The 12 Manifestations
Map of the Evolutionary Ages
"In order to grasp the unity underlying the magnificent order of the universe the capacity must be
cultivated to view man, the solar system, the galaxy, and finally the whole of the universe as one being.
One must come to see that in the rhythms of the Earth and those of its inhabitants, the very same
movement and the same order and goal are seen as in the entire body of the manifest Divine."
Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Gnostic Circle, P. 22-3
"The Map of the 12 Manifestations holds
the key to understanding the order and organization of both ancient and
In past millennia, wisdom traditions divided their secret knowledge into two distinct categories, the lesser and the greater mysteries. "The lesser mysteries," available to a wider spectrum of the populace, dealt with mysticism, the secrets of the mind, psychism, and certain divinatory techniques which together resembled an early form of esoteric psychology. "The greater mysteries", which were taught under a seal of secrecy and only to initiates who had risen through the ranks of the lower knowledge, dealt with the most coveted secrets of Time and Space. Of these two eternal principles, Time was regarded as the greatest mystery because it contained the secret of a sacred and eternal order, the realization of which became the structural basis for an organization of all human knowledge.
For the ancient mystics, a glimpse into the core of time would have been an awesome and almost inexpressible spiritual experience. And they usually described what they ‘saw’ in profoundly mythic and archetypal terms. But, given variations for time and culture, their vision always culminated in a 'circular cosmological symbol' which described periodic cycles of time and through them, the order of the evolution. It was a master mandala which man could use to find his place in the unfolding pattern of history. Unfortunately, many of these passages have been misinterpreted, as in this curious text from the book of Ezekiel.
"...And I looked and behold a whirlwind came out of the north. A great cloud and a fire and out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And every one had four faces and every one had four wings. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a Man, [Aquarius] and the face of a Lion, [Leo], on the right side, and they four had the face of an Ox, [Taurus] on the left side and they four also had the face of an Eagle, [Scorpio]. Their appearance and their work was as if a wheel within a wheel; as for their rings, they were so high they were dreadful and their rings were full of eyes, round about them four. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went with them for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels..." Book of Ezekiel, Chapter 1
With the advent of the Evolutionary Avatars and their unveiling once more of these eternal truths, we are able to read these occult texts in a entirely new light. Moreover, they have taken up these ancient truths and have carried them forward in a new and more integral design. With this integral view, we can appreciate that Ezekiel's vision of "...a wheel within a wheel." corresponds to a circular view of history, like the "Wheel of Brahma" with its ever repeating cycle of creation ending in 'Pralaya', or a great periodic destruction.
Sri Aurobindo found this circular view of evolution to be incomplete, just as the more modern secular view of endless linear progress. In the "Life Divine", he proposes that the procession of human history follows a 'Spiral', which contains something of both the circular and linear movements but which goes beyond these to imply an ordered and purposeful evolution. According to Sri Aurobindo, the wheel of Brahma rotates forever, but it does not turn in the same place; its rotations carry it ever forward.
While Sri Aurobindo gave us the overview of his Supramental Time vision, the details of this forward moving spiral of time were set forth by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, in the "Map of the 12 Manifestations". This 'Map of the Ages' holds the key to understanding the developmental scheme of history and the organization of ancient and modern civilization. In her Supramental Cosmology, Ms. Norelli-Bachelet reveals the parallels between the life of the individual and that of the collectivity by showing the Time Spirit as the principal determinant of both.
In The Gnostic Circle, p. 18, Norelli-Bachelet writes: "In order to give the proper understanding of the movement, the Map is drawn in a spiral, since this is the motion in space of the universe, reflected in the very structure and movement of our galaxy. Then, each of the sections of the spiral corresponding to a quarter of the Circle is given a number, going backwards, or clockwise, through the spiral as the precession of the equinoxes moves. These are called the "Manifestations". When they are all numbered we find that there are twelve, and if we count the number of zodiacal signs included in this triple spin, there are found to be thirty-six in all. In this manner we find that our spiral is really a reproduction of what some astronomers and archaeologists consider the oldest existing astrological documents on Earth, the 'astrolabes' of Mesopotamia, which as yet they are unable to decipher.
This 'Map of the I2 Manifestations', as we have termed it, becomes dynamic when we add to it the factor of Time, and this is accomplished by the Precession of the Equinoxes. It takes 25,920 years for the Precession to make one complete round of the Circle, or to pass through the twelve signs of the zodiac once, taking us through four Manifestations. The completion of the entire three circles on the spiral takes then 77,760 years (3 X 25,920), and this we call one 'Great Circle'. A full period for the development of a civilisation would be approximately this amount of time. That is, the seeds planted in the first Manifestation would take close to 80,000 years to bear the intended fruit. Thus, as we enter the final round in any given Great Circle we know that the point has been reached where the civilisation is nearing its culmination and its destiny is pressing to be fulfilled.
By knowing the date of the beginning of the Age, or the '0' point of this great cosmic clock, we can insert ourselves into the Wheel with great precision and, moving backwards through the signs with the aid of all the sub-influences of the zodiac, in particular the individual degrees of the circle, or what the Indians call the trimsamsa, 360 in all, the influence for any given year, month and day, and hour even can be known.
It has often been suggested that an ancient civilisation called "Atlantis" existed between 50,000 to 80,000 years ago. This mighty and apparently advanced civilisation reached a peak and then suffered the inevitable decline. There has been much speculation as to the reasons for the decline, some believe that because of incorrect use of occult knowledge the forces of destruction turned back upon the society and tremendous natural catastrophes began, finally bringing the total disappearance of the civilisation and the submergence of the continent into the waters of the Atlantic.
There have been many theories put forth regarding Atlantis, and Lemuria, another legendary civilisation, but as yet nothing precise and accurate has been found. It is a fact, however, that as archaeologists and scientists advance in their knowledge and probe with greater skill through the strata of time, they come closer and closer to the conclusion that not only is our civilisation much older than has been believed, but that long before ours came into being there may well have been civilisations which existed, flourished in a manner undreamt of today, and then were apparently completely demolished. Obviously scientists do not care to publicise such facts or give them too much credit, because man as he is presently constituted prefers to believe he is the sole and only possibility for humanity to evolve any further, and his ignorance of past accomplishments seems to be a necessary ingredient for his present evolution.
Up to the present point it appears that for various specific reasons knowledge of the past would have hindered the effort needed to pull the evolution forward. In like manner, a clear knowledge of the future would also have hindered the development. In order for the knowledge of past and future to be beneficial and not harmful for the evolving race, it is necessary that a new capacity awaken in man, one which allows him the vision of the totality which will in turn show him the rightful place of Creation and Preservation, as well as Destruction, in the true scheme of things.
In man's present condition he cannot have this knowledge because he abides within the ignorance. With the dawn of a consciousness of Truth, it will naturally become easier for the entire race to learn of its full being in Time, without this resulting in an obstruction of the work that is to be accomplished. In fact, we are approaching the point where ignorance is now the obstacle, where ego is the element of disintegration, and mind is the organ of the perpetuation of falsehood. These must now be erased and surpassed if the race is to move into its rightful place in the unfolding of the Manifest Divine. Once, and for a long, long time, it was necessary to be limited, because limitation was the element safeguarding the gestation of the Light. This being born, the veils can finally be shed.
We are now in the 9th Manifestation, equivalent to the ninth month when the child is born. On this position of the three-fold spiral, it is the time of the birth of that which was conceived some 54,000 years ago. But it must be pointed out that If man would know the past and future, he must be master of himself. If the time has come when the race as a whole is being given certain knowledge hitherto reserved for the enlightened, it is a sign that mankind on a collective scale has reached the point where it must become another more perfected species. If certain truths are handed to man it is because he must now become responsible and act in accordance with this greater knowledge."