A client recently shared with me about horrendous mistreatment she suffered when she was a small child, at the hands of her own family members. This sort of story is, unfortunately, not unusual for me to hear, as I regularly counsel, coach and facilitate groups of adults who were neglected and abused as children. Individually and societally we increasingly experience and hear about catastrophes and traumas resulting from human iniquity, economic collapse and natural disasters. Clearly we are spiraling downward towards darkness and calamity. And for some this is no surprise, as the prophecies of ancient traditions confirm just what we are witnessing.
Yesterday a client shared about a momentous spiritual breakthrough, internally, in his relationships with people dear to him, and with the Divine. This type of realization I also find to be an increasingly common occurrence as more and more people sincerely apply themselves to genuine processes of consciousness-raising, personal transformation and social betterment. This too is consistent with predictions from sources of ancient wisdom.
So, we might wonder what’s happening here, with these apparently contradictory forecasts. The Vedic literatures from ancient India describe the current time as an “age of quarrel and hypocrisy”, called the Kali-yuga, the most degraded period in the universal cycle of four ages. Also the Vedas, as communicated through personalities such as Sri Caitanya, a 16th Century sage from West Bengal, describe that within the eons that comprise the Age of Kali, there will be a Golden Age of enlightenment.
We stand at the dawn of this age of auspiciousness, while simultaneously Kali-yuga is in full force. The raging river of Kali-yuga wreaks havoc, while the golden age is an eddy in the current. We might imagine that Kali-yuga is an ever-increasingly ferocious storm, and the movement towards spiritual awareness is an ever-expanding umbrella.
These epochal influences are present. Our choice is the extent to which we take shelter in the umbrella, and contribute to its expansion. Prophesized disasters or visions of heaven on earth represent possibilities, not fixed fate. By cultivation of conscious living we can augment the eddy, and dissipate the destructive forces of Kali-yuga.
The Golden Age
We get to nurture golden age consciousness at each moment, through our responses to external events. How quickly, for example, do we realize opportunities for growth, awareness-raising and deepening connections, when encountering apparently cataclysmic crises? To what extent do we react automatically from past conditioning, and to what extent do we respond consciously, from a platform of true and transcendent spiritual consciousness?
To focus on our inner state of being does not supplant endeavors for change at the macro level. Still, whatever political, economic or cultural systems are in place, their value and effectiveness will be determined by the consciousness of the members who energize the systems. Thus, while recognizing historical movements that influence the age, let us live in the present and create the future through finding our shelter in the eddy in the current.