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Peter J. Carroll

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The first aeon comes out of the mists of time. It was an age of Shamanism and Magic when the rulers of men had a firm grasp on the psychic forces. Such forces conferred a high survival value on puny naked man living in intimate communion with the dangers of a hostile environment. This form of consciousness has left its mark in the various underground traditions of witchcraft and sorcery. It has also survived in the hands of several aboriginal cultures in which the powers were used to enforce social conformity.
The second Pagan aeon arose with a more settled way of life as agriculture and city dwelling began. As more complex forms of thought arose and men moved further away from nature, the knowledge of psychic forces became confused. Gods, spirits, and superstition uneasily filled the gaps created by loss of natural knowledge and man's expanding awareness of his own mind.
The third, or Monotheistic, aeon arose inside of the pagan civilizations and swept their fold form of consciousness away. The experiment begun once in Egypt but failed. It really came into its own with Judaism and later with Christianity and Islam, which were offshoots of this. In the East, Buddhism was the form it took. In the monotheistic aeon men worshiped a singular, idealized form of themselves.
The Atheistic aeon arose within Western monotheistic cultures and began to spread throughout the world, although the process is far from complete. It is far from being a mere negation of monotheistic ideas. It contains the radical and positive notions that the universe can be understood and manipulated by careful observation of the behavior of material things. The existence of spiritual beings is considered to be a question without any real meaning. Men look toward their emotional experience as the only ground of meaning.
Now some cultures have remained in one aeon while others have swept forward, but most have never completely freed themselves of the residues of the past. Thus sorcery tainted pagan civilizations and even our own. Paganism taints Catholicism, and Protestantism... There are signs that a fifth aeon is developing exactly where it my be expected — within the leading sections of the foremost atheist cultures.
The evolution of consciousness is cyclic in the form of an upward spiral. The fifth aeon represents a return to the consciousness of the first aeon but in a higher form.
Chaoist philosophy will again become a dominant intellectual and moral force. Psychic powers will increasingly be looked to for solutions to man's problems. A series of general and specific prophecies may be extrapolated from current trends to show how this will come about.
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p. 88

 
Peter J. Carroll

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All the Buddhas and all sentient beings are nothing but the One Mind, beside which nothing exists. This Mind, which is without beginning, is unborn and indestructible. It is not green nor yellow, and has neither form nor appearance. It does not belong to the categories of things which exist or do not exist, nor can it be thought of in terms of new or old. It is neither long nor short, big nor small, for it transcends all limits, measure, names, traces and comparisons. It is that which you see before you - begin to reason about it and you at once fall into error. It is like the boundless void which cannot be fathomed or measured. The One Mind alone is the Buddha, and there is no distinction between the Buddha and sentient things, but that sentient beings are attached to forms and so seek externally for Buddhahood. By their very seeking they lose it, for that is using the Buddha to seek for the Buddha and using mind to grasp Mind. Even though they do their utmost for a full aeon, they will not be able to attain it. They do not know that, if they put a stop to conceptual thought and forget their anxiety, the Buddha will appear before them, for this Mind is the Buddha and the Buddha is all living beings. It is not the less for being manifested in ordinary beings, nor is it greater for being manifest in the Buddhas.

 
Huangbo Xiyun
 

You who are skilled in the wisdom that unties the sealed knots
Of the profound meaning of the Sutras and Tantras of the Fourth
Deliverer of this fortunate aeon,
Who possess an abundance of good qualities like a thousand petalled lotus,
O peerless, great Spiritual Guide, may you live for a very long time.

 
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
 

It's a universal tendency in films to be more about sex and violence than the real world is, but I would pose the opposite question: Why are so many characters that you see on TV so desexualized? A lot of them seem to be completely asexual — especially animated characters — and it implies that those characters are normal. The characters in Aeon Flux are normal people who have normal sex lives and appetites.

 
Peter Chung
 

Cosmic Consciousness ... is a higher form of consciousness than that possessed by the ordinary man. This last is called Self Consciousness and is that faculty upon which rests all of our life (both subjective and objective) which is not common to us and the higher animals, except that small part of it which is derived from the few individuals who have had the higher consciousness above named. To make the matter clear it must be understood that there are three forms or grades of consciousness. (1) Simple Consciousness, which is possessed by say the upper half of the animal kingdom. By means of this faculty a dog or a horse is just as conscious of the things about him as a man is; he is also conscious of his own limbs and body and he knows that these are a part of himself. (2) Over and above this Simple Consciousness, which is possessed by man as by animals, man has another which is called Self Consciousness. By virtue of this faculty man is not only conscious of trees, rocks, waters, his own limbs and body, but he becomes conscious of himself as a distinct entity apart from all the rest of the universe. It is as good as certain that no animal can realize himself in that way. ... The animal is, as it were, immersed in his consciousness as a fish in the sea, he cannot, even in imagination, get outside of it for one moment so as to realize it. ... Cosmic Consciousness is a third form which is as far above Self Consciousness as is that above Simple Consciousness. With this form, of course, both simple and self consciousness persist (as simple consciousness persists when self consciousness is acquired), but added to them is the new faculty ... The prime characteristic of cosmic consciousness is, as its name implies, a consciousness of the cosmos, that is, of the life and order of the universe ... Along with the consciousness of the cosmos there occurs an intellectual enlightenment or illumination which alone would place the individual on a new plane of existence — would make him almost a member of a new species. To this is added a state of moral exaltation, an indescribable feeling of elevation, elation and joyousness, and a quickening of the moral sense, which is fully as striking and more important both to the individual and to the race than is the enhanced intellectual power. With these come, what may be called, a sense of immortality, a consciousness of eternal life, not a conviction that he shall have this, but the consciousness that he has it already.

 
Richard Maurice Bucke
 

When Earth's last picture is painted and the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colours have faded, and the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it—lie down for an aeon or two,
Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall put us to work anew!

 
Rudyard Kipling
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