Trogholm: The Blog
Complete list of contents

Older essays
3/12/01 The Net as Universal Metaphor How the Internet is becoming coterminous with human society.
6/19/04 The Horizons of Prehistory What if the past was really a realm of wonder?
6/29/04 The Invention of the Neolithic Agriculture was invented by people who knew exactly what they were doing.
7/9/04 The Ancient Alchemists The creators of the Neolithic were subtle gardeners, master chefs, and daring experimental scientists.
7/19/04 The First Urbanites Urban life began before agriculture and may have been a deliberate attempt to further creativity rather than an outcome of subsistence needs.
9/18/07 Of Seas and Skies How the seafarers of the Neolithic produced the first great scientific cosmology.
12/13/07 On Conspiracy Theory Are certain blank spots in history merely unknown -- or literally unknowable?
2/13/08 Piercing the Veil Devising new metaphors of transcendence.
3/3/08 How We Got So Pretty A 20,000 year experiment in selectively breeding for the brave and the beautiful.
2/24/09 Conspiracy Theories and the Motivation Game The most prominent conspiracy theories often follow the same plotline as drawing-room murder mysteries.
Initial blog entries
5/16/09 The first alchemists were masters of -- glue The earliest experiments in chemical transformation of materials go back to the dawn of modern humanity -- and may even be what made us human.
5/20/09 Ida, Sweet as Apple Cider Certain kinds of science stories get instantly transformed into myth.
6/12/09 Searching for Once Upon a Time Fairy tales may reflect the actual societies and beliefs of c. 3500-2500 BC.
6/20/09 Civilization beyond Civilization Civilization arose within a widespread network of vibrant local cultures and was not the exclusive product of a few superpowers.
6/22/09 Civilization beyond Civilization Until very recently, elites with plenty of excess wealth and leisure were the chief drivers of cultural innovation.
6/22/09 Of Hollow Bone Flutes and the Imperative to “Be That Empty” The mystical underpinnings of the most ancient art and music.
6/29/09 Geeks at Work Evidence suggests that the geek tendency to create elaborate intellectual systems must be as old as humanity.
7/4/09 Along the Via Negativa with Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, 1: Seeing Nobody on the Road Alice perceives a reality beyond all attributes.
7/11/09 Along the Via Negativa with Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, 2: Meeting the Buddha on the Road Alice finds herself in a garden that is not the true garden.
7/17/09 The Efflux of Osiris Parallels between ancient Egyptian myth and Indonesian practices of secondary burial.
Visions of History - the earliest human culture
7/22/09 The Algorithms of String Human culture as a series of successive visions of the structure of existence -- the first of which involved a recognition that physical reality is mutable.
7/29/09 Female Magic Women's magic, childbirth, and knotted strings as components of the most ancient vision.
8/8/09 The Invention of Society The development of formal social roles and relationships was the hallmark of the second vision.
8/13/09 Yet Another Example of Ancient Tech Sophisticated use of fire in tool-making as far back as 164,000 years ago.
8/15/09 Mind on the Edge of Chaos The third ancient vision, involving shamans, trickster stories, and a possible leap in brain organization.
8/23/09 The Bottleneck and the Great Migration How it may have come about when we first left Africa.
The Dance of the Visions - science-and-democracy and the chaos vision
9/5/09 The Dance of the Visions Human history has been shaped by a recurring sequence of scientifically-based, socially-based, and inner experience-based visions.
9/6/09 On the Antiquity of Fairy Tales A new study confirms that fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood must be thousands of years old.
9/11/09 The Era of Science and Democracy From the 1930's to the middle 60's, our society was dominated by a partnership between the scientific materialism vision and the democracy vision.
9/17/09 How Surrealism Makes You Smarter Research shows that exposure to things that don't make sense kicks your brain into working better.
9/21/09 The Death of Reason The replacement after 1915 of "reason" by "chaos" as the primary interpretation of inner experience.
10/1/09 The Screwballs The evolution of the chaos vision in the 1930's and 40's.
10/8/09 The Democratization of Higher Knowledge The symbiotic interaction of technology, democratic populism, and the chaos vision in the early 40's.
10/15/09 The End of an Era The coming collapse of the democracy-and-chaos partnership will parallel the collapse of the reason-and-science partnership in 1915.
10/21/09 An Age of Chaos The chaos vision became a center of opposition to the partnership of science and democracy starting in the 1940's.
10/29/09 The Times They Are A-Changin’ The collapse of the science-and-democracy partnership and the emergence of the chaos-based counterculture and the anti-war movement in 1964-65.
The Dance of the Visions - chaos, holism, and the 60's counterculture
11/7/09 From Hipsters to Hippies As chaos escaped from the influence of the failing science vision, the laid-back cool of the hipsters gave way to the passionate enthusiasm of the hippies
11/15/09 The Search for Meaning The Kennedy assassination, the Sixties search for higher understanding, and the emergence of the holism vision.
11/25/09 The Proto-History of Holism The early development of holism, from the late 1800's to 1962.
12/5/09 The Rube Goldberg Principle The influence of science, democracy, and chaos on each other and on holism in the 1920's and 30's.
12/11/09 Moral Agents The moral imperatives that prompted the appearance of successors to the democracy and chaos visions.
12/25/09 The True Voice of Chaos The roots of the chaos vision in the disillusionment with reason in the 1700's and its emergence under the impact of science in the 1860's.
12/27/09 A Basic Timeline A timeline of the recent visions and a list of all the visions
1/3/10 Nothing But a Pack of Cards Alice in Wonderland as an epitomal early expression of the chaos vision.
1/8/10 We’re All Mad Here The Cheshire Cat and the higher potentials of chaos.
1/13/10 The Wood Where Things Have No Names For Lewis Carroll, Nothingness was the still center at the heart of chaos.
1/20/10 In All This Shit, There Must Be a Counterculture The genesis of the 60's counterculture and its lessons for the present moment.
1/26/10 The Alchemical Marriage of Chaos and Holism The 60's counterculture came out of a realignment of chaos towards holism that began in the 50's with Rachel Carson and flowed through surf music.
2/1/10 When the Vertical World Turns Horizontal The currently ongoing realignment of holism away from democracy and towards multiculturalism will be what kickstarts the next counterculture.
2/12/10 Everything Changes The 60's counterculture had two stages, the first focused on chaos and the rejection of the science vision and the second on holism, multiculturalism, and creative imagination.
The Dance of the Visions - the emergence of multiculturalism and creative imagination
2/17/10 “Alice–Mutton. Mutton–Alice.” The concept of personhood was already central to the chaos vision by 1870.
2/20/10 Unalienable Rights and Universal Consciousness Democracy crystallized in the 1760's thanks to the first intimations of chaos, and chaos in the 1860's thanks to the first intimations of holism.
3/1/10 You’re Doing It Wrong Holism crystallized in the 1930's thanks to the first intimations of multiculturalism.
3/4/10 Russian Nesting Dolls In the late 60's, the need for a successor to chaos that could accommodate magic, morality, and wisdom was becoming apparent.
3/11/10 The World Beyond the Hill The first definite intimations of creative imagination appeared around 1970 in association with multiculturalism.
3/17/10 On the Mungly Planet But in the 1970's, the development of creative imagination was still restricted by the assumptions of holism.
3/22/10 Living in the Material World Creative imagination will not fully crystallize until it can draw upon the first intimations of a successor to holism, which are just starting to appear.
4/6/10 Coming Unglued Multiculturalism was emerging rapidly in the late 60's but needed creative imagination to develop further.
4/20/10 Chaos Tamed When chaos was domesticated in the 1970's, not only did it lose its mojo, but it became harder to believe in the possibility of creative change.
4/25/10 Mirror, Mirror The epitomal 1967 Star Trek episode offers a glimpse of what lies beyond chaos.
4/30/10 Holistic Utopianism Stewart Brand's Whole Earth Catalog brought the holism vision to a critical stage of self-awareness and offered early hints of creative imagination.
5/5/10 Why Don’t You Build a Spaceship? For the chaos vision, higher knowledge and purpose resided in the subconscious.  For the creative imagination vision, they reside in the "cloud."
5/12/10 The Time My Mother Did Magic One of the stranger incidents of my childhood.
The Dance of the Visions - dominant partnerships and romantic breaks
5/16/10 Democracy Inverted Ronald Reagan turned the democracy vision inside out by subordinating it to individualism in the democracy-and-chaos partnership.
5/23/10 Theories of Everything Each dominant partnership at its most profound gives rise to a universal philosophy that outlasts the partnership itself.
6/7/10 He Who Tastes, Knows The catalytic influence of holism reconfigured first chaos and then democracy between 1965 and 1975.
6/19/10 The Romantic Break As each dominant partnership passes from idealism to cynicism, it unleashes a long-lasting romantic offshoot, such as the occultism of the late 19th century.
6//26/10 You’ve Got the Look Changes in clothing styles keep pace with the cycle of visions and suggest a deep, underlying instinctual element.
7/4/10 The Revolutionary Mode The "romantic break" of the 1790's sparked the French Revolution and 150 years of revolutionary (and counter-revolutionary) radicalism.
7/22/10 A Multiplicity of Worlds Each romantic break involves a yearning for wider horizons, which results in a rejection of the two dominant visions and a flowering of the three emergent visions.
7/30/10 Tech Toys The post-World War II technological revolution of television, transistor radios, and computers has been both global in scope and personally empowering.
The Dance of the Visions - the visions shaping recent events
8/7/10 The Coming of Multiculturalism Electoral democracy is a top-down system which is less equipped to handle a diverse and fast-paced world than the flexible networks of multiculturalism.
8/10/10 Followup: “Brain’s Wiring: More Like the Internet Than a Pyramid?” New research suggests the brain is not organized hierarchally, but rather as a distributed network.
8/10/10 Follow-up #2: And Then There’s 4chan The notoriously anarchic message board 4chan offers a demonstration of the surprisingly effective nature of unregulated self-organization.
8/14/10 The Soul of Multiculturalism Expands In the 1970's, multiculturalism began to shed the limitations of chaos and move towards creative imagination.
8/21/10 Make It Work! The creative imagination vision crystallized about 1979-81 in close association with a pragmatic approach towards mysticism and magic.
8/29/10 The Improvisational Universe The improvisational philosophy of democracy-and-chaos has deeply influenced the development of multiculturalism and creative imagination since 1980.
9/2/10 The Land-Pirats The romantic break of the 80's: the Hacker Ethic, the free software movement, and the underground stream of the "shadow visions."
9/11/10 Heretics of the 1980′s The breakdown of the democracy-and-chaos partnership c. 1984-87 pushed holism, multiculturalism, and the hacker subculture into a position of resistance.
9/16/10 What Is To Be Done? With democracy-and-chaos now in collapse and holism gone flabby, we must look to multiculturalism, creative imagination, the do-it-yourself-ism of maker culture, and the Hacker Ethic for a way forward.
9/22/10 Eggs Before Chickens The underground stream of "shadow visions" may be a powerful relic of the time before the appearance of modern humans
Visions of History - finding ourselves in the depths of time and in the present moment
10/3/10 The Great Migration Revisited After leaving Africa 125,000 years ago, modern humans spent 50,000 years in the Middle East, just getting accustomed to the wider world.
10/10/10 A Little Housecleaning Notice of the creation of this list
10/15/10 The Art of Transgression Of the dissolution of boundaries, sacred sex, and the reconciliation of opposites.
10/19/10 A Matter of Depth Why having a deeper and broader picture of human history matters.
10/22/10 Killer Apes -- or Not? And why what we imagine ourselves to be affects how we judge our own behavior.
10/27/10 Conscious Control On evolution as internalization and why all humans are geeks.
11/3/10 The Mysterious East Even before modern humans settled in the Middle East, there may have been an earlier migration to India and Southeast Asia.
11/8/10 The Old Ones On the extraordinary shamans of 100,000 years ago who set the Dance of the Visions in motion.
11/16/10 The Wall that Jon Stewart Builds Around Himself On participatory knowledge, participatory comedy, and moving towards a participatory society.
11/23/10 Spiritual Energy Concerning paleolithic shamans, chi, Richard Stallman, and the poetry of Jalaluddin Rumi.
11/30/10 The Great Disillusionment The trauma of the last ice age, and how our expectation of meaningful pattern in the world, combined with the inadequacy of our attempts to adequately express that pattern, helps propel the dance of the visions.
12/5/10 And So It Begins With the Wikileaks uproar, we are now fully launched into a countercultural phase of cascading breakdowns and transformations.
12/9/10 Cosmic Order and Cosmic Insecurity The ice age fostered a cosmic order vision that combatted dire expectations of decline and disaster with hopes for the return of a lost Golden Age.
12/16/10 Among the Spirits The ordinary visions, the "shadow visions," and what it means to be human.
12/23/10 Getting Mythic Of WikiLeaks, the question of whether we invent the visions or the visions invent us, and what happens when the imaginary spills over into reality.
12/25/10 The Denisovans Update to "The Mysterious East" -- a new species of archaic humans has been discovered which interbred with moderns humans in Southeast Asia.
Visions of History - who are we? and what is our place in the universe?
12/27/10 We Are All Wholes, We Are All Parts Every one of us is a "holobiont" -- not a single being but a community of organisms that is intimately connected with every other such community.
1/8/11 The Hivemind The concept of the hivemind has been developing along with the holism vision for 85 years, but it is only now becoming a positive aspiration.
1/16/11 A Lost World There was a great fall and a forgetting at the end of the ice age, and we are still trying to recover what was lost.
1/21/11 Food Forests The end of the ice age also brought a profound new image of possibility, involving the reshaping of nature to meet human desires.
2/4/11 Times of Great Fear But that complex tangle of hopes and fears also led to a scapegoating of the spirit vision and an attempt to rein in rogue shamans by casting them as evil sorcerers.
2/6/11 Horizontalism What the Egyptian protests have in common with jumping gene clusters.
2/13/11 Hacking, Making, and Sharing The moral identity of the next counterculture.
2/15/11 A Something That is Nothing Of creative imagination and the commerce between the non-existent and the existent.
2/20/11 The First Global Civilization Around 50,000 years ago, there was a great coming-together of human communities, made possible by the development of a common symbolic vocabulary in art, music, story, and language.
3/1/11 The Spectre of the Past For almost two centuries, we have been haunted by a sense of something enormous and ancient and unexplained lying just underneath our feet.
3/3/11 For the Lulz What Anonymous and our earliest trickster-loving ancestors have in common.
The Present Moment - onward into myth time
3/8/11 Solidarity Forever Of the Wisconsin protests, working-class chic, and what foodies know that hipsters don't.
3/12/11 Mario Savio Lives Summoning people to civil disobedience is a good way to launch a counterculture, so Anonymous gives a call back to Mario Savio, as Savio did to Thoreau.
3/15/11 One Big Soul Tom Joad as the original face of holism-touched-by-multiculturalism.
3/20/11 Myth Space We humans simultaneously inhabit both ordinary reality and mythic reality, a space of the imagination whose rules are those of ritual and magic.
3/25/11 Radical Fun The connections between fun, higher knowledge, and mythic reality.  Or, Why the Wobblies were right.
4/4/11 A Clash of Moralities Do we have any chance of creating a free and open society that meets basic needs without coercion or explotation?  Higher knowledge suggests we do.
4/14/11 Alignments In AD&D terms, the newest forces on the political scene are the chaotic-neutral libertarians and the chaotic-good anarchists.  But the anarchists seem to be having more fun.
4/30/11 The Limits of Compassion Our society is still taking its moral guidance from 2000-year-old notions of compassion which have become outworn and counterproductive.  We need to set our sights higher.
5/15/11 Transcendent Evolution The acknowledgement of altruism may force evolutionary theory to give up its outdated attachment to mechanism and reductionism and become a far broader philosophy of cosmic unfolding.
5/25/11 The Visions Revisited The force propelling the visions may be as simple as the need to reconcile ordinary knowledge and higher knowledge, and the results of that attempt are both powerful and inevitably flawed.
6/1/11 Creative Materiality As holism gains cultural dominance, it will increasingly reveal its weaknesses and limitations.  Even now, the seeds of its successor can already be seen in a new appreciation for the physical world.
The Dance of the Visions - the history of chaos
6/18/11 Prelude to Chaos Meanwhile, the chaos vision is still with us, but to understand its significance it is necessary to look back at the inner experience visions that came before it.
6/28/11 Thrice Great Hermes The reason vision which preceded chaos was based on the unlikely but alluring belief that cosmic truths could be grasped through philosophical introspection.
7/13/11 Wild Talents How chaos got its weird on, and why Charles Fort believed that everyone's a wizard.
7/22/11 Weird Science Put Fort and Lovecraft together, and you get a view of the cosmos as a place of chaotic mystery to be known through its anomalies.
8/2/11 Chaos and Science Fiction The classic science fiction of the 30's and 40's thought of itself as rational and scientific, but there was always a bit of chaos at its heart.
8/15/11 All in His Mind Of Bishop Berkeley, Lewis Carroll, Fredric Brown, and how believing in one another holds the world together.
9/4/11 Curioser and Curioser Even further down the rabbit hole -- is there an element of intentionality built into the structure of reality itself?
9/18/11 Chaos Mark I and Chaos Mark II Some SF writers in the 40's embraced chaos while others were more ambivalent, but together they loosed magic upon the world.
9/29/11 Chaos is King! Chaos linked to scientific materialism has afflicted us with high-handedness and lack of moral balance.  Can chaos linked to holism set us free?
Higher Knowledge Examined
10/15/11 The Parameters of Higher Knowledge Of mysticism, magic, and morality -- as well as the shamanistic workings at Zuccotti Square.
10/31/11 Higher Knowledge and Elite Control Higher knowledge can be misused, as when the rulers manage to pass themselves off as divine beings
11/9/11 Higher Knowledge and Popular Culture The early 20th century brought about a great liberation and dissemination of higher knowledge, and American popular culture was its primary vehicle.
11/26/11 Keeping the Peasants in Line Heinlein's stories of the 1940's prefigure our current self-appointed meritocracy, but Henry Kuttner's lay the foundations for today's anti-authority hackers.
The Dance of the Visions - the birth of a new vision
12/30/11 Democratic Chaos How the association between the democracy and chaos visions brought forth civil rights, civil liberties, and civil disobedience.
1/10/12 The Birth of a Vision A new visions is born out of every counterculture and finds its first mentor in the vision just senior to it.
1/24/12 Multiculturalism vs. the Hacker Ethic Social visions in association with scientific visions yield utopian dreams.  Social visions in association with inner experience visions produce images of the ideal citizen.
2/12/12 Dualism, Monism, and Holism But the creations of associations between scientific and inner experience visions requires  great philosophical flights of the imagination
2/28/12 A Resonance of Visions The association between chaos and holism that developed in the 1800's was energized by the failing transcendence of reason-and-scientific-materialism.
3/18/12 The Mechanical Philosophy and the System of Nature The holism vision itself can be traced to certain visionary ideas that scientific materialism generated in the 18th century but rejected in the 19th.
3/29/12 The Birth of a Vision, Reconsidered In which I dig deeper into the orign of new visions and make some surprising discoveries about the inner dynamics of a counterculture.
4/5/12 Of Gaps and Gears In which it appears that the system of visions works like a well-oiled machine -- but one full of holes through which higher knowledge can enter.
The Dance of the Visions - how a new vision takes on definition
4/23/12 Materialists and Vitalists There was a revolution in consciousness between about 1886 and 1926, as the way people related to the cosmos came to be defined by chaos-plus-holism.
5/3/12 Clearing the Field The full emergence of the holism vision in the 1910's can be understood only in terms of the final over-reach of scientific materialism.
5/23/12 The Unity of the Organism Early holism was not the same as holism today -- but it had some important insights into the nature of living things that we could use to remember.
6/1/12 Of Parts and Wholes If parts and wholes are completely reciprocal, as W.E. Ritter suggested in 1928, it implies that the very existence of the universe depends on us.
6/18/12 Democratic Materialism As the counterculture of the 1910's and early 20's faded out, holism was marginalized and democracy-plus-scientific-materialism took control.
7/1/12 Holism's Moral Center But this very marginaization, along with the potential for the negative aspects of any scientifically-based vision to come out in the absence of a call to social responsibility, made the new association of holism and hoirzontalism inevitable.
7/17/12The Sticking PointThe chaos vision in the 1940's had the choice of either accepting the influence of holism and continuing to evolve or rejecting it and turning toxic.
Visions of History - the invention of the visions
7/30/12The Dance of the Visions 2.0Untangling the birds'-nest of the past three years.  Explaining the visions from first principles in terms of mystery, plausibility, sense, and meaning.
8/10/12The Signs of an EraHistory presents a recurring alternation between stable eras defined by a worldview based on a particular pair of mature visions and periods of turmoil when a worldview unwinds and a new one is forged.
9/3/12The Long ViewThis same alternation extends back into prehistory.
9/8/12How It All Got StartedHowever, it may have begun only about 75,000 years ago.  Before then, the earliest visions were developing, but there were no established worldviews.
9/28/12Talking the TalkThe visions grew out of the unique human ability to construct detailed mindmaps of the world around us -- and to imagine what lies beyond that.
11/11/12Map-Makers and Story-TellersBut the real key was combining ordinary knowledge with the intuitive flashes of higher knowledge in a single, integrated picture of the world.
11/23/12The End of the DreamtimeThe perfect unity of the first all-embracing vision of existence was broken as the human population expanded, and the quest to recover the hidden unity behind all surface appearances has powered the cycle of visions ever since.
12/12/12The TroublemakersAs the first discrete visions of the natural world and human society became abstract and conventional, the shamans rebelled with a vision of their own.
12/27/12The Way Things Used to BeThe invention of the Dreamtime as a fictional device allowed the perceptions of the original primal vision to persist by being displaced into the remote past.
1/15/13The World Turns ColdA second crucial turning point came when the visions began to be pressed into service as a practical guide to dealing with the threat of an ice age.
3/7/13Mixed MessagesClothing was invented around that same time, and it still mixes instinctual messages about sex and dominance with others about specific visions.
3/17/13Forever YoungThe alternation between periods of stability and periods of flux may grow out of a dichotomy between the mature brain and the more flexible adolescent brain.
Visions of History - the cycle of replacement
4/17/13Ever TurningEvery vision is elaborated out of just a few simple premises, and when those become stale and outdated, a new vision based on new premises is necessary.
5/4/13Problem-SolvingMaturing visions are seduced by the prospect of worldly power that lures them away from their transcendent origins.
5/21/13Fire Hackers and Cosmic DreamersThat turning to the practical is what triggers the birth of their successors.
6/25/13Triads of TranscendenceThe birth of a successor vision when an older one goes mainstream is partly motivated by our need for three highly transcendent visions, one of each kind.
7/27/13ReconsiderationsThis means the visions can't be taken in isolation.  They function in concert as a highly integrated system with a DNA-like self-repairing ability.
9/3/13Solve et CoagulaThe turning point in every cycle comes when the most mature of the emerging visions becomes demoralized and alienated from the larger society. In response, it both goes mainstream and generates a more transcendent successor
9/23/13Back to BasicsThe interaction between the two dominant visions and the three emerging visions can be one of harmony, disconnection, or conflict.  Each of these produces characteristic culture-wide moods that help drive the cycle.
10/17/13Upgrading the NarrativeBut at the same time, it's important to keep in mind that the cycles are ultimately controlled by higher knowledge and not by automatic reactions.
11/18/13Higher IntentionalityThe visions themselves must encode the blueprint for their own ongoing evolution.  But who laid out the original blueprint?
12/4/13Culture Hacking at the Dawn of TimeSuppose we are all the children of a First Ancestor who glimpsed what our species could become and set out to make it so.
The Dance of the Visions - the occult roots of creative imagination
12/21/13Pagan AnarchismAs environmentalism goes mainstream, the association between horizontalism and creative imagination will become more prominent.
1/1/14Fans, Hackers, and InvisiblesThe  association of horizontalism and creative imagination has its roots in science fiction and SF fandom in the late 30s and early 40s.  More recently, it has flowed through neo-pagans, chaos magicians, and anarchists.
1/27/14The Sorcerors' ApprenticesThe tension between scientific materialism and chaos in the 1940s pushed chaos to embrace holism in a way that led towards creative imagination.
2/21/14The Underground StreamBut even more crucial were the tensions within chaos as it attempted to assimilate the insights of 19th century occultism about human potential.
3/20/14Speaking with the CosmosThe underground stream appears to be more ancient than the visions.  It presents a universe in which everything is alive and speaking to us.  And it influences the more intellectual visions at crucial moments.
4/5/14The Dark Side and the Light SideThe underground stream functions as an altered state of consciousness.  Its waxing and waning controls the tempo of the cycle of visions.  It is magical but also capable of being dark and violent.
4/18/14Do You Believe in Magic?The underground stream explains much of the history of science fiction and its fluctuations between the rational and the romantic.
5/21/14The ChasmThose who remain attached to aging visions generally do so because they see any hint of change as a threat of falling into the abyss of infinite possibility.
6/10/14The Two-Sided CoinThere are times when the ordinary visions and the underground stream flow so closely together than you could not drive a knife blade between them.
The Dynamic of the Visions and Where We Stand Now
7/18/14Searching for the DawnRecent discoveries offer a larger context for the origins of our species.
8/20/14Masters of Space and TimeThe underground stream is the uncanny interface between instinct and intellect.  But that very uncanniness provkes the integrative force of higher knowledge.
9/8/14Dreams of the DeadThe kinship vision grew out of a need for mutual support, a mystical sense of the wholeness of the human community, and dreams of the Ancestors.  But what followed -- the final leap in brain organization -- was far stranger.
10/10/14The Alchemical Marriage of Holism and HorizontalismWhat underlies the visions is a combination of rules-based systems and transformational energy.  Current events show this dynamic at work.
10/25/14Holism UpgradedOver the next decade, all the visions will move along one step, starting with the current phase in which horizontalism restories holism's moral center.
11/9/14Chaos Craps Out and a Thousand Flowers BloomIn the next phase, the chaos vision will lose its consensus position, freeing creative imagination to blossom and lend its energy to holism and horizontalism.
11/26/14What's the Matter with Matter?As the holism vision goes mainstream, hints are appearing of its successor, partly rooted in the strange new cosmologies of the late 1950s and early 60s.
12/6/14The Moral CaseBoth racism and sexism are justified by the chaos vision, and as that vision falters both are coming under intense moral attack.
12/27/14The Rules of the GameThe rules-based nature of the visions also extends to a meta-system designed to keep them sorted out.  But that meta-system has serious flaws.
1/11/15Not In the RulesThe first Vision of Everything may go back over a million years.  It began to fragment 400,000 years ago and the first transcendent triad 280,000 years ago was designed to recapture some of its unity and magic.
1/13/15Followup: “Earliest Known Stone Tools Planted the Seeds of Communication and Language”A new study confirms my suggestion in the previous entry that tool-making was the basis of language.
The Deep Structure of the Cycle of Visions
3/4/15Juggling ActThe visions themselves can be understood as rules-based systems.  But to understand the recurring nature of the cycle of visions takes a combination of mysticism, rationalism, and the underground stream.
4/7/15Picking Things ApartThe deep currents of the Vision of Everything precede the first of the rule-based visions and have been cannibalized by every vision since.
4/22/15And the Beat Goes OnThe environmental values of the holism vision are currently gaining mainstream acceptance, while the far-right version of the chaos vision is becoming overheated and threatening to self-destruct.  More changes are in store.
5/6/15The Cycle Stripped Bareit is possible to view these current events as simply the struggle of the two youngest and most transcendent visions against the established order.  This provides a clue as to how things went when the cycle was first starting out.
6/15/15The Importance of Stone-ThrowingTwo sources suggest that we separated from the apes when we began throwing stones -- and that this was also the beginning of sequential through and ultimately the basis of narrative.
6/24/15A Clash of InstinctsThe deep instinctual underpinnings of the cycle are far older than the visions themselves and operate independently of them.
8/5/15The Birth of RomanceSince the start, the visions have pushed back against both violence in times of social breakdown and complacency at times of social stability.  This creates the basic 1-2-3-4 pattern of each turn of the cycle.
9/30/15Geeks, Rebels, and WeirdosNew visions are always born out of the attempts of outsiders to explain their own experiences that don't fit social norms.
11/29/15An Age of MagicThe oddballs who became the first shamans turned into authentic magicians -- and then became caught up in social conflicts that caused them to be demonized as evil wizards.
3/21/16A Small AdjustmentI've changed my mind about my assertion a year ago in "Not in the Rules" and "Picking Things Apart" that the original Vision of Everything was cannibalized to create the first true visions.  It makes more sense to see the earliest proto-vision as the backdrop against which the true visions emerged.
4/14/16The Era of High StrangenessA revised version of the birth of the first proto-shamans and how they formed a mutually reinforcing alliance with the first geeks.
6/10/16A Living UniverseThe folk of the Dreamtime who invented us half a million years ago knew better than we do what it means to be human.
Where we Are Now -- Once Again
9/13/16The Boundless Realms of InventionWe have entered into one of those moments when everything changes.  And it is relevant to consider how every newborn vision is accompanied by the first hints of its own successor.
11/13/16The Next Four YearsThe next four years will witness a war of the forces of repression against the youngest and most powerful visions -- holism, horizontalism, and creative imagination.  And newer visions always triumph over old ones.
2/5/16The Birth of a New WorldAs holism and horizontalism exhaust themselves battling chaos-gone-toxic, creative imagination will become increasingly independent and assertive.  And as holism goes mainstream, a new creative materiality vision will e born.


Background courtesy of Eos Development