This constitutes one of those ideas that cyclically return to the mind of men, as an undying nostalgia for an idyllic childhood or a paradisiac past.
The Golden Age: the eternal return of paradise /
Unlike positivism or Christianity that conceive history as a lineal progression, numerous cultures have imagined time as a cyclical process, based on their comprehension of the rhythms of nature. In the same manner that every year has a spring, summer, fall and winter, it is possible to conceive more ample time cycles —as the platonic year, the Yugas of India or the Mayan baktunes— that obey a cyclical principle of growth, decay, death and regeneration.
The Greeks believed, at the dawn of their mythography, that the first age of the world had been an idyll in which a golden race of men had lived in communion with the gods and nature. This according to Hesiod, had been presided by Chronos (Saturn), a god that currently is represented as a cruel, taciturn, and decadent old man, but that was apparently associated at the dawn of history with the yellow colour of gold. After Zeus and his generation of gods took over, the version where Chronos and the Titans represented the realm of disorder, moral chaos was transmitted, the command was then given to the goddess Astrea, representing Justice. The conquerors’ vision however seems to be filtered by a more civilised vision of the world in which the primal erotic energy has been exorcised from the map of reality. The golden age (“aurea aetas”), or age of Chronos, as the ancient texts read, was a time in which there was no need for rules or laws and people behaved correctly and accordingly to their own nature —and immorality did not exist.
European pastoral literature returned to the Greek idea of the golden age in an idealised region that they referred to as Arcadia (a word that makes allusion to the origin). In this Utopian land, governed by Pan, the faun-god, existence was found among simplicity and ambrosia, sheltered by the abundant bosom of nature.
The cyclical transformation of history narrates that when we transitioned into the silver, bronze and iron ages, a periodical degeneration was presented, following the precession into the equinoxes— that according to astrology alter the domain of the celestial influences.
Not only did the Greeks conceive the origin as the age of utmost harmony and refinement. In China the acclaimed Huangdi “Yellow Emperor”, the first of his dynasty, is an emblem of a golden age of sorts, which is also symbolised through the colour yellow — a link that goes back to the origins of history among gold and paradise.
It is hard to reconcile the concept of the golden age with the theory of evolution —unless it is simplified and an “ignorant bliss” is invoked, where the primitive is understood as an asset and every culture the degeneration of an origin closer to divinity. None the less, both mythology and the esoteric argue the existence of a cyclical time, whose remote horizons are slowly vanishing from mankind’s memory. Following that train of thought, lost continents such as Atlantis or spiritual regions such as Shambhala could be considered a part of history. Perhaps a history in which the memories of men and gods are diluted, parting from the same distant dispenser: paradise.paradise, utopías, Fantasy Lands, golden age, inspiration