Friday, December 01, 2006

The End of the World

The Hindu doctrine teaches that a human cycle, to which it gives the name Manvantara, is divided into four periods marking so many stages during which the primordial spirituality becomes gradually more and more obsured; these are the same periods that the ancient traditions of the West called the Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages. We are now in the fourth age, the Kali-Yuga or 'dark age', and have been so already, it is said, for more than six thousand years, that is to say since a time far earlier than any known to 'classical' history. Since that time, the truths which were formerly within reach of all hae become more and more hidden and inaccessible; those who possess them grow fewer and fewer, and although the treasure of 'nonhuman' (that is, supra-human) wisdom that was prior to all the ages can never be lost, it nevertheless becomes enveloped in more and more impenetrable veils, which hide it from men's sight and make it extremely difficult to discover. This is why we find everywhere, under various symbols, the same theme of something that has been lost—at least to all appearances and as far as the outer world is concerned—and that those who aspire to true knowledge must rediscover; but it is also said that what is thus hidden will become visible again at the end of the cycle, which, because of the continuity binding all things together, will coincide with the beginning of a new cycle.

René Guénon, The Crisis of the Modern World

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