What is the Age of Aquarius?
No doubt you all remember the legendary pop musical “Hair” which hit Broadway in 1967: “This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius, The age of Aquarius, Aquarius…” The song then went on: “Harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding, no more falsehoods or derisions, golden living dreams of visions, mystic crystal revelation, and the mind’s true liberation…”
The words were the cornerstones of hippie culture in those years, but there was more to them than first met the eye. In those same years, between the late Sixties and early Seventies, Yogi Bhajan was teaching yoga and meditation techniques in the USA in readiness for the impending “Age of Aquarius”. From the astronomical standpoint, it seems that around every 2,160 years, the alignment of the planets tilts by a few degrees, leading to a slight shift in what is known as the vernal point. This affects the energetic quality of the planet, our nervous system, and consequently the events that occur in our world.
Reality or myth?
I’m not saying all of this has any scientific grounds.
It may do in the future, as is gradually and systematically becoming apparent with most of the concepts handed down by the spiritual traditions. By way of example, I’m referring to the incredible discoveries on the nature of matter itself, which we now know is pure energy, in that it is made up of a vacuum and infinitely tiny particles that vibrate at a given frequency. Mere light, modulated in waves, subject to vibration and sound. Everything is Maya, an illusory reality, the oriental sages of old once said, even though they had never met Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohm, Planck, Bohr or Sheldrake. This apparent reality only seems to take shape when a consciousness is perceived to be observing it. So the concept of the direct impact of the mind on “tangible” reality now has scientifically proven grounds.
Perhaps, though, the Age of Aquarius will just remain a legend, with a very well-known soundtrack.
Insecurity and difficulties are apparent to all
What I do know is, what Yogi Bhajan was describing in the late Sixties concerned events we would experience in the twenty-first century, and which are actually taking place. In this article, I am referring to what has been passed on by the Kundalini Yoga tradition, because it is the school I come from and feel informed enough to be able to write about it; but many spiritual and esoteric traditions mention it. Rudolph Steiner and Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov both wrote about it, to name but two.
The message is basically that the era we are living in is one which, whilst not as dark as the one described by Hindu cosmology, placing us in the Kali Yuga with its attendant pain and devastation, is nonetheless a time of difficulty, crisis and conflict.
Those of us from the West’s Generation X grew up in the wake of the boomers who preceded us, convinced that they were living in some kind of golden era, where high living standards were available to (almost) everyone. But this short-sighted vision was limited to a view of life and values which puts material wellbeing first, as indeed continues to be largely the case. In the Sixties, people considered themselves happy if they had a washing machine; today perhaps it’s a luxury electric car. But the concept is still the same.
Are we happy because we have an expensive car, a beautiful house, a top-notch job and go on holiday to exclusive places? No, human beings are by nature far more demanding when it comes to happiness (and less demanding when it comes to material possessions, when we are not blinded by a distorted, greedy ego moulded by convention).
We are happy if we know we are on a path that allows us to express the aspirations of our soul and pursue them, if we feel we are contributing – in our own particular, unique way, be it big or small – towards improving humanity. We are happy if we feel united to God and our counterparts.
Competencies we need to focus on, and the radiant future after the storm
The current age was described by the above Teachers as a period of crises, conflicts, upheaval and great inner difficulties, but they also said this would result in a global awakening which would yield a “golden age” of real wellbeing.
It is useful to be mindful of the difficulties we are experiencing and what they are like, so we are better equipped to tackle them, overcome them and ensure we all prepare ourselves for the awakening.
Yogi Bhajan taught us that the Age of Aquarius would be the era of awareness, information and energy, an evolution on the Age of Pisces we are now leaving behind us, which is guided by machines and hierarchical principles. But it is an evolution which is hard to get through:
- Increasing complexity
- Speed, constant changes, less time available
- Transparent information available to all, wisdom and intuition are all needed to choose information and weigh it up.
“The unknown will be known” – Yogi Bhajan
- Pivotal nature of action, as the language of the awoken Self
- Collapse of reference points such as authorities, and dogmas.
- More globalism, and at the same time the centrality of the individual
- More fear and insecurity which must be met head on with unity and love.
- Centrality of energy in evaluating the individual and the quality of his or her work
- Organisations that are no longer hierarchical, but instead fluid and horizontal
“Each person must take responsibility for elevating and managing his or her own state of awareness” (Yogi Bhajan)
If we are to excel (and not just survive) in the scenario we are already experiencing, we need to place the emphasis firmly on our individual responsibility, our role in this sudden transition, our wisdom. We need to look inside to regenerate ourselves and work out what we really want. And take decisive action, using those same observations as our springboard.
Change only occurs in society when it has occurred within us. But events are forcing us to speed up this innermost evolutionary process. The main feature of this transition is the extent and speed of change occurring contemporarily on all levels, affecting everyone, whether they are ready or not. So it is a good idea to be prepared.
And after the storm comes the awakening. This is inevitable, as the Bulgarian mystical Christian philosopher Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov reminds us in this beautiful quote:
“The Age of Aquarius will soon be upon us. It will bring great upheaval, which will make human beings understand the reality of the spiritual world and the laws it abides by. But the new life born of this upheaval will exceed anything imagined in terms of beauty, splendour and harmony. All living beings scattered around the world, secretly working to fulfil the Kingdom of God, will come together to act, and the fortresses of ignorance, materialism and despotism will collapse. I tell you this, and this is how it will be: nothing can prevent the arrival of the new era, the Golden Age.”
Alessia Tanzi, a business consultant, is an expert in meditation practices and personal development. She is the founder of Yoga-Coaching and trains business executives to integrate these practices in their day to day management tasks.
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