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Understanding the Onslaught of Recent World Events

February 6, 2020 The Sybil’s final song concludes at last; The great Cycle of the ages begins anew. Justice now returns, and Order reigns. A New Humanity from heaven now descends, And on the Earth the New Man now is born. His coming brings the iron age to its close, And the age of gold shall rise in all the world. –Virgil, c. 40 B.C.[1] As long foretold, the epoch of Creation’s childhood is receding like the ebbing tide, and the sparkling new Aquarian age now begins, its course guided by the hand of the great Kalki Avatar. The signs of these “end times” are inescapable in the outer world, and spiritual understanding is constantly being ratified outwardly by the staggering onslaught of world events. Consider these examples: [1] This stanza from Virgil’s Fourth Eclogue was viewed in the Middle Ages as a prophecy of the coming of Christ. The line rendered here as “The great cycle of the ages begins anew” (Magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo) is the derivation of “novus ordo seclorum”, literally “new order of the ages”, adopted as the motto on the Great Seal of the United States in 1782. At the beginning of my tenure as murshida in 2001, the destruction of the World Trade Center shattered the belief in the inviolability of the American continent. Thereafter, America will assume a new place among the nations of the Earth. The Twin Towers had symbolized the apex of America’s material mastery and global economic hegemony. But in the new order of life the world’s material wealth is to be shared everywhere by all. The violent fall of the towers was an essential step in preparing the ground, quite literally, for new patterns of life to emerge. I have often described the palpable change I found in the city’s spiritual atmosphere when my work took me there in later years. Walking in an unfamiliar downtown area, threading my way through a maze of temporary fencing, scaffolding, and construction equipment, I nonetheless had the unmistakable experience of visiting a holy site that radiated extremely high divine energy. Later I discovered that unbeknownst to me I had found my way to “ground zero,” where the towers had fallen. Today the subtle atmosphere of the entire city is more joyful than it has ever been, and the people of that great metropolis are bathed daily in the invigorating delight of its amplified and refreshed spiritual energy.

Ground Zero 2001


In London in 2002 during Britain’s exuberant four-day celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee, Buckingham Palace suddenly and inexplicably burst into flames. This august castle, the age-old symbol of royal supremacy and the ceremonial center of the British Empire, was once thought impregnable. The institution of monarchy, too, had long been considered sacrosanct. But the new great Cycle is reweaving the very fabric of social and political life. In 1940, as the flames of war burst out in Europe, Meher Baba told his close ones that in addition to the long, long Age of Empire, neither democracy nor totalitarianism would remain. “Both will go,” he said,[2] as we look forward to forms whereby natural leadership emerges from among the enlightened vanguard of man, reminiscent of Plato’s Republic, which many of you may have studied in your college philosophy course.


Buckingham Palace fire, 2002


In Paris last April 15, at the start of Holy Week, fire ravaged the Cathedral of Notre Dame, destroying the spire and most of the roof. Built over two hundred years, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Notre Dame has survived revolutions, invasions, and two world wars as the quintessential symbol of the luminous spirit and extraordinary organizing intelligence of France. The cathedral is a masterpiece of art and architecture, a crowning achievement not just of the genius of France, but of all Western art. Even the thought of its loss was inconceivable. A massive fund-raising campaign is underway, although restoration is estimated to take at least a generation.


Fire at Notre Dame, 2019


Now in 2020, in Vatican City, an opulent nineteenth-century Vatican palace just off St. Peter’s Square that was to have been sold as a luxury hotel has instead been transformed into a refuge for the homeless. Pope Francis has proclaimed the four-story Palazzo Migliori to be a “palace for the poor.” Its sixteen bedrooms can house up to fifty guests. Volunteers at the shelter provide hot meals for the guests, help them look for work, and aid them with literacy and computer skills. When the shelter was opened last November, Pope Francis inaugurated the venture by declaring, “Beauty heals.”


Pope Francis shares a meal with homeless guests and volunteers at the Palazzo Migliori


Meher Baba said: It is through divine love that the New Humanity will tune in with the divine plan. Divine love will not only introduce imperishable sweetness and infinite bliss into personal life, but it will also make possible an era of New Humanity. Through divine love the New Humanity will learn the art of co-operative and harmonious life; it will free itself from the tyranny of dead forms and release the creative life of spiritual wisdom; it will shed all illusions and get established in the Truth; it will enjoy peace and abiding happiness; it will be initiated in the life of Eternity. — “The New Humanity” Discourses (6th ed.), Vol 1, 25. All things of the moment To which generations kneel Dissolve in the Ocean’s tide, Only Love, Only love is real! In His Unbounded Love, Murshida