A Symbolic Image of the Cosmos

In an earlier chapter, we saw history as a code of significative signs, a symbolics of human beings' souls-analogous to the world's soul-which symbolics, under different forms, manifests itself in the life of peoples. And although this history does not repeat itself exactly-nor could ever do so, since it is impossible for being to manifest itself two or more times in the same state of existence, by the very laws of space, time, and movement, which geometrical numbers and figures symbolize-it is evident that it abounds in reiterations and analogies. This is due, no doubt, to the circularity of time and to the theory of cycles-inscribed within one another-whether it is a matter of the smallest, as those of the day or the year, or the greater, those of the manvantara and the kalpa, which refer respectively to the cycle of birth-development-end of a humanity, in correspondence with the sky and earth of that period, and of a world, and its temporal condition. 

It is also imporant to point out that historical events always occur in a determinate geographical place, with certain regions at times taking primacy over the others, in function of very distinct factors, among them those referred to matters of the very nature of earth and its variations in temporal development, which range from climatological change to the disappearance of entire continents. In general, the inclination is to think of a fixed geography in a solidified stellar space, when the earth itself is a mobile point of reference-as are all planets-and space is properly nothing but the play of the dynamic tension of distinct forces, or the permanent disequilibrium and equilibrium of the elements that compose it. 

The space-time relation, and its mutual correspondence, is clearly expressed in the history and sacred geography of the various peoples, just as in their myths, rites, and symbols, and accordingly, in the legend and folklore of current societies. In Christianity, the history of Jesus begins in a small, lowly, removed place, a manger or cave, where the child is watched and fed by two animals, installed at his side like two columns, which symbolize the rigor of justice (the ass) and grace and mercy (the ox): a stubbornness and meekness which must be subsequently seen counterbalanced by evil, and a criminal good, at the end of the story, in another geographical situation, or in another position on the same exis, this time on the summit of a mount called Golgotha, meaning skull-symbol of the axial cupola, caput or head-the peak where the glorious exaltation is produced, the absorption into the Father's bosom, a lofty place, specially designated in all traditions as the site of contact with other realities abiding beyond the cosmos. We shall not overwhelm the reader with a plethora of illustrative examples of traditions and civilizations in which the correspondence and complementarity among the symbols of time and space are obviously meaningful, since it does not fit the nature of this study, which, so to speak, means to be a synthesis, not a demonstration. We shall only say that, to a mythic time, there corresponds a differentiated, proper space, and that determinate spaces (like the terrestrial paradise and the heavenly Jerusalem) become related to distinct times. The human soul enters the world by one gate and leaves by another, and in the interim-signed by space and time-has the opportunity to recognize itself and to escape from that condition by identification with other states of universal being, which it can experience by means of individual consciousness-similar to universal consciousness-and constituting the possibility of particular regeneration (as well as universal), always, it is clear, with the support of generation and creation in space and time. This indicates to us that the life of the human being-and of the world-not only constitutes a great opportunity for integration with universal being and its numerous states, absolutely unknown to the bulk of the population, but equally well signing to us that that universal being manifests itself, or exists, thanks to these spatio-temporal coordinates, which come to be as their sensible corpus-the "meanings" of the world, analogous to the meanings of human beings-in whom both it and ourselves are reflected, as we thereby become aware of the original unity. Or, to put it another way, that the spirit recognizes itself by itself. On the other hand, all sacred history and geography are but the exemplification of these mutual correspondences between space and time, and, as we have just seen, the manner in which universal being expresses or manifests itself, reflected in these sensible qualities, in this symbolic code. Or in other terms: all sacred history and geography are but manifestations of the fact that the cosmos and its constitutive coordinates come to be the sensible manifestation of being or the human being, each universal. 

We shall add that time is measurable to the extent that it is expressed in a divisible variable, that is, space. Accordingly, time stands always in relation to space, and necessarily supposes it. The same occurs with motion, which is also manifested in space, receiving from time successive order, the reason for which one ordinarily identifies with it, to the point that one can be considered a spatial representation of time. Actually, motion-which is but the actualization of the spatio-temporal potentialities-causes to coexist in itself space, which is simultanesous, with time, which is successive, thereby balancing out the universal order. Time and space are complementary and interactive. Time signs, colors, and modifies space, as can easily be observed in the symbolics of landscape, and its changes and variations through the four seasons of the year, which ultimately are but the direct reflection of broader cyclical symbols, which find their meaning in the idea of the archetypal cycle. And it is in this cyclical manner that we ought to read history and geography-and the arts and cultures produced in them-since they form a symbolics (a poetics) of time and space. 

The symbolic model of the wheel expresses, and combines, in the clearest and simplest manner, the coexistence of space (or plane of radiation, where everything is embraced) and time, signified by movement (in which things are manifested in successive fashion). And if we stop at this cosmic model, we shall understand that the virtual point, always central–a reflection of a vertical axis–organizes space, which ultimately is the actualization of the potency of that point in the horizontal plane which is successively, temporally, traversed along the straight line, or radius, establishing the bipolar relation between the original point and the limit point of the circumference, which coexist as successive and simultaneous, temporal and atemporal, quantitative and qualitative. And also as mobile and immobile, inasmuch as, molded into the substantial principle, they will determine the form (manner, color, or sign) of the life of the model. 

And let us repeat: the coexistence of these two coordinates, which condition the entire "physical" world, becomes possible thanks to the movement of the wheel–which from one point of view can be taken as the spatio-temporal conjunction–which is to generate life, along with the form in which those principles are expressed.1 But in order to be able to understand these ideas clearly, we must necessarily take our position in some graduated scale, and represent these concepts in terms of magnitudes–that is, translate them into our existence or sensible form of knowing, in strict correspondence with the nature of things and the architectonic plane of creation. Hence the fundamental role of quantity–and that of manifestation–which, nevertheless, isolated from its concrete principle and deprived of relation with its context, taken in a literal manner, and even deified for its apparent phenomenic characteristics, becomes the principal obstacle of knowledge, being regarded as an idolatric deity to which all tribute is rendered, which issues in the blind fanaticism of its adepts. 

In the divine economy, the limitlessly large and the limitlessly small are situated on a scale, or frame, that is in correspondence with the human being and the world, without which everything would lack meaning, and therefore could not be apprehended, nor exist in any way. This brings us back to the idea that the cosmos (macro and micro) constitutes a single "thing," and a single "matter," and therefore an analogous whole, composed by similar laws, albeit in different forms, as exemplified by the human body, the culture of civilizations, and the musical discourse. This scale is expressed in and by the pendular movement of rhythms and cycles, and is computed and understood in dimensional terms. From this standpoint, space and time can be visualized as limitless, precisely in taking our own position, and the world, in an order of variable and finite magnitudes. 

We know the modern examples which situate the ship or the earth (and its seafarer, the human being) in the immensity of space. Here, we must say that this "ship" sails in the sky at many thousands of kilometers per hour,2 and belongs to the sun's system, as the "king star" is its center, as the heart is the center of the cellular world. This system is in turn inscribed in the Milky Way, a nebulous spiral, which is obviously a larger world than the solar and on which the latter depends. Thus, there would be in the Milky Way a sun of our sun, as the cell is with respect to the molecule, and the latter with reference to the electron. Just so, this role corresponds to nature in relation to the human being, as well as to the earth with respect to nature, and to the sun with reference to earth, which owes it its cause, as nature owes its existence to the earth, the human being to nature, the cell to the human being, the molecule to the cell, and the electron to the molecule. In a certain sense, it can be said that every wider world is the origin, or a parent, for the more restricted one, and that the latter plays the same role with respect to what follows it. 

This concatenation, which is perfectly normal, has the characteristic of surprising us when we reflect on the magnit des with which we meet in our intent to situate ourselves on the scale of the limitlessly great and the limitlessly small. Indeed, it is supposed that the sun revolves about its galactic center using two hundred million years to traverse its course, which would constitute a solar "day." In+turn, the Milky Way would turn about an unknown center and would take twenty million millions of years, which would form a galactic "day."3 As for the magnitudes ranging in the other direction, we hear that a blood cell's "day" is eighteen seconds long, and that of the molecule only a little more than a second. We shall pass over the electron and much smaller worlds (although we may observe that microelectronics currently produces computers that operate with signals of three hundred thousand million cycles per second.). Again, those data are familiar to all that place us at such a distance from certain stars that some of the nearest have their distances measured in light years, which comes down to saying that the time spent in traversing the distance that separates us from them, at the rate of speed with which light spreads in the universe, is so great that a star visible on any night is contemplated from the earth as it would have existed hundreds of millions of years before, and not as it is in the present. The same thing is valid in the reverse form: if there were observers today on any of those nearer stars, looking at the earth with some apparatus, artifact, or method, what they would see would be, for example, the beginning of the present kalpa, merely to take an example. This is doubtless a manner of expressing ourselves, since the spatial magnitudes to which we refer, measured in chronological time, are not actually measurable, and do not observe due proportion, which perhaps ought to be sought only on the scale of the sun and its system, keeping in account that antiquity and tradition make unanimous reference to this "measure." 

If a blood cell, whose cycle lasts eighteen seconds with relation to its center, the heart, were to decide to take a position with respect to the great cycle, or solar "day," which is the period of precession of the equinoxes (25,920 years), or, without going further, with the solar year of 365 days, or better still, with a simple day of twenty-four hours, it would observe that this last chronological time, comprising the life of 4,800 generations of its species (which would be equivalent on the human level to a time of 120,000 years, counting the duration of a generation as of twenty-five years), not only is useless for its calculations, but, further, is found to be intrinsically conditioned by the particular events of its medium, in this case the human organism and its center, the heart, which in twenty-four hours lives every sort of spatio-temporal shifts and changes. Time, the measure of space, is in no way uniform. It is living now as a sensible quality of the cosmos; and its chronological computation, with which we are accustomed to chart space, is only one of its aspects or qualities. Time is a category of the soul, which arises from within the heart and which constantly regenerates itself.4 On the other hand, geometric space is uniform; the physical is not. One can speak of a quantitative or measurable space, which is supposed homogeneous, but space is not only the quantity, but also the quality of the elements composing it.5 

In the same fashion, we wish to emphasize that the cycles and our location in their respect give us a proportion among things, an idea very close to that of harmony–and justice–concepts very closely linked with that of "measure," to which we have referred, and concepts that would express the qualities inherent in quantity, and not only its continuous and successive magnitude. Furthermore, we have said that each cycle or world is the symbol of another, greater or higher, world–an image of a chain reaching beyond the specific time of the cycle, or world, which is taken as point of reference, and which could then be considered as extratemporal with respect to the lesser cycle or world, or not subject to the same "measures," inasmuch as both refer to distinct living qualities of time and space, conforming the various parts of being or the human being, both universal. And this proportion, or rhythm, "magnitude" or "measure," constitutes the order of the world, its law, in which each of its parts is articulated in proportion to all the other parts, but in the presence of a relation that cannot always be measured by the discontinuous numerical series, since in the first place the cosmos is not an absolutely continuous space, and in the second place it is not a geometrical or mechanical model,6 but a living organism, or the possibilities that the germ or embryo bear within themselves.7  

For Hindu tradition, the kalpa is the measure or model of time, comparable in every order to the spatial model of the solar system. This kalpa supposes our entire world, and it is where the human state properly subsists–expressed in the different manvantaras by the forms corresponding to the different positions of the planets and stars, and their correlative changes in the physiognomy of the earth–which is a state of universal being, signed by time and successive order, which characterize precisely our world and its development. We know that a kalpa contains a series of fourteen manvantaras. Of these, six have passed and seven are future, as we presently find ourselves at the end of the seventh of the series. The duration of a manvantara is 4,320,000 years. The duration of the kalpa would then be 4,320,000 multiplied by 14, or 60,480,000 years, or one "day" of Brahma. The year of Brahma is obtained by multiplying this figure by 360, for a total of 21,772,800,000 years. And the life of Brahma lasts one hundred years, so that we must multiply this last figure by one hundred, to obtain what Hindus calll a para. What Hinduism is attempting to do here is to express the limitless, that beyond all computable proportion. This chronology must be taken in its numerical, quantitative expression, as constituting a magnitude symbol.8 Especially if we keep in account that "one Brahma is followed by another Brahma: one disappears, the next arises. They cannot be counted. The number of these Brahmas is without end. . . . Beyond the most remote vision, traversing all imaginable space, universes are born and disappear limitlessly. Like light barks, these universes float on the pure and bottomless water that forms the body of Vishnu. From every pore of this body emerges a universe at every instant, and explodes. Will you have the presumption to count them?"9 

Obviously, we are dealing with a limitless time, which proceeds ad infinitum. And one that nevertheless is constantly regenerated, in cyclical form, which form ever;astingly actualizes this time and places it at our disposition in virginal fashion, by the repetition of the fundamental rhythm of the cosmos, its periodic destruction and re-creation constantly experienced by the human being. We must emphasize that this always occurs in the microcosm with the respiratory function, which is intimately associated with the cycles and the rhythms. Whenever a blood cell unites with oxygen, its molecules die and are reborn. We could say, in this sense, that each time we inhale, we are born, and each time we exhale we die. And the same thing happens with the universal aspiration and expiration.10  

Indeed, all of our toil to deliver ourselves from what, in Buddhist terms, is the samsara–or the turning of the wheel of existences (that is, transcending cosmic space and cyclical time)–is realized by means of time, or better, with time and in space: that is, with the living elements of physical creation, which render possible this passage, or transmutation, effected as it is in numerous manners. Thus, upon the prototypal basis of an initiatory process, a personalized history is woven, in which the recall of the origins and the memories of oneself are translated in time, as an evocation of infancy at its most pure, or as the re-remembering of past experiences that were meaningful, and of which a sense is discovered that frequently lay hidden in the entanglement of the psyche. 

This recall of oneself, fragile and fragmentary as it is, on the one side does not refer to personhood such as we are currently accustomed to consider it, and on the other, is related with the fact of the gradual discernment of another dimension of time: mythic time (or Plato's anamnesis), much more real and effective than that partialized computation of becoming that appears to us under this new light as a more or less illusory amorphous mass. The hearing of these inner voices is the same as listening to the inner person apart from its external circumstances. It is to experience being, the universal human being, happily separated now from its masks or roles and also from its various conducts and forms of existence. Thus the transition is made to living an experience far closer to oneself, which gives us to understand a presence that has always been here, as an invisible component of all individuality. This knowledge of the oneness of being, on whatever level it is produced, can be considered as a breach with the profane space in which we are habitually closed up, and access to another plane, area, or world, of much greater subtility and quality, and therefore of greater qualitative wealth. By this very fact, a breach is effectuated in the level of space, on the basis of time taken as a support of eternity, inasmuch as time itself constitutes a reflex, or inverted, manfestation of non-time–or of another time–which in the line of our historical horizontality is understood as something anterior, when actually this vertical mythic time coexists with succession, wherefore it can be said of it that "it is a movable image of eternity." And this same current time, and the space in which it is produced, must have something of the quality of what they express or symbolize, since, as we have said, were it otherwise, by no means would they be able to manifest it. 

If it were permissible to speak of "history" at determinate magnitudes, the entire world has been an "egg," then an embryo, which subsequently has manifested itself in and with all of its species–beginning to develop in independent and harmonious form, in relation to their medium, their context–or parts, such as a human being, an animal, or a tree; and as they regenerate and reproduce themselves cyclically on the levels on which this world manifests itself. Actually this is only a manner of speaking,11 since in reality what is expressed as successive is simultaneous in another order, and even within the same spatio-temporal order is perpetual, constantly occurring–and therefore at this precise instant–and expressed through prototypal laws. 

We are accustomed to seeing creation as something absolutely historical, when in reality this is only a viewpoint, given that the creative fact is not uniquely horizontal, but fundamentally vertical, with respect to which the present origin in each substantial form is extratemporal, and not signed by time and space. This origin of all cycles is the prototypal cycle, which in its uncreated dimension always is. We must point out that what changes are the limitless forms, never the prototypal primary structures, and never the archetypes, well styled "eternal." All time is occurring now in the heart of the human being. The creator generates the whole cosmos, and ensures it by way of polarization in a preserving god, and another destructive and transformative one. 

It will be in order to continue to consider the wheel as space, as time, and just so, as movement–that is, as to its actuation generated by space and time. We have already referred to the four ages of humanity, or to the four stages of life of a human being. It would also be interesting to reflect on the cycle of the respiratory function, which is divided into twofold form: aspiration/expiration–and which is valid both for the human being and for the universe–which can be subdivided into four times (or spatial movements), of which the first is a taking of air, the second its retention, followed by a third, of complete expulsion (parallel with death), and a fourth, of total vacuum. Inevitably, at this point a new inhalation must occur, as it is indispensable for cyclical regeneration. As to the wheel as space, we have already referred to it when we regard it as a mandala,12 that is, as meaningful, sacred space, as opposed to any indeterminate, chaotic, or profane place. In other words, we mean the static wheel associated to space, in contraposition to the dynamic wheel linked with time. Space generates time. Time creates space. And both produce the movement of the wheel, which constitutes the ritualization of the cosmic mandala, or the putting-into-act, or into function, of the potentialities hidden in the motionless, which subsequently are to take on substantial life and form. And that life and that form, produced by motion, must be studied in relation to another, quadruple cycle. We are referring to the everlasting recycling of the elements, or the components of the life shaped by "matter," which, as we know, were called fire/water, air/earth by antiquity. Actually, as such this "matter" does not exist; we can only speak of certain states of the same in relation to the greater or lesser degree of intervention of the principle or element that shapes it. Supposing a relatively stable state of the matter in question, it appears to us in three basic modes: solid, liquid, and gaseous, which correspond to the elements earth, water, and air. The fourth element or principle, fire, is also called the radiant principle of matter. It is by the intermediary of heat, or fire, that the remaining elements or states are transformed into one another, as it melts solids, evaporates liquids, or, by its absence, condenses liquid into solid and gas into liquid. In this sense, the liberation or absorption of heat actually determines the state of matter. Accordingly, a state of matter that is relatively stable will be differentiated from another only in accordance with the proportion of heat, which causes the molecules of a body to be at such and such a distance from one another, which determines the freedom of movement possible among them. 

At all events-returning to our subject of proportion and measure-and keeping account of the fact that the sun is the fiery, or radiating, element in respect of the states of the matter of our planet, it is logical to think that this star is in perfect harmony, coincidence, and equilibrium with the life of our world, with its very structure–like that of the human being–as both world and human being are situated in a related wave of energy, in which, as the elements exist there in individualized form, by action of the sun itself, they can constantly change and combine, and prosecute, on their own level, the work of creation. If the proportions, the magnitudes, the measures of this harmonious balance were to alter, if the earth were to withdraw from or approach the sun too much, life would come to an end, by freezing or by evaporation, by excessive molecular concentration or by molecular dispersion into gas. This shows very clearly the relativity of that which we take as something fixed, real, and "built in," when obviously the case is exactly the contrary–especially if we consider that this ongoing recycling of the elements is produced in like fashion, and with the same characteristics, in the human being, and that, beyond successive being, we have it in simultaneous form. After all, in each of these states of "matter" we find all of the elements present, interacting in distinct proportions with one another, which is tantamount to saying that the "matter" of the universe is one alone. 

To continue with the relativity of phenomena and the mutability of things, let us indicate that some of the images which seem to us to be secure, and which convince us of our own individuality–and of the sure guarantee offered us in history –are extremely banal, and we have never meditated upon them. As a curiosity, and with respect to history, we shall take a firm stand on what any sole individual can authentically recall: his grandparents and their era, at most three generations, which are the ones that constitute "his world"–however much he may suppose the contrary–and do not go back more than a century, everything else abiding in such a scattered state of confusion as if he had lost his memory and had to have recourse to contingent external circumstances (recorded by "scientific history"), to which he must ascribe a real, objective, true category, since in identifying with them, he immediately acquires the security of the possession of a hypothetical "I," which becomes nothing less than his identity, his presumed being in the world and the reason for his existence. This "modic" perspective, never interiorly confessed for fear of disintegration, nevertheless has contemporaries feel themselves to be sharers in world history, as if the latter were an official and universally objective institution for all peoples and beings, something substantial and guaranteed, that advances toward progressand that dictates an immutable and scientific law of which they are the depositaries and arbiters. We dare not qualify these attitudes, which some persons ridicule without dissimulation, and others judge with an utterly unshakable seriousness. As for the humoristic idea of the individual possession of a personhood "at all costs"–which makes us feel unique and exclusive in the world–that constitutes a paradox in statistical terms, inasmuch as in more or less four centuries one has had over a million forebears (four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents, and so on), which in the fifteenth century–that of the discovery and inception of the conquest of America–it is almost sure that there have existed here and there more than a million of our direct ancestors, owners of their ego just as surely as we.13 This leads us once more to the theme of proportion and measurement, that is, to the question of location and situation, intimately linked to the balance and harmony of the rhythms and the cycles, and to the need for a frame and an orientation. 

Let us agree that the historical era in which we happen to live is hard and difficult by reason of its situation in cyclic time.14 In fact, we note that we are in the decline of a culture, and at the end of a period produced in the entire world. Various voices, from different traditions, have warned of this fact–more and more explicitly–for years now. This has occasioned the appearance of pseudo-prophets and speculators, who turn this circumstance to their own profit with arts and deceits at our expense. It is said in various sacred books that these persons are to be numerous in our time. Nevertheless, they themselves are but a symbol of the end. And this end is but the second coming, liberation. Granted, it is something more difficult to imagine, and has little relation, proportion, or measure with the parameters in which we are accustomed to see things. Still a promise is made in clear terms in all of the traditions. Christians call it the Parousia. The gospel itself tells us that no one will know anything of this day and hour, and that we shall be bustling and scrambling about in our normal fashion. There are those who study these themes in detail, in accord with traditional sources and data, and many of them single out the "millenium" (some few decades hence) as the average date of the limits of the current manvantara. But what can be asserted with security is that, as far as individualized beings are concerned, the end of a civilization is perfectly comparable to the end of their days, since all cycles are analogous.15 One who has passed through death can die no longer. And nothing of this will be more or less painful than it has always been and of course is at this very moment.16 On the other hand, the end of the ages refers to the abolition of our spatio-temporal conditioning, and a return to the virginal freshness of the indeterminate origins, which obviously include the possibility of a rebirth. In this context, the words "liberty, equality, fraternity" acquire their ultimate meaning, together with staking out a task for us to realize, or a destiny to accomplish.


1      Civilizations are cycles with a beginning, development, and end–that possess life, like human beings and geographical continents. They are generated in the same way as living organisms, and they meet with the same lot.   

2     It is interesting to note, as a curiosity, that human beings rest only the soles of their feet, or another small surface of their body, on the earth. The greater part of their volume lives and moves in space, traveling at an enormous "air speed." Doubtless we modern inhabitants of the big city fail to notice this fact–as nearly everything else–since we fix our own limits by identifying with our conceptions, and we feel well anchored in a hypothetical material, absolutely solid earth, when in reality eartht is a porous surface in which air freely circulates, penetrating it and shaping it, as we so well know in the case of the human body. On the other hand, the part that is not aerial is liquid, as clearly witness the actual whole of body fluids and the geographical and substantial constitution of the earth. Let us furthermore take due account of the fact that these so unstable elements are constantly in motion, and interact.  

3      The computations here represented are offered only by way of illustration, and without any scientific pretentions.   

4      It is obvious that chronological epochs of equal duration do not necessarily correspond to equivalent times. Time does not flow uniformly.   
5      For Alan Watts: "Space and my knowledge of the Universe are the same." 
6      Symbolics and geometry are vehicles, didactic teachings for understanding the cosmos, but not the cosmos in itself.   

7      Accordingly, we must refer to an order, a correlative, proportional frame between the human being and the cosmos, leaving aside the more major cycles, which are exclusively cosmic, and the more minor, which no longer possess a meaning relation with respect to the human being.  

8      The same is the case with the number ten thousand in Chinese tradition, with four hundred in the middle American traditions, as well as with one thousand, or other magnitude-symbols, in various civilizations.   

9       Si se lleva un poco más lejos este ejemplo, pudiera decirse que cada vez que encendemos un fósforo se produce un mundo, un sistema completo; o que cada vez que parpadeamos asistimos inconscientemente a la creación de un campo, que tendrá dentro de sí la posibilidad de generar otro, y así en una serie ilimitada. Por otro lado, un milenio no es ni la fracción de un segundo en la vida de un dios.  

10     According to Plato, from north to south an ascending movement develops; from there it returns anew toward the north (impelled by itself, abandoned to its lot), rerunning in the inverse direction in a circular route. It is also interesting to place this in relation with the existential life and history of the human being, as well as with the cycles of the various civilizations. 

11      As it would be with reference to our own human existential cycle, taken as independently of the rest. That is, considering it as a closed and autonomous circuit, uniform and self-sufficient, when, on the very contrary, reality bespeaks interdependency, which is possible thanks to what every cycle has of the element of individuality, however much this individuality may acquire its meaning in the life of the whole, as is clearly exemplified in the case of the cycle of a blood cell. 

12      Let us recall that the translation of mandala is "circle." 
13      This simple example acquires complexity when we consider that the human being in himself synthesizes all of his forebears, and projects all of lhis descendents. If this were to be symbolized graphically, we should have two inverted triangles, or two cones or spirals, joined at a common point or vertex, which would represent the human being in his or her mediating function. 

14      However, this fact does not justify individual responsibilities. It has been the human being, in function of his free choice, who has taken the world to the situation in which it finds itself. The human being is both the mediator of construction and that of destruction. 

15      In virtue of its acceleration, time contracts in space, and shortens distances, with the result that it actually contracts in itself, to the point that this excess of velocity in which it repeats its cycles takes it to the degree that it devours itself and is absorbed by the simultaneity of space. This would be the end of times, return to the origin, in which the wheel will leave off turning, will cease its movement. And in this virginal indifferentiation a new space will then be generated, a new sky and earth, as well as a new human being or humanity, another cycle–in this case a new manvantara–with a regenerarted time, as occurs analogously with each new year. 

16      "See the birds of the sky–they neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feeds them" (Matthew 6:26).

Other Chapters