John Landon writes:
Everyone keeps talking about complex systems, and models,but if you present
one for history, it suddenly seems mystical, which it isn't. It's just a
I've read a bit of your website. As far as I can tell the eonic
effect is something like this: around 3000 BC some important stuff
happens, then around 600 BC some more important stuff happens and then around
1800 AD some more important stuff happens. Hence, there is a 2400
year cycle of important stuff.
What I don't see is a lot of evidence. I see statements
like "We call the period from the fall of the
Roman Empire until modern times a ‘middle age’. This ‘middleness’ is a clue to
how we in fact take our own history, not quite sure why, although we can see
that the source of this earlier world lies in the onset of the classical age,
many centuries before. This era rose to a height that was never matched until
What is meant by "height". In any sense I can think of, 12th or 13th
century European civilization was a more advanced civilization than was
ancient Rome. I would say the same for Islamic civilization in the ninth
or tenth centuries (the very middle of the "dark ages").
The big issue raised is the simultaneity of various religious movements
around 600 BC. We have the Hebrew prophets
Elijah (ca 850) Isaiah (ca. 745) Jeremiah (627) and Daniel (586)
followed by the appearance of Zoroastrianism (598), Taoism (571) Buddhism
(534) Confucianism (529) and Jainsim (527).
On the surface, the "sudden" appearance of all these new religions where
few were seen before seems impressive--like something speical is
happening. But we have to consider the "sampling issue" before we come to
such a conclusion. Consider this figure
It shows the plot of "generational frequency" of two kinds of events. In
black are shown the number of "unrest events" (revolts, riots, uprisings civil
wars etc.) per moving 25-year period. In red are shown the frequence of
relgious events like those listed above per 25 year period. Ignore the
osicillations, just focus on the general levels.
Clearly evident is a big red spike right around 600 BC. This is your
eonic effect. But look at the black line. It also rises around 600
BC. The reason why it rises is I can't find many dated events for the
period much before 700 BC. In fact, relative to black events, the
number of red events was higher before 700 BC than it was after. In other
words, perhaps the only reason why more religious things seem to have started
happening then is because we know more about what happened then than what
happened in the previous centuries.
The situation is even more grim for the period around 3000 BC.
There is very little data, and I didn't see discussion of the Indus or
the Oxus valley civilizations.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 9:58
Subject: Re: Affective measures in the
social sciences produce more ideologic agitprop...
In a message dated
9/16/2002 10:07:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time, email@example.com writes:
I’m actually surprised there hasn’t been more of this
“Aeonic”-style interpretation of the Eonic Effect. There are a lot of
these mystical-evolutionary approaches out there & their
founders/students are always on the look out for overarching intellectual
theories to tie them all together and in with each other.
The statement about Steinerians is misleading. I only
meant the sole individual trying to review the book.
general have shown no interest that I know of for this model, for precisely
the reason that it is something different.
What is the point of the
term 'eonic'? This was a label chosen more or less after the model was
complete, with refrence to 'eons' only as a chuckle, and with reference also
to the term 'eonic' in the electronic sense. Type 'eonix' into google, you
will get a slew of DSP outfits, digital sampling chips, etc...
and it was only another titular chuckle, was to the way you can 'sample' a
fourier series in discrete intervals.
This example always intrigued me as I
considered my 'discrete-continuous' model. We have a discrete series and a
continuous history, and the relation of the two is the eonic effect.
question of 'aeons' is hardly the cup of tea of modern science. I had never
intended that as my meaning, but then again perhaps seem to invite it by the
The eonic effect does explicate why that sense of 'aeons' arises.
It is the effect of the overlay of a macro and a micro system.
critical of Steinerians then, but I am critical, as you are, of scientism
also. It is overshoot and undershoot here, with Kant's warnings about
metaphysics falling on deaf ears.
There isn't any causal model that is
going to work on historical subjects, so that seems to transcendentalize
freedom. But here Kant, behind his confusing terminology of 'transcendental
idealism' (he uses 'transcendent' for what we mean by 'transcendental') which
is something different. These terms are like archaic language for us now. But
the present realm of scientism has been a total failure on history, as the
Steinerians would be only to happy to point out.
The question of Steiner
et al is simply not my territory, but I have learned from the eonic model to
always be wary of passing judgement on the disparate variety the model absorbs
from history. Anyway, modern psychology has totally filtered out the issues of
the occult. Such issues can never be resolved either way. But the current
skeptics movement, for example, has declared war on all of that. That's one
way to blow the ball game. Not knowing means you don't know one way or the
other. But the issues are indirectly addressed in all the classic Indian
sutras, and such yogis look in some alarm at Western naivete. The problem is
that Westerners in a dialectic have made their own mirror image mess of the
questions, e.g. Theosophy, and that doesn't foot the bill either.
general, man as man has been reduced to a strange creature by the Western
science realm. And it is fated to collapse, as such. What can I say. If five
thousand years of Buddhists and yogis speak about 'reincarnation' and the west
decides this is superstition it becomes a zero sum game. So who will lose?
In the end such issues are Kantian style undecidable. So the presumption
of science is part of what is leading to the postmodern attack on the west. At
least a thousand New Age types have pointed out over and over again the
Western failure here. But it seems people are determined to go down fighting.
I should hasten to add these are not my beliefs, and I adopt a very strict
regime here to hold the dyke against mystical stuff with the beautifual
Classical Samkhya which is easily adaptable to Western science, more or less,
as a materialistic spirituality, as it were, a seeming contradiction in terms.
Again none of this is my business with the eonic model. Try as an
exercise to consider a new name for the 'eonic model', e.g. the
'intermittent effect', or the 'stepwise function effect', or the
'discontinuous effect', etc, Trying with each term to be sure one knows
what it is that one is referring to.
So the term 'eonic' was an
afterthought for the title of a book. It is not the issue.
As to the
Steinerians, I know very little about them. But they are not the idiots people
make them out to be.
Like the old lady whose house was a Shoe, I have to
welcome all these stray dogs into my consideration, because history is
diverse, very diverse. And reducing everything to oversimplified categories
But the bottom line for the eonic effect is simple modelling,
periodization, and notions of self-organization. But the scale of this
macroevolution is quite remarkable.
Everyone keeps talking about complex
systems, and models,but if you present one for history, it suddenly seems
mystical, which it isn't. It's just a model!
Website on the eonic