The Sacred Time of 2012 - Vedic Astronomy in a comparative perspective

The Sacred Time of 2012

Vedic astronomy in a comparative perspective

Part I of IV: The Sacred Universe

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Willard G. Van De Bogart

June 21, 2008

Aztec sun with solar eclipse

The wonderful host of rays has risen: the eye of Mitra,
Varuna, and Agni: the Sun, the soul of all that moves or
Immovable, has filled the heaven, the Earth and the firmament.
Rig-Veda: 1, 115,

The Sacred Universe:

The idea of sacred time is as old as human history itself as well as being attributed to a time before human history began. It is a time known as the creation time. The time 2012 is thought of as the end time, the time when the world comes to an end and unimaginable catastrophes end the human race resulting in the infamous doomsday scenario and the fulfillment of the two millennia of Christian eschatology.

Due to the loss of understanding of the celestial significance of the time 2012, and its relationship to human cognition, the unprecedented opportunity to be spiritually transformed is the other scenario which this paper on the sacred time of 2012 will address.

Sacred time is unlike the time associated with daily activities but is rather a time affiliated with a reverence for heaven and earth, honored and held in the highest esteem, and definitely not to be sullied by actions counter to the messages conveyed by actions or events considered to be a part of that sacred time when the universe was born; the creation time.

Assailing or desacralizing the concept of something which is sacred is perhaps one of the greatest cultural efforts attempted by a deconstructionist point of view, or even by those who just wish to undermine or dismantle the ideological framework which allows the idea of something to become sacred. An attempt to undermine the sanctity of the Hindu gods such as Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma by academia from the West, America in particular, using psychoanalytic weapons to recast these Hindu gods as an appropriation by a sexually repressed culture has been adroitly presented by Rajiv Malhotra in the book, Invading the Sacred: An analysis of Hinduism in America.

Malhota elaborates on the denigration of the Hindus as a continuation of the “Frontier Myth”, a concept put forth by Richard Slotkin; the well know historian of the American frontier. According to Malhotra this myth is being used against the indigenous Hindus forcing all Hindus to reclaim and defend their cosmology and intellectual territory. This same “Frontier Myth” was used in the conquest, subjugation, displacement and eventual annihilation of the Native American and is still being deployed under the guise of a progressive civilization.

All these academic portrayals of Indian deities being a projection from a repressed culture is creating a state of Hinduphobia, and all the invisible networks supporting it are a further example of the hegemonic mind set being taught in American universities to eventually achieve “ecocide” (economic dominance) by removing all vestiges of the Indian gods comprising the Hindu religion (Ramaswamy, et al, 2007).

These efforts and attempts to deride or minimize the sacred in the world are not new. Throughout the history of civilizations there have been countless attempts by one culture levying its power to remove the sacred icons from another culture only to be replaced by new cultural icons and the process has been going on for all recorded history. One thing, however, is very obvious in the realm of the history of the sacred and that is sacred time, sacred spaces, and sacred events have been recorded by all ancient civilizations, and in the 21st century the concept of the sacred is still a powerful concept which has withstood all attempts of eradicating its presence from human history.

Perhaps the sacred is once again becoming even more predominant as the need to recognize a transcendent reality to counter a world that has seemingly forgotten its roots in sacredness and has instead replaced them with a rationality that has no ultimate goal other than personal self fulfillment.

If we review the literature on the sacred, one author stands out among the rest who has given authoritative voice to the definition of the sacred. The Romanian religious historian Mercia Eliade (1957) introduced his work, The Sacred and the Profane, in the middle of the 20th century. No author has been so thorough or more referenced for his ideas on the sacred than Mercia Eliade. In fact it’s practically impossible to find any literary work written on the concept of the sacred after his works were published which do not reference his work. What were the concepts of the sacred before Eliade, and what are they now? It seems as if, that if you don’t read Eliade’s work then the whole concept of sacredness, which holds a predominant place in the human psyche, can’t be fully realized.

However, relying only on formal definitions or explanations of the sacred can in no way be enough to convey the attitudes and conscious states of sacredness or what the thought of something being sacred conjures up within the mind. Sacredness is also a part of those creative forces that were brought into the universe from a place which is known as the realm of the gods, and having been born or having been created from a universe considered sacred is the beginning point for all religions. The Hindu deity, Varuna, who originates from the Vedic scriptures emanated from this sacred realm during the creation time of the universe. It’s this sacred realm of the gods which will be discussed in relation to the sacred time of 2012.

In the popular media at the end of the 20th century the millennium crossover from one thousand year period to the next thousand year period preoccupied most everybody’s mind on the planet. The elaborate celebrations for the New Year produced by each major city on earth were broadcast, starting from International Dateline in the Pacific Ocean through Greenwich, England (GMT) and each successive time zone around the planet. It was the most dazzling display of pyrotechnics ever before seen. The attention devoted to the millennium awakened in the psyche an awareness of humankind’s duration on the planet. It was a time of hopeful renewals for a future set to continue forever and ever.

The year 2000 was alive with anticipation to reach that iconic year of 2001 made famous by Arthur C. Clarke’s novel Childhood’s End, and turned into a movie titled “2001” and produced by Stanley Kubrick. The start of the year 2001 was seen as a year where the future was full of possibilities, but all those possibilities suddenly stopped on September 11, 2001 as the Christian eschatology reached its terminus. Again, another time became riveted into the human psyche, but this time, abbreviated as 9/11, was laden with the fragility and vulnerability of civilization and all the visions of the future were drastically re-considered on the schedule of The Apocalypse.

Time seemed to stand still around the world on September 11, 2001 as people saw how tenuous the future really was and fear replaced hope. At the same time the world was adjusting to catastrophe, however, it was also looking for new answers as to what the future may hold. There was another time made popular in Christendom called the end time with the four horsemen of the apocalypse galloping over the earth taking souls to the end of the world through a fiery death as the day of doom had finally arrived. Indigenous people’s views of these end times became more popular such as the Hopi Indians with the end time prophesy of the blue light in the sky from a supernova, and the Mayans of Central America with their sacred calendar prophesying the end of time on the winter solstice of 2012, and finally the Hindu’s with the completion of the Kali Yuga cycle where all will be destroyed and reborn a new. All of these prophesies and end time predictions opened the way for another time to be reckoned with and that time is December 21, 2012. Eliade (1957) states “Humanity finds itself at a significant historical moment, that is, in a cosmic cycle that is in its descending phase or nearing its end” (p.131).

The sacred in the modern world is under attack for the simple reason that there is enslavement to logical reasoning and a complete secular approach to existence which does not allow or entertain an extraordinary reality to substantiate or conceive of what is understood or perceived to be a world made sacred. So, anything that is considered sacred or anything that intimates that there may be additional forces above and beyond what can be perceived as rational is considered illogical and erroneous. Self knowledge had become the divan of sanctity as divine consciousness was entombed.

The foundation of the sacred has been undermined by a mind set which has predominantly controlled the way people behave in order to fulfill the requirements which make up the contemporary mind set whether it be called industrial welfare, capitalism, socialism or any New World Order. The world of the sacred was forgotten as a result of humanity finding or believing in a substitution for their motivations and efforts by which to develop the rationale for a modern progressive civilization, at the expense of what once was common sense. However, given the fact that this observation is true it in no way cancels or invalidates that a sacred world view was once the predominant way in which the majority of humans thought about their place in the universe, and these ancient views of sacredness in the universe exist even today hidden beneath the veneer of an anti-sacred world view or as Eliade proclaims; a profane world. But even in a world driven by sacrilege and secular forces there are also forces still operating that mirror the sacred universe. Even though the Western world view, and now the Asiatic world view, is driven by secular concerns we can find eruptions of the sacred occurring across the planet. Whether it is Muslims making pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca to visit the Ka’bah or Hindu’s dipping in the Sangam at Allahabad or the Ganges River in Varanasi or Christians returning to Bethlehem the sacred is still very much alive outside the halls of human government.

For Hindus the sacred identity stems from a very ancient cosmology beginning with the creation of the universe with the Hindu god Varuna. From these ancient beginnings the Hindu deities were born and they all played their part in the design of the universe. During full solar eclipses the Hindus will dip in the Ganges River up to their navel to help link the mind and spirit with the cosmic realm and recite the Gayatri Mantra, the most sacred verse of the Rig-Veda, addressed to the sun as Savitri, wife of Brahma, mother of all the Vedas requesting the beneficence from the goddess to illuminate their piety.

But what is important now, for a planet which has turned to the secular, is to appreciate how to recognize something that is sacred and more so what the idea of sacredness is founded upon. To say that nothing is sacred is to renounce the belief systems of the entire history of humans. National Geographic presents the decoding of Stonehenge as a burial ground for the elite and fails to see the Milky Way surrounding the sanctified memorial grounds on Salisbury Plain as an eternal memorial to the founders of the culture that created the monument (June 2008 vol. 83). It is up to us in today’s world to uphold that which is considered sacred to give to future generations the benefit of understanding of the sacred time of 2012 in spite of the secular tourists who claim archeological understanding.

It is us today who have to uphold the universe in a sacred way to continue the belief that creation itself was a sacred act rather than just a result of enumerable particles randomly combining from waves of potential existence. Sacredness applied to creation requires some pre-ordained plan and is given to be an act which we allow or credit to be sacred beyond the immature understanding of National Geographic. Therefore, sacred time is creation time or the time the arrangement of the universe enables associations between the initial emptiness and vastness of the cosmic void to relate within itself and form itself out of itself the same way the Vedic scriptures describe the way the deity Varuna created the universe, and the Popol Vuh credits Quetzalcoatl with the same action. Two cultures on opposite sides of the earth and eons apart in time saw the same cause of all action.

Once we acknowledge a divine being responsible for this act of creation we veer away from the temporal evolutionary trajectory of existence, as we witness it, and enter the creation story from a level beyond what is now regarded as a universe formed from unintelligent matter.

Prior to intelligent matter are the movements of the formative influences creating patterns and designs forming our universe which are beyond immature comprehension, and yet visible to the eyes of children. Once formed, the intelligence behind the creative formation of the universe cannot be removed from the universe, or any matter, as long as that intelligence remains in material existence because intelligent matter, as a form of being embedded in all substance, contains the very intelligence that was placed there during the causative time of intentional creation. This then is the very intelligence we depend upon to ultimately attain our immortal cognition. In other words, as long as the created formation carries the message of intent in the material formation of the universe we can then realize the path to follow in the universe in order to attain immortal cognition. This concept has been memorialized in the phrase, "as above so below”. So, in as much as we are necessarily fabricated from these formative influences in the universe, all we can use to sense the cosmic patterns is our instinctive nature and through it the understanding that the sacred arrangement is guided by an All Creative Force. In a way it’s accepting and identifying our instinctive nature to be a mirror of the recursive nature which forms the structure of our universe. The instincts are the genetic wisdom passed on from the stars through the sacred thoughts of ancestors that transformed their physical substance. This sacred process is denigrated to blind evolution as intelligence is denied in the ancestral genes. Trying to have our thoughts go beyond this recursive framework places a relative meaning on any postulation we could create because we can only be cognitive of the universe within which we were born. To worship and pay homage to the process of our cognition in the universe is to sanctify it. To believe in that process of cosmic consciousness is to face reality and we can visualize our cognition as a spiral of awareness.

This state of affairs is not a limitation of our creative mind because our own genomic structure exists as a mirror image of the formative causation of our universe that we are born into, and our awareness of the universe brings our universe into existence. We created ourselves as an echo of the primordial First Time. This latter statement is paradigmatic and demands an entirely different intellectual focus on existence for it implies that we are like the gods Varuna and Quetzalcoatl and can create the evolving path of the universe. This concept may not sound so implausible when we listen to the quantum physicist, Amit Goswami, who is well known for his ideas on consciousness and the universe in his book, The Self-Aware Universe. Goswami believes that consciousness is transcendent. The material world of quantum physics is just possibility. It is conscious through conversion of possibility into actuality that creates our manifest visions. In other words, consciousness creates the manifest world (Goswami 2005) just as quantum energy crosses the Zero Point Energy boundary from darkness to light. However, the origins of consciousness are from the divine intention with the creation of the universe.

Therefore, by allowing sacredness to become part of our cognition, following Goswami’s thinking, we apply a sacred orientation to everything we perceive and allow the possibility of a sacred universe to be actualized and come into being. We create our sacred universe but we do so with recognition of the original intent. Sacred perception then places a value on created existence which we hold in the highest esteem and grant a special status to everything so perceived as sacred. We also hold sacred anything which borders the threshold of our recursive structure meaning our individual identity and the universal identity, and that cognitive region can even be another space time continuum or another universe because it has been shown that there is transcendent potential where our material universe has connections outside of our own space time continuum. This other space time continuum is called a transcendent domain of reality allowing communication to take place throughout the realm of the gods.

Here then is the awareness that sacred cognition harbors a host of formative structures bordering humankind’s most cherished domains that form religious perspectives, hence space and time become sacred. To invade this cognitive domain with anti-sacred cognition is immediately met with a host of denials taking the form of blasphemy and heresy. Our world now finds itself in a position where these sacred domains of consciousness have been affected by anti-sacred cognition much like a virus in a computer. To say that science is the main anti-sacred domain would over look equally powerful anti-sacred cognitive domains such as capitalism, socialism, fascism and other forms of cultural cognition where a super luminal threshold reserved for adjoining or accepting a reality which interfaces with the outer limits of our cultural awareness is denied for the sake of some extant world order. The creative process in human cultural cognition is a doomsday scenario, for yesterday must pass away for the sake of tomorrow as Chronos consumes all youth.

One facet of this cosmic recursive cognition which we humans have cherished is to find a way to associate with that which is near to us and mirrors the super luminal threshold. That nearness encompasses the stars, and the heavens we see in the night sky filled with all the extragalactic entities that we can see with our fabricated eyes whether designed to see at a distance or the invisible radiation coming from the depths of all those uncharted sacred spaces. Long ago stars came to represent insights into the creative myths of our origins and today most visible stars have names and stories associated with them. The stories are so well known that they have become a permanent record in the conscious development of humanity and reside within the collective unconscious of us all. These stories have gods associated with them and every tribe from every indigenous culture has given the stars super luminal names to best describe that state of cosmic recursivity which is the spiritual framework of cosmic reality and is as simple as the passing of days, seasons and epochs. When we read these tribal star tales we are given an insight on the various ways formative cognition has been able to apply its lexicon by using words to define the cosmic threshold. The stories are so ancient that to determine their age seems impossible. However, the stories do orient our eyes within the heavens to the same stars which were seen in the night sky thousands of years ago. That is the sacred orientation toward heaven and eternity.

End Part I


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