That completes the basics of the eonic model. We can
proceed to use it to organize a means to survey world history as a total system,
and will pursue that with an 'idea for an historical database', in another
webpage series. Issues of ideology fly out of the wood work, but we have a
powerful means to track all of them. Basically the modern transition revolves
around the Protestant Reformation, The Scientific Revolution, The Enlightenment,
and liberal/leftist ideologies of freedom. Our treatment of the discrete freedom
sequence gives us a powerful new approach to these issues. Note how the model
forces us to examine two universal histories:
1. First we study the eonic mainline
2. Then we study the middle eras and their continuations, relations to mainline.
This enforces balance, if not objectivity. Our viewpoint is
likely to be that of the modern secular culture, and t hat is appropriate, but
possibly quite incomplete. Everything finds a place. But the modern transition
is now some deviation to be cast away in some postmodern reactionary mood. Look
at the multiple independent streams and how they intersect with the eonic
mainline, e.g. Buddhism and its cousins. There are multiple independent worlds
all fretted, but not conclusively totalized by the mainline. These separate
streams start flooding into the modern context after the divide, with what
future we do not yet know. But it is as important to try and resist retrograde
thinking as it is essential to acknowledge the contributions of all previous
Consider the frontier effect and the rise of the West,
so-called. We are talking about a total global evolution via some localized
areas. The idea of Western Civilization ceases to have any theoretical meaning.
the way in which, as observers of the eonic pattern, we are outside the
eonic mainline, just after the last transition. It is at first a peculiar way to
organize world history: It is in fact a far superior approach to the whole
? unknown earlier transitions
birth of civilization
rise of modern ca. 1500 to 1800
current free action?!
But this is the solution to the problem of historical
inevitability and the Oedipus Effect. If we had just made it up that would be
one thing, but, amazingly, the data reflects that property. It shows the power
of models! Even a humble non-numerical model such as this one. And it is strong
evidence of the 'intermittent' or 'eonic' factor.
Note the way
the Industrial Revolution and modern capitalism come into existence just around
our Great Divide! However, notice that the eonic evolution of civilization is
different from the evolution of economies. We see how the larger system produces
the groundwork for the subsystem.
There is a catch here, but at
least the model gives us a warning. That is that the high potential of the
emergent systems in the transitions is at a very high level of sophistication,
and we may have declined from these peaks, or made 'myths of transition', the
Old Testament being a prime example. We already are starting to have problems
with the modern transition, and the postmodern reaction is par for the course.
But no postmodern initiative is likely to match the early modern, despite its
Lest you take that for granted, consider
the issue of Greek Tragedy, which appears in the Axial interval. We see that
this is not chance, and that this is a unique emergentist cluster. Noone has
ever been able to reproduce this gift of the eonic sequence, save maybe a figure
such as Shakespeare, briefly. So their is always a reminder that these
stupendous systems are not properly assessed or preserved by the general middle
periods between stages of the eonic sequence.
Note how we have
produced a powerful case for historical directionality. That is not the same as
proving the case for teleology. We suspect we are in a teleological system, but
such a statement collides with our Oedipus Effect boundary. So be wary of
ideological teleologies. This gives you a powerful means to reconsider such
That's it, as a jumpstart for study of the model in
the Second Edition text. Hopefully you will able to locate the pieces and their
sections in the text to explore these issues in greater depth.
can close with a sense that behind this somewhat dry intro to the eonic effect,
and the model, lies something truly spectacular, something we had not suspected
to exit. World history is a vibrant and living mystery and we have indicated one
small gateway to its remarkable enigma.
Most of all let us close
by noting how ethical action is reestablished in the context of an evolutionary
dynamism. The system action promotes a spectrum of values, and our free action
is judged by its performance. We see how misleading is Darwin's theory. The
competition among historical agents does not control the future. The eonic
mainline proceeds to leapfrog the local present. What that foretells about the
future we don't know. But the record in the past speaks for itself. So bringing
the highest degree of self-consciousness to the emergence of freedom is the task
given in this system. Its tendencies to degrade between transitions is alarming.