Circles and Cycles
Andrew was having fun. Inspired by the sight of a beautiful halo around the moon earlier in the week he had started "going into" the question of haloes and circles – the so-called perfect form in nature.
Andrew was a somewhat solitary 35 year old bachelor who quite frequently got carried away by similar projects. He had recently got hooked on Restorative Justice and there had been plenty others before that. He knew, of course, that the circles seen around the sun and moon were caused by light refracted through high altitude ice crystals but it had occurred to him that the phenomenon was much older than the human race and to primative minds might have been seen as portents . That had set him off – what would the early minds have made of it?
In the brilliantly clear, uncontaminated air of early times, the circles would only have been seen around the Sun and the Moon. His researches soon showed that the Sun was one of the earliest things to be worshipped and placated in many societies so a halo around it, and the Moon, so linked to the female cycle, must have significance. Was it the Sun's way of establishing its Divinity? Delving in the library for details of later attitudes, he was really intrigued to find that from the Middle to the Far East, gods, in their various manifestations were almost always imaged with a halo either around or behind their heads while Christianity had always marked its saints with haloes. This seemingly linear descent from the Sun to holiness was an exciting insight for Andrew who had never come across it before.
This led him on to the difference between circles and cycles. Some cycles were obviously circular – the lunar cycle, the water cycle of evaporation from the sea to rain to return to the sea . Probably the greatest cycle imagined by men before the birth of cosmology, was that of the Hindu Yugas, four epochs lasting a kalpa or period of 10,000 divine years There was some disagreement as to how long a divine year lasts, whatever, it was a helluva long time. The epochs were said to be the Yuga of Truth or Gold, the most perfect, represented by a bull standing on four legs of Virtue and lasting 4,000 divine years, Silver as evil makes its presence known and the bull is on three legs for 3000 divine years, Bronze, more deterioration with the bull on two legs, 2000 divine years, and Iron, our epoch where evil predominates with only one leg of virtue, lasting 1000. Each epoch ends with a global catastrophe that lasts Brahma's night before the cycle resumes by eventually reverting toTruth. How did those periods relate to modern paleontology? Andrew couldn't find much about that but was intrigued to discover that the latest Hindu dating places the end of the Iron, Kali Yuga in 2025 C.E.! He was amused that the apocalyptic media hadn't latched on to that one, as they had the much-hyped End of the Mayan Calender in, what was it – 2012? probably chastened by that non-event. Andrew was also fascinated to read one version that said that a divine year equalled 432,000 earthly years which made the beginning of the Kali Yuga roughly commensurate with the evolution of Homo sapiens. Not bad for people who knew nothing of evolution when the Vedas were being written about 1,000 B.C.!
Enough of that for the time being, no point in trying to become an expert - what next? Maybe "climate change" despite the publicity that it was currently getting – or "obesity"? So many options.