New Civilization News: The Return of the King - The Beginning of the Kali Yuga    
 The Return of the King - The Beginning of the Kali Yuga2 comments
1 Jan 2004 @ 17:07, by Craig Lang

We just got home from seeing Return of the King. For Gwyn it was the first time she had seen it. For me it was the second. In the last couple of days, we had re-watched the first two movies, and I also looked up a few websites that talked about some of the ideas portrayed in the movie. One of the best is Jay Weidner's website: "Tolkien at the End of Time". It discusses a lot about the history behind the rings, and Tolkien's thinking about the current cycle of history where we presently reside.

In seeing the movie several times, particularly in the context of having just seen the first two again, alot of interesting connections fell into place - some of which had long escaped me. On his site, Jay Weidner discusses the idea behind the third and fourth ages of Middle Earth. In Lord of the Rings, Tolkien presents the tale of the close of the third age (the Bronze age), and the beginning of the fourth age (The Iron age, the age of Men, Power and Machines).

Jay states that this is the age of technology, when the mechanical and technological would be very much dominant over the spiritual and magical. It is the cycle known in Hindu mythology as the Kali Yuga. This age has lasted for the last 6000 years (recorded history), and is the final age of this great-cycle or maha yuga.

In the astrological lore of many cultures: Mayan, Babylonian, Indo-European, etc, the close of the present age occurs at the winter solstice of 2012. At this point, the cycle begins again with the Satya Yuga, or Golden Age. This is the time when Heaven and Earth become close together - and I suspect that it is at the core of most new-age thinking. At this time, humanity again lives as one in a deep spiritual communion with both Earth and Sky. It is the beginning of a long time of peace for all on the Earth.

The time at the close of each age, and especially the boundary between the Kali and Satya Yugas is said to be a time of tremendous upheaval - wars and cataclysms being their main characteristic. And based upon this model, we can imagine that the time of 2010 to 2012 will be an entertaining time, indeed.

In that time, I can imagine that the polarities that make up the Kali Yuga will intensify, until they come to a head at the close of the age. At the end of that time, or at some time around then, the transcendence or enlightenment occurs. Is this the time of the second coming? The time when all humanity (at least all that remains) Awakens? Perhaps. But how many will be here to see the answer?

Many of the prophets have described a fork in the road at about that time. On one path is the path of darkness - which many will choose to take. On the other path, is the road that leads to the light - which others will follow. And in the end, at the close of the age, the two paths diverge, with the path of light leading into a new world.

The Return of the King portrays a fascinating picture of Tolkien's composite of modern/western mythology, from Norse, Germanic and Celtic tribes, as well as a heavy influence from Hindu/Vedic cosmology. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, how accurate this model of history is, as we approach the end of the Kali Yuga - the Iron Age - the age of Machines and Power.

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2 Jan 2004 @ 00:39 by jazzolog : Metaphysics And Ethics
I guess the morality, in the films anyway, is what fascinated me most. I must say all the battles and special effects and multiple endings became tedious ultimately, but the cracking great story cannot be denied. In a terrific conversation over brunch last Sunday, we and another couple, the man being an Episcopal priest, considered why the heck didn't somebody just kill Gollum, particularly when Mount Doom was in sight---and the slimy twerp still kept acting up. The answer we came up with was because no one could let go of the Ring. Maybe Sam could have done it, but even he looked like he'd get seduced too, were it in his hands and up to him. Gollum remained necessary (to the plot) to get the thing back into the flaming underworld from whence it came.  

2 Jan 2004 @ 10:04 by craiglang : Gollum
Hi Jazz,
Thanx for the note.
In the book, it says a little bit more about that. At least that's if I remember correctly. It was 20 years ago that I read the books... :-)

My understanding was that Gandalf knew all along that Gollum would have a final role to play in the destruction of the ring. In the end Frodo would not have the wherewithall to actually destroy it at the key moment.

Thanx and Happy New Year,

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