The Cycle of Avatars and Buddhas

Here I want to elaborate a bit on my understanding of the cycle of Avatars and Buddhas, and their relationship to each other. I take as a point of departure Valentin Tomberg’s presentation of Avatars and Buddhas in his Letter-Meditation on the Fool. He characterises Avatars as transcendent beings who descend in order to guide humanity out of a gesture of grace; on the other hand Buddhas are human beings who work their way upwards into the spiritual world out of their own efforts, becoming a beacon and an example for other human beings. He paints a picture of the successor to Gautama Buddha—Maitreya Bodhisattva—gradually working his way up to be able to unite himself with the descending Kalki Avatar, culminating in the 5th millennium as the being Maitreya Buddha. I pose the hypothesis that Maitreya Bodhisattva is none other than the Cain individuality in a previous article, and that Kalki Avatar is his twin-soul, who was rejected and smothered by Cain, an inner event that manifested itself outwardly in the fratricide of Abel. The story of our time is bound up with the gradual reunion of these twin brothers.

Now, traditionally there are ten Avatars of Vishnu, appearing or ruling more or less sequentially. The earliest of these Avatars are in animal form; the fourth is half man, half beast; only with the fifth do we have a fully human form (albeit in miniature). The tenth and last of these Avatars appears in our own time, in the Satya Yuga after Kali Yuga, as Kalki Avatar.

On the other hand, we have the circle of twelve Bodhisattvas who, in turns of 5000 years each, work their way upwards to Buddhahood, after which they pass on their mantle to the next Buddha-to-be. Gautama Buddha was the sixth Buddha; therefore, the first Buddha began his path to Buddhahood some 30,000 years before Gautama. This would put the start of the path of the first Buddha sometime around the fall of humanity and the extrusion of the Moon in the middle of the Lemurian Age (which began around the year 37,467 BC; the fall happened somewhere in the middle, so around the year 30,000 BC; Gautama incarnated in the 6th-5th centuries BC, so 30,000 years earlier would bring us more or less to the same time). Maitreya is the seventh bodhisattva, and will be the last to attain Buddhahood before the return of the Moon to the Earth (around the year 5734). After Maitreya there are five further Buddhas to come, who will lead humanity during the 6th and 7th Ages, up until the time of the Sun’s reuniting with the Earth.

It is notable that Kalki is the final Avatar, on the one hand, and on the other hand, that Maitreya is the last Buddha before the Moon returns to the Earth. For after this event, there will no longer be sexual procreation or physical incarnation in the sense with which we are familiar and have been for millennia. The five final Buddhas will not have accompanying Avatars because, after the advent of Maitreya Buddha, the alchemical marriage of transcendent and earthly will have achieved complete fusion. Thereafter, the Buddhas will in a certain sense be Avatars at the same time: they will be etheric incarnations rather than completely physical ones.

Let’s assume for the moment that up until the time of Maitreya, there is an Avatar guiding or accompanying each of the Buddhas—in a certain sense, as their guardian angel (the guardian angel of Gautama Buddha is mentioned often enough by Rudolf Steiner, and indeed is supposedly Vidar—the Scandinavian Archangelic being who has taken over as Solar Archangel for Michael after his rise to Archai or Spirit of the Age of the Consciousness Soul about a century ago. More on this perhaps in a future article). This would also give the Avatars a 5,000 year cycle. In that case, the first of the Avatars would have been guiding developing humanity some 50,000 years ago (give or take)—some time before the extrusion of the Moon and the start of the cycle of Buddhas.

In fact, we can see that the start of the cycle of Avatars began in the Hindu “Golden Age.” The cycle of Ages (or Yugas) begins with a 20,000 year Golden Age (Krita Yuga); a 15,000 year Silver Age (Treta Yuga); a 10,000 year Bronze Age (Dvapara Yuga); and a 5,000 year Dark Age (Kali Yuga) which just ended in 1899. Therefore, this cycle of Yugas began just over 50,000 years ago, and will finish in the 4399, after the 2,500 year Light Age (Satya Yuga).

It was around this time that the Sun separated from the Earth, in the Hyperborean Age preceding the Lemurian. And so we can see that the first three Avatars—appearing in animal form—incarnate during this Golden Age of Hyperborea into early Lemuria, before the human being is fully formed and fully incarnating. With the fourth, appearing in half man, half animal form, we have the first Avatar of the time of the Moon’s extrusion in the middle of Lemuria. This is the first Avatar to “overlight” or guide a bodhisattva on the path to Buddhahood. The ten Avatars overall, as a cycle of beings, are on a path of gradual descent—a process of birth and incarnation. They have their time from the separation of the Sun in Hyperborea, until the reunion of the Moon in approximately 4000 years time. The final seven of the ten Avatars work in conjunction with the first seven of the Buddhas—coming into ever deeper relationship and earthly union with them, culminating in the Maitreya Buddha uniting completely with the Kalki Avatar.

On the other hand, the Buddhas began their path when the Moon separated from the Earth in Lemurian times, and will only complete their path when the Sun reunites with the Earth in the last great Age, some 30,000 years from now. Theirs is a path of ascent, of death and excarnation—of re-spiritualizing that which has become completely mineral. They gradual work themselves up to being able to completely take in an Avatar being, a process that has become closer and closer and will again reach its culmination at the union of Maitreya and Kalki in 2400 years time. After this point, there will be no difference any longer between Avatar and Buddha—the final five operate in as different a modality in comparison to the first seven Buddhas as do the first three Avatar in comparison to the final seven.

Perhaps in a forthcoming article we will look at who some of these Avatars may have been, and how they are related to the twin souls of the Holy Family (for example, Krishna is the eighth avatar, but is also known to be identical with the Nathan Jesus, the twin soul of Adam/John the Baptist). More to come at some point down the road…

Time and the Book of Revelation

Here I want to clarify what I referenced in the previous article about the Mystery of Joseph, in which I referenced two forms of dating the Book of Revelation which lead to a culminating year of 3200 AD. There are any number of ways of “accurately” dating the Book of Revelation, since this is a multivalent work of sacred art akin to the Tarot of Marseilles. One could think of the Book of Revelation as a description of Archetypal Time, analogous to Goethe’s Archetypal Plant. The forms, gestures, and movements of the text will be consistent across different literal lengths of linear time, but those lengths of time are specific embodiments of the overarching timing (emphasis on the verb aspect of this word) of Revelation.

Clear as mud!

Let’s look together at a few of the different ways this text unfolds in time, with one motive being to find out where we are in that timing. One of Rudolf Steiner’s earliest lecture cycles on the Apocalypse (see here), he describes the various levels of the revelation in relation to anthroposophical cultural epochs. Specifically, he refers to the seven letters as related to the seven post-Atlantean cultural epochs; the seven seals as related to the seven cultural epochs in the Sixth Age (after the War of All Against All and the reunion of the Earth and Moon); the seven trumpets as related to the seven cultural epochs of the Seventh Age (during which the Sun will reunite with the Earth, and our cosmos as we know it will come to an end); and the seven vials of wrath as related to the “small Pralaya” in between this fourth stage of Earth evolution and the fifth, which will be a kind of proto-Jupiter evolution. He brings this preliminary experience of Future Jupiter into relation with the descent of the New Jerusalem at the end of the Book of Revelation.

This is a vast and sprawling time scale, which specifically brings our time—that of the fifth cultural epoch—into relation with the letter to the Church in Sardis. There is much that can be and has been said about what this letter to Sardis expresses about the trials and mission of our time, but I will leave the reader to discover that on their own. Look to the lecture series above, but also to this lecture from Steiner’s very different cycle on the Apocalypse from 1924. I also highly recommend Valentin Tomberg’s meditations on this fifth letter to the Churches in the penultimate section of Christ and Sophia.

Now, in the lecture cycle referred to above (from 1924), Rudolf Steiner brings in a very different form of timing the Apocalypse, and places modern humanity at a different moment in the course of its unfolding vs the letter to the Church in Sardis. In this lecture he brings the seven seals into relationship with the time period between the Mystery of Golgotha and the Crusades; the blowing of the trumpets began with the Crusades, and has carried on into our own time. During the War in Heaven between Michael and the Dragon—he specifically points to the years 1843-44 as the height of materialism—the sixth trumpet began to blow. Rudolf Steiner indicated that the seventh trumpet would blow around the time of the rise of the Sorathic impulse in the year 1998.

Based on Rudolf Steiner’s indications, we can calculate a more exact rhythm for the unfolding of the four series of seven (letters, seals, trumpets, vials) in the Book of Revelation. The Mystery of Golgotha marks the time of the first seal, while the turn of the year 1843-44 marks the time of the start of the blowing of the sixth trumpet. Therefore, the time between April 3, AD 33 and December 31, 1843 can be divided into twelve (seven seals and five trumpets): 1810.74/12 = 151.58 years. If we multiply this number by 7, we come to the length of time covered by each of the four groups of seven: 151.58×7 = 1061.06.

From this we can see that:

The age of seven letters lasted from 1029 BC – AD 33

The age of seven seals lasted from AD 33 – 1094 (the first Crusade began in 1095)

The age of seven trumpets began in 1094 and will last until 2155

And the age of seven vials will last from 2155 – 3216

It is perhaps worth noting that the first King of Israel, Saul, was crowned in 1026 BC. From this perspective, the unfolding of the Book of Revelation shows us the journey from Jerusalem as an earthly royal city to the New Jerusalem, the “kingdom of heaven.” It is also worth noting that the end year of the Apocalypse from this perspective corresponds to the year 6977 in the Hebrew Calendar—very close to the end of a “week” of millennia (the year 7000, which corresponds to the year AD 3239). According to some traditions, the last “day” of this week of millennia will be the Messianic Age, a grand Sabbath and day of rest. This “day” would correspond to the years AD 2239 – 3239, to the heart of the period during which the Etheric Christ appears to humanity. For some scholars, we have already reached the “eve” of the Sabbath in the 20th century, and have technically already entered this Sabbath millennium.

In terms of where we are right now in Apocalyptic historical unfolding, we are in the midst of the seventh trumpet blowing, which lasts from 1994 through 2155. In the Book of Revelation, the seventh trumpet blows at the end of Chapter 11, and the first vial of wrath is not poured out until the start of Chapter 16. The events of Chapters 12, 13, 14, and 15 are therefore all part of our contemporary Apocalyptic story from this point of view.

Now, there is a third point of view that is born more from my own research, based on some indications from Robert Powell and Rudolf Steiner. They both have indicated that the War in Heaven described in Chapter 12 took place between 1841-79. Robert points out that the appearance of the woman clothed with the sun at the start of this chapter took place around the turn of the 18th-19th centuries. Rudolf Steiner indicates that the incarnation of the “Beast from the Earth” (Sorat) in Chapter 13 is related to the year 1998, whereas Robert tells us that this chapter has to do with the current incarnation of Ahriman in human form.

It seems to me that Chapter 12 is describing the fate of Europe in the 19th century: the woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars is the the Ideal of Europe, the threefold social organism of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. This was the heritage brought out of the revolutions of the end of the 18th century that could have been taken up in a new way through the impulses of Goethe, Schiller and Novalis. The dragon waiting to consume the child of Ideal Europe, who must be then whisked up to heaven: here we have the image of the life and death of Kaspar Hauser, the “Child of Europe.” The War in Heaven ensues…here we have the time from 1841-79, during which Europe was completed eclipsed by materialistic thinking. The casting down of the spirits of darkness in 1879 led to the dragon releasing the deluge to drown the woman: this is the rise of Marxism, Darwinism, and Bolshevism in the turn of the 19th-20th centuries.

Note that in the aftermath of this flood, the woman is given wings to fly into the desert for “a time, times, and half a time.” Here we have the tragic destiny of Ideal Europe post-World War I: this ideal is concentrated in Anthroposophy, but is unable to take hold in Central Europe. It flees “into the wilderness” until it is able to return home, after “a time, times and half a time.” We might bring this into relation with the start of humanity’s experience of the Temptations in the Wilderness, which according to Robert Powell began in the year 1929 and will last until 2047. It is this time period which more or less corresponds to Chapter 13, whereas Chapter 12 lasts from the turn of the 18th-19th centuries until around the year 1929.

Chapter 14 shows us the return of Christ in the Etheric. This image, like all the others in the Book of Revelation, is multivalent. It could refer to the year 1933, when Christ became available to human beings in elemental guise for the first time; or it could refer to the year 2375, when the Sun enters Aquarius at the spring equinox (the Sign of the Son of Man in the Heavens). It could also refer to Christ’s presence in the astral and devechanic planes (around the years 4000 and 6000 respectively). The image of Christ coming in the clouds bears all of these events within it in a seed form.

In terms of the timing we are working with in this case, we can bring this appearance of Christ in Chapter 14 into relation with the years 2133-2135. Robert points to the years 2133-4233 as the unfolding of the Ego of Christianity (after the unfolding of its physical body between 33-733; its etheric body between 733-1433; and its astral body between 733-1433). He also points to Christ’s appearance in the Etheric as related to a journey into the underworld: yes, Christ appeared in the Earth’s etheric aura between 1933-45, but then began a journey into the sub earthly spheres (demarcated by the exploding of the atomic bomb in the Trinity Test of July 16, 1945). By and large, Christ has descended below the level of our conscious awareness during this time. He descends all the way to the Mother below the nine sub earthly spheres in 2040, and then begins his re-ascent. He returns to the etheric aura of the Earth—as he was between 1933-45—in the year 2135.

So: we have Chapter 12 lasting from the turn of the 18th-19th centuries up through about 1929; Chapter 13 lasting from about 1929-2047; and Chapter 14 centred around the reappearance of Christ in the Etheric in 2135.

We can find a more specific timing for the unfolding of each chapter of the Book of Revelation by taking the year 3216 referred to above as an “end point”, and taking as our starting point September 30, AD 395. Why this date? In an esoteric lesson from 1911, Rudolf Steiner claims that the Apocalyptist time travelled to that specific date in order to write the Apocalypse (see here).

Now, between 3216.44 and 395.75, there are 2820.69 years. When we divide this by the 22 chapters of the Book of Revelation, we come to: 2820.69/22 = 128.21 years per chapter. Based on this timing, Chapter 12 corresponds to the years 1806-1934; Chapter 13 corresponds to the years 1934-2062; and Chapter 14 corresponds to 2062-2190. Note that according to this timing, Chapter 16—during which all of the vials of wrath are poured out—would take place between 2318-2447. While from the perspective Rudolf Steiner set out from in 1924 the entire time period from 2155-3216 is an outpouring of the vials of wrath (see above), when we incorporate this other perspective it would seem that the 24th-25th centuries will be of particular intensity in this regard. This aligns very much with Rudolf Steiner’s indications regarding Archangel Oriphiel, the Saturnine Archangel whose rulership extends from 2234-2588. See here, here, here, here, here, here in particular, but also this lecture and this lecture. It becomes quite clear from Rudolf Steiner’s indications that, rather than the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius” announcing itself as a time of peace, love and harmony, it is rather a time when the “Waterbearer” pours out vials of divine wrath upon a humanity that struggles to awaken from materialistic somnambulism. According to Steiner, it is only in the Venusian Age of Anael, which comes after the Age of Oriphiel, that a culture of love and beauty will truly be able to manifest itself (around the years 2588-2943). Our task as modern Michaelites is to train ourselves to “hold the line” through the coming times of darkness, compared to which our modern dilemmas are only bootcamp.

In terms of locating ourselves in time, we find ourselves in the second half of Chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation. In the first half of this chapter, the beast from the waters arises. Note that he rises up from the waters meant to drown Ideal Europe at the end of Chapter 12. We could relate this to the rise of both Hitler and Stalin in the 1930s, but in particular this is in reference to Stalin, who prepared himself to become the vessel for Ahriman in his next incarnation. The beast that was slain, and yet lived, and was worshipped by all the Earth refers to the militant form of Bolshevism that flowed through Stalin dying and resurrecting as a more cosmopolitan cultural Marxism in his next incarnation: Bolshevism presenting itself as kindness, openness, and progressivism, and therefore much more insidious.

According to Robert Powell’s research, Stalin reincarnated on February 5, 1962. Based on my own research, Ahriman entered the vessel of this individuality sometime in the “Parzival years” of ages 15-21 (somewhere between 1977-83), and had the greatest degree of free reign around 33 years later—centred around April 20, 2014, an Easter Sunday during which the exact same Jupiter-Pluto opposition occurred as the original Easter Sunday on April 5, AD 33. The “beast from the earth”, Sorath, arose in the year 1998. It has been largely his activity since that time—and for the coming decades—to bring about the rise of the “image of the first beast”, to which all must bow down. Notice that the beast arises from the earth, which came to the aid of the woman at the end of Chapter 12 by swallowing all the water. The Western powers were only able to stop Hitler and Stalin through the elaboration of increasingly draconian forms of technology (beginning with Alan Turing), which have since infiltrated into every aspect of our cultural life. These powers wish to create an “image of the beast”, in other words, to make it possible for the reign of Ahriman to extend beyond the lifetime of any one incarnation, and become a structural component of an increasingly technocratic culture. A prime example of this is the social credit system of communist China, in which one’s ability to buy and sell is predicated on whether one’s behaviour and speech aligns with what the Almighty State has decided is wrong and right. Modern woke and cancel culture, particularly around the issue of vaccination and vaccine mandates, tend to lead us ever closer to an apparently decentralised and pervasive world-wide governance spearheaded by the World Economic Forum that will manage the behaviour, speech, and even thoughts of everyone on the planet through economic incentives. In other words, global slavery of the masses of “deplorables” who need to be managed by a self-appointed aristocracy of experts who “know better.” The Mark of the Beast: this is the struggle of our age, up through the year 2062 or thereabouts.

So, if we want to locate our time within the events of the Book of Revelation, we will find it in the letter to the Church in Sardis; in the time of the seventh trumpet (Chapters 11-15); and most specifically of all, in the latter half of Chapter 13, during the implementation of the mark of the beast and the worship of his image by the beast from the earth.

Overall, however, what we are looking at when we see the Book of Revelation as culminating in the year 3216—whether from Rudolf Steiner’s perspective or from my own—what we may be seeing is the description of the gradual reunion of Abel with his twin-soul: the two Josephs becoming one, just as the two Marys became one in the year AD 44, and just as the Adam individuality reunites with his twin-soul in our own age. In the previous article, I noted Estelle Isaacson’s indications that the Abel individuality would develop into a kind of angelic being in the 4th millennium. Robert Powell, on the other hand, sees a gradual descent of Sophia into incarnation in an etheric body, culminating in the year 3574. I believe that the Abel individuality prepares herself to become this etheric vessel for Sophia through the Apocalyptic process which culminates in the year 3216. Perhaps in a future article we will look more closely at who the twin-soul of Abel may be, and what this further implies regarding this transformation in the 4th millennium.