Many of us grew up with the optimistic cosmic aspiration that we, as a planetary population, were entering the Age of Aquarius. These Leonine claims from astrologers and social commentators in the 1960s predicted a flowering of mass consciousness at the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. But exactly when is this cosmic event calculated to be happening. Astronomers date the Age of Aquarius to begin in 2597; and their dating of this is predicated on the International Astronomical Union (IAU) constellation boundaries. These boundaries were established in 1930.
This dating had the Age of Pisces beginning in 68 BC; which seems quite coherent in light of what was happening around the impending birth of Christianity and associated religions. Many astrologers disagree with the dating methods of the IAU and see the twentieth century as the kick off for the Age of Aquarius. Leaving behind cosmological sign posts for the possible evolvement of consciousness and simply asking the question- consciousness: is it evolving? It is a tricky question to answer, because it depends where you are sitting on the merry-go-round.
If you are one of the millions of starving and malnourished in Africa and other neglected places on the globe, you may have a very different viewpoint than those in the wealthy west; who identify themselves as part of the counter culture movement who claim spiritual awareness. Those who regularly practice yoga, as a form of exercise and meditation, eat organically and are concerned with the ecological welfare of the planet. Many spiritual masters have emphasised that you need to have enough to eat to survive before you start thinking about enlightenment.
If consciousnesses, as exampled by those who do yoga, meditate, care for animals and the less fortunate among us, and act in accordance with the principles of environmental awareness, is measured in numbers per capita on the planet, it is probably still a minority of people. Those living in poverty and victims of abuse by the climate, and by war lords, would easily outnumber those claiming heightened consciousness. So, consciousness: is it evolving? Not on the raw data indicating the percentage of the world’s gross population.
Consciousness, may, of course, stand apart from the characteristics and manifestations I have allotted it. Nobody really knows what consciousness is. Is the single human mind capable of going beyond its own sensory perceptions and resultant rationalisations? The spiritual traditions embodied in yoga and other mystical religious practices, would tell us, yes, we can become one with the cosmos. A cosmic consciousness can shower down upon us like flowers from the sky; if only we can open our third eye to the universe and step beyond the thoughts of the ego. Satori beckons like the reflected full moon on the surface of a lake at midnight.
I for one hope they are right!