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W. Q. Judge on "The Signs Of This Cycle"

Mar 25, 2006 12:02 PM
by TimeStar

by W. Q. Judge
"Path," October, 1892

MEN of all nations for many years in all parts of the world have been
expecting something they know not what, but of a grave nature, to happen in
the affairs of the world. The dogmatic and literal Christians, following the
vague prophecies of Daniel, look every few years for their millennium. This
has not come, though predicted for almost every even year, and especially
for such as 1000, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, and now for the year 2000. The red
Indians also had their ghost dances not long ago in anticipation of their
Messiahs coming.

The Theosophists too, arguing with the ancients and relying somewhat on the
words of H. P. Blavatsky, have not been backward in respect to the signs of
the times.

But the Theosophical notions about the matter are based on something more
definite than a vague Jewish priests vaticinations. We believe in cycles and
in their sway over the affairs of men. The cyclic law, we think, has been
enquired into and observations recorded by the ancients during many ages;
and arguing from daily experience where cycles are seen to recur over and
over again, believing also in Reincarnation as the absolute law of life, we
feel somewhat sure of our ground.

This cycle is known as the dark one; in Sanscrit, Kali Yuga, or the black
age. It is dark because spirituality is almost obscured by materiality and
pure intellectualism. Revolving in the depths of material things and
governed chiefly by the mind apart from spirit, its characteristic gain is
physical and material progress, its distinguishing loss is in spirituality.
In this sense it is the Kali Yuga. For the Theosophist in all ages has
regarded loss of spirituality as equivalent to the state of death or
darkness; and mere material progress in itself is not a sign of real
advancement, but may have in it the elements for its own stoppage and
destruction. Preeminently this age has all these characteristics in the
Western civilizations. We have very great progress to note in conquests of
nature, in mechanical arts, in the ability to pander to love of luxury, in
immense advancements with wonderful precision and power in the weapons made
for destroying life. But side by side with these we have wretchedness,
squalor, discontent, and crime; very great wealth in the hands of the few,
and very grinding poverty overcoming the many.

As intellectualism is the ruler over this progress in material things, we
must next consider the common people, so called, who have escaped from the
chains which bound them so long. They are not exempt from the general law,
and hence, having been freed, they feel more keenly the grinding of the
chains of circumstance, and therefore the next characteristic of the
cycle--among human beings is unrest. This was pointed out in the PATH in
Vol. I, p. 58, May, 1886, in these words:

"The second prophecy is nearer our day and may be interesting; it is based
upon cyclic changes. This is a period of such a change, and we refer to the
columns of the Sun (of the time when the famous brilliant sunsets were
chronicled and discussed not long ago) for the same prognostication. . . .
This glorious country, free as it is, will not long be calm; unrest is the
word for this cycle. The people will rise. For what, who can tell? The
statesman who can see for what the uprising will be might take measures to
counteract. But all your measures cannot turn back the iron wheel of fate.
And even the city of New York will not be able to point its finger at
Cincinnati and St. Louis. Let those whose ears can hear the whispers and the
noise of the gathering clouds of the future take notice; let them read, if
they know how, the physiognomy of the United States whereon the mighty hand
of nature has traced the furrows to indicate the character of the moral
storms that will pursue their course no matter what the legislation may be."

This was not long after the riots in Cincinnati, and New York was warned, as
well as other places inferentially, that the disturbances in Ohio were not
to be by any means the end. And now in 1892, just six years after our
prophecy, three great States of the Union are in uproar, with the poor and
the rich arrayed against each other, arms in hand. Pennsylvania at the works
of a great factory almost in a civil war; New York calling her militia out
to suppress disorder among workmen and to protect the property of
corporations who have not taken a course to inspire their workers with love;
and Tennessee sending military and volunteers to do battle with some
thousands of armed miners who object to convicted lawbreakers being allowed
to take the work and the wages away from the citizen. We are not dealing
with the rights or the wrongs of either side in these struggles, but only
referring to the facts. They are some of the moral signs of our cycle, and
they go to prove the prognostications of the Theosophist about the moral,
mental, and physical unrest. The earth herself has been showing signs of
disturbance, with an island blown up in one place, long inactive volcanoes
again erupting, earthquakes in unaccustomed places such as Wales and
Cornwall. All these are signs. The cycle is closing, and everywhere unrest
will prevail. As lands will disappear or be changed, so in like manner ideas
will alter among men. And, as our civilization is based on force and devoid
of a true philosophical basis, the newest race in America will more quickly
than any other show the effect of false teachings and corrupted religion.

But out of anger and disturbance will arise a new and better time; yet not
without the pain which accompanies every new birth.

Path, October, 1892

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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