Does Anybody Really Know What Time it is?
Mankind has an instinct for perceiving all of time and history as meaningful.  We have long been occupied with organizing the flow of the past, the present and the future into some grand design; whether an endless, repeating cycle, or a straight line moving forward towards some ultimate destiny and fulfillment.  That’s why so many different peoples, in different cultures throughout history, have devised so many vast and astonishing religious cosmologies, and continue to do so today.  
We are the hereditary recipients of some truly remarkable ancient systems; for instance, the Zoroastrian Apocalypse and the millenniums, the Hindu Yugas, and the Buddhist Kalpas.  More recently, modern western culture has taken to recycling and remodeling the cosmologies of the ancient world to our own liking, resulting in our popular, contemporary beliefs in the impendin g return of Jesus Christ in a Christian/Muslim Apocalypse, the dawning of the New Age of Aquarius, and the alignment of precession, the winter solstice and the galactic equator at the end of the Mayan Calendar. 
While the methods, calculations, and mythology may vary, the impetus is much the same, even across the ages. We all seek meaning in time, and our destiny and fulfillment in history. We long to fathom the hidden, innermost secrets of the universe, and at the same time, we can’t help but impose our own desires and limitations upon it. 
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference.

After all, just because we desperately want to find meaning in time, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there all along.  It’s entirely possible that some ultimate, driving significance has been there all along, aching to be made known to us. At the same time, the contending popular cosmologies differ on so many fundamental points that they can’t all be right. Somewhere , someone is guilty of pulling at least some of this out of a hat.
What can be said with some certainty is that what we believe about the past has everything to do with how we live in the present and how we build for the future.   After all, if you really believe that the world will end in 2012, or are expecting the imminent return of Jesus Christ, you’ll probably make some different choices than someone who intends on passing everything down to his children’s children’s children.
History is always with us, for better or worse, bearing in on the present moment, but our expectations for the future are too easily distorted by our ignorance of the past.  So while we still can, let us consider how we organize time, and how we derive meaning from the past and future.  This is not some careless process, nor should it be driven by market fashions or paranoia, but by all that is eternal and infinite within us.

To that end, I will be posting a series of articles, links and classes over the coming=2 0weeks to try to stimulate a more thorough examination of the crucial issues at stake, comparing and contrasting what we believe with what we think we know. 
This week’s links tell the fascinating story of how and when the modern, western concept of the precession of the equinoxes and the astrological world ages – like the Age of Aquarius – came to be.  It’s a story that doesn’t get told often enough, and it has everything to do with what we believe about the use of precession by other cultures, like the Mayans, Egyptians, or Sumerians.
Free: Online Class/Discussion Group :
 Talking About Time with Courtney Roberts, M.A. 
A New Age, or the End of the World?
The Apocalypse, the Age of Aquarius, the End of the Mayan Calendar:  Does Anybody Really Know What Time it is? Join us for a series of lectures and discussions that will take an open-minded and non-dogmatic look at all these different ways of organizing time, space, and meaning. 
Wednesdays: Beginning Sept. 3rd and running through Oct 8th, 2008   8:15 – 9:30pm EDT
Pisces & Precession (an excerpt from The Star of the Magi)
Newton & The Age of=2 0Aries
The Fabulous Eighth Sphere: Precession & Trepi dation
Astrological World Ages: Zurvan, the Zodiac, and the Millennium
A Thousand Blessings!

Courtney Roberts, M.A.
The Astrological Weather
0ANews You Can Use to Make the Most of Each Day.
Free Daily and Weekly video reports on the current
planetary alignments and what they mean for you.

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