Years ago when I spoke on this subject a young man thought that I was referring to motorcycles. Having a secret passion for Harley-Davidson's, I briefly indulged him and then segued back on topic; life is The Great Ride, all by itself.
In my opinion, and there are those who will argue this point, all life has four distinct cycles. Some will say that there are seven cycles, while others will argue for six. To me, four cycles is the correct number. But in any event, regardless of the number, cycles involve the rise and fall, the evolution and devolution needed to bring about the renewal of life. This ebb and flow can be seen throughout the Multiverse, indeed throughout all life. For the sake of brevity and simplicity, I will concentrate on the human cycles and with your implied approval, will reference some of nature's cycles as analogies.
In mankind's earlier days, our ancestors only knew of two seasons, or cycles: summer and winter, unless you were trying to run from an Ice Age. Gradually, two more seasons/cycles evolved within their consciousness with greater understanding of their environment. A warming period after winter and before summer became known as spring. The cooling period after summer and before winter became known as Fall or, autumn (I did say simple!). The mythologies from all humankind are full of stories about how these seasonal cycles came to be. These four seasons/cycles last approximately 91 days each (again, simplicity). The myths also describe other things, like birth, growth, experience, and death in association with the four seasonal cycles. This four seasonal life cycle of nature is the life cycle of man.
Depending on your age, you already have experienced at least two of your life cycles (birth/spring and summer/growth with some experience). For some folks like me, we are in the autumn of our lives. We still enjoy growth, experience, and vitality but just not at the faster rate that we had in our "summer." Wisdom has tempered our adventures plus, our bodies cannot take the beating that we gave them when younger (when young, you think that you will live forever, you're invincible, bullet-proof, etc.). As a personal example, I can still run five kilometers a day, just not as fast as I could thirty years ago. My heart and lungs are excellent but sometimes my bones say, "Ouch!" It is the way of life for all beings but we still can be productive in the autumn of our lives and well into our winter. When young people show their disrespect for older people it really pisses me off; those youngsters have not fallen enough on their faces to understand that wisdom comes with age. Well, I have pulled myself off topic, like that young fellow from long ago tried to do with motorcycles. That said, I propose that we have four cycles of life that range from birth to death, just like all of nature. I also propose that we have four YEARLY cycles that happen every year that we are alive.
The four yearly, or annual cycles begin on your birthday and last for 91 days; add 91 days to your birth date and you have your first cycle. At the end of your first cycle, add another 91 days to the last date and so on to complete your personal annual cycle.
The first cycle is very much about birth and growth in a similar way as it is to spring. This is the best time for you to launch a project and to influence other people to be beneficent towards us. It is during this cycle that you are the most charismatic and attractive to others. If you allow it, you can really shine in this cycle.
The second cycle is equivalent to summer - growth. What was "planted" in spring will flourish but, that depends on how well you have planted - your project or goal. This is a great time to travel, especially if that travel involves the furtherance of your project/goal. That travel also can nourish you spiritually.
The third cycle is similar to autumn. You begin to harvest, or at least you should, what you've planted. Take note to the word, "begin." When you "plant" or, for that matter, do anything, you will reap that harvest, good or ill, throughout your entire lifetime; it always will come back to you. Also, this is the period of the year when people may be critical of you. Much of that criticism may not be constructive and will happen towards the end of your third cycle.
The fourth cycle is the equivalent of winter - cold and death; but that is not a bad thing. Those folks who treated you poorly and other things that no longer serve you, fall away in one manner or another. It is almost like the dross being smelted off of precious metal. It is a great time for rest, reflection, and planning for the future, just like the pagan/heathen holiday of Yule (which is celebrated at the beginning of the seasonal winter). During this cycle, give thanks and allow yourself to laugh at yourself and others. You will discover your friends, enemies, strengths and weaknesses.
In the past I have been asked, Terry, why just four cycles; why not six or seven. My answer to that question now is the same as it's always been and will not change. All of nature has four cycles, so why should we humans be different, in that respect, from nature? We are a part of nature, not outside or above it. The Judeo-Christian Tradition (really all three of the Abrahamic faiths) has put man apart from and out of nature; this one false belief is reason for so much pain. Hey there Pilgrim, don't you think that it's time for humanity to get back in sync with the rhythm and harmony of life, nature, and the life-force within all? Life is The Great Ride - buckle up and enjoy it.
Copyright @2012 Terry Unger
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