Is history cyclical?

Date: October 11, 2018

Where Oswald Spengler’s Der Untergang des Abendlandes meets Gregory Benford’s Deep Time


What if history taught in modern schools is a lie? What if we’ve been led to believe that humanity is heading somewhere? That progress is immutable? That we are destined for greatness? That our destiny lies among the stars or at least among the planets of our solar system?

What if we’ve been here before. I mean on the cusp of “greatness”, standing on the shores of a newly discovered world looking out to glimpse the next one. But instead of making the paradigm jump towards new planets, new worlds, new universes, humanity leaped, stumbled … and descended into chaos, war, famine, ecological cataclysm, mayhem, in short into hell.

They say that the road to hell is paved with the most noble of intentions. What if mankind has already been ready to ascend to heaven a long time ago. And perhaps it even reached it, for a few moments. This blog’s premise is predicated on the fact that we did reach the gates of paradise, and even glimpsed inside it. However, as we’ll see, we always fell short of our aspirations. Because we were here before. And the fact that we are still here now, begs the question: what happened, I mean, what really happened to us?

How did we manage to lose direction? How did we stray from our evolutionary target? How did we fall so short of greatness? And for so many times? And why? And are we doomed to repeat history’s mistakes ad nauseam or ad vitam aeternam? Is this our Purgatory? Is this hell?

What can we do to signal our descendants, our very scions that the road to heaven is full of dangers and within our souls and DNA lies the software error that precluded us so far from achieving Nirvana?

How can we do this? I mean how can one communicate across eons, across time and space, across the many millennia of Deep Time, to warn our descendants and prevent them from repeating this exercise in futility and misery we call our shared history?

For make no mistake, if we are to escape the traps which engulfed our forefathers, we must think in terms of millennia and perhaps even grander. We need to construct a world not for today, and not for tomorrow, but for the next 10,000 years. We need to think Big. And we need to give ourselves options. No more self-defeating epistemological bottlenecks and evolutionary dead-ends, if we can avoid them.

We must think as a species, and we must project our thinking deep into the future. We must rationalize on a cosmic scale.

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