From the earliest times, it appears that humans have realised the significance of the Sun as the source of light and heat without which we could not exist. Some peoples have worshipped the Sun directly, giving it the status of a deity, while many others believe their god(s) to be creator and controller of the Sun.
The first verse of Another Day refers to the ancient Egyptian concept that each day the sun god Ra sailed from east to west across the sky in his flaming Barque of Millions of Years, and then during each night had to make a perilous voyage through the Underworld in order to reach the eastern sky again by dawn. The ancient Egyptians did not take it for granted that the Sun would rise every day, fearing that one night the great serpent of the Underworld, Apet, would win the nocturnal battle against Ra.
The second verse is concerned with the more general possibility that entire historic epochs result from life on Earth being sustained by a series of Suns, the lifespan of each Sun concluding with a global catastrophe which destroys the civilisation it has supported. Many religions and cultures hold such beliefs and, intriguingly, many such beliefs have apparently developed entirely independently of one another.
The Aztecs and Mayans believed that they lived in the era of the fifth Sun, while Hopi Indian culture catalogues three previous Suns. Buddhist scriptures speak of seven Suns, each of whose eras are ended by a catastrophe involving one of the elements (fire, flood, etc), while Aboriginal traditions of Sarawak and Sabah tell that the present world is illuminated by the seventh Sun. Sibylline books speak of nine eyes of nine Suns, and say we are currently under the eye of the seventh.*
The Judaic story of Noah’s Ark and the Hindu story of Manu and the fish both tell of a previous era of mankind being destroyed in a global flood which is only survived by a single virtuous human couple who then commence the repopulation of Earth. The Hopi Indians also have the era of the third Sun (i.e. the previous to the current Sun) being ended by a world-encompassing flood, the two previous Sun eras having been ended by fire and an ice age.
As predictions of ecological disaster on the one hand, and wars between nations with nuclear and chemical capabilities on the other, grow increasingly ominous, the possibility of an impending global catastrophe is becoming frighteningly real.
We may be headed into the darkness, not knowing what lies there…
* information source: Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock
© Peter Ulrich 2005