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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.