Dane Rudhyar - Photo1

Dane Rudhyar


A Lunation Birthday for Modern Man

The nineteenth century has emphasized the ideals of individualism and of imperialism. Its philosophy has been haunted by atomism and materialism. Its techniques have been analytical and reductive. Now, in contrast, we are witnessing in this century a powerful trend toward collectivism, group organization and the subservience of the seemingly separate elements to the encompassing whole. The philosophy of relativity and statistical average establishes all scientific knowledge on the basis of the concept of "groups" or "class." The universe appears to us moderns as a space-time spheroid, and human society cries out, with its airplanes and radios, its TV sets and its space satellites, for global organization.

To the analytical techniques of last century we are substituting a synthetic, gestalt approach to the assimilation of knowledge. We learn to visualize words instead of spelling letter after letter. We are seeking though still frightened by our search! to establish the big thing first as a foundation, then to deal with the pattern of operation linking the little things; and only later if we can find time! do we consider these small factors and individual cases. Modern Russia was built this way. It cost much, in all conceivable ways, but it may eventually win happiness within the framework of a rhythmic organization of the whole; a happiness endowed with a meaning (because it operates in relation to a whole), rather than the aimless, centrifugal and mostly meaningless search of pseudo-individuals for pseudo-enjoyments. 

Thus the pendulum swings to and fro. The nineteenth century ended a world-period which had known the greatness of stabilized culture and, still before, the illumination of a "full moon" awareness indeed limited, but all awareness must be reached within limits, and all "full moons" are structured by Saturnian limitations. Today we are standing at the threshold of a new era, and most of us are afraid; some, because they are frightened by the possibility of world-wide catastrophes; others, because they shrink from the responsibilities of birth, from the unfamiliar light of a new world of relatedness a global world.

We must not, however, misunderstand the true significance of our twentieth century collectivism any more than that of the chaos of last century's individualism. What the epoch which closed with the rise of modern Japan sought unconsciously to accomplish was not only to destroy the ancient feudal and religious Images of the European culture, but also to develop by the power of sheer "natural selection" (Darwinism) a new type of individuals and Representative Men. The destiny of such men was that they should be the cultural and spiritual "seeds" in whom the deeper values of the past would be concentrated and personalized. Being thus personalized, these values would become symbolical and, therefore, transferable.

A seed is life in the transferable state. Pythagoras was a "seed" which made the Orphic tradition available to the future of Western humanity. Through Confucius the essence of the civilization of ancient China was transferred to the new China. Through Ptolemy the old Chaldean astrology was transferred to the then emergent Europe. Through H. P. Blavatsky, likewise, the ancient occult tradition became reformulated for use in the world of our tomorrow just as German culture and its basic myths became "seminalized" by seed-men such as Goethe, Beethoven, Wagner; the French culture, by a Victor Hugo, a Saint-Simon and a Balzac. And in America, at the dawn of a period of uncontrollable industrialization, Jackson, Lincoln, Walt Whitman, Emerson became the "avatars" the seed who made the original ideals of the New World transferable because incorporated in creative personalities through whom the past and the future became integrated, and death became birth.

Likewise, the collectivism of our twentieth century, pushing its way tragically through total wars, reconstruction without "vision" and fear of the new powers released by man, should not be misunderstood as an organized denial of the value of the individual. The German and Japanese revival of tribalism on an incredibly powerful and gruesome scale during World War II marked simply the devastating autumnal storm which tears down whatever clings still to the trunk of a cultural past. The collectivism of their national organizations was the by-product of a tribal religion of blood theocratic and magical tyranny in a machine-age setting, structured and ensouled by the compulsive need to destroy, itself as much as others.

While the collectivism of Soviet Russia was, and still is, conditioned by this setup of European disintegration, it belongs basically to a different order; and we will be able to understand its meaning when we consider that the seed must have a tough envelope if it is to retain its integrity in the midst of decaying leaves. What we see at work in Russia is a process of transformation and regeneration working from the whole to the parts not evolution, but involution. And when this involutionary process of structural differentiation will be completed, we shall witness the actual "birth" of a new Eurasian culture probably not before next century, and certainly not before a vast conflict of ideas and power-loaded symbols occurs, from which a new religious Movement will very likely emerge, synthesizing present-day trends, as World-Christianity emerged from within the Roman world since the days of the Triumvirate.

Our modern collectivism is a prelude to an age of relatedness. It will be also an "age of power," because all power is born of operative relationship; but it will be even more an "age of authority," for whenever the whole is seen to give meaning to the activity of the parts as is the case in any living organism   then, whoever becomes the conscious expression and delegated representative of the meaning and destiny of the whole thereby becomes invested with "authority." However, a new concept and image of authority is needed; and it should be based on experienceable reality the reality of the concrete operative whole rather than on a transcendental belief. It should be authority demonstrated by works, and not merely sustained by emotions; based on the common joy of creative living, not on the common yearning for a transcendent beyond and a common dying. 

Religion emphasizes the relatedness which comes from a common ancestry, whether of blood (tribal religions) or of spirit (the Fatherhood of God). But there is also a relatedness which develops through a common purpose and a community of work. The ideal democracy is an expression of such a type of relatedness, focusing man's consciousness ahead, instead of backward to source toward the full moon integration, and not back to the new moon origin.

This new type of relatedness is implied in the modern concept only dimly understood by most thinkers of "emergent evolution." It is only dimly understood because it fails to convey as yet the idea of purposeful activity; because it is still opposed to the religious concept of creation. Such an opposition was valuable last century; but today the opposites must be integrated. Religions believe that "man" is "created" by God. But we should come to realize that what emanates from the Divine is only the purpose which drives the universe and humanity onward through cyclic series of "emergences", away from the atomicism and quasi-absolute unrelatedness of chaos and toward a condition of ever more inclusive wholeness.

This condition of ever-more-inclusive-wholeness is the divine purpose for all there is, and abstractly speaking, it is God. God is the never-to-be-reached end of a process which comes always closer to that ideal of absolute integration. And this process can have no end or cessation as long as there is duration, and as long as any consciousness whatsoever thinks, and thus is susceptible of thinking still more inclusive thoughts!

Man, integrator of spirit and matter through the structuring mind, emerges thus gradually and cyclically from a condition of lesser integration to one of greater integration creative, yet driven by the inherent and divine Purpose of ever more wholeness. The driving force is the power of relatedness. Unconscious at the mass-level, this power becomes conscious in the truly individualized person. In unconsciousness there is instinctual power; in consciousness there is vision and creative meaning. Instinctual power is an expression of need. The creative power of conscious meaning is an expression of fulfillment. Living is a dynamic, forever unstable balancing of need and fulfillment, of the emptiness of birth and the plenitude of maturity.

It is this balancing which we have studied under the symbolism, deeply vital and universal, of the lunation cycle. The constant life-rhythm of emergence and blossoming, then dissatisfaction and disintegration, and emergence again from the seed, finds its most wonderful expression in the alternation of new moons and full moons. Need and fulfillment new moon, full moon. At the new moon creative spirit gives its final answer to the need; and this creative spirit is the collectivity of those individuals who have reached fulfillment at the preceding full moon. Every fulfillment polarizes a new need; every need answered becomes, in time, a fulfillment. How is a need ever to be answered except by the release of a new quality of relatedness and the emergence of new relationships!

Humanity is preparing for this release. Indeed we are witnessing a process of "involution," of descent of the spirit, of progressive incorporation of a new "quality of relatedness" in new forms of thinking, feeling and behaving. We are confronted with the awesome pressure of a new emergence of civilization, and it is this very pressure which is shattering the old in answer to the great need, the great unconscious prayer of the human race. Seeds for tomorrow have been and are being scattered amidst the wreckage of philosophical systems, churches, nations, cities and individual minds. Indeed a cycle is about to be closed. The "balsamic moon" of a "greater lunation" has been reached.

This is not only an image of speech. The cycle to which I am referring is actual and well known. It is part of the vast "year" of the precession of the equinoxes (lasting an approximate 26,000 solar years), just as a monthly lunation cycle is part of the ordinary year marked by the revolution of the earth around the sun. It is not possible here to discuss the full meaning of this processional cycle or to explain its cause in astronomical terms. But I feel impelled to mention these vaster periods in order to close this book with an expanded outlook on the future, for the pattern of the actual lunation cycle is reproduced in its essential outlines by the vaster cycle which encompasses an approximate 2100 years. Indeed we can discover the lunation birthday of our present generations of modern man within this cycle. The phase which we called the balsamic moon can be said to have occurred in 1844 a year which carries the "signature" of highly significant developments, in the religious as in the industrial world, and which begins the revolutionary period highlighted by the revolutionary events of 1848.

A brief glance at figures and dates will suffice. The processional "year" at present is said to last 25,868 solar years. It is to that cycle which one refers when speaking of the series of great Ages, such as the Piscean Age, or the Aquarian Age thus to the fact that, at the equinox of spring (the moment when the sun crosses from southern to northern declination), the sun finds itself a little early each year in reference to the actual constellations of the sky. Today, when the sun reaches the longitude 0 (the so-called "first point of Aries") it is not actually close to the star which marks the boundaries of the constellation Aries, but somewhere within the group of stars known as Pisces.

The exact place is difficult to ascertain, because the actual boundaries of the constellations are both conventional and imprecise. However it is probable that, in spite of what some astrologers and mystics claim, it is wrong to say that "we have entered the Aquarian Age." What we have entered is the seeding period (or transition) which is the prelude to the Aquarian Age. And it is this period which, I believe, began in 1844 or at any rate during the forties of last century. I call this period that of the balsamic moon because in the lunation cycle this phase of the lunation occurs three days before the new moon. Three days means one tenth of the entire lunation cycle, and this one tenth value has been considered universally as the value of all cyclic transition-periods all "seeding periods."*  

*The Hindu Kali Yuga of 432,000 year duration is such a period, the tenth part of a great Age (Yuga) divided in four periods of respectively 4, 3, 2, and one units. Kali is the mother, the dark womb; Kali Yuga is the gestation period of a new humanity.  

We saw that the processional "year" lasted 25,868 formal years. If we divide this number by twelve we get 2,155 & ½. The average "month" of the cycle that is, the Arian Age, Piscean Age, Aquarian Age, etc. lasts therefore 2,155½ normal years. A tenth of this period is 215½ years. If now we consider the Piscean Age, through which we are living, as a "greater lunation cycle," and if we say that its balsamic phase occurred in 1844, this means that the end of the Piscean Age (thus the beginning of the Aquarian Age) will occur in 2059 A.D. This will be about the time when the first point of the zodiacal sign, Cancer, reaches the great star Betelgeuze. Then also the Northern end of the polar axis of the earth, will point exactly to the star, Polaris.

Counting backward 2,155 years, we come to the year 97 B.C., close to Caesar's birth and less than 100 years before the supposed birth of Jesus a birth which has been placed also by some authors at 104 B.C. This was about the time when the great regal star, Regulus, was found at the very entrance of the sign, Leo (it is now located at the end of that sign); and Jesus is called the Lion of Judah Christ, our King. The Roman Empire was about to be constituted, and in every way mankind was entering a new era; not only a new "greater lunation" of 2,155 years the Piscean Age but an entire processional cycle of nearly 25,868 years. However, limiting ourselves to the Piscean Age, we can calculate the time when its "seed" was released at the balsamic moon of the preceding Arian Age. if we subtract 215 years from 98 B.C. we come to 312 B.C. Alexander the Great died in 323, some 11 years before. Likewise Napoleon I, who, an entire "greater lunation" later, somewhat parallels Alexander, died 18 years before 1844.

Whether the dates here given are strictly exact or refer only to the approximate beginnings of the periods included in the great precessional "year" is of no great importance. What counts is the character of the period in which our present generations are struggling and dying; and I feel that every possible historical and astrological indication points to our living through the 215-year seeding period which represents the gestation of the Aquarian Age yet to come. This 215-year period divides itself logically into three "days" of about 71 normal years each. 1844 plus 71 is 1915. The second "day" truly began with the first World War.

This, then, is the lunation birthday of modern man. And we know from what has been said in this book what such a lunation birthday basically means. All I have to do is to extend and generalize my previous statements about the balsamic moon and the last days of the lunation cycle: "This phase of the waning moon symbolizes, in one sense, the final letting go of the seed of the cycle about to end. It also represents the moon's entrance into the sanctuary of the solar realm; and as she enters, she brings to the sun, as it were, the new need of the earth. She is the mother, or beloved, petitioning the divine spirit in the name of confused and disintegrating earth-creatures. She is the penitent asking for mercy, the nun offering her prayers for the sake of humanity lost in sin. She is the incense (balsam?) or prayer rising to the sun, calling forth for a new revelation, a new Messiah, a new outpouring of spirit and light through a new lunar structure a new body, a new image of reality, a new concept to solve man's ever-recurrent doubts and uncertainties." ". . . We enter the realm of the sowing of seed, and of personal sacrifice. The symbolic personage who focuses upon himself a social drama and the martyr may well be born during these days preceding the new moon. They are the incorporation of the need of their collectivity for a new birth of spirit. They call down the creative spirit; they summon forth the future even if it be through their own death."

World War II can indeed be regarded as a "summoning forth of the future." Men were offering their lives as prayer rising to the spirit calling forth a more fundamental, a more total incorporation of the power of organic wholeness and integration into the substance of our scourged humanity. The prayer will be heard; the incense of the "balsamic" moon always rises and the spirit is an answer to such prayers. But when the "new moon" comes, when the new organism is actually born "what then, little man?" Will the ghosts of the past have all been dissolved, reduced and analyzed away, and the meaning they hid have been assimilated as food for the new civilization?

During the 70-year period between 1844 and 1914, or 1848 (Communist Manifesto) and 1918 (Russian Revolution) a new cosmic Impulse forced its way "downward" to the earth of living bodies, churning the intermediary regions. A new "quality of relatedness" sought to find its expression through a few individuals, at levels which could as yet not be substantiated or even adequately formulated, so great was the inertia of the mind of modern man and the unpreparedness of the masses.

During the second 70-year period (1914-1984) this resistance has to crumble as completely as possible; and wherever necessary, the structures of the past will have to go with it. As these structures of the mind, the emotional nature and the body disintegrate under the impact of destructive energies, modern man finds it possible to formulate in words, concepts and patterns of human relationship (between individuals and groups) the new "quality of relatedness" the new Logos.     

We are now at this stage of formulation. An intense conflict between various such formulations and between them and the crystallized beliefs of the past of Western civilization, has already been happening. Wars of ideas and religious controversies recalling those between factions of the early Christian Church are now being witnessed on both sides of the "cold war," and in every field. More widespread ones are likely to come at the mental level but not necessarily involving actual physical warfare. The side which will win is the one able to present formulations charged with the greatest amount of emotional- personal vitality and of convincing power. And this brings us to the subject of personality and happiness.

"Ideas rule the world" but just as the words of a radio speaker can only reach the expectant listeners if the sound of his voice is conveyed to them by means of carrier waves, likewise the logos of the new Age can only act upon the people of this world if, for a time, it is incorporated in and released through a living person. The universal must become personalized, or "impersoned," before it can move human personalities. And he, or she, who "impersons" the spirit-emanated logos the Word-become-flesh will, of necessity, be known by a mysterious quality of radiance, of "personality," of deep joy welling up from the heart of victory.

In many of my writings since 1940 I have tried to bring to the minds of people the concept of "plenitude." The "life of plenitude" is the life of individuals who incorporate in their total person the seed-vibration which at the same time ends a cycle of human history and becomes the foundation for a new cycle. The "man of plenitude" can and should supersede as an ideal figure the "man of sorrow," just as the symbol of the globe (a fullness of space) will have to become predominant if humanity is to survive. The globe over the cross should supersede the old earth symbol of the cross over the globe. And this fits in with the occult tradition according to which the planet, Venus has been the spiritual prototype of our earth, and the great Beings who sowed into our planet's aura the fiery seed of self-consciousness and individualized mind came from Venus, the Bearer of Light (i.e., Lucifer).

We are living today through a period in which the decay of leaves hides the myriad of seeds that have fallen to the ground waiting for a future spring and the great ritual of germination. Everywhere the collective trend is toward vulgarization and the disintegration of the basic values of the now culminating Piscean Age. But here and there also "seed-men" are to be found whose personalities are being shaped by the ideal of plenitude, by the great dream of the "marriage of Heaven and Earth" in the fulfilled and transfigured person; who live in counterpoint to the down-rush of the Age in spite of its decay.

Early in this book I spoke of the two paths: the path of the new moon, of instinctual growth and the physical yearning for expansion the path of the full moon, whereon consciousness is fulfilled in radiant plenitude, in a full awareness of the order and harmony of the universe as a whole. Humanity has yearned too long for the kind of personal happiness which is veiled in unconsciousness and gropes through frustrations and pain, with only the sheer impulsion of nature to trace a twisting path across the jungle of emotions and greed, of selfishness and pride. Now, at the threshold of a new Age, at this time of seed-sacrifice when human relationships can be recast in the conscious fire of a new illumination and through the power of a new meaning envisioned, it is the task of every man and woman, whose mind and soul reaches toward the future, to incorporate in their lives and their personalities the light of ever more resplendent full moons.

The path of the full moon is the "Conscious Way"; the way of the ancient TAO reformulated for our modern minds. At full moon, there can be a birth of light, a birth of meaning. From then, one goes on. Even though the body is beaten with pain, even though men die by the millions and the structures of the past crumble, as leaves wither under the blasts of the north wind, nevertheless the Conscious Way can be trodden with the warmth and radiance of "personality," with the creative joy that wells up from the depths of conquered unconsciousness and assimilated instinct.

And this is the true message of the lunation cycle: that, though man and nature are buffeted by the storms raging through this world of duality and pain, of passion and sorrow, yet there is in every individual the power to meet these storms with understanding, with courage and with faith; and meeting them, to rise from the darkness of unconscious instinct to the light of conscious intelligence, from the possessiveness of sex to the bestowal of love, from the blindness of pride and war to the lucidity of cooperation and of peace.


  The Lunation Cycle