Development of the Eonic Model
 History and Evolution

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 The perception of the eonic effect provokes a crisis in our views about what happened in deep time. We will restrict ourselves to the descent of man (humans), but the argument probably applies in some way to general biological evolution. The eonic pattern seems to focus on cultural evolution, but the implications for early man are direct.

Man Makes Himself? We can mediate the issue with a question: When did evolution stop and history begin? This will lead directly to a formal category of the 'evolution of freedom'. The point is that we think evolution produced free will, then man produced civilization. But we see that the question is not so simple. We will use our hedge on the 'free will' issue, to see that 'self-consciousness' stands between the extreme of causality and determinism, and is the focal point of driving advance (look at all those Axial Age prophets, peaking self-consciousness).

Historicism, Historical Laws Popper's critique of so-called historicism is the starting point for a consideration of the construction of our model. However we can take the critique of Popper and still produce a version of Big History by using our distinction of levels, seen in the 'system/agent' interplay.

Eonic Evolution of Civilization We will answer our question about history and evolution by using our model to consider The Great Transition, the emergence of man from passive evolution to free history.

Our model is almost ready: We have an eonic sequence, a part, we suppose, of the Great Transition, and the eonic sequence shows eonic determination while the greater totality shows free action. This exhibits world history as one of our 'system/agent' hybrids, a remarkable simplification of the confusing picture world history at first presents.

Theory and Ideology  We notice that our eonic pattern monopolizes all possible ideologies! Look at the Axial sources of Buddhism, Confucianism, Monotheism, Greek philosophy, Greek Tragedy, democracy, etc... The complete list of eonic emergents is long, and leaves us little leg room for an 'objective theory'. We will retreat to cataloguing all ideologies.

  • The Oedipus Effect We introduce here the issue of the Oedipus Effect (although it appears already in the Introduction). The point is that a generalization of 'evolutionary laws', e.g. natural selection, provokes a contradiction in the present as the 'law' is open to the contrary options of the agent in the present. This relates to the historicism issue.

  • Action Scripts The outcome of our transitions are a set of 'scripts of action', a general term for 'ideology'. Consider the ancient Buddhist, Judaic, and modern liberal/leftist 'action scripts' and their direct correlation with the eonic sequence. That's a warning that by the time we see the eonic emergents in each transition they have crystallized in some form (e.g. as religion). 

We need one more perspective complete our model, the philosophy of history. We can proceed to that in the next page.