four and seven play a prominent role.
 
Another common symbol to all of the World’s cultures and civilizations is that of a “Cosmic Egg” which, in as much as an image of the perpetual dissolution and rebirth of the universe, bears a close resemblance with the “myth” of Phoenix, which is similarly found in civilizations ranging from the Hindu to the Chinese – where it appears as the myth of Pan-ku –, the Egyptian, and even the Inca: for example, it is known that on the main wall of the Ccoricancha temple, in Cuzco, there was a representation of the “Cosmic Egg” that would later on be replaced with the Sun’s image that met the Spaniards’ eyes.

 

 


Back to the Quaternary Scheme

 

But we are deviating from the versions related to the scheme of four ages, among which the most typical probably are the Mesoamerican accounts preserved in sacred books such as the Popol Vuh and the “Quiche Manuscript” where, as mentioned above, they are consistently referred to as “Suns” – although this time they are four, not seven. The Aztecs, for example, who apparently collected these traditions from the Teotihuacans, who in turn would have received them from the Olmecs, differentiated four “Suns” that ended in an equal number of destructions of the World: the first by jaguars that devoured all men (another version says by the “God of the Night”), who at the time were giants; the second by hurricanes, the third by a shower of fire (or by the “God of Fire”), and the fourth by a great deluge. Though with slight variations, mainly in the order of “Suns”, this tradition was disseminated throughout the Maya world, and there is a significant fact: the four destructions in all cases are correlated to the four traditional elements.

Also the Incas, farther South, believed that time unfolds by cycles and that every so often the universe was challenged by great upheavals, times of distress referred to as “Pachacuti”. Chroniclers of the conquest of America, like Fray Buenaventura Salinas, transmitted the tradition of the four ages previous to the Inca Empire. The last age would have lasted 3,600 years, an emblematic “circular” figure that if divided by ten, becomes the number of the circle degrees and that of the priestly days of the year: 360, an exceptionally sacred number to the majority of traditions from all over the World.

 

Thus we enter the area of lengths; but we had better deal with it on the next page.

Lima, May 2010

 

View previous: The Kali Yuga

View next: The Circular Numbers

 

 

 

A Message from The Author

 

Dear Friend,

Ever since I was
a youth I was fascinated by Oriental wisdom and particularly by the Hindu doctrines. However, it was not until a few years ago that I undertook the task of studying the ancient doctrine of cosmic cycles from different perspectives, though mainly using the most relevant sacred texts from all around the world. In time, I felt the urge to write a book about my studies in that matter in my mother tongue, Spanish, which I titled "La rueda del tiempo" (in English, "The Wheel of Time"). It is excerpts of that book and other original articles dealing with similar topics which I will start publishing through this medium as of today.

More recently, after some years as a networker promoting various programs, I decided to translate my book into English, a task that was successfully completed a few month ago. And over the past weeks and months I have been publishing excerpts of this translation, as well as other original articles in English that also deal with similar topics, on various online media of the United States and other countries.

 

Thank You,

 

Luis Miguel Goitizolo
Lima - Perú


miguelgoitizolo@gmail.com


                                                                                                  

     

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