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Precessional Time and Evolution of Consciousness

Precessional Time and the Evolution of Consciousness by Richard Heath – first published in Watkin’s Magazine

“Richard Heath has harmonized the revelations of those great originals G. I. Gurdjieff, Alexander Thom, Ernest McClain, and the authors of Hamlet’s Mill – the kind of synthesis one has long hoped for.”
– Joscelyn Godwin

Consciousness acts through humans, and as cultures come and go, fulfilling or developing something that will inevitably fade away, they will surely be replaced by another, different set of cultural drivers. Acting through us, consciousness remembers who we are within the spirit of our time.

How mysterious it is that very sophisticated languages developed in different parts of the globe, in a prehistory not marked by any great historical civilizations. Yet civilizations could only become powerful through their powerful languages by which they could remember and become their Story. They are like a computer whose language came into existence before the computer itself, as if language caused the civilizations that followed language creation.

This can be glimpsed in the earliest utterances within surviving oral epics, where magical super beings bring language and create the parts of the world, through a rhyming word play that results in an actual physical process that creates the land, as for the Australian aboriginal mind that still walks through a land created in a mythic “dreamtime”.

There is time within a story that must conform to a pattern of delivery, from setting out to returning home, from a crucial high drama to an apparently impossible “fix”. This cyclicity is found in time on earth through similar cycles such as the day, month and year. Similarly, traditional stories were given a ring composition, as explored by anthropologist Mary Douglas.RichardLatch
Stories most naturally form a Ring Composition, returning to their beginning and facing a challenge in the middle or bottom, opposite their beginning/end, shown here at the top.

Story telling leads to a curiosity as to how things are, but then these become numbered, counted, quantified as parts of different wholes. Time is again significant because the only really good subject to study if you are a Neolithic researcher happens to be astronomical time, counted in days and months. Time could be counted in the Stone Age by scoring bones with tally marks. Examples, appearing to count, have been found for most of the late Stone Age.

Sometime around 5000 BCE, in Carnac, Brittany, the idea of counting took a great innovative leap when it was realised that, by using a constant length for each day, one could build lengths of time and these lengths stored, compared and built into the geometrical structures we see as megalithic monuments.

As time was studied, the numbers between cycles and the time taken for combinations to repeat, encouraged our ancestors for the numbers to be found are surprisingly small, since the Sun, Moon and Eclipses all repeat in cycles between 18 and 19 years long. Similar co-incidences are found throughout the resonant time environment of a geocentric Earth. It must have seemed as if Earth was a designed environment, giving birth to a quite technical religious concept within the megalithic period that would feed forward into our religious symbols and its numerology, the subject of my second book Sacred Number and the Origins of Civilization.

Another awakening appears to have occurred during the later megalithic period. Human beings became numerate through studying astronomical time, so that by the time of the first Mesopotamians, called Sumerians (3000BCE) and conveniently located in the south of the Fertile Crescent (the so-called Cradle of Civilization), a numerical notation was developed alongside arithmetic, geometry and other mathematics. This seems likely to have given rise to sky gods, who had taught humans what they knew (in other cultures this was a singular sky goddess).

By 1500 BC, a new breed of numerate priests became interested in the three very small prime numbers, 2, 3 and 5, because these numbers uniquely create all the musical intervals heard as most harmonious. These are seen in the lengths of strings (as created by the frets on a guitar). But, instead of music, our greatest texts like the Bible, the Rig Veda, and those of Homer, came to be structured according to numerical rules of musical harmony (according to Ernest McClain’s pioneering work, The Myth of Invariance.)

To review, using a very broad brush, there are three identifiable ages of civilized development, (1) language and storytelling, (2) astronomical discovery and (3) mathematics and the writing of epic texts; and these seem like a definite sequence in which each stage requires the last. These could parallel the precessional cycle of 26,000 years and its slowly emerging “Age of Aquarius”, as the spring equinox enters the constellation of Aquarius. With this in mind, my third book Precessional Time and the Evolution of Consciousness concludes with esoteric ideas of time as obeying musical laws, expanding on Gurdjieff’s presentation of a harmonic cosmology. If precession is a cultural and cosmic phenomenon, then shifting Ages will require a different type of consciousness to remember us.

PRECESSIONAL TIME AND THE EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS: How Stories Create the World by Richard Heath, published by Inner Traditions, illustrated paperback (206 pages).

Richard Heath is a web developer with degrees in systems science and computer-aided design. The author of Matrix of Creation: Sacred Geometry in the Realm of the Planets and Sacred Number and the Origins of Civilization, he lives in Dunkeld, Perthshire, Scotland.

Website: www.matrixofcreation.co.uk

Author Blog: www.sacrednumber.co.uk