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The Ancestors

Category: Mystic groups and systems

 

The Ancestors is a term used by many indigenous and ancient civilisations to describe the mystic groups and systems that existed in ‘prehistory’.  The Australian Aborigines use the term Ancestors, but so do the Native American Indians.  So the first point of reference should be to define what we mean by prehistory.

Prehistory (the three-age archaeological system)

The word pre-history to an archaeologist means a time when written records were not kept, or more correctly none that have been found by archaeologists.  Given that this period covers a time of millions of years, early man might have used computers, space ships and levitation, and have been well advanced for all we know, as any records would have long since been eroded into dust and soil.  In a frivolous vein, the first ‘humans’ might have found homo sapiens to be such an unpleasant neighbour that they got in their space ships and left.  Once we get to the time of homo sapiens, the significant events affecting these hunter gatherer people were remembered.  In general the memories of ancient man appear to have been extremely good, and all ‘history’ was captured using myths and stories. 

 

The classification of early man and his ancestors by archaeologists is all via fossil records and found artefacts.  Given that practically the entire planet is inaccessible [underwater] or has not been searched for fossil records, and also will exclude all artefacts that are perishable, this is not an entirely satisfactory way of finding out about one’s forebears, but it is one way and archaeologists have divided pre-history into various eras – Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic, followed by the Metal ages. 

The classification is based on a mixed bag of criteria – implements used [stone tools, axes, flint etc], activities practised [hunter/gatherer/farmer] and use of metals [copper, bronze, iron etc].  Needless to say, by using numerous sorts of criteria for classification, the actual periods of each age cannot be pinned down, leading to much confusion.  Given that even today we have a world of hunter gatherers, farmers, pottery makers, iron makers, copper makers, bronze makers plus more, we appear to be living, even now, in every age of man simultaneously.  Here, however, is what archaeologists use:

Paleolithic

Prehistoric Cave painting from 35000 years ago

During the Paleolithic age more than one species of human existed.  Homo and Homo erectus, for example, co-existed.  Neanderthals were a subspecies of human in the genus Homo which became extinct between 40,000 and 28,000 years ago. Thus they spanned the entire Paleolithic era.  They were closely related to modern humans, having DNA over 99.5% the same.

  • Lower Paleolithic  [Homo, Homo erectus] - The Lower Paleolithic (or Lower Palaeolithic) spans the time from around 3.3 million years ago,  to between 400,000 and 250,000 years ago. 
  • Middle Paleolithic [Early Homo sapiens] - The Middle Paleolithic broadly spanned from 300,000 to 30,000 years ago. There are considerable dating differences between regions.
  • Upper Paleolithic  - The Upper Paleolithic dates to between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago, before the advent of agriculture.  The Upper Paleolithic has the earliest known evidence of organized settlements, in the form of campsites. It also marks the emergence of cave painting, petroglyphs, carvings and engravings on bone or ivory.

Mesolithic

Altamira Caves, northern Spain. Upper Paleolithic

Mesolithic (Greek: μεσος, mesos "middle"; λιθος, lithos "stone") is the culture between paleolithic and neolithic. It has different time spans in different parts of Eurasia. It was originally about 10,000 to 5,000 BC, but material from the Levant (about 20,000 to 9,500 BC) is also labelled mesolithic.

Neolithic 

Unlike the Paleolithic, when more than one human species existed, only one human species (Homo sapiens sapiens) reached the Neolithic.   

The Neolithic  began about 10,200 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world and ended between 4,500 and 2,000 BC.  From this point there is a shift from hunter gatherer societies to farming, and the establishment of permanently or seasonally inhabited settlements.  It produced the "Neolithic Revolution". It ended when metal tools became widespread (in the Copper Age or Bronze Age; or, in some geographical regions, in the Iron Age).

Once settled, and with a more assured supply of food, the whole organisation of man and his beliefs shifted, with men taking control via power groups.  Thus this was the time when land acquisition started, wars whose objectives were to gain land and the creation of cultures consisting of more and more people – and armies.  There was also more specialisation in work.

Patagonia

The settled nature of people meant that many new inventions were created – the wheel, and with the planting of the first cereal crops - the plough, the domestication on a larger scale of work and food animals [dogs, sheep, goats, cattle, pigs] and the tools to manage them, pottery, development of cursive script, mathematics, and astronomy.  Early Japanese societies and other East Asian cultures used pottery before developing agriculture.

Chalcolithic – Copper Age

The Chalcolithic or Copper Age is defined as a transition between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age.  The archaeological site of Belovode on the Rudnik mountain in Serbia, for example, contains the world's oldest securely dated evidence of copper smelting at high temperature, from 5,000 BCE

Bronze Age goddess figurine driving cart with serpents,
wearing necklace and having golden staring and
bulging eyes

Bronze Age

  • Near East (c. 3300–1200 BC)
  • South Asia (c. 3000– 1200 BC)
  • Europe (c. 3200–600 BC)
  • China (c. 2000–700 BC

The Bronze Age is a time period characterized by the use of bronze, proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization.  An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere.

Iron Age

The Iron Age is the period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. Iron production is known to have taken place in Anatolia at least as early as 1200 BCE, with some contemporary archaeological evidence pointing to earlier dates.

Overall

Very roughly speaking therefore using the system above, Ancient Man, The Ancestors, lived from around 3.3 million years ago to 4,500 BC.  As writing emerged during the metal ages, and distinct cultures started to emerge, each of the mystic groups that developed have their own entry.

The Seven Ages of Man

The Shaivite spiritual system bases the entire classification of the ages of man on their spiritual development – not something one can obtain from a fossil record.  The tradition was handed down by word of mouth from age to age and then eventually recorded.  It has also been subsequently astronomically calculated based on the cycles and what is called the Great Year.

Manvantara

 a shape shifting shaman

Each type of human or species is given an ‘Age’ and altogether there have been seven ages of Man so far.  The duration of a human species is called a Manvantara and each Manvantara is further divided into Yugas.  Each age is preceded by a dawning, followed by an advance and then there is a gradual decline into a sort of twilight age – the fourth Yuga, after which that species is removed, usually by catastrophic geological events such as floods, the shift of the earth’s axis, the movement of continents and great seismic events.

The Ancestors and time

The appearance of each archetypical human is a product of the Great Work.  Once the Archetype has been created, it then becomes part of the plan.  This idea is partly captured in the Greek myths where each race of gods does battle with the previous race to take over.  The difference is that with the Shaivite description there are no battles as such, it is a planned transition spiritually, that just appears like a battle of almighty proportions on earth, because it is accompanied by such major geological events.

Venus of Willendorf

Each species is derived from an Ancestor – an archetypical model – and the age is supervised [spiritually] by actual Ancestors.  Thus there might have been a Neanderthal Ancestor, or a Cro-Magnon Ancestor and a Homo Sapiens Ancestor. 

For an Ancestor supervising the whole evolutionary process, a human year might, to the ancestor, look like a day.  So, for example, one hundred human years appear to any Ancestor god like 3 months and 10 days and 3,030 years of man make one year for the these Ancestors – also known as the Seers or witnesses and so on.

The duration and lineage of the Ancestors thus corresponds to the evolution and predominance of a particular race.    Each Manvantara of four yugas lasts about 60,487 years.  But the length of each yuga within a cycle is not constant.  The Ancestors are as follows up to the present:

  • First Manvantara - the interval of Swayambhu Manu, started in 419,964 BC
  • Second Manvantara - the interval of Swarochisha Manu, started in 359,477 BC
  • Third Manvantara - the interval of Uttama Manu, started in 298,990 BC
  • Fourth Manvantara - the interval of Tapasa/Tamasa Manu, started in 238,503 BC
  • Fifth Manvantara - the interval of Raivata Manu, started in 178,016 BC
  • Sixth Manvantara - the interval of Chakshusha Manu, started in 118,529 BC
  • The present, seventh Manvantara - the interval of Vaivasvata Manu started in 58,042 BC
Aborigine ancestors with halos

Man does not end, but there are new spiritual archetypes – the future Ancestors waiting in the wings ready to be implemented and these are predicted to be

  • Eighth (Future) - Savarni Manu
  • Ninth - Daksa Savarni Manu
  • Tenth - Brahma Savarni Manu
  • Eleventh - Dharma Savarni Manu
  • Twelfth - Rudra Savarni Manu
  • Thirteenth - Raucya or Deva Savarni Manu
  • Fourteenth - Indra Savarni Manu

Dating the eras recognised by the Shaivites has its complications, simply because in this huge timespan the number of days in our year has not been constant, the rhythm of the earth’s rotation has not been constant and the axis has changed.  But calculations have been made.  Bearing in mind the figures and dates can only be very very approximate this is what we have as a result.   

The Seven Daughters of Eve

Professor Bryan Sykes is a leading world authority on DNA and human evolution.  After plotting thousands of DNA sequences from all over the world he found that they had clustered around a handful of distinct groups. In Europe there are only seven.  He describes this in his book The Seven Daughters of Eve.  Apart from the striking coincidence of the number of Manvantaras being the same, it raises the rather interesting question – did small numbers of each age of man survive each catastrophic event to pass the baton on to the next age.  In effect, the Ancestors were very real as well as archetypical.

The flood and the Ancestors who escaped, according to Hindu mythology

Yugas

 Taking the present Manvantara – Vaivasvata - of the seven ages we have had so far, we find that the four Yugas and their dates are:

  • Krita/Satya – starting around 58,042 BC, the age of accomplishments and wisdom and the Greek Golden Age.  The Golden Age is one in which people were semi-gods.  Created by the immortals who live on Olympus, these humans were said to live among the gods, and freely mingled with them. Peace and harmony prevailed during this age. Humans did not have to work to feed themselves, for the earth provided food in abundance. They lived to a very old age but with a youthful appearance and eventually died peacefully. Their spirits live on as "guardians".  From then on it was all downhill.
  • Treta – starting around 33,848 BC, the age of the three ritual fires, rites, sedentary pursuits around a hearth [including story telling] and the start of the use of fire literally to help in agriculture and creative tasks such as pottery.  The Greek Silver Age
  • Dvapara - starting about 15,703 BC, the age of doubt, the birth of religions and man loses his inherent sense of the divine reality and grows away from natural law.  The Greek Bronze Age.  Men of the Bronze Age, according to the Greeks were hardened and tough, as war was their purpose and passion. The men of this Age were undone by their own violent ways and left no named spirits; instead, they dwell in the "dank house of Hades". This Age came to an end with the flood of Deucalion.
  • Kali – starting about 3,606 BC, the age of conflict.  The prediction is that it will end with almost total destruction of the present archetype.  The Greek iron Age.  According to Hesiod “During this age humans live an existence of toil and misery. Children dishonour their parents, brother fights with brother and the social contract between guest and host (xenia) is forgotten. During this age might makes right, and bad men use lies to be thought good. At the height of this age, humans no longer feel shame or indignation at wrongdoing; babies will be born with grey hair and the gods will have almost completely forsaken humanity: there will be no help against evil”

The end, absolute end of the Twilight of Kali Yuga is estimated to be …..  2,442AD [give or take a year or two – I jest].  The Twilight of the Kali Yuga therefore would have started in about 1939.  The last traces of this present humankind will have disappeared in 2,442.  So as I write this we have, as a species, about 426 years to go.

Yugas-Ages-based-on-Sri-Yukteswar

According to Shaivite descriptions the present set of four Yugas - Manvantara – Vaivasvata – commenced with a great flood which probably took place around 60,200 BC.  A lesser flood, dated in Sumerian writings at around 3000 BC heralded the beginning of the Kali Yuga.  It is rather intriguing to note that when Kepler did his calculations on when the world began and  found it to be Sunday 27th April 3,877 BC he had more or less identified, completely independently, the beginnings of the Kali Yuga, the fourth and current age of this version of mankind.

The Nephilim of Genesis and of many myths and legends were simply the descendants of the previous Manvantara, who survived with the objective of passing at least some knowledge on.

Where is it all leading?

The writers on this subject are apt to be incredibly optimistic and view the whole evolutionary cycle of man as some sort of progression, spiritually and materialistically.  But as we can see from the above, as we live towards the end of the Kali Yuga in the age of ignorance and conflicts, we might be a little rash in believing this.  Ours may be the only age where we have actually created the very seeds of our own destruction.  Climate change creating desertification, loss of species and eventually floods.  Maybe the seismic events won’t be needed.

 

It is also wrong to assume we are some sort of culmination of perfection.  We are just another increment that’s all.  A sort of ‘let’s see what this one can do before it self destructs’.  Neanderthal man actually had a bigger brain than us and, as you will see from the observations, was an extremely advanced creation.  There may have been civilisations far far in advance of ours, that have simply crumbled away under the sea and under our feet, and no trace remains.  Perhaps the film makers who devised Star Wars simply have the gift to see the past before it was obliterated.  We can assume nothing, because fossil records in reality show us nothing. 

All we do know is that the current indigenous peoples – the Australian Aborigines, the Native American Indians, the shamans and other mystic groups held the Ancestors in awe.  An indication that perhaps they were far far in advance of us spiritually.  But of course once one is happy and spiritually perfect, where does one go next? 

And the Great Game Player has no fun at all.

Ascent of Man/Descent of Man?

The idea of the ascent of man is based on a number of false assumptions, leading one to wonder whether we have been witnessing a descent driven by a goad of conflict and difficulty that makes us continually create, to try to make things better.  In effect, it is co-creation achieved via the stick and not the carrot, presumably because the carrot didn’t work:

  • Writing/language – the invention of the written word and books is said by intellectuals to have been a major advance.  Has it?  The availability of the written word has produced a sort of verbal abstract diarrhoea in people’s thinking and their writing and confusion often abounds over definitions.  Symbols, pictures, myths and very short sentences are much more effective [and I well understand the irony of this]
  • Materialism is progress – we may be more comfortable [may] but we may have also lost touch with what is important in life.  Possessions tend to create a feeling of ‘mine’ and ‘yours’ which divides not unites society.
  • Artefact creation is progress – an archaeologist never finds the songs, the music, the art, and the other largely perishable things of previous peoples.  Perhaps Neanderthal man made love in a way unimaginable to us and from which unimaginable pleasure and joy resulted.  Possessions and artefacts may have originated as a sort of compensation for larger pleasures lost, the ability to actually fly [levitate], the ability to converse with the gods, the ability to live with all nature in complete harmony.  Maybe the garden of Eden was real
  • The creation of complex social structures represent progress – most social structures exist to achieve control over others – whether positive or negative.  One only needs to control if the sense of unity with one’s fellow beings and the planet has been lost and the self becomes more important than the whole.  The complexity of our social structures is a reflection of our state of degeneration, not of our advance. 
  • The creation of organised religion is the first stage of civilisation -  ancient peoples did not have religion because they did not need religion, they were permanently in touch with the spiritual world and guided by it, they needed no intermediary. 

God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform!

References

The information about the Shaivite yugas etc came from Alain Danielou and his book While the Gods Play.

 

Observations

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