Sunday, January 01, 2006

rough draft - The Aquarian Mandala

It is worthwhile to look at symmetries as they occur in history and not ignorIt e them or consider them random. The patterns of early Christianity bear looking into as they press westward from Christian Constantinople to empower Christian Rome and subsequently the secular and Protestant movement of northern Europe. The patterns they formed may be the patterns we will form.

HistoItalicrian Edwin O. Reischauer points out that Japan’s rise to secular power in modern times matches that of northern Europe, and the two rose out of feudalism at the same period but were distinctly separate and unrelated to each other. Another symmetry: calculus, the tool by which the Enlightenment rose to materialization and the catalyst for the age of science was discovered in roughly the same period by mathematician Takakazu Seki Kowa in the East, as it was by Newton and Leibnitz in the West.

Today, we see a reversal of Kipling’s maxim: East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet. Now, East and West, like the recently-photographed galaxy known as IC2163, swinging counterclockwise past its celestial partner NGC2207, appear to be about to form into one unified solar system. Now they cannot be kept apart, and regional cultures like those in Calgary and Vancouver where populations are in the area of 50% Chinese and 50% Canadian Caucasian are in the avant garde of North American life. These cities bring together in harmony Asian and Victorian business and cultural ethics and eastern directions of Taoism and Buddhism. So too, Hindu thought finds its way gracefully into Canadian culture in Toronto and the middle Canadian cities, which have recently received a large number of Indian immigrants. One young filmmaker recently made a film about Lord Khrisna returning to earth as a hockey player. (But doesn’t The Great One already carry that spark which dances amongst the suns?)

It almost appears as if history was waiting for this moment to bring these two forces together in unity. An ancient spiritual force from the East and a new-to-history technical force in the West, as the Dalai Lama generally expressed it recently.

These two forces could not have come together at any other time in history. Nor could they have flowed together into a unique new culture at any place other than the North American continent. The “old souls” of the old world inhibit clear action and when change does occur, so often it merely consists of breakage of the old, as the new tradition of nihilism since the 1830s in Russia, simply breaks the past. Into pieces. But alienation also opens the West to a new future, and that unique but trecherous condition that deprives the American of ancestral lineage and psychological fullness of old world Asian, African and European, welcomes and rapidly adapts to new growth.

North America is the Aquarian continent, made up of all the world’s peoples, castes, races and religions, pouring freely in, as the water pours from the vessel of the Titan. And its epic tale, Huckelberry Finn, identifies the vortex, the Mississippi River. The water pours freely over the falls at Niagara to the sacred lakes of the Manitou, the Great Spirit, into Chicago thereabouts and down the Mississippi to where the Amish flourish, on to the sacred primal place of Elvis’ Graceland and out into the Gulf of Mexico.

The westward movement of the last century is matched now by an Eastern movement from Asia to the Pacific Coast in Canada as well as in the United States, creating vortex forces in, around and above the Mississippi and the Great Lakes. This effects all classes and castes that enter and changes their destiny forever. It is worth pointing out the Hindu text which says when you leave your homeland, and start from scratch.

Vancouver, with its Hong Kong cash, is developing as a Paris on the Pacific, but the life force also shows it’s power in the plain people. Jackie Chan, master of the karate opera, is to North America today what Jimmy Cagney was 80 years ago, and if Cagney represented the collective promise and optimism for the millions of immigrants who swarmed to Ellis Island from Europe and Ireland, Chan does the same for the large immigration from the East, who settle primarily as a new American influence to the west and the north of the Mississippi.

This is the Aquarian mandala, which will find creative energy in centuries ahead. This means the development and enrichment of regional cultures on the North American continent, forging one another, helping one another and hating one another; forming new dynamic relationships and creating a new world.

North Americans have more in common with other North Americans than they do with Europeans. This transcends caste and religion, which, in the U.S., have entirely different structures than in Europe and Asia. And it has been like this for a long time and even in the darkest days. W.J. Cash pointed out that the wealthy white woman of the South in the 19t century had more in common with her black maid than she did with people out of the region. And Thomas Nelson Page, a popular Southern writer writing at the end of the Civil War, pointed out that the Southerner had more in common with his Yankee enemy than with foreigners.

Outside of academia, almost none default to Europeanism in America, particularly in the South and the Midwest. And people who live near the borders of Mexico or Canada share in those cultures in direct relation to the proximity of their borders.

These all three together, Canada, Mexico and the United States, make for the most dynamic singular cultural union in the world today. In terms of global action and passion, they are the center of the world as we enter the new millenium.

We come together in a federalist state. With federalism, everyone is equal, but no one is connected. This is the Hamiltonian model of federalism and it is singularly responsible for how we develop. Hamilton favored a vast, singular state with a central government to aid and abet industry and the business class. Thomas Jefferson envisioned instead a series of autonomous regions, each with their own provincial culture and life force. My prediction is that the Hamilton way is temporary, and once we are all here and found the place we like, we will stay here and grow here to our own Peoples, as Jefferson envisioned a free society. But we are not all here yet and will not be for another 100 years, and in that time, flow in capital, industry and people will come from the East. Then the regions will settle, find themselves, and begin to look inward to find themselves as new people in a new place. Till then, the Hamilton model is appropriate. And in the end, we will be an East/West nation and an East/West continent.

As Revelation closes the gate for one epoch which began its historical march in Constantinople, the Indian visionary opens a gate to the next. Here is Black Elk, in language like that of St. John: “The oldest one spoke again: ‘Your Grandfathers all over the world are having a council, and they have called you here to teach you.’ His voice was very kind, but I shook all over with fear now, for I knew that these were not old men, but the Powers of the World. And the first was the Power of the West; the second, of the North; the third, of the East; the fourth, of the South; the fifth, of the Sky; the sixth, of the Earth. I knew this, and was afraid, until the first Grandfather spoke again: “Behold them yonder where the sun goes down, the thunder beings! You shall see, and have from them my power; and they shall take you to the high and lonely center of the earth that you may see; even to the place where the sun continually shines, they shall take you there to understand.”

And here is Black Elk as the perennial guide – from Cooper to Kevin Cosner -- for the new arrival on this continent who has lost his orientation and is wandering with a sick soul in the desert of the new world: “And the Voice said: Give them now the flowering stick that they may flourish, and the sacred pipe that they may know the power that is peace, and the wing of the white giant that they may have endurance and face all winds with courage.”

The recent novel Cold Mountain with its Indian guide is representative of the journey to the Self as it unfolds here on what still is a new continent and in what is surely a new age. As Bunyan’s Christian pilgrim seeks a life of the highest integrity and moral perseverance in a world torn asunder in the 1600s, so Frazier speaks to us today. There are two Cold Mountains, one in China where Taoist sages and hermits have lived for ages, and one in North Carolina, considered sacred to Indians in those parts. At the beginning of the novel Frazier quotes the eighth century Taoist sages, Han shan: Men ask the way to Cold Mountain. Cold Mountain: there’s no through trail. It is a mandala novel; it begins with the character on the edge broken, and in a brief but perfect life he finds in the center, whole. And he finds wholeness and completion in the house of the Indian. It speaks well of the North American journey, a journey for all which is just beginning.

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