THE EPOCHS OF THE WORLD
I stand before Him. He begins: 'The earth and its inhabitants are not yet conscious of the forces which reach the earth from out of the cosmos and maintain it. Consequently the inhabitants of the earth aren't able to control these forces and transform them at will. The earth receives these radiations from out of the cosmos and is immersed and bathing in these waves of energy. Everything that happens on earth is a direct reaction to the action of these radiations ... a kind of resonance resulting from their inter-action.
'The sun magnifies to a tremendous extent the radiations of the particular constellation in which it stands at any given moment as it radiates its force to the earth simultaneously with the radiations of the constellations concerned.' This fact has a bearing on the way in which the four seasons have come into being.
'The movements of the earth give us the impression not only that the vault of stars is rotating about us, but also that other movements are taking place. One of the most important movements the earth makes is that its axis describes the surface of a cone. Whereas one of the end points of the earth's axis remains relatively fixed, the other describes a circle. Because of this movement, the vernal point in the cosmic wheel is slowly displaced. Seen from the earth, it appears to be moving backward.
'The time it takes for the axis of the earth to complete one full conical movement—moving from the vernal point in the zodiacal circle right round to its starting point again—corresponds to 25,920 terrestrial years. We call this a cosmic year. Divided by twelve, this number gives us a cosmic month, mainly 2,160 terrestrial years, the time it takes for the vernal point to move through one zodiacal sign.
'The vibrations from the cosmos have such a great effect on the earth that they even influence world history. The leading ideas in religion, science and art are the result of the radiation of the particular constellation in which the vernal point is moving throughout the course of a cosmic month. The incarnated spirits on earth—that is to say humanity—must always achieve a new epoch by reaching a new milestone in human development and establishing themselves in the ideas of the time.
'A nation is a group of spirits, the incarnation of certain concentrations
of energy. Each epoch brings to the earth a different group of spirits,
a different race, and when this race has fulfilled its task of carrying
out the new ideas and developing a new civilization for the space of a
cosmic month, it leaves the earth in order to develop further on another
planet. In every race, of course, there are always individuals who don't
quite "make the grade" before the end of the epoch. These remain
behind, like the dregs in a drink, and must continue to develop on earth.
That's the reason why a nation experiences a sudden decline after achieving
a high point in civilization. The highly developed fathers of the nation
are followed by degenerate and weak-willed descendants, and the nation
which was once greatly esteemed gradually falls into debility and disrepute.
These descendants are the dross of the nation which has reached the highest
degree of earthly development, become spiritualized, and departed from
'We are now living in an epoch in which the vernal point is moving into
the constellation of the Bull. God (Ptah)
reveals himself to us in the radiation of this constellation, and that's
why the divinity manifesting itself in the atmosphere of the earth is
represented in the form of a bull, in the form of the divine bull Apis.
The complementary constellation of Scorpion-Eagle is
represented as I he temptress—a serpent crawling upon the earth—or
in the form of the divine falcon Horus. You know that
this energy, as long as it is earthly and expresses itself on the low
plane binding spirit to matter, is the serpent luring man back Into further
incarnations. On the other hand when this force is spiritualized, It helps
man to experience, while still in the body, the highest degree of spirituality.
'The constellation of the Bull belongs to the threefold manifestation in which the face of God has an earthly-material effect—contracting, drawing together and hardening. This means that at the present time the forces that build up matter and operate within it are the easiest and most immediately available forces for the inhabitants of the earth to use. Our task is one of conquering matter with matter, that means conquering matter with the energies making up the essence of matter. We use the frequencies of matter, these unseen and immeasurably powerful forces—in other words, the spirit of matter—in order to conquer matter itself. We charge the matter of the ark of the covenant with the entire octave of these energies and thus control the laws of matter—the forces of construction and destruction, materialization and dematerialization—as well as the weight of matter which we can either overcome or increase at will.
'In time our truths will come to flower. But then as celestial movements
and changes continue, the earth will gradually move out of these regions
in the cosmos in which certain specific energies are working together
to produce our present epoch. Little by little certain of these energies
will diminish, while new ones come into the picture, and thus the total
pattern of vibrations affecting the earth will gradually shift. This means
of course that the people being born into life on the earth will be gradually
changing. The time will come when they won't understand our truths any
more. The symbols and words we use to express the mysteries of the laws
of creation will lose their content, becoming empty husks for thousands
of years. Mankind will have to learn through new tasks and surmount new
obstacles in their accomplishment.
'Come, my little daughter,' says Ptahhotep, 'Now I'll lay my hand on
your head and you will see pictures of times to come.'
Ptahhotep bids me lie down, and no sooner has he laid his hand upon
my brow than I get the well-known buzzing and prickly feeling in my head.
The very next moment I see pictures which, in the symbolic language of
dreams, shows me the significance of events in the distant
Now the vision changes. The godlessness and selfishness of the Egyptians
causes new plagues and afflictions of growing severity. But still Pharaoh
does not yield. He still refuses to liberate the people from their bondage.
Finally the gravest scourge of all descends upon him. All the first-born
of the people and I heir animals, and even of Pharaoh's own household,
are killed by the angels of God in a single night. Only those
who have eaten of the flesh of the lamb and have written their names with
lamb's blood on their doorposts are not killed by the angels.
Then I see a new vision. The mighty initiate leads his people out of
Egypt. And because the Ram is a fiery sign,
a pillar of fire moves ahead of him to show him the way. He leads his
people out of the spiritual darkness prevailing in Egypt at the end of
this epoch. But Pharaoh's heart hardens again. He regrets that he has
allowed these people to leave his country in freedom. With his entire
army, he starts out in hot pursuit of the refugees. But the great initiate,
in order to protect his people, uses his staff of life. He directs against
Pharaoh's army the frequencies of ultra-matter which greatly intensify
the earth's gravitational force. Suddenly, Pharaoh with all his warriors,
chariots, and animals become as heavy as if rooted to the spot where they
stand. Their tremendously intensified weight pulls them irresistibly down
into the earth. And as all of this takes place on the seashore, the great
waves of the sea finally roll over Pharaoh and his entire army.
In the meantime the great initiate is 'on the mountain' and speaking
'face to face with God'. He is in the very highest state of consciousness,
identical with God. He is the bearer of the will of God. It is God's will
that he proclaim the new ideas to his people through two religious symbols,
the sacrificial lamb, symbol of the constellation of the Ram,
and the two tablets with God's ten commandments, symbol of the constellation
of the Balance.
The two tablets of commandments, like the ones in our temple, on the
head of the sacred falcon Horus, symbol of the divine
self, the creative principle traversing space, stand
as symbols for the inner structure of the self manifesting
itself in the soul as moral laws.
When the initiate brings the finished tablets of commandments and sees
his people worshipping the golden calf, he bursts out in such a fit of
rage that he dashes the tablets to the ground and smashes them in pieces
while he asks God to punish the disobedient people.
The visions of the future go on. The great initiate leads his people
up to the threshold of the new epoch, up to the borders of the promised
land. Then he goes up into a mountain and disappears. No one
ever finds his body. I know that he has dematerialized himself just like
the last initiated high priests have de-materialized themselves with their
secret instruments and apparatus in the great pyramid.
A person who in his consciousness identifies himself with his body lies
in inner darkness and resembles a stable with animals—the animal-physical
instincts—living in it. In this stable and in this darkness—just
as in the darkness of night—the divine child is born, the
consciousness of the self. Two kinds of people recognize the
divine child and bow low before him: The plain, simple, unlettered and
unlearned who do not yet know the doubting of the intellect and who live
in unison with nature, like shepherds for example; and the knowing ones
and initiates who have already travelled the long path of the intellect,
have overcome their earlier propensity towards intellectual cleverness,
and have learned to look at things with their inner sight after the manner
of the wise men and mystics in the East.
In medical science too water dominates the picture as a therapeutic
agent. Everywhere I see bathing establishments, spas and medicinal baths
making use of water for all kinds of cures and treatments: Salt water
baths, marsh baths, hot and cold baths, compresses, and many many other
applications of water for the curing of physical ills. People even take
advantage of the healing power in dew by walking about barefoot in the
A vision from the time when the energies of the Water Bearer
are working with full power shows me that the great teacher of this epoch
abolishes all the boundaries between the three dominant religions. With
his own person he proves that the inner core of all religions is one and
the same truth, one and the same God. The boundary between religion and
science disappears too, as people discover that everything,
even matter, is a wave movement. They learn that the only differences
between manifestations of the spirit and those of matter are differences
of frequency, while in its essence everything is only the manifestation
of the one, single, prime source of all forces, God.
Everything is a wave, just as the symbolic representation
of the Water Bearer constellation shows: a supernal being
pouring waves out of his pitcher.
The constellation of the Water Bearer belongs to the
airy face of God. And mankind conquers the air with air,
with energies won from matter in the airy state. I see people moved onward
from the steam engine to other machines operated by gas. And then my astonished
eyes follow huge locusts high up in the air, made by
human hands and carrying people in their bellies! These machines are powered
by gas: Air conquers air ...
Through the complementary sign of the Lion people again recognize the strongest manifestation of God on earth. The sun, the great Ra, is again acknowledged as the prime source of all manifestation of earthly energy. Once more people have become sun worshippers, even though not in a religious sense. The influence of the Lion shows itself in another plane too. The effect of the Water Bearer is to abolish all boundaries, all limitations. But the absence of boundaries without a concentrating mid-point means mental disease, spiritual death. The boundlessness of the Water Bearer would affect the unconscious masses as a mental illness running throughout all humanity, causing anarchy and chaos, and destroying everything. Through the complementary sign of the Lion, however, dominion is concentrated in individual persons—dictators —who group the people about themselves and guide them.
In this epoch people discover traffic and intercourse with other planets.
Boundaries and obstacles disappear, and with them the isolated state of
the earth in cosmic space. And as the boundaries between countries disappear
too, all humanity is governed from one centre. 'One stable, one shepherd.'
The eternal wheels roll on, and the earth moves into a new epoch, under
the sign of the Goat and its complementary constellation, the Crab.
The combination of the two zodiacal signs of the Goat
and the Crab has a strong influence on the spiritual
life of mankind. The great teacher of this epoch reveals unto man the
mystery of the immeasurable sources of power hidden in the depths of the
human soul. Those who hold the key to these sources of power possess abilities
which the ignorant call 'supernatural'. All over the earth I see public
schools where even little children are taught to attain these higher abilities
through the kind of exercises which only candidates for the priesthood
are permitted to practise in our temples. This high and wonderful knowledge
spreads into ever greater circles, reaching ever greater numbers of people.
'As you see, my child, the inhabitants of the earth receive their initiation in small groups and then in larger and larger ones, all inter-related one with the other. A person can be initiated individually within his own lifetime, and a nation can receive initiation if it works its way up to the highest level of development and fulfils its task here on earth. Eventually the whole world will receive initiation by completing the full circle of the four faces of God, experiencing step by step all stages of initiation in a systematic development, and finally achieving complete spiritualization—salvation from matter. Measured according to earthly time standards, it will take ages and ages for this development to be achieved. For countless times the earth will have to go through the zodiacal circle, both in terrestrial and cosmic years. I've shown you only the tiniest part of this exceedingly long path of development. The history of mankind on earth is not a matter of accident or happenstance. It's important for you to know that every step of development takes place according to divine providence, following a divine plan. A person can cover this infinitely long way in a single lifetime if he concentrates his will exclusively on this goal.'
As he gives me his benediction, Ptahhotep says, 'Come back again tomorrow; I have important things to tell you.'