Reconciliation : A Policy for the New Age
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed, by Resolution A/61/L22, the year 2009 as the International Year of Reconciliation. Reconciliation is a process which requires spiritual understanding as it goes beyond the type of pragmatism that rests in the careful calculation of causes and consequences. Reconciliation needs to be seen not only as reconciliation between two persons or groups but as reconciliation for something. It is not merely the repair of the past, but reconciliation is a bridge to the future. Reconciliation has to do with how antagonists construct a new future together. How are we going to understand and start developing this common future.
One important early step is to understand that humanity is in a process of transition into the New Age, the Age of Aquarius. The terminology comes from an astrological interpretation of history: every two thousand years, humanity moves into a new age in which civilization is predominantly influenced by the qualities of the particular astrological sign. Thus we are transiting from the Piscean period, which inaugurated the Christian era (symbolized by the fish symbol used by the early Christians) to the Aquarian Age, symbolized by the bearer of water.
It is widely held that the year 2000 was the start of the Age of Aquarius in which the emphasis will be on human unity and an atunement to the Higher Self. As a reflection of this, the UN General Assembly had already designated the year 2000 as the International Year for the Culture of Peace and the first decade of the Age of Aquarius, 2001-2010 as the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World.
This recognition by all the governments of the world through the UN General Assembly of the culture of peace as the guiding theme of the Age of Aquarius means that for the first time all the cultures of the world will really be “in the common era”.
In this period of transition from the Piscean period to the Age of Aquarius, there is an increase of ethnic and religious violence world-wide. Such ethnic violence is likely to be of short duration, but it must be taken seriously. We have seen recent examples in Gaza, in Darfur, in Sri Lanka. The Piscean period was one in which identity was formulated largely in a we-they framework which led to a group identity. This was a necessary transition from even earlier periods — the Age of Aries and the Age of Taurus (of which the ram and the bull were the symbols). In those ages, identity was limited to that of the village, and there was little cooperation even among people belonging to the same ethnic group.
In the Age of Aquarius, identity will be formed in atonement with the Higher Self and an identification as citizens of the world. There will be a fading away of ethnic, national and specific religious identities. However, in this period of transition, there are people who fear such a loss of identity. They are fearful of the future and thus who want to build walls around themselves. We need to understand that such divisions along ethnic, national and religious lines are the last embers of the Piscean period — the twin fish going in opposite directions. We must understand the anguish of those tied to the fading forms and aid them in their transition.
Thus reconciliation is a crucial rite de passage in which we leave behind the old group forms, washed away in the healing waters of Aquarius, the water bearer. The past actions of each individual continue to be part of the challenges facing the soul of each person through the workings of karma. However, the consciousness of belonging primarily to a limited group will fade as we increasingly discover the patterns which connect, the wholeness underlying the diversity.
Rene Wadlow, Representative to the UN, Geneva, Association of World Citizens