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 CYCLES - essay #21 from BEYOND RELIGION vol.I, by Stanislaw Kapuscinski


 Stanislaw Kapuscinski

 Told that one is walking in circles would be considered an insult. Or, at the very least, it would go a long way to suggest a limited mental capacity. I am in great danger of loosing a considerable segment of my none-too-numerous readers by suggesting that a much more numerous segment of the human race is, in fact, walking in circles. In order to retain at least some of my public, I took the liberty of substituting cycles for circles.

Voilá! Much more palatable.

Deep down we all know that the difference between the two is marginal. At best, a cycle offers limited hope of a gradual rise along the track left by our efforts. The cycle while inscribing the very same 360 degrees sounds better. More scientific.

Feel better now? Do you?

I don't.

The cycles can be expanding, drawing ever-larger circles, broadening forever-receding horizons. The cycles can also be converging on a diminishing radius, in ever decreasing . . . circles, until we reach a vegetative state of standing still.

Yet, strangely enough, that is not the worst. Our civilization manages to actually regress our ethical development. The more laws we feel obliged to enact the more we affirm our reversal towards a primitive existence. Hammurabi may have been proud of his code, but to me it was the beginning of the end. Surely "advanced" members of the human race are guided by higher laws, by inherent, immutable ethic, not by a set of presumptuous rules created by over-puffed politicians, for their own benefit, i.e. to protect their ill-begotten loot. Look at the taxation laws. Who benefits more from them than the politicians? Who gets life, inflation-augmented pensions from public coffers? Who never produced anything worthwhile (in office) while penalizing all that do? Are there exceptions? Surely. Do you know any?

Let's face it, Hammurabi was a brilliant politician.

Let's get back to cycles. They come in various sizes. The largest or longest known to man are the cycles of the Zodiac. The Procession of the Equinoxes advances in cycles of a little over 2000 years each. And each of the 12 signs of the Zodiac represents a new trait of character which we are to conquer, or at least improve on. Good luck. It would help if we all knew what trait we are supposed to work on. Yet, the #1 best seller of all time is replete with references to the Zodiac! The complete Zodiac may seem the longest cycle, some 25,000 years, but it only seems long. The most persistent cycle is the wheel of Awagawan. It is a name given by the Orientals to the cycle of reincarnation. Many avatars left instructions on how to step out of this vicious cycle, but to no avail. Why listen when we're having fun?

We are having fun, aren't we?

Then we have the cycles known as biorhythms. Four pages of bibliography back up a book bearing the cycles' name. It looks impressive, but the cycles are also set on automatic. Like the Zodiac, like almost everything. If we don't live consciously then we are subject to all the immutable laws of these cycles. Are you? The whole of nature is set on automatic. Many of us are proud to be part of nature. We just love mother earth. Others think it's all just an illusion. Maya.

Take your pick.

And then there are the socio-political cycles. They also seem to be set on automatic, or at least, run by automatons. That's a polite word for robots or people not yet fully alive. The living dead. This cycle runs as follows. The craftier individuals make money at the expense of the dumber elements. This usurped wealth gives them power. They exercise it indiscriminately until they can't cope with the rebels any more. They then contact their like-minded scoundrels and form oligarchies. This works for a while but . . . alas, you can't fool all the people all the time. The rebels rise their ugly heads and they cut off the heads of the scoundrels. Or maybe they're just tired of eating cake. Anyway, this is called a revolution. Fairly recently the French and the Russians were good examples of such a turn of events. And Latin America is second to none in applying this cycle. Anyway, after the rebels win, they form their own oligarchy, which in time gets clobbered by the masses. L'histoire se repete. That's why it's called circles. Ah . . . I mean cycles.

In the West we are approaching the end of another cycle. A two-class society where the growing chasm between the few haves and the many have-nots is a sure sign leading to another revolution. Don't believe me? Study your history. The cycle never failed. Never. After all, it's set on automatic.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why some people think that there is a Deity up there, somewhere, which will suspend the incredibly complex system IT has devised to run this incredibly complex universe, with its incredibly complex interrelationships, and answer their puny prayers which might contravene the automatic setting. Would God create laws in order to ignore them? Would that be smart? What do you think?

Is there a way to step off this mad merry-go-round going absolutely nowhere? Must we continue to crawl in circles?

Well, what do you think? 


Essay #21 from BEYOND RELIGION vol.I by Stanislaw Kapuscinski