The next tenet to take up is Cycles and Periodicity.

“By the study of this Law of Cycles we learn that natural progress of all kinds does not occur in one steady stream, like the rush of a railway train on a straight track, but on the contrary, it proceeds by a spiral or screw-like course, in which the same points are successively and continually reached on higher circles of existence. It might, perhaps, be compared to the flight of an eagle, which soars upward in circles one above the other, until lost to sight in the vault of heaven. An onlooker would apparently see a periodic return to nearly the same place, but it is clear that the soaring bird occupies a more distant position on every turn of the circle in its spiral flight upward.

“These cyclic periods are so well defined in our everyday experience, that we are apt to pass them by, without recognizing their importance. Every day is a cycle, in which we pursue almost the same round of duty, and every day is followed by a night or period of rest in which the circle of twenty-four hours is rounded off and completed. Month by month, in a larger cycle we find similar occurrences in our business and home circles. Year by year we follow the same round of occurrences in Nature, so that spring, summer, autumn and winter promote the well-being of each other, and minister to the perfect whole of which they form successive phases. All these are well known to us, but because by habit we have grown familiar with them, we fail to perceive that herein lies a great secret of the world’s advancement.

“By pursuing the subject we may discover that the Law of Cycles rules every phenomenal experience in the world around us, that it governs even our states of passing happiness or misery, and rules also what men call life and death. Thus the continuous growth of Nature and of all beings is divided and punctuated by successive periods of rest and activity, or, to express it more completely, by rounds of birth, growth, subsidence and rest.”

— C.W., from the article The Laws of Cycles


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Is there any controversy in regards to this idea?  Is it not accepted in all circles, philosophic, religious and scientific?


The only place we seem to get arguments in regards to the universality of cycles is with cycle of human birth, death and rebirth.  Most of the modern world does not acknowledge this as a cycle.  Everywhere else cycles rein supreme.  This incongruity alone should cast some doubt on the linear outlook on the life of man.


From the Secret Doctrine:

(b.) The Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane; periodically “the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing,” called “the manifesting stars,” and the “sparks of Eternity.” “The Eternity of the Pilgrim”† is like a wink of the Eye of Self-Existence (Book of Dzyan.) “The appearance and disappearance of Worlds is like a regular tidal ebb of flux and reflux.” (See Part II., “Days and Nights of Brahma.”)

This second assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow, which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of nature. An alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and without exception, that it is easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe.


From Mr. Judge's articles entitled:

The Sandhya and Sandhyhamsa referred to in the quotation taken from Isis Unveiled are respectively the twilight and the dawn, each being said to be of the same length and containing the same number of years as the first or golden age — i.e. 1,728,000. It is in strict correspondence with our own solar day which has its twilight and dawn between day and night.

In going over the figures of the four ages, a peculiarity is noticed to which I refer at present as merely a curiosity. It is this:

The digits of Satya Vug 1. 7. 2. 8. added together make 18; those of Treta Yug 1. 2. 9. 6 make 18; those of Dwapana Yug 8. 6. 4 make 18; while those of Kali Yug 4. 3. 2 sum up only 9; but if those of the grand total of 4,320,000 be added together they make 9, and that with Kali give 18 again. 1 8 is a number peculiar to Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, and the poem has 18 chapters in it. If the three 18’s and one 9 found as above be added together, the result will be 63, and 3×6=18, and if added make 9, and 18 added gives nine. If we multiply the three 18’s and 9 produced from the different ages, we get 5. 8. 3. 2. which, if treated as before, give 18 again. And in the process of thus multiplying we discover a recurrence of the three eighteens and one 9, only inverted, as: The first 18 multiplied by the second one gives 3. 2. 4, which added results in 9; 324 multiplied by third 18 gives 5. 8. 3. 2, which being added gives 18; and the product of the multiplication of 5,832 by 9, which is the result of adding the figures of Kali Yuga, is 5. 8. 4. 1, which on being added gives 18 again. Now, as the last of these apparently fanciful operations, let us add together the results gained by multiplying the figures which were obtained during the various steps we have gone through and then adding the results.

The first figures are 1×8 = 8.
The second 3x2x4 = 24.
The third 5x8x3x2 = 240.
The fourth 5x8x4x1 = 160.
These added together give 4.3.2,
which are the digits of Kali Yuga.



From Mr. Wadia's Studies in the Secret Doctrine:  The Law of Cycles

To enable us to understand the interrelationship between man and the solar universe in which he lives and of which he is a part, let us consider — without going into particulars — the correspondence between the movements of both.

Our earth as a planet of this solar system has three movements — it rotates on its own axis, completing it in 24 hours; it revolves around the sun, completing it in 365 days; it participates in the movement of the whole solar system as it goes through the sidereal cycle of a little over 25,800 years.

The diurnal cycle may be regarded as corresponding to the daily experiences of the lower personal self. The routine of waking and sleeping is, of all of them, the most fixed for the human body, which has to be fed, exercised, cleansed periodically. Habits may vary but the sleep and waking periods are almost the same for same classes of human intelligences. The weeks of seven days, each forming the Lunar and the Solar months, affect the personality. Just as tides and ebbs of the ocean on earth are affected by the movements of the moon, so is our lunar body affected by the lunar cycle. Then there are the lunar and the solar years, with their seasons. The yearly cycle may be regarded as corresponding with one incarnation of the Individual Ego, every new birth being analogous to a new year. Lastly there is the sidereal cycle which may be regarded as corresponding to the whole cycle of evolution of the human jivatma.


I think this is describing the concept of time without using linear concepts.  This view, in fact, seems more correct than the linear view of time.  The Law of Cycles is really the law of change; growth and evolution imply change and, hopefully, improvement.  Nothing in this word lasts forever and it is for this reason that we must not let our desires and aversions get the best of us because whatever we desire or hope to avoid will eventually come to pass or will eventually end. 


Jeffrey I enjoyed your post of taking an abstract idea and connecting it to the human predicament.