The Second Epoch started in Babylon several thousand years ago and is now in its biggest and best (maybe last) Golden Age that will eventually crumble into a dark age.
Whether that collapse happens a few decades from now, or in a few centuries or in a few millennia, probably depends on the choices we humans make.
Not just big choices made by people in power… choices that lead to climate change, rising sea levels, weapons technology, overpopulation, or drug abuse spreading around the globe.
But especially the little, personal choices, noble or savage, that we all make as we walk the Earth and interact with each other.
- Noble choices inspired by honesty, love, trust, decency, and desire to serve others, all help to enhance, strengthen, and advance the Golden Age.
- Savage choices provoked by deception, fear, suspicion, selfishness, and desire to acquire more-more-more, all stress the foundation of world civilization and cause the entire structure to decay from within, bringing us ever closer to the dark age.
We’ve all got a part in it.
Meanwhile, we today have all been born into the grueling conditions of the Second Epoch, which include:
- A predatory world where life kills life,
- Noble-savage dispositions that help us to survive and to flourish (or to succumb and to perish),
- A penchant to have lots of sex, hence lots of kids, and
- Short lifespans.
We’ll start our exploration of life in the Second Epoch with that last item on the list.
In the big, cosmic picture, the lives of us humans today are fleeting.
- Ethereal beings have timeless lives spanning many millions of our years.
- When we die and awaken at level 3, we might enjoy a casual life in paradise while a thousand years pass by quickly on Earth.
- Hindus think of a Day of Brahma (God) as 4.3 billion years.
- We humans, by comparison, are lucky to live 100 years.
Not only do we have short lives, but we spend nearly half of those lives getting up to speed… adapting to family life, making friends, learning about our sexuality, encountering problems and dangers and making mistakes and learning how to deal with it all, going to school, getting exposed to a wide range of human knowledge to see what resonates with us, trying to decide what we “want to do in life,” maybe dabbling with this job and that job, maybe learning at some point that we have “a calling.”
Whatever the case, growing up is about half the struggle of a lifetime on Earth, (as described recently by Richard Rohr in a couple of different ways):
- The first of two life tasks: 1) building a container or identity by strengthening the ego, then 2) filling the container with life experiences, whether nobly or savagely.
- The first stage-and-a-half of a 3-stage journey from 1) order (being loved and protected) to 2) disorder (as we go out into the unruly world), then finally to 3) reorder (as we detach from worldly dramas in preparation of moving on).
So, what forces shape us as we grow up? Experts have narrowed it down to four (the percentage of influence of each factor is just my best guess after doing a lot of digging):
- Parenting (about 15 percent),
- Heredity and genetics (about 20 percent),
- Environment, especially the media (about 25 percent), and
- Other unknown forces, [which I’ve come to believe are mostly spiritual (about 40 percent)].
I explored this in another article, so the following is just a summary.
Modern experts often refer to four parenting styles that can help shape their kids’ attitudes and futures. Here are those styles, along with some common terms we often use to describe them.
It’s easy for parents to take findings like these too much to heart. Especially if their young children or grown children are having problems, it’s easy for parents to blame themselves. Fortunately, more comprehensive studies that consider environment, genetics, and other factors lift most the burden from parents’ shoulders. Turns out, their parenting didn’t have all that much to do with it.
Imagine a river that has a factory dumping chemical wastes into the water. Fish upstream of the factory are healthy and normal, while fish swimming downstream are exposed perpetually to the chemicals. Downstream, the fish hatch, live, and die in a toxic environment. Toxic living is all they know. They have cancer and other diseases, and if we could psychoanalyze them we’d probably find them stressed, depressed and frustrated.
Like a polluted stream, human environments can be subject to all sorts of toxic conditions, such as:
- Overpopulation and its resulting famine and disease.
- Poverty in urban communities of unattached, testosterone-driven men and broken homes.
- Widespread alcohol and drug abuse, foul language, promiscuous behavior, and violence… and popular media that glorify them.
- A nomadic (for example, military) childhood in which kids have to adjust to new peer groups wherever they move, always starting at the bottom of the pecking order.
Heredity and Genetics
Identical twins, separated at birth and placed in very different families in very different cultures, grow up to be alike in many ways, suggesting that parenting and environment are sometimes less important than the genes we inherit from our parents.
Studies have also found that children can grow up essentially the same regardless of whether they go to daycare or not… whether they are “only-children” or have brothers and sisters… whether they’re circumcised or not… whether their mothers work or stay at home… whether their parents have a conventional or an open marriage… whether their conceptions were planned or accidental… and whether their parents are of opposite sex or same sex.
Geneticists have isolated several genetically acquired qualities of kids:
- general intelligence,
- openness to experience,
… and maybe even…
- susceptibility to nicotine, alcohol, and other addictive substances,
- musical and artistic talents,
- athletic agility, and
- attractiveness and charisma.
Heredity can play a big role in these human qualities… but there seems to be something even bigger at work behind the scenes. Think about your own siblings and siblings in other families. How similar or different are they. While the qualities listed above are largely inherited, they’re not often distributed evenly among siblings. There’s something else at work here. While these qualities are somewhat inheritable, studies have found that about half of the differences in personality, intelligence, and behavior come from something beyond genetics… something in our around our world that the experts cannot figure out.
Whatever that mysterious influence is, it is not shared by siblings.
So, of all the many complex forces that influence kids growing up, what’s the big 40 to 50 percent that the experts can’t get a handle on? Obviously (to me), it’s spirit… a subject that’s generally taboo among social scientists and other behavioral researchers. Here are some of the spiritual influences on kids:
- Souls reincarnate, bringing the personalities, dispositions, and artistic inclinations from their previous lives into their new lives. Reincarnating souls bring their karmic assets and liabilities from previous lives. If they neglected their soul purpose in the previous lifetime, they may try again in this lifetime. If they lived a life of poverty in one lifetime, and if they were especially kind and generous with what little they had, wealth might come easily to them in the next. (Read more about reincarnation… )
- Ethereal beings (angels) sometimes choose to incarnate as a learning experience for themselves and for other ethereal beings close to them. These angel-incarnate children are sensitive and wise beyond their years… and they often choose to die at a young age rather than prolong the noble-savage rigors of terrestrial living. (Read more about ethereal beings incarnating as brilliant children…)
- People who spend a lifetime excessively attached to worldly thinking and worldly things will often remain stuck near the Earth after they die. Instead of detaching from the Earth and moving to finer realms of spirit, they remain in a dense spirit body and move in and out of our world as “ghosts.” They’re often troubled and confused, and they often latch on to carnal bodies, including children. At the same time, spirits from finer realms often come close to protect certain people (especially children) from troubled souls on the earthplane, whose confused thoughts and unnatural compulsions would otherwise boil over into the minds of unprotected children… confusing and perhaps shaping the kids’ thoughts, words, and actions. (Read more about spirit attachments…)
The best way to minimize the presence and impact of troubled spirits in kids’ lives is to keep children immersed in love, moral teachings, and other noble human behavior… at home, in school, and in society. That way they resonate with and attract finer spiritual beings. It’s a simple rule, and it’s been the teaching of every great religion and spiritual tradition throughout human history. Any form of abuse or treatment that instills fear, guilt and shame in children begins to open doors to the darker realms of spirit.
The more we learn about spirit, the more we begin to see the profound influence which invisible beings inhabiting the various spiritual realms can have on our lives. (More about the spirit realms… )
My afterlife research over the past 25 year has convinced me that spiritual influences can have a more profound effect on children’s personalities, talents, thoughts, words, and actions, than do the influences of their parents, teachers, environment, and genetics.