The sequence of visions
The prehistoric visions that made us human:
Transformative vision of the natural world  (dominant in Paleolithic)
emerges with the earliest modern humans
based on transformations in nature, human reproduction, lunar cycles
associated with the alchemical use of fire and water to transform materials
Kinship vision of human society  (dominant in Paleolithic and Neolithic)
emerges as human population expands and spreads out geographically
based on keeping track of distant family relationships, marriage taboos, etc.
embodied in social structure of tribes and clans
Spirit vision of inner experience  (dominant in Neolithic and Bronze Age)
emerges among early shamans -- possibly with aid of psychedelic plants
spiritual energy, healing, trances, journeys to spirit realm
source of music, dance, art, story -- everything that makes us fully human
first "countercultural" vision -- challenges the accepted Paleolithic way of life
The ancient visions that made us civilized:
Cosmic Order vision of the heavens  (dominant from Bronze Age to fall of Rome)
emerges in Neolithic -- based on observation of the sun and stars
megaliths, pyramids, astrology
Aristocracy vision of human society  (dominant c. 800 BC - 1100 AD)
emerges in Bronze Age -- accompanies development of elite classs
warrior cultures, heroic ideal, patricians vs. plebians
Revelation vision of inner experience  (dominant 450 AD - 1490 AD)
emerges c. 800 BC - 450 AD -- prophets and philosophers
leads to major world-religions
The medieval visions that sought to upgrade the human enterprise:
Emanation vision of the material world  (dominant c. 1100 - 1735)
early hints in late Bronze Age and Classical era, emerges c. 450 - 1100 AD
Ptolemaic system, crystalline spheres
Hierarchy vision of human society  (dominant c. 1490 - 1848)
early hints in Classical era and Dark Ages, emerges c. 1100 - 1490 
feudalism, then early nation-states
Reason vision of inner experience  (dominant 1735 - 1916)
early hints in Dark and Middle Ages, emerges c. 1490 - 1735
The modern visions that led to the rise of the West:
Scientific Materialism vision of the physical universe  (dominant 1848 - 1965)
early hints in late Middle Ages and Renaissance, emerges 1735 - 1848 
Democracy vision of human society  (dominant 1933 - 2011)
early hints in 17th-18th centuries, emerges 1848 - 1916
Chaos vision of inner experience  (dominant 1965 - )
early hints in 18th-19th centuries, emerges 1916 - 1965
The post-modern visions that re-unified the world:
Holism vision of the natural world  (dominant 2011- )
early hints in mid-19th to mid-20th centuries, emerges 1965 - 2011
Horizontalism vision of human society
early hints from 1930's to 1990's, emerges 2011 -
Creative Imagination vision of inner experience
early hints from 1970's

Return to Worlds of Wonder
Return to The Secret History of the 20th Century
Return to Trogholm home page
Return to Trogholm blog

Background courtesy of Eos Development