Re: Kali Yuga & A Duel Of Wits!
I'll do the best I can to share what I've understood from the Vedas and Upanishads about time cycles and human consciousness. You had also asked for information on "mantra shastra" in a previous thread, so I'll also make an attempt to answer the same.....
In ancient days, man's ego was much closer to the Spirit. Hence, no "technology" was required as all desires were instantaneously fulfilled just by being one with Spirit. Man was also very close to nature and the temptation to "rule over nature" did not arise, since fulfillment of desires was spontaneous. However, the temptation to wander away from Spirit created an inferior consciousness, and now man started using mind power to fulfill his desires (instead of being in tune with Spirit). It was during this period that people spent a lot of time studying the cosmic rhythms and patterns, and also the effect of sound-forms in the surrounding environment. The knowledge acquired in this domain was then systematized and led to the synthesis of "mantra shastra", which translates to the "science of sound-forms". A mantra is nothing but a sound-form, and constant repetition of a mantra creates changes in one's consciousness. The best and most superior use of mantras involves the application of this knowledge to raise one's consciousness and restore unity with the Spirit. (It might sound like using a thorn to dislodge another thorn). However, mantras are only neutral tools, as much as nuclear energy is a neutral tool. We can use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, such as production of electricity, and for destructive purposes as well. Similarly, mantras can be used for both good and evil purposes, and the law of karma operates in exact precision here....what goes around comes around.
However, man's ego was still beset with temptations, and this caused him to wander farther away from the Spirit and even lose touch with mind power. That's how the need for technology came about, and today we can see how technology in the wrong hands has led to disastrous results.
The "default" consciousness of man goes up and down in cycles. These are designated as eons/ages/Yugas, and the ancient scriptures talk about 4 Yugas: Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga. Satya Yuga was the highest age when man's consciousness was united with Spirit. Treta Yuga was the mental age, where mind power was prominent. Dwapara Yuga was the age of technology, which is probably when the Egyptians built their pyramids along with other technological wonders of the ancient times. Kali Yuga is the darkest age, when even technology is almost dead, and man lives like a despicable slave. However, we are currently on an upward path, and once again, have entered Dwapara Yuga. The twilight period of Dwapara Yuga is also getting over now, and according to the equinoctial time cycles, it will end in 2011-2012; then the Dwapara Yuga will come in full force. Currently we are witnessing a battle between the Kali Yuga forces and Dwapara Yuga forces, which is why there is so much chaos around us. But all this will end with the higher consciousness emerging victorious. This will also put an end to organized religions that have lost their true essence and degenerated into mind-control tools.
As long as we are embodied as individual beings, we are never completely free from the "temptation". The final end to this temptation-force comes only when the individual being casts off everything perishable, and becomes one with the pure Spirit. (This obviously involves death of the physical life, and also the death of the mind.) Even in the higher ages, the temptation still existed; however the force of the "default consciousness" of the age made it easier for man to overcome the temptation. Today it is much harder, but the brighter side is that even a little spiritual effort bears great results. And even today we have many liberated beings in various parts of the world.
I hope this has been helpful enough. I'll write more on this later. Enjoy your quest for truth!
\"Fly with the eagles or scratch with the chickens\"