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Gaming is the supreme metaphor for human behavior in Kali Yuga, especially in the last two centuries until its end in 2216 CE.  In the extreme condition of these times, any act or choice or venture that cannot be stated in terms of a game will not be either understood or mastered.  In Kali’s casino, just like any other, the house requires that you name your game and call your stakes. House rules, you understand. The requirements are normal.

Sure, but in Kali’s casino, all games that players might introduce are subsumed within her Game, the supreme gamble. So, there is a third requirement: know the rules of the house game that subsumes all other games. Since I am the house dealer in Kali Rising, it falls to me to state these rules.

The name of Kali’s Game is AMOR FATI. In Kali’s Game two things are at stake, and after that, many other things, whatever is brought to the game, whatever variations the players may introduce. Her Game admits many plays with all kinds of things to win and lose, but Kali herself, the proprietor of the house, offers two stakes: love and the supernatural.

In Kali’s Game you play simultaneously for love and for a connection to the supernatural. This double game is required of all players, regardless of what other gambles you bring to the casino. Let me explain why Kali makes these requirements.

Cosmic Cycles

Kali is a wrathful goddess who emerges cyclically, over and over again, as the final arbiter of the endgame of the human species. That is to say, she is the aspect of the divine power of the cosmos that decides the outcome of the human story. This story is a movie that gets played over and over again, like an HBO series, running serially one season after another. Each time it comes to the “last reel” or last show of the season, the plot-line that has been  carried through the season ends differently. But the endings are tentative, incomplete, with some elements of the story left open for the season to come.  Each movie or cosmic replay of the human adventure builds on the unfinished elements of previous movies.

Needless to say, there is no end to these movies, these dramas enacted in a myriad worlds.  As long as there is one thread remaining, one unfinished plot, one unfulfilled desire, one character whose fate is unresolved, another movie will ensue so that the unfinished elements of the story can be fulfilled, resolved, concluded. 

In the high rhetoric of Tantric cosmology, this process of endless replay and revision is called shrishti kalpana, SHRISH-tee KAL-pa-nuh: “creative replay of the residue of past worlds.”

Now, the gods are easily bored. This is a well-known truism among mystics and seers. They like the prospect of an endless HBO series of human adventures, developing season after season, and so they have set up the process to go on forever. Still, as much as they love the grand spectacle of endless movies, they do always get bored with particular episodes. Forseeing this boredom, they arrange the plots on a cyclic or relay mechanism, the cosmic ages. Stories end when the age expires, even if the story is not over. This way, the gods escape the risk of getting bored with episodes that do not end soon enough. 

There are many way to compute these cosmic ages, but the most elementary scheme consists of four cycles. Hindu legend from the time of Lord Krishna (3200 BCE) says that  the astrological advisors of the court compared these four ages to the four marked faces of six-sided dice. These marks are called pips. Normally, dice, which are perfect cubes, are marked with pips on all six faces. The dice used in this casino, Kali Rising, are marked on four faces only, with two opposite faces left blank.

The cosmic ages run in sequence from past to future, like this:

four pips: the best times, all around (Satya Yuga)

three pips: the better times, mostly excellent (Treta yuga)

two pips: the good times, but going bad (Dvapara Yuga)

one pip: the declining times, going from bad to worse (Kali Yuga)

Current opinion on the cosmic ages carries the hope of an ascending evolution through long cycles of time, with a breakthrough moment or planetary shift into an age of mass enlightenment. Hence the utopian expectations attached to 2012, the Maya endtime. This opinion is delusional. All philosophies of cosmic timing, from the Hindus to the Hopi,  assert a long decline toward a catastrophic end. Nevertheless, at the conclusion of the four cycles we return again to the “golden age,” the throw of four pips. The gods set it up this way, so that a new season of movies would commence with the highest possibility of all residual plots being fulfilled to the satisfaction of all characters in the stories. Such is divine generosity.


But this return to the golden age is sudden and miraculous, and cannot be directed or effected by human will. It must not be confounded with a quantum shift into global enlightenment during the last cycle, Kali Yuga. The movie just does not play out in that way. Ever.

Nevertheless, something extraordinary can happen in the closing centuries of the last age, Kali Yuga (NOW – 2216 CE).  An opportunity like none before in the previous ages now presents itself. In this final, fleeting moment, some human beings can play the cosmic game with the gods, as the gods play it, rather than remain blindly enmeshed in the stories that entertain the gods. They can actually enter the process of cosmic replay and gamble on their fate, not on human terms, but as the gods themselves, who invented the game, see human fate and play into it. There is no collective enlightenment at the close of Kali Yuga, but there is a selective engagement in the divine rule of play, Lila. LEE-lah.

Kalikas or devotees of Kali are those individuals who see this opportunity to play fate and dedicate themselves to seizing it. They put their stakes in Kali’s Game, AMOR FATI.

So, why does Kali make the requirement of all who enter this casino: to play fate and accept love and the supernatural for the stakes of the game?  It is difficult to imagine the supreme love and sublime benevolence in the intent of the wrathful goddess. Kali makes this requirement in order to offer a rare opportunity. Her Game, AMOR FATI, is her way of allowing exceptions to her treatment of humanity at large. Remember that her role is to bring down the curtain, to conclude the age designated by the throw of one pip, when life goes from bad to worse. The gods are bored with this spectacle of stupidity, deceit, and avarice, so they have pre-programmed it for a cyclic termination. Kali is the agent of that termination. She is the Goddess of Closure. But closure on her terms, uniquely. Not on mutual terms.  Not on human terms.

Kali’s view of humanity is not ambivalent, but it carries an ambivalent factor. On the one hand, Kali has this message for humanity:

Either you participate in my supernatural magic, including the magical power of love, or you are rubble, dust and ash on the charnel ground.

Make no mistake about it, Kali is not sentimental when it comes to the human brood. She is a loving mother who will nurture your highest desire, if only you know what it is, and starve you to death of every illusion. She will not feed delusion and ignorance. She will wipe out the human species by starving us of the pretentious make-believe that feeds our lives, but she will nourish us on real magic. She is the greatest of all witches, above or below.

On the other hand, Kali offers the opportunity to gamble for love that transcends time, and win  entry to her supernatural realm, the Underworld of Gaia.  While she condemns all those who do not participate in her supernatural magic to oblivion, she elevates her devotees to a state of liberation that cannot be attained at any other time in the fourfold cosmic cycles. The brutal truth is, Kali has no interest in human betterment. She offers no support for a wave of spiritual awakening and moral reform that would make the planet a better place to live. She is merciless, a true warrior who battles and annihilates all sense of  separation, all intention of deception — especially, self-deception.  To this end, she can be magnificently cruel but she is never capricious in her cruelty.  

The benevolence of Kali is truly sublime. To understand it will make you cry tears of joy and gratitude at her feet. Far from any intent to save humanity, this terrific goddess offers liberation from the human condition itself. That, and only that, is what liberation means in Kali Yuga. Her Game subsumes all others because with every hand you win, there is no one left to play.

March 29, 2009