By Alberto Monroy
he word Aeon in its more modern usage connotes agelessness, or to that effect, an immeasurable period of time. And whenever we speak about the nature of time, we have to make a distinction between what is eternal, and what is infinite, or what is ephemeral versus what is infinite. But first, let us refer to the assigned meanings throughout history and how the word was adapted by both religions and mythologies.
To begin, let’s take the Greco-Latin meaning of Aeon in that it refers to age and vital force, and herein find the distinction to the Aeonic attributes capable of distinguishing the value of an eternal, vital, ageless and divine hypostasis.
For the Gnostics, the Aeon represented a Hyparxis, a true being, a divinity, a monad, the αἰών τέλεος (the Broadest Aeon), a reality above generation from which no plurality partakes, but stays in isolated divinity in the Pleroma (fullness, divine space), networked and bordered gilt into the vault of a transcendent sphere.
According to the Marcosians, the Aeon is song and number, highly associated with the principle of emanation (the pouring song of creation and the dyad of multiplication of number and musical chord), the celestial song or chorus of celestial bodies as the golden choir of angelic hosts.
The Aeon was also called Arxei in Greek, meaning, beginning, or source, archetype and exemplar. And this signification posits the Aeon as a Monadic body: a oneness in charge of superintending a host of many particulars, which we would then call “their offspring”.
These offspring not only subsist according to the Monad, but also perfect it in unity, for as they – being many – are still one in unity, they offer their uniqueness to the whole. They thereby enhance the Monad in a sort of completion of providential conclusion, just like a father would be improved by the personality of his son, and perfected in this same unity.
The divinity in the word not only has its origin in the Fullness of the Gnostics, but also in the universals of Plato, and in the dual worlds of the Christians, when they use the word Zoe as life synonymous with Aeon: where “in the next Aeon” refers to the next Vital world (from earth to heaven); but also in a sense of preservation of the highest purity throughout the ages.
Thus, in our perception of a degenerative flow towards a futurity that bodes ill tidings and mishaps, we can only hope to attain the same vision of the older civilizations, to whom nature whispered the council of virtue.
For Plato, the Aeon represented the energized monad, the ideal, the pure intellectual, the universal. Thus, within its particularity is provided the knowledge and will power of its predecessor, and through this assignment, carries out its divine role and gifts as to the particularity of its originality to its multiplicity. And because it provides for that which it cares, and knows the workings and roles of the particulars and seeks, in agreement with a divine law to always rectify towards Good, denying all reality of evil, and only in the identification of evil as a necessary shade: it aspires to the true desire. The Aeon is ever a work of Good.
Let us then, return to our rightful place along the chain, and once there, engulfed by effulgence and divine knowledge, come back to earth as wise, awakened, virtuous heroes. Not invaders, but accomplices to the many Aeons – forces of Good, already holding power in the universe under the dictate of the One.
We are told that the Aeon is a period of existence, a lifetime, a completed cycle or an established hint of a truth going so far into the material sphere — the world of matter or “the image of time” – as the definition of past events and stories told by the power of Time (Xronos). We must learn to observe that the Aeon proper, in the phenomenal world is but the conclusion of this spinning out from the monadic value — from that highest principle (the source) to the many (particulars), and all tied to providence.
In understanding this, it shall become apparent that the Aeon, as related to the chain of emanation that trails in its wake, is the enactment of time and its defined conclusion, must come about through the ongoing cycle of its exercise. Thusly, what we dare call an Aeon, when using it to qualify a period of time, is a time-monad and its providential energizing as cause (Time being that cause), its generational, establishing, teleological and final-causality, is a principal.
When the mind has lost its grasp of a by-gone “period of generation” it can only sigh and say: it’s been Aeons… and so all look to the past and suffer from “Golden Age Syndrome”. Something within tells us that in Aeons past all was better, more primordial, or more… true. We are lured into a past age and yearn for the golden gleams of a pristine vision or ideal. But in this longing, we are also disempowered to feel the providence of the Now.
The time aspect of the Aeon then, regarding eternity, can be seen as a reality sustained in Beingness; immutability at rest with the ability to move other bodies and sustain a reality with a teleology of providence. The ephemeral aspect of the Aeon can only be spoken of as the resulting movements of a higher form, mainly time. And that is to say: that its power contrives being supercharged by a divine will to its highest performance in the act of love and devotion towards that, which in turn is energized by its particularity, and its uniqueness.
People refer to long periods of time as Aeons, hinting of a divine quality, in displaying the shepherding of a higher power of intellect. And that’s because it is only during great periods of extension can we have an inkling of the vast power of the contriver. Hindsight is 20/20. So, when events of generation are infixed inside a lapse of an Aeonic contrivance — the work of the time-monad – they can then be contemplated, for being embedded into that periodicity defines the images of archetypes now resident in the world: they glow as hints of perfection, as ghosts that whisper of a greater eternity beyond. We must only bend the ear to their mysterious voice…