4. Idea For A Universal History

   

 
 
Genesis of the Great Religions 

  

Section 4.3.2




 
World History 
And The Eonic Effect

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

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 CHAPTERS:
 

 

 
 

 
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

     4.3.2 Genesis of the Great Religions 

 

We see the onset of the Great Religions in the Axial Age, yet surely their real beginning lies in the Neolithic. The relation of religion  and civilization is complex, although our eonic phasing clarifies its confusion by distinguishing the stream and sequence distinction between religious evolution in general and the results when this crosses the boundary of the Axial Age. This effect must have existed before. An example of this is the entry of Buddhism  and Jainism onto the world stage, relative to the Axial interval.

The best and most beautifully clear example of this relative transform effect is the modern Reformation. A small piece breaks away and undergoes rapid-fire change climaxing in this case with something that by the point of the divide no longer seems religious at all, modern secularism , not to be confused with scientism. These ‘re-formations’ show the relationship of ‘evolving’ religion and the eonic sequence. In light of the modern Reformation, the Old Testament suddenly becomes comprehensible and clearly records this contradiction. We even see vestigial traces of old Goddess worship.

A similar effect must have been present earlier. The interaction of the early goddess-worship, Indo-European and Semitic polytheism, and the transition of these to patriarchal monotheism is one of the most confusing aspects of historical study. It is mostly an effect of the intersection of Indo-European, and Semitic, nomadisms with our Axial phase. We will thus allow ourselves one speculative venture not connected with our basic analysis, but in an area where our thinking can perhaps clarify the confusion over an early ‘matriarchy’, that has continued ever since the works of Bachofen. The idea that Greek religion, for example, shows an overlay of earlier goddess-oriented religion, perhaps with a Neolithic source, overlaid with Indo-European polytheism is a view that is frequently rebutted, and yet in broad outlines might make a great deal of sense. It is a perfectly natural outcome. The sudden patriarchal ‘re-formation’ is thus slightly anomalous.

It seems that the period ‘-8000 to -5500’ is the natural gestation point for an entity that we tend to call ‘religion’ in civilization (i.e. ‘organized’ religion), as a relative beginning of elements that show artifacts going back much earlier. Our basic point is that the beginnings of ‘religion’ and of ‘civilization’, in the sense of the civilizationalists, are ‘out of sync’. The momentum of this is such as to explain its tenacious resurfacing at points inconvenient to secularists. The Catholic world ends in a grabbag of such elements, including the resurfacing Mariology. This leaves the middle Neolithic as the possible ‘beginning’ of such organized ‘religion’, by a process of elimination. It is clear in India that the tradition of Shaivism, as a matrix of both yoga and tantra, is far older than the Axial Age and appears  in precisely this period of transition in the Neolithic.

As with the Axial period, we might suspect an ‘eonic driver’. It is a very natural suggestion, if only we do not let ourselves become so entranced by wild claims of some primordial Golden Age of Matriarchal utopia. Here, we might reflect that future men, told of a religion of love called ‘Christianity’ might scoff on the grounds that Christian history shows few signs of such an emotion. But such a religion did exist as symbolism! Perhaps the symbolism of matriarchal divinity is the net result of the spiritual sourcing of this first era of religious emergence in a Neolithic goddess orientation. Asking ourselves the question, what is the later eonic evidence for the sources of religion, and having seen them, ask again, could a similar eonic structure account for the traces of later religion in early Sumer , early and later India , etc,…?

Thus our model has suggested, and has some reasonable evidence, that agricultural  discovery and its cultural integration are two different processes, the former capable of multiple independent discovery, the latter a phenomenon more typical of a localized eonic transition, perhaps associated with the rise of the first villages or towns. Thus, in The Myth of the Goddess , by Anne Baring and Jules Cashford, stemming from the works of Gimbutas , and others, we have a suggestive description of a broad cultural formation of the type so reminiscent of later religious culture of the patriarchal type.

 As the authors suggest, in The Myth of the Goddess, “The picture that is emerging is of a single cultural matrix that underlies and relates all these different areas to each other” in a broad zone from the Balkans to world of the Indus. A ‘unified cultural matrix’, matriarchal or not, is exactly what we suspect, and is a precise description of an ‘unorganized’ religion, for example, and is certainly a candidate for eonic start-up, as a spearhead zone generates the expansion of a cultural type. Our study as a whole shows that it is not impossible or unreasonable to claim the rapid and sudden arising of a seed religious mode in a very brief transitional time-frame. The Axial period shows an exact model of how this can happen, albeit in a patriarchal mode. The list of transitions shows that every period of transition reveals the elements of a religious ‘re-formation’ or ‘neo-formation’.    

 

    Notes

   Web:  chap4_3_2.htm

 
 

 
 


 

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Last modified: 09/23/2010