4. Idea For A Universal History

   

 
 
A Short History of The World

  

Section 4 .1




 
World History 
And The Eonic Effect

Civilization, Darwinism, And Theories of Evolution
4th Edition
The Book
By  John Landon

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References for Chapters, 4, 5, 6 also in Appendix

 
 

 

4. Idea For A Universal History  
    4.1 A Short History of The World  
       4.1.1 The Modern Turn: Looking Backward          
    4.2 Big Histories, Universal Histories  
       4.2.1 In Search of The Big Bang 
       4.2.2 From Life's Origin to The Dawn of Human Culture  
    4.3 Neolithic Beginnings  
       4.3.1 Fields of Diffusion  
       4.3.2 Genesis of the Great Religions 
       4.3.3 The Tower of Babel           
   4.4 Egypt, Sumer and The 'Rise of Civilization'  
      4.4.1 Sumer and The Cuneiform Civilization
      4.4.2 Egypt: A Synchronous 'Axial' Effect
NOTES  
   4.5 From Akkad to The Assyrians...and Israel...  
      4.5.1 The Indo-European Migrations   
      4.5.2 The Curse of Mideonic Empire 

Next: 
 5. Symphony of Emergence

 
  
        

    World History And The Eonic Effect: Fourth Edition

     4.1 A Short History of The World

 

Our project to resolve Kant’s Challenge, with an ‘Idea for a Universal History’, as a chronicle of freedom, gives us a framework for a short outline of world history, and this will answer to the confusions of a science of history. Such a history is really about man’s self-consciousness moving between freedom and the causal streams in which he is immersed. The eonic effect generates something our postmodern fashion dislikes, a ‘grand narrative’, indeed, one of freedom, and we can pursue this genre now without apology, as we ‘deconstruct flat history’. The ambiguity of Kant’s essay, which seems to contradict itself, as a question about the future and also as a seeming conflict theory, is a fascinating twist to our discovery of evolution in history. The eonic effect shows the elegant and simple solution to the paradox of evolution and history: they are braided together and appear Janus-faced, evolution as System Action, history as Free Action. ‘Evolution’ (which we qualify as ‘eonic’ evolution) is invisible to the naked eye, but suddenly becomes apparent as we look backwards at its action, as with the data of the Axial Age. Everything looked like ‘free action’, but with time and distance we see the (short-acting) interval of system action.

Increased distance from the ‘modern transition’ at the conclusion of our history allows us to see better the answer to Kant’s question, and to uncover the evidence of ‘nature’s secret plan’ in action. We should note that we have chosen an empirical foundation, the eonic effect, for our perspective. This is not a ‘theory’ but a way to organize our concepts and remove from our minds some of the confusions that might block our perception of the remarkable process of self-organization we see in world history.

It is time to proceed with a short world history, which has suddenly been found to show a remarkable overall coherence. If we can ‘see’ the eonic effect in its plain obviousness as a pattern over five millennia, the issues of evolution and history will become clear. We can succeed because we don’t require metaphysical theories. Instead a pattern of empirical data, the eonic effect, contains its own resolution of the dynamics of both evolution and history, history as the emergence of freedom.

Idea For a Universal History We can examine our resolution of Kant’s Challenge empirically as we examine the ‘evolution of freedom’ via a world history constructed around the eonic series, or sequence.

Nature’s Secret Plan As we noted already, Kant’s essay asks us to uncover ‘nature’s secret plan’, and this will, remarkably, emerge from our outline.

The Birth of Democracy Our outline of history is built around an ‘eonic sequence’ and inside this we will discover the remarkable pattern of the birth of democracy, which we will nickname the ‘discrete freedom sequence’, a spectacular confirmation of our procedure.

Progress Toward a Civil Constitution Another aspect of Kant’s Challenge is to document the ‘progress toward a civil constitution’, and the eonic effect powerfully shows a strong correlation with just this, and we have just suggested that democracy itself is bound up in the eonic sequence, as it seems to generate the first beginnings of democracy in both the Axial Age and in modernity (which makes us suspicious that the earliest stage of civilization shows an earlier phase of its emergence).

Big Histories, Universal Histories It is useful to put together the recent idea of Big History with that of the older idea of Universal History, to create a unity between the two. The confusions of a science of history have been resolved in a framework for what we call the ‘evolution of freedom’.

Free Will, Self-consciousness The degree of freedom of our action in history, presumes ‘free will’, but in practice we see the fluctuations of self-consciousness in the interplay of System Action , and Free Action. This hybrid is what reconciles causality and freedom. Evolution acts via self-consciousness. man must step beyond the spell of evolution to create his own freedom in history. Self-consciousness becomes the vehicle of free will.

The evidence of historical directionality puts us in the macro history business whether we like it or not. Behind our narrative outline lies a powerful model of the formalism of evolution, macro and micro.

The Formalism of Evolution We can summarize our basic framework: we have a reciprocal relationship of evolution and history, macro and micro, System Action and Free Action, and this braided unity of the two is leading to the realization of freedom in history at the end of the eonic sequence. We see that human evolution was not completed in the Paleolithic, but continuing in the emergence of civilization. Evolution is intermittent, geographically focused, and evident from the relative transformations of culture that drive advance. The Axial Age is a series of such ‘evolutionary’ advance regions, and we see the massive cluster of innovations or ‘relative transformations’ that express the sudden progression of civilization. The advance regions become oikoumenes that advance the whole via diffusion.

We should be clear that our portrait of universal history is designed as an empirical outline, not as theory. We have designed our perspective as a factual history that shows us also the fact of evolution behind that history. We don’t need any theories: we can let the eonic data guide us to the answer.

The Eonic Effect: From theory to empiricism We have attempted to create an informal theoretical framework for our data, but in the end the eonic effect is a very simple pattern of data, and its value for us is as a purely empirical given, as a foundation for a ‘universal history’ that is non-speculative and which can free us of the reductionist confusions inflicted on history by improperly observed evolutionary claims and their misleading theories. As we proceed the eonic effect induces a coherent perspective on world history as a unified whole.

Looking backwards at this simple eonic sequence we see a system of stunning elegance, but operating on a level of abstraction that is still beyond our powers of full comprehension. We can, however, adopt a tracking approximation using a grid system based on the perceptions of its three interconnected turning points. Such a strategy is our only option in such a multivalent system where our terms of analysis are themselves output of the system.

 

    Notes

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Last modified: 09/23/2010