The Wheel of Time - A Study in the Doctrine of Cosmic Cycles
a reassuring date in times of enormous global crisis as we are living now, butwhich does not absolutely correlate with data from other traditions announcing animminent end for our degenerated civilization.The answer to my deep uneasiness would come a bit later, mainly in the form of anextraordinary article by René Guénon:
Some Remarks on the Doctrine of CosmicCycles
, originally published in French in 1937. Thanks to it, I was finally satisfiedthat such figures were essentially symbolic, as suggested by the fact that they areall multiple of nine – which precisely makes them “circular” o
– and thatthey must be basically assimilated to the great cycle of precession of equinoxes, akey period of time in the development of mankind whose traditional length, 25,920common years, also is a multiple of nine. True, at the same time I concluded that inthe light of the most recent scientific discoveries, such lengths could be taken in anapproximately literal manner, something that Guénon could not be acquainted within his time; but for the moment, it was fairly enough. Then, as if by magic, came tomy hands other articles, some of them very important and others that were notquite so, which helped me do a preliminary study and publish a first edition in1998. This first literary endeavor contained some elements that have remained tillnow, the main one being my own calculation of the final date of the
and,therefore, that of the current human cycle. An additional element was a footnoteaccording to which such final date would appear to have been drawn nearer by adegree of such cycle, or 72 years – a phenomenon referred to in the texts as an
overlapping of yugas
.Soon thereafter, however, I realized that this first version in Spanish not onlycontained some historical errors but also wrong quotations, so I tried to upgrade itby means of a second edition which was published and circulated for some yearsuntil – its cycle concluded – I opted for removing it from circulation.By then, various articles by “disciples” of Guénon had started to appear mainly onthe Internet, in which they claimed the following:(1) The length of the full human cycle is 64,840 years, equivalent to five half cycles of precession of equinoxes (5 x 12,960 years); this calculation had beensuggested (but only suggested) by Guénon in the aforementioned article, as well asthe following point.(2) The year 720 of the
(which would last 6,480 years, or a tenth of theabove figure) would have coincided with that of the beginning of the Jewish Era,traditionally established as 3761 BC; therefore, also based on other temptingelaborations by Guénon in various articles, the
would have started in theyear 4481 BC.(3) Once the corresponding calculation was made (6480 – 4481), the end of the
(virtually equivalent to the end of our civilization) would be in 1999.Some even, resorting to decimal numbers, further specified: the catastrophe,whatever form it adopted, would visit us… on the 14 November 1999!Well, with regard to the doctrine of cosmic cycles, the first thing that we have tounderstand is the word
is not equivalent, as might be thought, to athousand common years, but to an indefinite length of time, usually referred to anymajor cosmic cycle. This is a point that will never be stressed enough, and it surelyis an elemental principle that the aforementioned authors seemed to have forgotten.Still worse, not only did they evidence an inability to let go of the literal sense of the term, but also a certain proclivity to the kind of hysteria that usually attacks themasses as the end of any major cycle draws near – not to mention such afrightening end of cycle as the one that was about to visit us.
http://miguelgoitizolo.com/TheWheelofTime.htm (3 of 69)01/03/2009 11:54:16 a.m.