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The Throw of Dice

A Rite of Conversation for Kali Yuga


I, Lydia of Damascus, am a gnostic initiate born in Kali Yuga who brings into the world a set of teachings specific to this age. I will now reveal a rite of conversation for the rainbow tribes of the Endtime. The aim of this rite is to engender enlightened consensus, thus to bring coherence and lucidity to all discourse and communication among the tribes.

The Four Yugas

In Hindu tradition, the Yugas or cosmic ages are compared to throws of dice. The forward (past to future) numerical progression of the Yugas is 4, 3, 2, 1. 4321 is a cosmological norm that appears in many calculations of stellar and geological cycles. For instance, 72, the norm of precession in the Zodiac, times 60, the basis of sexagesimal measure, is 4321 less 1 digit. In other words, 4321 years is 60 rounds of precession. The age of the earth geologically is 4.321 billion years. Among the ancient sages of the Ganges and the Himalayas, the length of the Ages follows this progression:

4 Satya Yuga, golden age of truth
3 Treta Yuga, the age of heroic challenge
2 Dvapara Yuga, the age of division and transcendence
1 Kali Yuga, the age of degeneration and delight

Hindu Puranic tradition—preserved in the teachings of Shri Yukteswar, guru of Paramahamsa Yogananda—attributes immense, inconceivable spans of time to the Yugas. For instance, it is generally said that Kali Yuga, the shortest of the four, lasts for 432,000 years! But the key to this progression is not in the quantities of time involved, but in the proportions of time transpiring. Coming ahead from Satya Yuga, each age grows proportionally shorter. Time shortens and speeds up, as it were. Assign any quantity of time to this progression and see how it works: say, 10 years for Satya Yuga. 4 is the base unit of Satya Yuga, meaning that it consists of four units of 2.5 years. Treta Yuga is then three units: 7.5 years. Dvapara Yuga is 2 units, 5 years. Kali Yuga is 1 unit of 2.5 years. This example shows how the Yugas, or any designated time-units, grow proportionately shorter as they advance.

Four-Eyed Dice

In the Levantine Mysteries, we understood the throw of dice metaphor in a different way. From Persia we received a secret teaching that was not recorded in Puranic literature or anywhere else, to my knowledge. The sly and playful Persians, who invented chess, brought gaming to a high level of sophistication. They regarded "the throw of dice" of Hindu tradition as a device to illustrate the downscaling of time through the Yugas—just a teaching gimmick. But they revealed to us another meaning in the metaphor: how the throw of dice is a directing mechanism, a tool for cueing. The winning game of Kali Yuga is enlightened consensus, they patiently explained. The best conversations will follow the rules of a game, a ritual of play-talk. With great difficulty, we understood this rite of conversation to be an opportunity in the far future. That future moment is now unfolding.

There is something odd about the Kali dice game, you will note. Usually, a pair of dice consists of two cubes. A single cube is a die, and a die has six faces. Each die is inscribed with six pips or spots, 1 through 6, on its faces. But the die of the Yugas has only four marks of diminishing pips: 4, 3, 2, 1. Our Persian allies instructed us to picture a special die for Kali Yuga, designed with four faces marked with spots and two "blank" faces. The design of the Kali dice was reserved in a secret oral teaching that was not to be revealed openly until the last centuries of Kali Yuga, the time we are now entering. The game of four-eyed dice was to be introduced at the time when communication between human beings in all realms became precarious and problematical. At the very moment when it would be most crucial for people to talk about the essential matters and reach a consensus, chaos, digression, and incoherence would prevail.

The Persians advised us that the best way to converse under these conditions would be by gaming with the four-eyed dice. We ourselves did not try out this game in that time and setting, as the conditions for the game were not yet manifest. We realized the lesson that lay ahead: It matters not how much time you have left in Kali Yuga, what matters is how you gamble with the time left. A good conversation is a good gamble, worth the time to talk through. The throw of four-eyed dice will direct the conversation.

The Kali dice have six faces, of course, because they are made of cubes just like ordinary dice. The four pips go around four faces, and the remaining two faces, off to each side, are not actually blank. They lack pips but the design requires they be marked with the letters R and G. All throws of the Kali dice present a match of the sides of the cubes that show face-up: for instance, 1 - 1, 2 - 4, 4 - 4, 2 - R, 4 - G, etc. In all, there are twenty-one throws, twenty-one two-face permutations. 21 is the sum of the numbers 1 through 6.

Loose Talk

Bad conversation is a dominant plague in Kali Yuga. One of the worst perils of the age is loose talk. One particularly toxic form of loose talk is panic chatter and alarmism. People expend enormous energy pouring out an endless stream of verbiage to bring attention to the horrors of the age, the wrong-doing of evil-minded people, the destruction of nature, the machination of deceit and division, the insanity and non-sustainability of how we live. Alarmism is a disease, a verbal mania, and highly contagious. It is extremely addictive and those who perpetuate it find it hard to shut themselves up. Alarmist chatter serves nothing but self-appeasement, and feeds the empty pretense of knowing better, finger-pointing, busting the perpetrators on their game, etc. It clutters and disables sober and effective social discourse, and crowds out other, sane and viable forms of discussion.

I strongly advise mystics of the future, if you envision yourselves taking an activist role in the world to come, to renounce alarmist chatter. Totally and unequivocally renounce it. It is like debating architectural faults in a building that is crashing on your head. There is no accountability that can be imposed on anyone. There is no explanation that will save us from the consequences of human ignorance. It is too late to explain what went wrong for our species or blame anyone for the mess that implicates us all. The global collapse is already too far advanced for more insightful comments about it to matter in the least. There is no further analysis of our sickness as a species that can assist the healing of that sickness. We already know too much about what's wrong with us!

Alarmist chatter and pleading for accountability are totally futile, and a waste of time. Protest will rise to a horrific pitch of intensity as vast portions of the global population lose their means to survive and undergo the catastrophic collapse of materialism and consumer culture. Even while people are falling into chasms and drowning in floods, they will continue to protest, rave, chatter and argue about how it all happened:

Disordered by madness, the people of the Kali Age will meet death, falling into lakes, pits, or in impenetrable forests, or from hills or house-tops. While some will be as mute as corpses, others will be for ever on the chatter, and yet others will quarrel with their kinsmen and elders. Mahanirvana Tantra

Another form of loose talk is the mind-obliterating mass of information on the Internet. Electronic chatter carries tsunamis of alarmism—9/11 conspiracy theories, for one example. It pollutes the airwaves and fixates people in an anesthetic trance before their computer screens. Many people are convinced that they can sort out the information that will save them or get them through the ensuing catastrophe, but this is a dangerous illusion. Selecting the right and relevant information on the Internet is a gargantuan task that can never be completed. What you can get from the Net depends to a large degree on sheer luck, on what you come upon by chance.

At the end of Kali Yuga, social discourse runs all over the map and touches many points without reaching a coherent view of what is to be done, RIGHT NOW. The chaos of social discourse is more serious than the problem of selecting information on the Internet, because we are usually alone with the Internet, facing the computer screen in an induced trance, but in social settings we are among others, feeling a vital need to connect and identify the essential topics that will help us face the catastrophic breakdown of our way of life, enable us to pull together and join initiatives—yet who among you can say that you have reached such an enlightened consensus, even for brief moments? How often have you had the experience of focusing on what crucially matters for generous, dedicated people to pull together survive in this day and age? And in what situations? Such focus is extremely rare.

No Digression

Reflecting on the counsel of our Persian allies, we of the Antioch cell came to understand how the throw of the four-eyed dice would use chance to give direction to social discourse in the chaos and disorientation of Kali Yuga. In other words, the throw of dice cues participants into a conversation that moves toward an enlightened consensus. We appreciated this principle because in our cell meetings we drew straws from a clay jar to determine who would lead the current meeting. To foresee a method of initiating an intentional discussion without a leader was, we agreed, a stroke of genius.

More and more today and in the near future, when groups of people gather socially, the burning question will be, What do we talk about right now? What is worth talking about at this moment? How can we gamble the time we have now into a winning conversation?

Assume that no single person can initiate the right discussion for any moment. If no one leads the discussion, how will it evolve? What topic will come into focus? How will the conversation that is most relevant to group action for survival emerge and engender an enlightened consensus? None of this can be left to chance, you might say. The choice of subjects and the course of the conversations we must now undertake are too important to be aleatory, to be left to chance.

But what if it is precisely chance that can decide for us what we ourselves cannot decide?

Strange Attraction

The throw of four-eyed dice is a gnostic parlor game that takes choosing a topic out of the hands of any one individual. At the same time, the throw of the Kali dice frames the social discussion. It sets boundaries for each particular conversation for which the dice are thrown. No one in the group decides the course the conversation will take, but a direction emerges following the rules of complexity theory as the group responds to the cueing of the throw.

Complexity theory: A group of 80 people who begin to clap at random will coordinate their clapping within thirty seconds without knowing how they do so, and without individual intention. They will end up clapping in the same way that birds wheel and turn in massive flocks, often assuming figure-eight formations of ordered turbulence or "strange attraction." The game of four-eyed dice is a conversational ritual of strange attraction.

I, Lydia of Damascus, instruct loyally from my instruction. I would transmit to the world today the method of a conversational game for guiding social discourse, so that whenever people gather to talk in a group they can concur on the topic of their conversation and move toward enlightened consensus. This is the winning game in Kali Yuga, all the rest is either instruction or digression. This is the futuristic talk show with no host. The entertainment for many evenings when there is no artificial media to distract the tribes.

All that is required for this game are two factors: a shared intent to gamble with time and win an enlightened consensus, and the four-eyed Kali dice. This rite of conversation will require practice, as does any ritual or art. Basically, though, it is an utterly simple method that relies on receptivity, patience, and intuition in the participants. Members of a conversing group contribute in a cogent and appropriate manner, neither saying whatever comes into their heads, nor attempting to steer the discourse toward a favored topic. Everyone plays off the topic cued by the throw of dice.

The rite I am proposing here cannot be orchestrated, but it will, left on its own, assume a course toward enlightened consensus. The game liberates the group genius for a shared understanding. The trick is to try it and see. In Kali Yuga, more and more as each day passes, there is less and less time for people who gather together to talk digressively. On some days soon you will talk about water and nothing but water. On those days, you will obviously not need to throw the dice.

21 Topics

With six faces, four marked with pips 4, 3, 2, 1, and two "blanks" marked R and G, there are 21 throws, 21 topics to discuss on the way to an ever-growing enlightened consensus on how to get through the end of KaliYuga.

The first ten topics concern personal and communal relations:

1 - 1: "snake-eyes" sexual intercourse, attraction, propositions
1 - 2: mating, the ethics of coupling, taking vows
1 - 3: children, responsibility for the young, procreation, family
1- 4: group living, community units, shelter

2 - 2  tantric sex, initial stage of exploration
2 - 3  celebration of couples, rites of union, feasting
2 - 4  orgy or therapeutic ritual, massage, trance-dance

3 - 3: the triple flame, advanced tantric sex
3 - 4: education, community plans for learning, teaching           

4 - 4:  sacred community, dedication of eight-member cells

The two lettered faces of the Kali dice signify two overarching topics or framing issues: immortality, and the Gaia narrative, our planetary myth.

R stands for reincarnation, understood to be first-hand proof, not of immortality as such, i.e., deathlessness, but of something better: the survival of memory through death. Reincarnation will be a recurring topic in the best social conversation of Kali Yuga. It will be a subject of ever-increasing and ever-deepening fascination. It will not be a fantasy game, but a framework for moral enlightenment and instruction in compassionate living. Additional to their story value, tales of past lives can shift our understanding of immortality in a way no theory can. Such tales show vividly how "living to tell about it" matters more than living forever. They teach us to accept living again, rather than to wish never to die. As this understanding shifts, we will be able to master the Archontic delusion of immortality, a primary source of evil-minded madness on this planet. The Melchizedek syndrome (human cloning) and the cult of immortalism (cybernetics and artificial life) will come up with this topic and occasionally and require careful and sustained elucidation.

R - R the riddle of immortality and the Archontic delusion

The throw R-R is unique, presenting the Archontic fiction of immortalism as the focus of discussion. This throw may require specialist knowledge to orient the group to the Paternal Lie and religious delusions of the afterlife, etc. The remaining four throws with the R face present different ways to discuss past-life scenarios and evoke and evaluate material from individuals engaged in the act of serial remembering:

R - 1 self-generated legend, individual past-life episodes
R - 2 the recounting of another's legend, homage
R - 3 legends of ancient friendships, allies and enemies
R - 4 participation in a community in a past life, return of the tribes

G is for guidance, the second of the overarching topics of social discourse in Kali Yuga. Reincarnation and guidance are the paramount issues of the Piscean Age. They are represented graphically by the two Fishes, one leaping up toward Andromeda and the other swimming toward the urn held by the Manitou, the vision quest guardian of the wilderness, who may appear as a power animal. The ultimate guidance comes directly from Gaia-Sophia by communication in intentional trance, "instruction by the Light."

G - G Gaia mythos, the supreme framing myth that guides humanity

With the G-G throw, the topic for discussion is the Gaia Mythos, the long and complex narrative derived from the Sophianic vision of the Mysteries. One or more members of the group would then recite a part of the myth, or in some instances, a complete recital in synopsis. This discussion will also require some specialist knowledge of how the myth is constructed, commentary on the nine episodes, etc.. Improvisation on the Gaia mythos will an exciting and far-reaching activity of future self-sustaining communities and endtime tribes.

The other four throws with the G face invite reactions and comments on the Gaia Mythos, but carefully referenced in personal, first-hand experience of guidance—personal testimony of dreams, mentors, the deceased, tutelary divinities, dakinis and other guardians including angelic and interdimensional entities.

G - 1 guidance disclosed by personal testimony and example
G - 2 comparison of guidance stories, shared guides and guardians
G - 3 experiment in guidance by two people, monitored by a third
G - 4 active performance of teaching stories and lessons about guidance in theatre, dance, music, poetry, and ritual

R - G recital of personal myth, learned and enacted

The twenty-first throw is R-G, the recital cue, or throw of fate. This throw opens conversation to the topic of personal myth and transpersonal insight into self and others. It invites the recital of fate. Members of the discussion would describe the myths that guide their lives and define their personal face. They would explore how such myths connect them to the planetary vision of Gaia-Sophia. This is not a discussion of the Gnostic narrative itself (G - G), but of personal examples of learning and enacting specific myths, themes, and archetypes. This discussion can be assisted by the three-myth method, using Zodiacal images.

Without Prescription

I, Lydia of Damascus, offer this arcane teaching on the throw of dice with the explicit instruction to apply it not by orchestration, but by improvisation.

There is no prescription for how to behave in Kali Yuga. Certainly no sure-fire formula for spiritual attainment. Enlightenment is of the moment or not at all. As one gnostic diehard put it: "all your consciousness shifts into the moment, the moment that finds you seized in the struggle of momentous improvisation." There is no way any one person can orchestrate tribal or group activity toward an enlightened consensus, but the throw of dice can do it. The power of chance engages a superior, transpersonal element with the precarious force of human intent. The methods that will work best in Kali Yuga are the ones we invent and improvise ourselves, momentously. Hence the exceptional freedom of this age. Freedom to gamble with the moment.

Friends and allies who read these words, be clear that the throw of the Kali dice is not a time-tested method I have recovered from the past. The Persian magi who explained this rite to our cell never practiced it themselves. They knew it would come to be practiced in a future time, much later, at the appropriate moment. They only intimated its nature and application to us. I now prescribe this rite of social conversation with confidence, even though I have never tried it. Does this arouse your concern and suspicion? Do you think it wrong to propose an activity to others if one has not tested it oneself? Isn't the test of personal experience the basis for veracity and practicality in any realm of life?

My answer is: In all previous ages this is so, but in the special conditions of Kali Yuga the requirement of pre-testing does not entirely apply. This is the age without prescription, except by what emerges in the ritual of chance. There is no liberation from chance, and no liberation without chance. We are all equal before chance.

In the chaotic, maddening, and life-threatening conditions of the Kali Yuga endtime, improvisation will have to be carried to a high art. Imagine an obvious example, a water crisis: the members of the community will have to improvise a solution in the very moment the crisis arises. This will be so with many strategies of survival in the near future, and it is equally so for spiritual, artistic, esthetic, and mystical activities. I describe the throw of dice, but I cannot prove that this rite will work as I say it will. The proving is in the improvising. There are no authorities to follow in Kali Yuga. No one person chooses or leads the conversation for enlightened consensus. Authenticity of voice commands attention, or not, that is all.

June 30, 2008 Andalucia




Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2018 by John L. Lash.