Thursday, November 22, 2012

Full Circle

I harvested my pumpkins and tomatoes yesterday. The first frost of the year was upon us and it had to be done. Yet, while gathering the wonderful bounty the harvest provided, I couldn’t help but feel something for the plants. They had been flourishing all season, putting all of their energy into growing strong and healthy and producing their beautiful fruits (vegetables) and here I was yanking them out of the ground and tossing them on the compost pile. One minute they were rich and healthy plants and the next they were mulch. It was a very poignant moment of experiencing the cycle of life. Of course everything is born, grows and dies, but there seems to be a cognitive dissonance in people these days. They can understand the concept abstractly, or on a television program, but there seems to be very little true understanding of the full meaning of this.

When something dies it goes back to the earth to nourish the next thing that grows. It is part of the beauty of the life process. All things follow this cycle. The dawn brings the birth of a new day while the dusk signals the onset of night and the end of daylight. The new moon appears each month, grows in size until full, and then wanes. The seasons cycle from spring to summer to autumn to winter in a never-ending circle of birth, death and rebirth. We, as human beings have roughly 80 years from start to finish and once things begin to breakdown the end can come much quicker. On a longer timeline the cycles of ages can take thousands of years.

The larger cycles can often have an influence and impact on other shorter cycles. The cycle of the seasons from autumn to winter brings the frost that kills the plants, ending their cycle. The fall of a civilization can cut short the life cycle of a large number of the people living within that civilization.

This cycle is very apparent in the course of the development of societies. A group of people come together with common values and commitment. They form a community which begins to grow and prosper. Given time and good fortune, it can become a robust society full of culture and innovation. Eventually it might even become a great civilization with influence that spreads to other societies. Eventually however, things begin to break down, decay sets in, and the society passes into the annals of history and finally...myth. A new day then dawns on the next group of people gathering together.

At the core of this cycle is change. Change represents the movement from one state of being to the next and so on. For anything to grow and develop there must be change. In fact we live in a world that is in a constant state of change. It is just that the changes are most often too subtle for us to notice except over long periods of time. In middle age we can look back on our childhood and notice how much things have changed, but on a day to day basis things seem the same.

For us, here and now at the end of 2012, we have entered a time of dramatic change. We have reached the end of a great cycle of ages and it is going to have an impact on all of us. As this larger cycle reaches its conclusion and begins its rebirth, all of the smaller cycles within it are going to have to adapt to the end of the old cycle and new way of being.

For many it is easy to interpret this as saying that we have reached the end of our civilization, however I don’t believe that is correct. It is more of a time of dramatic change that will have a significant impact on our civilization. We will still exist after this time of change, but the world may look rather different once we have navigated our way through it. The most important thing we can do is to be aware of the changes and put ourselves in a position to react and adapt to them in a calm and mindful manner.  By being aware of the cyclical nature of things we can be prepared to deal with the changes as they occur.

The cycle is best expressed in the symbol of the yin/yang. It is one of the oldest and best-known life symbols in the world, but few understand its full meaning. It represents the two poles of existence, which are opposite but complementary, and which replace each other in a constant cycle. The darkness and light revolve around each other, one growing strong as the other weakens and vice versa.

As I mentioned above, these cycles can be large or small. We encounter some of them on a daily basis, while others can take years or decades to cycle through. The large cycle we are living through at the moment is on a scale we are not really able to comprehend. The end of this cycle has been taking place for the past 20 years. It will take just as long for the beginning of the new cycle to commence. We stand at a significant moment in time. The end of this cycle signifies the power of the dark ascending as the light weakens. It will be some time before the new cycle begins and the light returns. We need to consider our actions carefully. In times like this it is important for those with the power of light to retreat, so that the darkness cannot encroach upon them. This retreat at is not to be confused with running away. Instead it is a sign of strength to gather one’s forces in a safe place and wait until the time is right to emerge.

The light will return. Those who have held to the path of truth and peace and light will be in ascension.

We will come full circle.

Until then...
Nourish your Body
Calm your Mind
Expand your Heart
Honor your Soul.

Wishing you much peace.
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