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The Eonic Effect as a minimum problem.
by Nemonemini
20 September 2002 10:34 UTC
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In a message dated 9/19/2002 10:49:43 PM Eastern Daylight Time, malexan@net-link.net writes:

But prior to about 700 BC we don't have detailed knowledge of what was going on in the world.  The record is pretty spotty.  For all we know, interesting things might have been going on during these "dark years" which we don't know about.  Now if the record from 1000-700 BC was densely filled with detailed history that was relatively free of the sorts of religious and philosophical developments you are interested in, then we could say voila! a "boom" in this sort of activity occurred around 600BC.  But the historical record is sparse.  We cannot really ascertain whether the 600 era was a "boom" since we have no clear idea of what the pre-boom times were like.  This is what I mean by "the sampling problem".  How do we know that the samples of history we have from around 600 BC and before are valid?

certainly the record is still sparse. But it is not that sparse. We have a pretty good picture of the general outlines of world history, and the result shows a clear clustering in a series.
The objection about the Greek Dark Ages sounds reasonable, but in fact I doubt we will find anything that changes the overall picture in my sense.
Do you expect to find another Greek Miracle? Another birth of science? The Greek example is epecially significant, because it does produce this gap. It didn't really emerge out the Mycenaean.

In fact, taken all together we can see the overall 'strategy of evolution'. It resembles a kind of minimum problem. Take the surface of a planet. How, with a minimum of interaction, evolve the whole. Answer, proceed in an intermittent series, with the a parallel effect possible at each step.

I don't know how to answer sometimes to the inability to see the classical phase. This data has been accumulating for over a century. It is the object of a book by Jaspers. And yet the field of historical sociology simply waffles.I don't see anything.
The problem is the unwillingness to see the evidence of synchronous global evolution. It can't be there. So we don't see it.
On the one hand the scientists don't want this evidence because it defies localized evolution. The religious people don't want it because it shows theistic and atheistic religions emerging in parallel, defying claims of revelation.

You want graphs and charts. There aren't any. My appendix 2 however gives a fairly good overall map, extensively document, cf. the series starting at http://eonix.8m.com/enx_theory1.htm, and ../outline1.htm

The modern transformation isn't said to start at 1800, it is an interval 1500 to 1800 that is significant. There is nothing absolute in those dates. But the rough effect of the interaction of some discontinuous factor with the general field of continuity will produce a sudden surge period, and by hypothesis we see three of them. They are pretty clear, once we get our data in mind. But that is hard.
The 2400 year cycle, as I noted, is simply an observation in passing. To say this is too long or the series too short is beside the point. This is on the scale of evolution, and macroevolution with a vengeance. We barely have three beats, two at best, maybe only one.
It is unsettling therefore. But overall the stock of general economic theories of universal history collapses. The mode is not taken as spiritual, but the level at which things are emerging in pretty high.
I don't know how to answer the refusal to take evidence of parallel emergence as significant if not blazingly obvious.
You know, Jaspers was almost embarassed to point it out.  The entire field of Jaspers scholarship won't even reply to email if you suggest he even wrote this book. It is out of print, and left to secondary literature to bury its main idea, e.g a la Eisenstadt.
Again, the evidence here is not perfect, but it is awfully strong. I don't need charts, or the names of all the Indian sages in the time of Buddha to make the point. More data on Indian history would help, though, that's for sure. This Indian example is the toughest case. It's over our heads, over the heads of most Indians. Why do we see the sudden transformation there in parallel with what's happening in Greece?
This is happening at a higher level than our general intellectual enquiries. So the Indian example generally doesn't register.

Anyway, I will keep trying, bit by bit. I can see my economic example backfired. This is not an economic phenomenon. In fact it is not clear what it is. And Jaspers, everything said, misdescribed what he found.

In general, this kind of elusive pattern is what we would expect if evolution shows directionality. It would express itself as a series of stepping stone accelerations. And that is just what the data shows.

Anyway, world system theory has never been able to reckon with this classical phase, or the Axial Age data.  There isn't any economic or measurable explanation of this kind of 'smart' evolution, whose operation is nothing more complex than a simple feedback device, but one that is operating on the level of millennia. We see it switching on in the classical period. It is hard to trust that, but it is hard to explain it away.
As to graphs, I have a reference (http://eonix.8m.com/chaptwo_6.htm) to a work that puts the data from ancient to modern in a sine curve, if that's what you want.  It's an amazing curve.
But note that there is a displacement problem (eonic jump diffusion). These are not the evolutions in place of cultures and civilizations. It is like hopscotch. The phases or timeslices simple start/stop in a pattern of global evolution.

Hope that helps.
John Landon
Website on the eonic effect
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