Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Mysteries of Sacred Time

(An article by Robert E. Wilkinson © 1998)

In the early 1970’s a young woman named Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet began to publish a series of books on the subject of Vedic Cosmology. She had undergone a profound initiation into the cosmic mysteries and recognized in the scriptures and mythologies of ancient India evidence of a highly enlightened cosmological culture. She discovered that the astrologer priests known as Rishis, had developed precise formulas for calculating the cosmic cycles, and that these celestial equations had been woven into the structure of their myths and legends. Their knowledge of Time and the cosmic mysteries formed the basis of an ancient Yoga, the practice of which led to a supremely enlightened state known as "Truth-Consciousness" or "Swar" of the Veda. From the principles of these occult teachings, Ms. Norelli-Bachelet developed an ‘applied cosmology’ which she demonstrates in her book entitled, "The Gnostic Circle, a synthesis in the harmonies of the cosmos". Her work, which unveils the deepest mysteries of Time, represents a quantum leap in cosmological knowledge and contains the seeds of a unique synthesis which may open the way for a new and productive dialogue between ancient wisdom and modern science.

To appreciate the magnitude of Ms. Norelli-Bachelet’s discoveries one must go deeply into the mysteries of sacred time. In past millennia, wisdom traditions divided their secret knowledge into two distinct categories, "the lesser and the greater mysteries." "The lesser mysteries," available to a wider spectrum of the populace, dealt with mysticism, the secrets of the mind, psychism, and certain divinatory techniques which together resembled an early form of esoteric psychology. "The greater mysteries", which were taught under a seal of secrecy and only to initiates who had risen through the ranks of the lower knowledge, dealt with the most coveted secrets of Time and Space. Of these two eternal principles, Time was regarded as the greatest mystery because it contained the secret of a sacred and eternal order, the realization of which became the structural basis for an organization of all human knowledge. The ancient Vedic culture whose sophisticated scriptures and myths evidence the most highly developed understanding of Time expressed its preeminence in the iconography of Shakti, the divine cosmic force, dancing upon the inert body of Shiva, with a serpent, symbol of eternal time, wrapped around her body. The Rishis understood that while the spatial dimension was the field within which the phenomenal world appears, perception of that material reality could only occur in time. They taught that the essence of the physical manifestation was movement, or the presentation of constant change, having a fixed course and a given order. For change and movement to occur there had to be time for the two were inextricably linked. In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, one of India’s oldest and most profound metaphysical texts, the symbol of the Horse is invoked to represent that principle of movement. "Time is its breath, the year is its body, the seasons its limbs, the months and the fortnights it joints, the days and nights its feet." Time was the Self of the Vedic Horse and contained the ‘secret of secrets’ which formed the basis of India’s greatest spiritual mysteries.

In his commentaries on the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the philosopher-sage, Sri Aurobindo discusses the occult imagery associated with this fundamental principle:

" ... The [image of the] horse is a physical figure representing like an algebraical symbol, an unknown quantity of force and speed. (Time is its breath, the year is its body, the seasons its limbs, the months and the fortnights its joints, the days and nights its feet.) From the imagery it is evident that this force, this speed, is something universal. Time in its period is the Self of the Horse Sacrificial, so not Matter but Time, is the body of this force of the material universe... Space then, is the flesh constituting materially this body of Time which the sage attributes to his Horse of the worlds, by movement in Space its periods are shaped and determined. Hence the real power, the fundamental greatness of the Horse is not the material world, not the magnitudes of Space, but the magnitudes of Time... for Time is that mysterious condition of universal mind which alone makes the ordering of the universe in Space possible." 
Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads; 'The Great Aranyaka',  Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press, 1971

The key to unraveling the mysteries of Time is hidden in the metaphysics of creation or the Cosmogony. The creation myths of all cultures contain the details of how the cosmos came into existence and each tell the story of the primordial events which took place at the beginning of time. In the Indian scripture, the Rig Veda X, 149, the universe is said to have come into being from its center and spread out from a central point. This is revealed by the sages to be the most fundamental characteristic of all creation. This point or axis lies at the intersection of Time and Space, Spirit and Matter, the Implicate order and its Explicate expression. All material creation proceeds from this original involved point or "seed" as involutionary forms move across the event horizon and begin to evolve linearly in accordance with the laws of causation and the principles of time. In the language of scientific cosmology, this point or "seed" is the "singularity" from which the universe exploded into being. In metaphysical terms it is the sacred syllable OM, the primordial vibration or sound out of which the creation emerges and has its origin. Everything in the material universe evolves from this point/seed/singularity/ OM, according to an involved principle of order and unity known in the Vedic scriptures as "Rtam". And it does so in such a manner that allows the seer to follow and measure the evolving in time of the essence which was involved or compressed into that seed.

Time in its compressed form at the involutionary threshold is Being, crossing that threshold, a connection is made with the Spatial dimension and that compressed Time energy begins to evolve linearly as the Becoming. Once that event horizon is crossed, Time extends itself in accordance with an involved geometric structure and the great cycle of creation begins. All material forms are simply varied arrangements of this structure simultaneously expressing itself as the four elements, Fire, Earth, Air and Water, in each of the three energy modes, Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable. These elemental principles lie at the core of the material creation and their twelve archetypal divisions are known in every culture as the Zodiac. They form the very structure of the creation and represent the central theme underlying all astrological knowledge.

The enlightened seer who has reached this threshold within his own being through an inward yogic penetration enjoys a unique temporal perception. He experiences the unfolding of time as a circular movement reflecting the image of an unmoving eternal harmony. Somewhat in the manner of Mandelbrot’s fractal sets, Time extends itself in a series of non-linear cycles repeating themselves in different octaves of experience like circles within circles. There is repetition in the wider movement but at the same time there is an imprinting of experience which evolve progressively higher systems of order.

For the ancient mystics, a glimpse into the core of time would have been an awesome and almost inexpressible spiritual experience. Without a mystical vocabulary, they would have described what they ‘saw’ in profoundly mythic and archetypal terms. One of the better known biblical accounts of this time vision may be found in the first chapter of the book of the Prophet Ezekiel. Unfortunately, these passages have been widely misinterpreted owing to a lack of understanding of the temporal reality.

"And I looked and behold a whirlwind came out of the north. A great cloud and a fire and out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And every one had four faces and every one had four wings. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a Man, [Aquarius] and the face of a Lion, [Leo], on the right side, and they four had the face of an Ox, [Taurus] on the left side and they four also had the face of an Eagle, [Scorpio]. Their appearance and their work was as if a wheel within a wheel; as for their rings, they were so high they were dreadful and their rings were full of eyes, round about them four. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went with them for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels." 
Ezekiel, Chapter 1

The mysteries of sacred or circular time were well known to the ancient alchemists and formed the basis of a sophisticated psychology of transformation. Long before the development of a technical language describing the transformational process, this occult knowledge was transmitted through an elaborate system of symbols. One of the most potent of these archaic images was the Ouroboros; the serpent, or dragon biting its own tail. It was an alchemical ideogram depicting the work of spiritual transformation as a circular, self-contained, cosmological process.

For the Alchemists, the ultimate goal of this process of transformation was the attainment of the legendary "Philosopher’s Stone", or Lapis Philosophorum. It was a magical object believed to have the power to change ordinary metals into gold, but in a larger sense, it represented the final goal of the initiation process, which was the attainment of a key of knowledge leading to the highest wisdom. "This stone", said the alchemist, "is under you, and near you, and above you and around you but mostly, it is within you; it is extracted from you for you are its ore." Its attainment is the magnificent condition resulting from reaching the goal of knowledge, to perceive and know with a certainty that one knows; and to see with an understanding, which can be infinitely extended to all situations.

The work of finding the stone was twofold, representing the double face of Alchemy; library and laboratory. The prescribed path was an active participation in the outer reality together with a dedicated study of the Zodiac and the principles of the Cosmic Order.

The Alchemist understood that the Cosmos was a whole organism, multidimensional and sacred in its structure and form. They also knew that the difference between man/woman and the Cosmos was a matter of degree, rather than essence; that the Macrocosm and Microcosm had a correspondent equivalence. Through the repetition of certain rites, the sages believed that man could recover an awareness of his intrinsic identity with the Cosmos and thus perceive the hidden order of the world. Since this order was embedded in the structure and periodic movement of the Macrocosm, it was understood that a corresponding order could be discovered by the individual in the cycles and events of his own life. If man could learn to align himself with the harmonies of Cosmic Time, he would gradually become imprinted with their rhythms and realize within himself an immutable center or axis, from which he could acquire an entirely new orientation to his lived experience. Since the same Zero Womb, which gave birth to the universe is also the core of the human being, the unveiling of this Soul/center/axis in the individual led to a simultaneous realization of Truth-Consciousness or Gnosis.

For centuries, the system of knowledge which emerged from the alchemical tradition represented the pinnacle of enlightened thought. It’s cosmology was based upon the known universe which at that time consisted of six planets and the central Sun and was symbolized by an occult ‘key’ known as "Solomon’s Seal". But, it was not until the 20th century, after the discovery of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, that the complete key of knowledge could be revealed and the integral transformation fully understood. Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet’s "Gnostic Circle" is that key and contains the highest wisdom of our age.

'The Gnostic Circle is merely the combination of the zodiac - the occult circle which contains the knowledge of the evolution - and the structural pattern of the solar system. The Circle of 12 is the zodiac, and the Circle of 9 is our actual solar system, each orbit representing one year of Earth life. The joint harmony of these two, superimposed or synthesized in one circle, is what constitutes our key to the evolution and flowering of the seed of the Spirit. In fact we can say that the Gnostic Circle is mainly for this purpose: it shows mankind the ultimate and ideal perfection that can be attained during this particular phase of the evolution, during this great transition point from animal-mental to the more divine mankind.'
The Gnostic Circle, p. 159, 1975, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet

While the Alchemical tradition was unparalleled in its ability to describe the stages of the transformation process and did so in a series of chemical metaphors, they were never able to harmonize the cosmic and individual time scales. It was not until the seminal work of Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet that the measures of Time and Space could be wed into a functional synthesis allowing the individual to follow his development in a timely and objective manner. With the "Gnostic Circle", one is able to determine exactly where he is within the developmental spectrum and with the benefit of that knowledge is able to cooperate more fully with his own evolution. It offers an integral vision of wholeness and reveals the organic process by which the soul or seed of the divine in each individual is made to flower.

The Rig Veda, India’s oldest and most sacred scripture reveals something of this temporal alignment when it declares:

"Certain eternal worlds are these which have come into being, their doors are shut to you (or opened) by the months and the years. Without effort one world moves in the other, and it is these that Brihaspati has made manifest to knowledge" Rig Veda (II.24.5).

These secret eternal worlds have been closed to us by our misperception of the cyclic movement of time. The months and the years, therefore have to be re-discovered and created in us by that same power. This, says the Rishi, is the mightiest work, the fairest achievement and it hinges on the recovery of a harmonious alignment of the Cosmic and Human time scales. Ms. Norelli-Bachelet’s "Gnostic Circle" is the most effective means of recovering that lost alignment because it defines the celestial correspondences between the Macrocosm and Microcosm and reveals the principles by which this re-ordering can occur at a conscious level.

Robert Wilkinson
August 2008

(Robert Wilkinson is a writer/astrologer and President of Aeon Group, an international educational organization which publishes and distributes the cosmological works of Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A View of the USA's Trump Crisis in Terms of the Gnostic Circle



On 7 February 2017 Senator Warren was silenced by Repulicans while trying to read the 1986 letter of Coretta Scott King opposing Jeff Sessions' nomination as a federal judge due to his record of not supporting the civil rights of minorities in America. Over the past few days I have been mapping out some of the history of the USA since its Independence in 1776, in terms of a 360 cycle, using Thea's Gnostic Circle as the backdrop. I started mapping this out after realizing that 15 days after the 240th anniversary of USA's Independence, Trump became the presidential nominee for the Republican Party. I have recently been researching what Thea (Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet) has written about the dangerous passage over the 6 point of the circle in the course of the evolutionary journey towards higher expressions of the individual or collective soul, and realized that America's current crisis needs to be seen in this light.

The 6 point continually reveals itself to be vitally important, and tremendously dangerous if passage over this point does not serve to open one to the final round of unity and growth on a higher level.  
– Thea, The Gnostic Circle, p. 186
It is fascinating to see the geometry above wherein the point opposite our current position in this cycle is 0° Gemini (1836). Two years after the USA entered into Gemini came the Trail of Tears which epitomizes United State's ill treatment of Native Americans. It is interesting to see that the Trump administration's clamping down on refugees and immigrants sits opposite in the circle to this forced Death March of Native Americans, whose 180th anniversary is in 2018. The Standing Rock Protests are a prequel of this coming anniversary. The need for reconciliation and a much higher level of integrity in dealing with the United States' crimes against Native Americans will likely increase in the next years.

That 30 year period of Gemini ended with the Civil War and Lincoln's assassination sitting at the cusp of the Cancer Cardinal point. It is fitting that America's Civil War would fall in Gemini in this 360-year cycle, given that Gemini is the sign epitomizing the duality and division of the Mind yet to be illuminated. At the 3 Point (120° angle) of the Circle the US Supreme Court voted in favor of  'Separate But Equal' state-sponsored segregation in Plessy vs. Ferguson.

Then, in 1956 we came to the 4.5 Point of the circle which Thea wrote of as a 'Reversal Point'
In the number scale 0 to 9, it marks the exact halfway measure, the 4.5. If we were to lay this scale against the solar system of 9 orbit/planets, this reversal point would fall at the Asteroid Belt. That vast abyss in our system presents us with a visual impact of the reversal point’s effects when experienced in time on this planet, housing, as it does, billions of particles of some shattered cosmic body that once occupied the zone. Disintegration is thus its keyword, – a splintering, a shattering, a dismembering.   
This 1956 Reversal Point in American history was closely preceded by the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka I and II rulings, the second of which ordered the desegregation of schools. In the last month of 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to sit at the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama, followed by MLK's first major speech. 1956 is considered the height of the Civil Rights Movement, which resulted in the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1957.

Thirty years after this reversal point, upon entrance into the sign of Scorpio, MLK Day was first celebrated in America in 1986, and Coretta Scott King wrote her letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding Jeff Sessions. Thirty years later America entered into Sagittarius and with this passage has come Trump and the installation of an 'Alt-Right' government seemed bent on returning to a time when minorities in America were more effectively suppressed and marginalized.

It is quite striking to see this arc, and to see it punctuated on 7 February 2017 by the Republican-led Senate's refusal to let Senator Warren read Correta Scott King's 1986 letter in opposition to Jeff Sessions. Warren proceeded to read the letter outside the doors of the Senate and then the whole episode went viral. The attempt at repression has drawn tremendous attention to the letter which the Republicans had intended to silence, and adds new energy to the Resistance of the 'Alt-Right' Republican agenda.

Amidst this questionable behavior of our government, we can be assured that higher level of development that the soul of the United States is struggling to achieve is not racism, division and fascism. Our soul will continue to strive for greater unity and freedom and goodness which includes freedom from the scourge of toxic business practices and industries. As we move forward towards these goals, a backlash is inevitable, but so is our progress beyond this collective Ignorance in which we all participate in one way or another. A central theme of the backlash is the rejection of increasing globalism by nationalists. The USA is living this crisis out for all the world to see, and it is of course the entire world's problem. As Thea pointed out, in our collective evolutionary journey (in both the 77,760 year Maha Yuga Cycle and the even larger cycle of 311,040 years which are both discussed in The Gnostic Circle), we passed through the 6 Point in 234 BCE, which brought with it the rise of increasingly fanatical organized religions that continue to push our world to the brink of disaster ... all for the 'love of God' which is clearly a misguided and dysfunctional love on all fronts, not at all its highest expression or realization.

Crisis naturally erupts when the point of Sagittarius is reached and the well-crystallized Ignorance of the Past and of the Ego refuses to let go or dissolve, refusing to allow the forward movement towards the higher expression of the being. Thea's discussion on passage through the sign of Scorpio helps to illuminate what has yet to be accomplished in our evolutionary journey, not only in the consciousness of the USA, but throughout the world. 

[P]assage through the sign Scorpio would ideally bring about the death of that which served as a pedestal to the growth but which has no place in the higher evolution of man. In a word, when there is ego during passage through Scorpio, the individual must become liberated from some of the ‘excess baggage’, otherwise it is not possible to advance further. In that case the being remains caught in the wheel of eternal re-birth in ignorance, stopping his development at Scorpio … [rather than meeting] the orbit of Saturn in a cleansed condition. To experience the higher sphere it is impossible to carry the seeds of the old consciousness into that realm. The gnostic being who has the realisation of immortality has experienced the true meaning of Scorpio, which is to have died to a certain sheath of ourselves, to have become rid of the protective sack of the Mother and to have the psyche come forward and become the beacon of light during the further progress. For this individual the symbol of Scorpio has become the Eagle, a transmutation which merely means that he has realized his immortality and become rid of that which is death, the illusion of his ego. 
In Scorpio all that which is no longer of use falls away, the truth alone remains. Scorpio is the birth into the higher hemisphere, the plunge through the void of death into the fire of life of Sagittarius, the very process the entire races of Earth are actually living through in this 9th Manifestation. Most of humanity has never lived through such a birth. With a subtle vision one sees that individuals proceed through life enshrouded in the maternal sack, their auras are thus clouded by this stuff and the light which they carry within never manages to show itself. They are the living dead, for all that which has not become born exists within the kingdom of Death. The illusion of Death is only the fear and the reluctance to shed the veiling Sack and become born a light, full and pure, upon Earth. 
 – Thea, The Gnostic Circle, p. 224-5

This crisis is not merely about the divisiveness of Trump, it is about the collective Ignorance our entire world is trying to free itself from, and no one is exempt from the process. As Thea wrote, we all share the same higher destiny, and we share the journey that gets us there.

… [M]an isolates himself from the totality and views himself, his destiny as unique, separate though mirrored for him in the vast cosmos. This separative consciousness is the greatest obstacle to the study of the Cosmic Truth as reflected in the Gnostic Circle. Those in the lower hemisphere of knowledge refuse to see that man is one and the destiny is one. This is the greatest offense to the ego, for the ego clings to its ‘uniqueness’ which is only the loss of identity with the One. The individual who concentrates on these studies with an eye for the personal and an interest in the small details of life loses the opportunity- one of the most sublime given to mankind- to see himself as a part of the superb oneness: and to see that his destiny is the destiny of the evolution of his species and that evolution’s destiny is the essence of Creation, of the entire Manifestation, of the universe, of the Divine. 
Each human being is a particle, a child of the one Divine Mother, and the Gnostic Circle is the revelation of her being. Within it one cannot see the petty details of life, which are the fluctuations and ever-changing ripples on the sea. To identify ourselves with them, to see ourselves and to seek to find our inner truth through these events, to project ourselves into them and expect to discover the Way through the personal destiny, is an illusion. The personal view belongs in fact to the sign Cancer, the Cosmic Ignorance for the present, because this Ignorance too shall one day be transformed. Its nature is change and through its very nature it will become the higher part of itself, or it will find its complement in its opposite pole. 
 – Thea, The Gnostic Circle, p. 256-7

We are all in this together. 

Examine thyself without pity, then thou wilt be more charitable and pitiful to others.
– Sri Aurobindo, Aphorism 70

Click  HERE to link to the Mother's 21 January 1962 comments on Sri Aurobindo's 70th Aphorism which needs to be taken close to heart by all of us who wish for America and the World to move forward into better days.

The Mother's Thoughts on Evolutionary Goads and Adverse Forces



In January 2017 a colleague (Robert E. Wilkinson) reminded me that Donald Trump is what the Mother called a 'goad' in the course of our collective evolutionary journey. Below is the Mother's discussion of how to deal with goads and adverse forces in our world and in our consciousness, which seem particularly apropos at this challenging point of our collective learning curve. This post is meant to be read in conjunction with 'A View of the USA's Trump Crisis In Terms of the Gnostic Circle'.


21 January 1962 


Examine thyself without pity, then thou wilt be more charitable and pitiful to others. – Sri Aurobindo, Aphorism 70


Very good! (the Mother laughs) That's very good.
It's very good for everyone, isn't it?
Especially for those who think they're so superior.
But it really does correspond to something very deep.

This is exactly the experience I have been going through these past few days; since the day before yesterday it seems to have reached its peak, and this morning it developed into a comprehensive vision, an earth-encompassing vision.

It's almost like a reversal of attitude.

[P]eople have always taken themselves for victims hounded by adverse forces – the courageous fight back, the rest lament. But increasingly there has been a very concrete vision of the role the adverse forces play in the creation, of their almost absolute necessity as goads to make the creation progress and become its Origin again. And there was such a clear vision that one should accomplish one's own transformation – that's what we must pray for, what we must work out – rather than demand the conversion or abolition of the adverse forces. …

So long as a single human consciousness carries the possibility of feeling, acting, thinking or being in opposition to the great divine Becoming, it is impossible to blame anyone else for it; it is impossible to blame the adverse forces, which are kept in the creation as a means of making you see and feel how far you still have to go.

It was like a memory, an eternally present memory of that consciousness of supreme Love emanated by the Lord onto earth – INTO earth – to draw it back again to Him. And truly it was the descent of the very essence of the divine nature into the most total divine negation, and thus the abandonment of the divine condition to take on terrestrial darkness, so as to bring Earth back to the divine state. And unless That, that supreme Love, becomes all-powerfully conscious here on Earth, the return can never be definitive.

It came after the vision of the great divine Becoming. “Since this world is progressive,” I was wondering, “since it is increasingly becoming the Divine, won’t there always be this deeply painful sense of the nondivine, of the state that, compared with the one to come, is not divine? Won’t there always be what we call ‘adverse forces,’ in other words, things that don’t harmoniously follow the movement?” Then came the answer, the vision of That: “No, the moment of this very Possibility is drawing near, the moment for the manifestation of the essence of perfect Love, which can transform this unconsciousness, this ignorance and this ill will that goes with it into a luminous and joyous progression, wholly progressive, wholly comprehensive, thirsting for perfection.”

It was very concrete.

And it corresponds to a state where you are so perfectly identified with all that is, that you concretely become all that is antidivine – and so you can offer it up. It can be offered up and really transformed through this offering.

This sort of will in people for purity, for Good (which in ordinary mentality is expressed by a need to be virtuous) is actually the GREAT OBSTACLE to true self-giving. It’s the root of Falsehood, the very source of hypocrisy: the refusal to take up one’s share of the burden of difficulties. And that’s what Sri Aurobindo has touched on in [his] aphorism, directly and very simply.

Do not try to be virtuous.  See to what extent you are united, ONE with all that is antidivine. Take up your share of the burden; accept to be impure and false yourself, and in so doing you will be able to take up the Shadow and offer it. And insofar as you are able to take it and offer it, things will change.

Don’t try to be among the pure. Accept to be with those who are in darkness and, in total love, offer it all.

From the moment this was seen and DONE, the full power came back – the great creative Power.
(silence)

Most likely the experience could take place only because the time had come for all this to be offered up.

The point is not to perpetuate those things, but to offer them up.

Because the time has come to manifest this Power, which is a power of Love – of LOVE, not merely of identity – of Love, of perfect Love; for perfect Love alone can offer.

It happened this morning, with great simplicity, but at the same time it had something so vast and almighty in it, as if the Universal Mother were turning towards the Lord and saying, “At last! We are ready.”….

In those realms, you know, “now” sometimes stretches over many years. I won’t say it’s going to be instantaneous…..

It’s like opening a door just a crack and catching a glimpse of what’s beyond….

And it was preceded by a kind of anguish: “Will there always be something that, compared with the state to come, seems antidivine?” No: after a long preparation, it becomes capable of feeling divine – and thus of being divine.

Looking at things externally, in terms of present material reality, there is still a lot of ground to be covered before the new manifestation becomes an actual fact. What we have now is probably the seed of the thing ….

–The Mother, The Mother's Agenda, Volume 3, bold emphasis added


A Note from the Publisher of The Mother's Agenda: (When [Satpem] published extracts from this conversation in the Ashram Bulletin of April 1962, [the] Mother had this passage modified (over his protests). Instead of “Do not try to be virtuous,” She put “Do not try to seem virtuous”; and she added: “There’s a drawback here. People never understand anything, or rather they understand everything in their own way. They would take this sentence as an encouragement to get into mischief, to misbehave, to entertain wrong feelings, and then proclaim, ‘We are the Lord’s favorites!’ … There was something like it in one of Sri Aurobindo’s letters, you remember – a letter to people who wanted to bring all the impurities in themselves out to the surface; he told them that was definitely not the way!)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Path of Integral Knowledge & the Twelve Months of the Year


The Gnostic Circle (image constructed by Lori Tompkins)
A rendition of PNB's Gnostic Circle, constructed by Lori Tompkins (©2017)

[Originally written and posted on the IYS website which I am in the process of migrating to this IYS blog]

In The Secret of the Veda, the founder of Integral Yoga, Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950), translated the symbolism of the Vedic Sacrifice in terms of a journey by which the knowledge or true perception of reality and a heavenly Earth [Swar] was recovered. Another name given for the journey was the ‘path of the Truth’. It was a path of constant growth and evolution towards a superior consciousness and expression of life.

‘[T]he possession of our complete divine consciousness delivered from all falsehood by the free descent of the truth, gives us the secure possession of the world of Swar and the enjoyment of mental and physical being lifted into the godhead above darkness, falsehood and death by the in-streaming of our divine elements. This victory is won in twelve periods of the upward journey, represented by the revolution of the twelve months of the sacrificial year, the periods corresponding to the successive dawns of a wider and wider truth, until the tenth [month] secures the victory.’ (1)

The more recent work of Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (1938-) suggests that this twelve-part journey, the ‘path of Truth’ by which the divine consciousness is made manifest and visible on Earth as written of by the Vedic Rishis and Sri Aurobindo (2), is literally the Tropical zodiac, i.e. the Earth’s year, precisely established and measured by the four equinoctial and solstice points of the Earth’s 360 degree journey around the Sun. Each of those four quadrants is divided again by three gunas or energy flows for a total of twelve equal segments or ‘months’ of 30 degrees each.

According to Ms. Norelli-Bachelet this direct correlation between the Vedic Sacrifice and the Tropical zodiac is a recovery of a lost truth. From her viewpoint, learning to orient properly within the parameters of this journey is a basic and essential starting point for those interested in full and integral knowledge of self and world, basic information for those interested in the truth regarding the Vedic journey of recovering the ‘Lost Sun’, basic information for those interested in developing a cosmic or universalized consciousness, and basic information for those interested in grasping the evolutionary, contemporary and historical movements of the Earth and its populations.

Scientific, academic, and religious thought over the past couple of millennia has for the most part deemed the study of the Tropical zodiac (astrology) a completely obsolete, ignorant superstition that has nothing to do with material (or non-material) reality. The world-renowned cosmologist Carl Sagan wrote ‘authoritatively’ on the matter in 1973:

‘Many thousands of years ago a pseudoscience called astrology was invented. The positions of the planets at the birth of a child were supposed to play a major role in determining his or her future. The planets, moving points of light, were thought, in some mysterious sense, to be gods. In his vanity, Man imagined the universe designed for his benefit and organized for his use.’ (3)

Sagan’s dismissal is tantamount to not knowing how something is (or has been) useful, and dismissing it as un-useful. Not knowing the real mechanics and functionality of an ancient and eternally relevant system, he and many others have dismissed it as unreal and insignificant in the pursuit of real knowledge (i.e. gnosis) and serious Earthly progress. But it is truly possible and likely that astrology is not a psuedo-science, but rather a misunderstood, mis-practiced and forgotten one.
In the Rig Veda, written at least 5,000 years ago according to some Vedic scholars, real knowledge of the 360 degree circle divided by twelve, was certainly not considered a psuedo-anything. It was known to communicate profound secrets of manifest reality. It was known to communicate a ‘mighty mode of being’:

One is the wheel; the bands are twelve;
three are the hubs – who can understand it?
Three hundred spokes and sixty in addition
have been hammered therein and firmly riveted…
Though manifested, it is yet hidden, secret,
its name is the Ancient, a mighty mode of being;
in Skambha is established this whole world;
therein is set fast all that moves and breathes.
                             – Atharva Veda X, 8

According to Sri Aurobindo’s archives, he himself had more than a passing knowledge of the zodiac. Evidence of this fact is offered via an archived letter he wrote to his wife, Mrinalini, on 2 July 1902:

'I have faith in astrology - ten years' experience confirmed. But also amongst a thousand, nine hundred know nothing about it. Few know but more make mistakes ...' (4)

It is also evident in The Secret of the Veda that his translation of a Vedic passage regarding the three steps of Vishnu the Preserver, refer to the symbols of the Preservation or Fixed signs of the zodiac, in the order of the backward movement of the Precession of the Equinoxes through the astrological signs. (5) Vishnu, whose vahana (vehicle) is an Eagle, a symbol for the astrological sign Scorpio, takes his first step to the ‘mighty Lion’, the symbol for the sign of Leo; his second step to the ‘wide-moving Bull’, the symbol for the sign of Taurus; and his last and ‘highest step’ is to the ‘Friend of men who is the fount of the sweetness’. Of course the Friend is the symbol creature for the sign of Aquarius.

Sri Aurobindo’s yogic collaborator, the Mother of Pondicherry, apparently had some connection to this secret of the zodiac, as she designed her own three-tiered symbol as a reflection of the year – the outer circle consists of twelve petals, the middle circle of four petals, and the inner circle is undivided. The measurement of the Earth’s year in 12 months also figured heavily in her designs for the Matrimandir (the Mother’s Temple), as does the measurement of the Earth’s day of 24 hours.

‘Everything is symbolic,’ the Mother told her disciple Satprem regarding her vision of the temple design. Since we decided to build that temple, I have seen – I have seen the inside ... It is a kind of tower with the twelve regular facets representing the twelve months of the year, and absolutely empty .... (6)

The Mother also determined that the diameter of the temple floor was to be 24 meters : ‘12 meters on each side of the globe.’ These measurements, and other design specifications as well, were to be symbolic of the Earth’s day, the Earth’s year, as well other cosmic harmonies – symbolic not in the mundane sense that we are use to but in the greater sense of direct expression of the higher laws of manifestation in Time and Space. (7)

Herein arises an enigma for humans to chew on (humans who care to give the Vedic Rishis, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother any due credit for being truth seers and harbingers of a Divine consciousness on Earth). An overwhelming majority of scientists, academics, historians, religious groups, integral yogis, and integral theorists have little to no insight into, respect for or knowledge of this ‘secret’ circle (its symbolic and real content) that is ‘manifested ... yet hidden’. This same majority (and many modern astrologers as well) fail to consider the glaring possibility that our modern understanding and use of the zodiac (‘the wheel of life’), and our own twelve-month calendar system, is a seriously atrophied and distorted version of a greater system of eternal knowledge about ‘all that moves and breaths’.

Just about the same time Carl Sagan dismissed astrology in ‘The Cosmic Connection’ and elsewhere, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet began writing about the ‘secret’ knowledge contained in the zodiac, clarifying and reinstating the actual and integral purpose of astrological study:

'[T]he purpose of the study of astrology, is to give man a means by which he can learn to perceive integrally – that is, to gain a view of the total movement, but at the same time of the fragments which make up the whole.' (8) 

The actual purpose of studying astrology and the Earth’s year, according to Ms. Norelli-Bachelet, is equivalent to the purpose of the eternally relevant Vedic sacrifice or Vedic journey. This purpose is apparent in Sri Aurobindo’s translations of the following passages of the Rig Veda:

'It is in the revolution of the year that the recovery of the lost Sun and the lost cows [i.e. Truth-consciousness] is effected, for we have the explicit statement in X.62.2 ... ‘by the truth, in the revolution of the year, they broke Vala’ [the Ignorance].' (9) 
'Certain eternal worlds (states of existence) are these which have come into being, their doors are shut to you (or opened) by the months and the years; without effort one (world) moves into the other, and it is these that Brahmanaspati [teacher of the Gods] has made manifest to knowledge.' (10)

It is clear in these translations of the Vedic text and in the Mother’s temple vision that somehow the year and the twelve months of the year play no small part in gaining access to a higher and more complete (i.e. integral) perspective of reality. Yet somehow this piece of wisdom, this instruction, has become unfathomable to our rationale and hence is either largely ignored or labeled as ignorance by the world’s foremost authorities on material and spiritual existence. Perhaps it is to be expected that mainstream of scientific, academic and religious thought would disregard the possibility that the zodiac, when properly understood and used, describes and reveals an evolutionary and integral path to the highest vision and highest potential of material existence; but what is more puzzling is that those who have become the prominent spokespersons for the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, integral theory, integral studies, holistic or noetic sciences and education and evolutionary spirituality have basically turned a blind eye to the Earth’s year as measured by the equinoxes and solstices. 

It remains extremely difficult to get anyone on the ‘cutting edge’ of world and self transformation to consider the damage that has been and is being wrought by this particular blindness and to consider a restored vision of the very real dynamics of Earthly life. The damage done can be summed up as disharmony, disorientation and a suicidal dismissal of the true soul and seed which is common and glorious in all Being and all Becoming. The first infantile yet amazing ‘baby’ steps towards restoring a higher vision of our simultaneously material and spiritual journey, are simple, yet have proven to be seriously daunting to the modern intellect. A first step would be to consider that there has been a serious blockage in the way of our individual and collective ability to fathom a deep knowledge of time, of the Earth’s year, its months and its day (and larger cycles of time), and also more profound knowledge of our own number system in relation to consciousness and evolution. As a second step one might consider that such deep knowledge is absolutely necessary for spiritual and earthly transformation. A solid third step would be to seek out such real and deep knowledge of the World Play, being extremely weary of what is ‘old wine’ in a new and well-marketed bottle. But if one really wants to fathom the truly ‘vast Truth and infinite being of Aditi [the Divine Mother]’ (11), one must apply the new knowledge to one’s own journey in time and space. 

Our civilization has, for at least two millennia, been in a deep ignorance of the Earth’s own inherent spirit and consciousness, which is expressed in what else if not in her own movements and her own measure? It is because of this ignorance, disregard and even denial of ‘Mother’ Earth, that many of us who strive for a shift or transformation towards a higher gnosis and world organization, do not recognize that it is actually necessary to consider the Earth’s cyclical 360 degree journey, when attempting an integral and holistic perspective or ‘theory’ of our spiritual growth and our lives on planet Earth. Otherwise one is ignoring the actual dynamics of the body and the consciousness that one proposes to transform, and this, one might see, is a proverbial dead end. By this ignorance, the inherent integrity of the living system we inhabit continues to be lost to our minds.

When one becomes aware of what has been disregarded in the very masculine drive for transcendence beyond the ‘illusions’ of time and material existence, one begins to lament that Ken Wilber’s integral theorizing and ‘Kosmology’ can be considered to be the epitome of integral thought, the epitome of bridging spirit and science in a recent What Is Enlightenment magazine article entitled ‘The Real Evolutionary Debate’. (12) One also laments to see that the prestigious California Institute of Integral Studies can host a four-day ‘AUM Conference’ beginning on the summer solstice of 2007 entitled ‘Integral Yoga in Dialogue with the World’ with no indication of a workshop or discussion regarding Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet’s extensive insights into how the ‘path of Truth’ (much-illumined by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in the course of their yoga), is made irreversibly manifest and clearly visible to those who care to see. (13)

Will there be a time when more people concerned with integral transformation and gnosis begin to seriously ponder how a world teaching or approach to reality can be considered ‘integral’ or ‘gnostic’ if it does not address the Earth’s actual dynamics? What is there to learn about the Earth’s 360 degree journey around the Sun? What is the significance of the Earth’s 360 degree rotation in one day of 24 hours, or the Earth’s 360 degree Precession of the Equinoxes in 25,920 years? And what is the significance of our own birth on any given day and month of the year? What more is there to consider about the 360 degrees of latitude and longitude of Earth’s geography? Why is our traditional clock a circle of 12 hours? How is it that the radius and diameter of the Earth and Moon in miles are multiples of 360? How does this 360 degree figure, which is oddly close to the 365 days it actually takes for the Earth to travel around the Sun, connect and harmonize these various measurements of time and space; and how does it function as both a map of the evolution of consciousness throughout the Earth’s ages and as a force of integration for human consciousness and material reality? How is it a secret of all that moves and breathes as indicated by the Vedic sages?

Even though both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother made reference to the importance of the Earth’s year, neither fully addressed the issue in the course of their own Integral Yoga. (14) The issue has been fully addressed by Ms. Norelli-Bachelet, yet those who control the curriculums and agendas of various ‘integral’ institutions and magazines, as evidenced in the curriculum of the CIIS 2007 AUM Conference, do not seem to be much interested in allowing space for such ‘esoteric’ matters. Somehow, the four decades of yoga and writing that Ms. Norelli-Bachelet has contributed toward the Integral and Supramental ‘adventure in consciousness’ are considered too far off the beaten path for the mainline Integral Yoga community. This community proceeds as if her yoga had absolutely nothing to do with their subject matter and world mission, as if her contributions were avoidable in the pursuit of Self Knowledge and World Gnosis.

One wonders if any of our modern integral and evolutionary spirituality ‘authorities’ would ever admit to unwittingly prolonging a dis-integrated view of material reality, unwittingly prolonging a linear consciousness, detached from the cyclical processes of the Earth; and unwittingly delaying a world-transforming understanding of ‘a manifested yet hidden eternal secret of all that moves and breaths.’ What is for sure however, is that if the ‘authorities’ do not make such admissions, it remains the task of individuals to consider and learn for themselves what truly deserves the name ‘Integral’ and what is not That.

Lori Tompkins
31 May 2007


References & End Notes:

(1) Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, Pondicherry, India: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press, 1999 (4th edition, 2nd impression), p. 182. (Bold face added.)

(2) IBID, p. 173 and p. 197.

(3) Carl Sagan, The Cosmic Connection: an Extraterrestial Perspective, Anchor Press, 1973. 

(4) Sri Aurobindo, Sri Aurobindo archives.

(5) Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The New Way, Volumes 1&2, New York: Aeon Books, 1981, p. 400-401. 

(6) The Mother, The Mother’s Agenda, Volume 11 (3 January 1970), Faridabad, India: Thomson Press, 2000, p. 19.

(7) Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The New Way, Volumes 1 & 2, New York: Aeon Books, 1981, p. 193. TNW Vol(s). 1 & 2 contain a full discussion of the Matrimandir’s original blue prints. The ‘Matrimandir’ in Auroville, built after the Mother’s passing (1973), was not build with a diameter of 24 meters. See: http://www.matacom.com 

(8) Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Gnostic Circle, New York: Aeon Books, 1994, Chapter 1, ‘The Essential Purpose of the Study of Cosmic Harmonies’, p. 8.

(9) Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, Pondicherry, India: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press, 1999 (4th edition, 2nd impression), p. 177 [Text in brackets added].

(10) IBID, p. 179 [Text in brackets added].

(11) IBID, p. 197 [Text in brackets added].

(12) What is Enlightenment magazine, Issue 35, January - March 2007.

(13) Craig Hamilton (ex-editor in chief of What is Enlightenment magazine), is scheduled to speak at the 2007 CIIS AUM Conference. He is presenting a workshop on "Living on the Edge of Evolution: Spirituality and Mysticism in an Evolving Universe" and is also a panel member of a discussion entitled: "Facing the Challenge of Fundamentalism and other Shadow Issues in the Ongoing Evolution of Integral Yoga". Perhaps he will use that opportunity to discuss his 2002 interview with Ms. Norelli-Bachelet at Aeon Centre for Cosmology in Southern India. Mr. Hamilton’s interview was never published by WIE and was never released to Ms. Norelli-Bachelet as a courtesy for making time for an all-day interview with Mr. Hamilton.

(14) In The Secret of the Veda, directly after Sri Aurobindo discusses the supreme victory of the Veda which is ‘won in the twelve periods of the upward journey, represented by the revolution of the twelve months of the year, he indicates that according to the Vedic rishis, that ‘the tenth [month] secures the victory’. He then admits, ‘What may be the precise significance of the nine rays [i.e. months] and the ten, is a more difficult question which we are not yet in a position to solve ...’ (p. 182). For clarification of the equivalence of the words ‘ray’ and ‘month’, one can see that Sri Aurobindo refers to the nine and ten months/rays of the twelve month year by which the ‘lost Sun’ is recovered, on page 177 of The Secret of the Veda. In The Mother’s Agenda, the Mother related an experience ... ‘an absolutely clear perception (not a thought, a clear perception) of ... the why and the how of the creation.’ Further along in her account of the experience she stated, ‘The figure 9 has something to do with all this .... There are so many things we don’t know!’ (19 November 1969). [Text in brackets and bold face added.]

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Revolt of Spirit Against Matter: a Two-Thousand-Year-Old Negation Rooted in Buddhism


This post was originally published www.quantumyoga.org (perhaps in 2006) is an excerpt is from Sri Aurobindo's The Life Divine. The second section will take excerpts from Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet's The Gnostic Circle (1975) and The Vishaal Newsletter (1986) which further discuss the negation of Matter rooted in Buddhism, and the need of a correction in the course of the evolution of consciousness, so that man's journey to the highest heights of Reality can proceed towards its goal of full Realisation of the One Self in multiple form. Ms. Norelli-Bachelet notes that the 2,000 year old revolt against matter was equally a phenomenon of both Eastern and Western spirituality.

Part One 

Sri Aurobindo writes about the mistake of negating material existence and the impulse to transcend material reality in The Life Divine and in Letters on Yoga:

'... this conscious Being which is the truth of the infinite supermind, is more than the universe and lives independently in Its own inexpressible infinity as well as in the cosmic harmonies. World lives by That; That does not live by the world. And as we can enter into the cosmic consciousness and be one with all cosmic existence, so we can enter into the world-transcending consciousness and become superior to all cosmic existence. And then arises the question which first occurred to us, whether the transcendence is necessarily also a rejection. What relation has this universe to the Beyond? 
'For at the gates of the Transcendent stands that mere and perfect Spirit described in the Upanishads, luminous, pure, sustaining the world but inactive in it, without sinews of energy, without flaw of duality, without scar of division, unique, identical, free from all appearance of relation and multiplicity, - the pure Self of the Adwaitins [3], the inactive Brahman, the transcendent Silence. And the mind when it passes those gates suddenly, without intermediate transitions, receives a sense of the unreality of the world and the sole reality of the Silence which is one of the most powerful and convincing experiences of which the human mind is capable. Here, in the perception of this pure Self or of the Non-Being behind it, we have the starting point for a second negation, - parallel at the other pole to the materialistic, but more complete, more final, more perilous in its effects on the individuals or collectivities that hear its potent call to the wilderness, - the refusal of the ascetic.
'It is this revolt of Spirit against Matter that for two thousand years, since Buddhism disturbed the balance of the old Aryan world, has dominated increasingly the Indian mind. Not that the sense of the cosmic illusion is the whole of Indian thought; there are other philosophical statements, other religious aspirations. Nor has some attempt at an adjustment between the two terms been wanting even from the most extreme philosophies. But all have lived in the shadow of the great Refusal and the final end of life for all is the garb of the ascetic. The general conception of existence has been permeated with the Buddhistic theory of the chain of Karma and with the consequent antinomy of bondage and liberation, bondage by birth, liberation by cessation from birth. Therefore all voices are joined in one great consensus that not in this world of dualities can there be our kingdom of heaven, but beyond, whether in the joys of the eternal Vrindavan [4] or the high beatitude of Brahmaloka [5], beyond all manifestations in some ineffable Nirvana [6] or where all separate experience is lost in the featureless unity of the indefinable Existence. And through many centuries a great army of shining witnesses, saints and teachers, names sacred to Indian memory and dominant in Indian imagination, have borne always the same witness and swelled always the same lofty and distant appeal, - renunciation the sole path of knowledge, acceptation of physical life the act of the ignorant, cessation from birth the right use of human birth, the call of the Spirit, the recoil from Matter.
' ... We seek indeed a larger and completer affirmation. We perceive that in the Indian ascetic ideal the great Vedantic formula, "One without a second", has not been read sufficiently in the light of that other formula equally imperative, "All this is the Brahman". The passionate aspiration of man upward to the Divine has not been sufficiently related to the descending movement of the Divine leaning downward to embrace eternally Its manifestation. Its meaning in Matter has not been so well understood as Its truth in the Spirit. The Reality which the Sannyasin seeks has been grasped in its full height, but not, as by the ancient Vedantins, in its full extent and comprehensiveness. But in our completer affirmation we must not minimise the part of the pure spiritual impulse. As we have seen how greatly Materialism has served the ends of the Divine, so we must acknowledge the still greater service rendered by Asceticism to Life. We shall preserve the truths of material Science and its real utilities in the final harmony, even if many or even if all of its existing forms have to be broken or left aside. An even greater scruple of right preservation must guide us in our dealing with the legacy, however actually diminished or depreciated, of the Aryan past.' *
The Life Divine, Chapter III, 'The Two Negations: II - The Refusal of the Ascetic'  
*Notes taken from The Life Divine (as presented in the book):
[3] The Vedantic Monists.
[4] Goloka, the Vaishnava heaven of eternal Beauty and Bliss.
[5] The highest state of pure existence, consciousness and beatitude attainable by the soul without complete extinction in the Indefinable.
[6] Extinction, not necessarily of all being, but of being as we know it; extinction of ego, desire and egotistic action and mentality. 

An Excerpt from Sri Aurobindo's Letters on Yoga on the 'mistake' of Buddha:
'It [the overmind liberation] can't be supreme if there is something beyond it—but there is a liberation even in higher Mind. But in speaking of supreme liberation I was simply taking the Buddhist-Adwaita view for granted and correcting it by saying that this Nirvana view is too negative. Krishna opened the possibility of overmind with its two sides of realisation, static and dynamic. Buddha tried to shoot from mind to Nirvana in the Supreme, just as Shankara did in another way after him. Both agree in overleaping the other stages and trying to get at a nameless and featureless Absolute. Krishna on the other hand was leading by the normal course of evolution. The next normal step is not a featureless Absolute, but the supermind. I consider that in trying to overshoot, Buddha like Shankara made a mistake, calling away the dynamic side of the liberation. Therefore there has to be a correction by Kalki. I was of course dealing with the ten Avatars as a "parable of the evolution", and only explaining the interpretation we can put on it from that point of view. It was not my own view of the thing that I was giving.' [bold emphasis added] '... Krishna opens the possibility of overmind, Buddha tries to shoot beyond to the supreme liberation but that liberation is still negative, not returning upon earth to complete positively the evolution Kalki is to correct this by bringing the Kingdom of the Divine upon earth, destroying the opposing Asura forces.'  
'Krisha is considered the 8th Avatar of the Hindu Line of Ten, Buddha is typically believed to be the 9th of the same line. Part Two presents Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet’s writings on the error of this belief.'

Part Two

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet discusses in her various books the significance of the negations of Eastern and Western spirituality as an important but surpassable stage in the evolution of consciousness.

In The Gnostic Circle, she writes that the 2160 year Age of Pisces (from 234 BCE to 1926 AD) saw a fossilization of all religions: 
‘... it was during the first 1440 years of the Age that the spiritual experience became dogmatised and subject to the rigid demands of ritual. We find this not only in the religions of the West but the East as well contributed its part to the mosaic.' - The Gnostic Circle, Chapter 8, 'The Age of Pisces'.
 In the The Vishaal Newletter, Volume 1, Issue 2 (p. 7) Norelli-Bachelet writes:
'There has been no spiritual movement of this century that has been sufficiently powerful (and I use the word purposefullly) to arrest the course that science and western materialism are imposing on the world. The reason for this is more than clear. All the spiritual movements have become bogged down in the past and are merely repeating the old formulas. And those formulas were, even in the past, incomplete. They catered to the religions and demands of the spirit, disregarding the life of the body. Indeed, the spirituality we know as 'eastern' is founded on the basic principle of escapism. This is the same as the foundation of western religion and mysticism: the Earth is a hell and birth thereupon is a scourge; salvation lies in heaven or nirvana, -- anywhere, but decidely out of this cosmic dimension and free from the strangling coils of a corruptible flesh.' 

Ms. Norelli-Bachelet discusses the error of considering Buddha as the 9th Evolutionary Avatar in the Hindu Line of Ten, in The Gnostic Circle (p.48-49):
'After Sri Krishna [the 8th Evolutionary Avatar] there seems to be some confusion in spiritual circles regarding the next Avatar and the subsequent stage of development for the Earth. One factor which contributes most to this reigning confusion is that is seems to have been forgotten that the Evolutionary Avatar, when appearing for that particular work, can only come during the Ages which pertain to Vishnu, the force of Preservation, the four faces of the Sphinx, or the four Fixed signs of the zodiac. But it seems that man is in a hurry to fill in the blanks before the time periods are completed, and before even entering the 9th Manifestation [a Time period including the Ages of Pisces, Aquarius and Capricorn - 234 BCE to 6246] he has already proclaimed the next Avatar, before actually understanding in full what it is that the advent is to truly mean. Therefore to include the Buddha in the list of Avatars as the 9th, which in the deeper meaning would signify that he was the Avatar of the 9th Manifestation, is impossible. The Buddha's birth and the span of his life formed a part of the 8th Manifestation[a Time period including the Ages of Gemini, Taurus, and Aries 6714 BCE - 234 BCE], opening the way to the 9th, and his function was precisely to bring about a greater cleavage between the seekers after the 'Void' and those seeking fulfillment in the full manifestation of the Divine. It may appear odd to speak here in these terms of the Buddha and the student may consider that one is attempting to minimise his role, or in some way to place him in a negative light. In actual fact we seek to do the contrary. This great spiritual figure was an element that served to bring about a certain depletion in the spiritual effectiveness of India as a nation, and thus contributed to the full entrance of humanity into the age of darkness, a preparation for the coming light. This was a necessary step, though one which nonetheless requires a consequent corrective measure, the work of Kalki, as Sri Aurobindo and the Indian scriptures have pointed out. Kalki, the last Avatar of the Hindu tradition, has as his mission to bring the movement back to its rightful destiny, to join the two poles [Matter and Spirit] and then erase the separation that exists in the reservoir of spiritual energy on the planet. All paths, all realisations can give us the experience of God, but the plan of evolution is only one, though this is all-embracing and makes use of different means to arrive at the Goal. 
      'All forms of spiritual thought and practice that have served to heighten the rift between the two poles of spirit and matter must, at this time, give way to the new creation...'