Chronology

Temporal Context for Texts and Artifacts

    If the entire existence of the earth were reduced to a day, then the history of humanity would compose about a half a second. Written records of humanity's presence on the planet are only about six thousand years old, and to decipher history before this "literate" record we are left dependent on our ability to piece together artifactual and archaeological records. Artifacts are older than written language, yet they speak in a language all their own of humanity's developing sense of self awareness in time. Indeed, calendars themselves are artifacts of human consciousness and, in one form or another, are universal in their address to the values of Human communities.
    The Christian calendar, for example, speaks of the sense of chronology and history particular to the Judaic tradition, reinterpreted and organized again around the faith in a prophesied Messiah. The ancient Mayan calendars are signs of Mayan cosmic awareness and the position of stars and constellations, just as some believe are the artifacts of ancient Egypt and even Stonehenge . The great mandalas of time in Buddhist and Hindu traditions transcend the history of the earth altogether, and describe majestic cosmic cycles in which all time is nothing but God's dream in a divine unfolding of the cosmos. Aboriginal time is literally clocked as "dream time:" a river of events independent of the earth's orbit, as well as of political or "historical" events--just as mythic time tells of ages of great deeds, events, heroics and cataclysms transcending any strict departmental chronology.
    The time lines given below reveal a cultural set of values by fashioning time as "linear," as on a line, implying that time is always developmental and progressive; a presupposition which is anything but universal--indeed a notion of "progress" some scholars believe was literally "invented" by the European Renaissance. What is certain, just as modern physics instructs is the condition of time-space in the universe, any way of understanding time is not an absolute--but relative to one's position and perspective.
    Yet our sense of time must organize itself in some fashion, and to defer to convention, the dates given below correspond to the Common Era Calendar with texts and artifacts arranged to correspond with these periods. The conceptions of cultural paradigms for time as both "mythic" and "magical" is as well delineated in order to give a context in which some of the texts as well as artifacts on the list might be better understood. As we describe the various ways time can be interpreted, however, it is important to remember that the human sense of time as a force of self awareness is common to all cultures and communities--despite how different various versions of time may appear on the surface.
    The aboriginal sense of time as a dream finds parallels in Hindu tradition as well as in Shakespeare who reminded us that it is ". . .such stuff as dreams" that we were made of. The Christian Calendar is both mythic and magical organizing its sense of time as emanating from the first coming of a savior and terminating with a second--a religious construct which shows up as well in the works of historical and economic philosophers such as Hegel and Marx who speak of an "end of history." In the Chinese tradition, just as in the Occidental, time lines tell of political epochs as organizing events around various ruling dynasties or civic constructs; just as the Indian sense of time corresponds to the West in its sense of time as characterizing religious periods of revelation. Even the mythic time of Native American culture finds a parallel in the myths of the ancient Mediterranean Civilizations, and in the cyclical construct of time in Africa. What we can say for certain is that comparing artifacts and texts across time as they address the various venues and modes of human experience remains our best address to understanding ourselves, and thus a dynamic component in an ongoing attempt to fashion a future.
    In the Chronology that appears below, BC indicates "Before Common Era," and CE indicates "Common Era." The Reading and Artifact Lists that appear after each period are representative of the kind of texts and artifacts that will be actually used in the first three required courses for the MAPS programs. Those that are highlighted are assigned texts, whereas other listed materials are referential works that might be helpful to students pursuing this course of study. The Texts and Artifacts are listed approximately in chronological order, although the dating of some Texts is arguable. Texts published within a century of one another should most often be thought of as contemporary, without particular regard to chronological sequence.
 

40,000 BC - 7,000 BC

    Contemporary theory still holds that all humans originally migrated out of Africa. By 30,000 BC, however, human presence is indicated in other areas of the earth. There are cave paintings in France and Spain, for instance, and traces of what is believed to be the spread of Asiatic peoples across what is now the Bering Strait into the Americas. The last Ice Age has concluded and Humanity is spreading out over the planet. It is an age of hunter-gatherers and their early communities testify to the basic institutions of kinship that will characterize human society throughout history. There is as well evidence of nascent religions, or at least a belief in some type of spirit world. Cave Paintings and small-scale sculptures, such as the Venus of Willendorf witness the arts as an integral to early human society. Beginning about 8,000 BC we have artifactual evidence of the development of agriculture, primarily in the Mid-East, but in other areas of the globe as well.
 
Texts Artifacts
Cave Paintings at Lascaux
Venus of Willendorf
African Rock Art

7,000 BC - 3,000 BC

    7,000 BC marks the early formation of early agrarian societies in the Ancient Near East, western Africa, northeastern China, and Central and South America. The surpluses produced by farming encourages an increase in population, the emergence of permanent settlements, and the development of sophisticated political institutions. By 7000 BC there is as well archaeological evidence of large cities, for example, at Jericho in Palestine. Surpluses of food also encourage a more specialized division of labor, freeing some members of society from the necessity of procuring food and allowing for concentration on the development of the arts and technology. Thus, arguably, the first "professional" class emerges. 4,236 BC marks the earliest date in the Egyptian calendar. 3,760 BC commences the Judaic Calendar. 3,372 BC, the Mayan. In 3,100 BC the first Egyptian Dynasty is established, and by 3,000 BC the Phoenicians have colonized the Eastern Mediterranean. Egyptian civilization has coalesced around a series of agricultural settlements bordering the Nile and falling under the dominion of the first of many pharaonic dynasties. The Sumerians have built an influential urban civilization in Mesopotamia with a class of professional scribes and administrators who employ a complex system of phonetic writing known as cuneiform. The schools that produced this professional class offered not only vocational training, but also the study of mathematics and literature. In Egypt, the counter-parts of Sumerian scribes develop a system of numbers and improve Egyptian writing , and the Maya establish a system of signs for both writing and numeration which records the constellations and catalogues the passage of time with unprecedented sophistication.
 
 
Texts Artifacts
Excavations of Catal Huyuk
Ruins at Jericho
Standing Stones at Carnac, Brittany
Chinese Painted Pottery Bowl
New Grange

3,000 BC - 1,000 BC

    By 2,697 BC, the Emperor Huang-te rules over an administratively organized China. The "Old Kingdom" in Egypt (2660 - 2150 BC) will give way to foreign rule by a people known as the "Hyksos," and then the establishment of an autonomous "New Kingdom" (1570 - 1075 BC). The New Kingdom marks the advent of an Egyptian empire, which will eventually be shattered by the invasions of a mysterious "Sea Peoples." The pyramids, first constructed by about 2,780 BC, provide evidence of both cultural efflorescence and administrative centralization. By 2,500 BC the advent of civilization as a global phenomenon is evidenced in the ancient Dravidian Civilization in the Indus Valley in India, as well as by the establishment of a complex civilization at Knossos in Crete, which is sustained in what appears to have been a long prosperous Goddess centered society. Knossos will survive for nearly a millenium until it is destroyed in 1,400 BC. The Dravidians will be invaded by Aryan tribes from the West, and Dravidian and Aryan cultures synthesize in about 2,150 BC into the foundations of Hinduism. This marks the early Vedic Period in India, extending approximately 800 years from 1,500 BC onward. It is a period primarily influenced by the religious texts of the Rig Veda and the Upanishads. 2,000 BC as well marks the advent of the Bronze Age in Europe. China will be further organized under the Chou Dynasty by 1,122 BC . Many of the tribal traditions of both Myth and Magic, believed to have been developed at the very dawn of human records in time, but which are impossible to date by conventional standards (see Magical and Mythic Time below), now form the basis for the proto-literature of newly emerging civilizations. A spark has been awakened in the mystery of human existence as what we now call "civilization" lays claim to new styles of life, new forms of organized communities, and new interpretations of experience.
 
 
Texts Artifacts
Epic of Gilgamesh Code of Hammurabi
The Vedas
The Old Testament
Stonehenge
Pyramid at Giza
The Sphinx
Excavations of Troy
Gudea of Lagesh, Mesopotamia 
Assyrian Winged Bull 
Birdman, Assyrian 
Herostone, Dravidian 
Palace of Minos, Crete 
The Colonnade of Amenhotep III, Temple of Luxor, Egypt 
The "Agamemnon" Mask, Mycenae (click here, then go to "Greek Art," etc.) 
Vessel from the Shang Dynasty

1,000 BC - 500 BC

    This dynamic half millenium witnesses the Birth of the Buddha (563 BC), the Birth of Confucius (551 BC), King David in Jerusalem (994 BC), the first Olympic games held in Greece (776 BC), the traditional date for the founding of Rome (753 BC), the founding of Byzantium (660 BC), the rise and fall of the Assyrian Empire (884 BC to 609 BC), the founding of Carthage (814 BC), and the spread of Bantu Speaking peoples into East Africa (500 BC). By 700 BC, the Vedic Period in India is giving way to the Epic Period which will flower into some of India's most enduring and influential literature. In Asia, the Buddha and Confucius will establish foundational cultural principles which remain intact to the present. The Americas begin to develop unique civilizations based on trade, alliance and military domination--following the same patterns that become discernable world wide with the advance of organized human cultural communities. Once Civilization has taken hold, as it now has in history, humanity will begin a long transformation of community and self understanding which remains unabated to the present.
 
 
Texts Artifacts
The Book of Changes (I Ching)
Homer: Illiad, Odessey
Hesiod: Theogony
Parmenides: On Nature
Heraclitus: Fragments
Confucius: Analects
Lao Tsu: Tao Te Ching
Upanishads
Bhagavad Gita
The Laws of Manu
Plaque of a Male Head, Quataban 
Head of a Man, Etruscan 
The Palace at Persepolis

500 BC - 500 CE

    This millennial period becomes the prototype for Occidental Civilization memorialized as the "Classical" Period. It witnesses the birth of Democracy in ancient Athens, the Greek struggle with Persia, the undoing of Classical Greece in the Peloponesian War as well as the internationalization of Greek culture through Alexander the Great. Greek Culture in contact with Judaism will form the founding ethos for "Occidental" culture in the West, whose influence, particularly through the rise of Christianity, will transform the Western world entirely. The Roman Empire begins and ends here, leaving an enduring stamp on the character of Europe, and profoundly influencing other areas, such as North Africa and the Mid-East. It is generally accepted that Jesus of Nazareth was born under the reign of Caesar Augustus (31 BC - 14 CE) and condemned to death during the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius (14 - 37 CE). By the end of the fourth century the Roman empire will have become predominantly Christian and Christianity will have assumed a distinctly Roman persona. It is in this form, hierarchical in organization and Latin in culture, that the Church will eventually embrace the Germanic peoples who will inherit Rome's legacy in western Europe. Even as the power of the Roman Empire becomes the province of Europeans in the west, in the east the empire gradually evolves into an essentially Greek-speaking cultural world known as Byzantium. As the once mighty Roman Empire declines in Europe, in America Mayan culture enters into a Golden Classical Age (300 - 900 CE). Hinduism in India enters fully into the Epic Period , and will close a 1000 year period of development with the conclusion of the Sutra period, sophisticating Hindu philosophy and religion into one of the most metaphysically complex religious doctrines in the world. The influence of Taoism under the legendary Lao Tzu takes hold in China and Confusciansm and Taoism lay the foundational framework for the philosophical perspective of one of the most organized human civil communities then in existence. Although Buddhism enters China in the first century CE, its influence will not become dynamic until the fifth. Then China will surpass India as the fountainhead of Buddhism, and Buddhism will eventually spread throughout Asia until reaching a zenith as the singular world religion with the most adherents. In Japan, the Yamato will achieve a dominant position among the various warrior clans, assuming the hereditary right to provide rulers and then placing its family totem, the Sun, at the head of the Shinto religious hierarchy. The "Rising Sun" remains the symbol of Japan. In this, and many other ways, the world we recognize today has its foundations in this millenium.
 
Texts Artifacts
Buddhist scriptures 
Aesop: Fables
Sophocles: Antigone, Oedipus the King
Aristophanes: The Frogs
Isocrates: Antidosis, Against the Sophists
Ramayana
Plato: Phaedo, Apology, Republic, Symposium, Lysis, Meno, Phaedrus, Protagorus
Aristotle: Nichomachean Ethics, Politics, Rhetoric, Topics, Logic, De Anima (On the Soul), Metaphysics
Carus Lucretius: On the Nature of Things
Plutarch: Lives
Ovid: Metamorphoses
Cicero: On Duties, The Orator, De Inventione
Nagarjuna: The Madyamikasastra (Doctrine on the Middle Way)
Virgil: Aeneid
Boethius: Consolation of Philosophy
St. Augustine: Enchridion, On Free Will, De Doctrina Christiana, Confessions
Plotinus: Enneads
The New Testament
Sleeping Satyr ("Barbieri Faun")
Temple of Athena Nike
Coffin for a Sacred Cat, Egyptian 
National Shrine at Ise in Japan
Gilt Bronze Lamp of Changhsin Palace (Western Han 206 BC - 24 CE) 
Head of Emperor Augustus, Roman 
Khajuraho Temple

500 CE - 1,100 CE

    This dynamic period in the Occident includes the gradual deconstruction of the western part of the Roman Empire, the spread of Christianity throughout Europe, and the gradual melding of Roman, Christian, and Germanic influences into a new, distinctly European styled civilization. Students of European history customarily refer to this era as the Middle Ages, to distinguish it from the world of Antiquity, which precedes it, and the Renaissance (popularly regarded as the fountainhead of the Modern World), which follows. The Franks, after converting to Christianity, will establish a prototype for this medieval civilization under the leadership of Charlemagne, a Christian, Germanic king who fostered a revival of Classical culture and assumed the title of Emperor. At the same time, Irish monks are reseeding and reforming the faith in Continental Europe, as monasteries assume the role of preservers and propagators of literacy and learning. By the 11th Century CE, Cathedral Schools begin to overshadow the monasteries as centers of learning, establishing a seed bed for the universities that will rank among the medieval world's most significant contributions. In the schools at Bologna (Italy), law begins its gradual divorce from theology and magic, becoming a subject of independent analytic study. Medieval culture will have a number of cultural highpoints, but its most representative products are the great cathedrals which seem to embody both the artistic and intellectual tenor of the age. In similar fashion, the great imperial churches of Byzantium, such as Hagia Sophia, will embody the cultural aspirations of the Orthodox world of Byzantium. Much later, after the Turkish conquest of Contstantinople (1453 CE), the Hagia Sophia will be transformed into a mosque in devotion to Islam. The founder and Prophet of Islam, Mohammed (570 - 632 CE), lives and dies in this period, and his life commences the youngest, and still fastest growing, of the world's great religions. By the close of the period Islam will influence cultures from the Atlantic coasts of Spain and Africa to the Pacific coasts of India and into Malaysia, creating one of the most refined global trade networks and centers of culture, science and industry the world has ever known. In the Americas, this era marks the end of the classic period of Mayan civilization (900 CE) and the rise of the Inca. The Toltecs establish hegemony over much of the region later to be known as Mexico. In Africa, The Aksum Kingdom of Ethiopia establishes trade routes between the Mediterranean and India, and as an African Christian Kingdom, characterizes a precocious cosmopolitanism far ahead of its time. The Kingdom of Ghana, however, rises to preeminence in Africa, rich in trade and housing a cosmopolitan court. The Tang Dynasty in China creates an empire larger than the Roman, with cities of inhabitants exceeding two million--much greater than any European city. It is a period of Chinese greatness. In Japan, advocates of political reform gain control and begin a long-running effort to re-model Japanese government after that of the Tang dynasty in China. Though ultimately unsuccessful, these reformers will initiate a fruitful period of exchange between Japan and China that will result in, among other attributes, a brilliant literary culture associated with the Japanese court at Heian. Globally, this is a period of great scholarship and deep inquiry concerning humanity's role in life, our relationship to civilization and the state, our relationship to knowledge, and significantly, humanity's relationship to the Divine.
 
 
Texts Artifacts
Martianus Capella: The Seven Disciplines
Cassiodorus: Institutiones
Isidore of Seville: Etymology
The Holy Quran
Shankara: The Vedanta Sutras of Badarayana
Beowulf
Hugh of St. Victor: Didascalicon
Moses Maimonides: Guide for the Perplexed
Ibn Araby: Bezels of Wisdom
Geogorian Chant: Pater noster
Plainchant: Nigra sum
Baptistry of the Arians
Santa Costanza
Shiva in His Nataraja Dancing Form, Ellora Caves 
The Moai statues of Rapa Nui, Easter Island 
Hagia Sophia 
Alhambra
Tikal Ruins
Ananda Temple, Burma

1,100 CE - 1,600 CE

    In many ways this period will become the parent of the Modern Era. Latin Christendom and Islam rival one another, but ironically the violence of the Crusades culminates in a reawakening of Europe to new forms of knowledge--even as it frustrates European attempts to territorially dominate the Mid-East. Greek and Arabic science, preserved and sophisticated under Islam, stimulate European intellectuals and challenge them to accommodate this new knowledge with the received learning of western Christianity. In turn, Islamic dominance of the trade routes to India and China will serve to encourage European explorations west across the Atlantic, and south around Africa. In Europe, the period marks the rise of the Renaissance and a fervor of activity in Art, Science and Industry which as well gives birth to modern market economies and a new class of merchants who the foster, under Royal province, the first European incursions into the Americas. It is also a period which saw the Mongol invasions from the steps of Asia nearly crush Europe and Islam alike, and the zenith and slow dissemination of Islamic cosmopolitanism around the world. In the Americas, the Aztecs establish an empire based on conquest and state terrorism which will, nonetheless, reach impressive levels of achievement in the areas of art and architecture. Tenochtilan, the Aztec capital, will impress Spanish conquerors as the equal of any European city. In Asia, Angkor Wat, one of the most mysterious and impressive citadels ever constructed, rises in the jungles of Cambodia as a monument to Hinduism. India is in the midst of the Great Commentary period as an elaboration of Hindu thought. The Sung Dynasty rises to preeminence in China. In Africa, the fall of the Kingdom of Ghana is paralleled by the rise of Mali, a kingdom influenced by Islam which will become both wealthy and a seat of knowledge and learning with a University in Timbuktu. The Shogunate controls Japan, as the Sung gives way to the Ming in China. Both Europe and China will survive the Black Death of the Bubonic Plague, and Europe will rise from the ashes to enter the world stage creating a sphere of influence which has not ceased since. The invention of the printing press, accelerating literacy and direct readings of the Bible, will add to the spread of the Protestant Reformation, polarizing Europe and splintering a once unified Western Roman Church. Yet despite wars, civil disturbance and catastrophic epidemics, this era too is one which witnesses the restoration of science in the west, of a new understanding of the cosmos, of a revitalization in art that still inspires overwhelming awe and wonder. The turmoils of this period mark the birth pangs of the modern world.
 
 
Texts Artifacts
Thomas Aquinas: Expositio Super Librum Boethii De Trinitate, Summa Theologica
The Quest of the Holy Grail
Landini: Ecco la primavera
Dante Alighieri: Divine Comedy
Sundiata, an Epic of Old Mali
Nicholas of Cusa: On Learned Ignorance
Marsilio Ficino: Oration on the Dignity of Man
Silvius Piccolomini: De Liberorum Educatione
Desiderius Erasmus: De Ratione Studii, In Praise of Folly
Juan Luis Vives: De Tradendis Disciplinis
Nicolo Machiavelli: The Prince
St. Ignatius of Loyola: Ratio Studiorum of the Jesuits
Lheritier: Nigra sum
Palestrina: Missa nigra sum
Gesualdo: Io pur respiro in cosi gran dolore
William Shakespeare: The Complete Works
Hildegarde of Bingen: Illuminations
Notre-Dame Cathedral
Detail from Hoysala Temple
Machu Pichu, Peru 
Chen Chun: Painting (Ming Dynasty 1368-1644 CE) 
Leonardo da Vinci: The Last Supper (click here, then go to "Leonardo," etc.) 
Michelangelo: The Sistine Chapel
Ca' d'Oro, Venice 
Angkor Wat

1,600 CE - 1,800 CE

    In the West this era is often called the Enlightenment. From Western Philosophers come many of the systems of thought which will be refined into scientific methodology in the 19th and 20th centuries. Faith in human reason leads not only to advances in the sciences, but to a new spirit of political philosophy endorsing human rights and democratically representative governments. In the arts the Enlightenment is first paralleled by Neoclassicism, but a rebellion against formal rigidity, and even rationality, soon ferments in the advent of Romanticism. Romanticism emphasized feeling and emotion over reason alone, and represented a strong affinity for unspoiled nature. Nature in and of herself was "good," just as was unspoiled or corrupted human nature. The trappings of civilization, avarice, and the intrusion of the Industrial Revolution into the natural order were seen as despotic and corrupting. It is as well the age of European Colonialism around the world, and the age of the birth of the United States as a new nation. In many ways, a crisis of the old and rapidly emerging new orders reach a culmination in the American and French Revolutions. Nations who entered the era under Monarchs and at times semi-Feudal institutions would leave the era as Industrial Nations with a power to influence world cultural, economic and political development in a fashion never before witnessed. The legacy of the era surrounds us, for it is here that science as we know it is first developed, where a split between science, art and religion takes place--a split which still characterizes Industrial nations--and it is an era which marks the advent of global cultures in contact with, and struggling with, one another as they never had before. India enters the period under the Moghul Empire and will leave it as a colony of British colonial enterprise. China will struggle with foreign incursions and the Western pursuit of trade. America will emerge on the world scene in a fashion unimagined. Nation states replace kingdoms, industry revolutionizes the globe, and the precedence for world culture, and conflict, is established.
 
 
Texts Artifacts
Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quixote (1605) 
Francis Bacon: The Idols of the Mind
Galileo Galilei: Two New World Systems, The Starry Messenger
Rene Descartes: Discourse on Method, Meditations on First Philosophy 
Tmas Hobbes: Leviathan
John Locke: Second Treatise of Civil Government, Essay on Human Understanding
Bach: Mass in B minor
Isaac Newton: Principia
David Hume: A Treatise of Human Nature
Thomas Jefferson: Declaration of Independence
Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee
MozartThe Magic Flute
Immanuel Kant: Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, Critique of Pure Reason, On Enlightenment
Mary Wollestonecraft: A Vindication of the Rights of Women
The Potala Palace, Tibet 
Bernini: David
Poppelman: Zwinger Palace, Dresden 
Falconet: La Baigneuse
Temple of Love, Palace Gardens of Versailles 
Taj Mahal
The Golden Temple

1,800 CE - 1,900 CE

    At the beginning of this century the American nation is less than 20 years old. At the end of it it will be poised to become a world power. The emergence of this new world power takes place in a baptism of blood in a great civil war testing not only American resolve, but also its principles--while introducing the rest of the world to the potential horrors of industrialized warfare. It is a century too which marks the European Colonization of Asia and Africa creating conflicts, strife and national turmoil which will profoundly effect the dawning era of global development and internationalism. The last of the Manchus in China will govern under foreign influence and often brutal internal strife. British ruled India will create a colonial character that in the next century will be profoundly challenged by Mahatma Gandhi--and by extension a challenge issued to colonialism around the world. The intellectuals of the 19th Century, including Freud, Marx and Darwin, will create revolutions in science and politics which will come to dominate the century to come. Romanticism finds its culmination in America with authors such as Whitman, Dickinson and Melville, leading in the arts to a "Post-Romantic" movement with deeper concerns for "social realism" than an ideal return to nature. Flaubert seems to herald this new movement, and the death of the old, in France. The social realist movements in turn will spread to Asia and Africa. The old world of pre-industrialism, of agro-economies, of global isolationism, will vanish like morning mists by the end of the century, replaced by global technology, nationalism on the world stage, of international economics and the advent of the modern nation states--who very soon will face off in unprecedented global conflicts.
 
 
Texts Artifacts
BeethovenSymphony No. 3, "Eroica"
Mary Shelley: Frankenstein
Herman Melville: Moby Dick
Charles Darwin: Origin of Species, Descent of Man
Wagner: The Ring of the Nibelung
Marx and Engels: Communist Manifesto
Auguste Comte: Positive Science
Soren Kierkegaard: Fear and Trembling, Sickness Unto Death
Walt Whitman: Leaves of Grass, Democratic Vistas
Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Crime and Punishment
Baudelaire: Flowers of Evil
Renoir: Luncheon of the Boating Party
Phillip Webb: The Red House
Vincent van Gogh: Self-Portrait
Gaudi: Sagrada Familia

1,900 CE -

    There are many historians who believe that the 20th century will eventually be perceived as one great global struggle. Commencing with the 1st World War, directly culminating with the 2nd, and climaxing in the Cold War of Atomically empowered alliances pitted against one another, the century galvanizes new forms of planetary organizations out of the tensions of global conflict. The changes taken place in the 20th Century are dazzling, and almost unbelievable. In many ways, the first movements out of the Industrial Revolution into the Super Industrial Revolution take place in this century, complete with Super Industrial wars involving the entire globe on a scale previously unknown in history. The historical philosophies of Hegel and Marx will influence this century dynamically, as will Freud's findings concerning the unconscious, Darwin's revelations concerning the history of life on earth, and the full implementation of science and technology on a grand scale. In the arts, the Armory Exhibition in New York will revolutionize a generation's perspective. The "Lost Generation" following the First World War will combine Post Romanticism with Modernism, which some believe survives as the major aesthetic movement up until the advent of Surrealism and eventually Pop Art. Post-Modernism, a movement characterized by a centrifugal expansion at the edges with no particular focus or central cohesion, has been a term applied to characterize the dynamic forces at work at the end of this century; as well a term which characterizes the accelerated development of civilizations which themselves may seem to have become unanchored in the flow of time. Many Post-Modern era artists have been concerned with reconnecting the fragments out of the maelstrom of change and incorporating these influences into new forms drawn from the experiences of the past. In many ways it is a century of climax and crisis, of intellectual and technological revolution, of dramatic contrasts between Industrialized and non-Industrialized nations. The global imbalance in resource consumption, technological sophistication and economic development will prove, many believe, to be the legacy of this century as it creates the clime of the century to come. In the brief moment of civilization's presence on earth (that half second in the world's day), the 20th Century opened the door to the possibility for a global community, for a new cosmopolitanism, a new global economic system, the advent of a universal civilization composed of the diversity of the human heritage and united for the first time on a planetary level--or for universal, and complete, self destruction. Needless to say, this century has altered the focus of civilization toward the creation of a new order capable of meeting the challenges that remain before us--or the overwhelming consequences of failing to do so.
 
Texts Artifacts
Vladimir Lenin: What Is To Be Done
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
Mohandas Ghandi: Ghandi Reader
Bertrand Russell: Why I Am Not A Christian
Neidhardt and Black Elk: Black Elk Speaks
Martin Luther King: Letter from Birmingham Jail Thomas Kuhn: The Structure of Scientific  Revolutions
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations) 
John Dewey: Reconstruction in Philosophy
William James: Varieties of Religious Experience
Sigmund Freud: Civilization and Its Discontents
Ludwig Wittgenstein: Tractatus
Franz Kafka: Metamorphosis
Jack Kerouac: On the Road
Jean-Paul Sartre: Being and Nothingness
Martin Buber: I and Thou
Cage: Imaginary Landscape
Hannah Arendt: Eichman in Jerusalem
Louise Erdrich: Tracks
Chagall: I and the Villiage
Duchamp: Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2
Paxton: The Chrystal Palace
Eisenstein: Battleship Potempkin
Picasso: Guernica
Wright: Guggenheim Museum
Tadao Ando: Rokko Housing One

 
Supplemental Texts
Wll Durant: The Story of Civilization
Frankfort, Frankfort, Wilson, and Jacobsen: Before Philosophy
Jean Gebser: The Ever-Present Origin
Paul Abelson: The Seven Liberal Arts: A Study in Medieval Culture
Hastings Rashdall: The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages
Fisher, Ury, Patton: Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving in
Don Ihde: Experimental Phenomenology

Interpreting Time:

    The brief synopses given above of the great periods in the development of civilization and community are merely an interpretation of time and how our understanding of what Philosophers call our "Being in Time" effects our own sense of identity, purpose and direction. Time is as well understood in Myth, in Magic, in the suspension of chronology that takes place every time we tell a story beginning with "Once upon a Time." Time itself is perhaps the most mysterious of forces, our grasp of it extremely tentative, and the nature of time has inspired amazing breakthroughs in our understanding of not only ourselves, but of the cosmos. Einstein's understanding that time was indeed the dimension needed to explain theretofore infathomable properties of physics inspired an ongoing revolution in our understanding of the physical universe in which we live. Such an understanding may not be that much different than time as merely the stage for narrative, a space for the unfolding of the human story, of time as the key to the unconscious in a-temporal dreams populated by universal symbols prophesied by Jung and others. Below are some strategies for grasping this elusive dimension as it reoccurs in the narrative of our ongoing attempt at self understanding in time.

Magic Time:

    Scientific method traditionally reduces and separates events one from the other in order to discover their causal relationships. A magical perception, on the other hand, finds greater significance in the relationship of events happening simultaneously at any given moment in time. Jung has observed, in his "Forward" to Wilhelm's translation of the I Ching, that  ". . .While the Western mind carefully sifts, weighs, selects, classifies, isolates, the Chinese picture of the moment encompasses everything down to the minutest nonsensical detail, because all of the ingredients make up the observed moment." One important "detail" is the relationship of the observer to what is observed. This relationship has even become a crucial consideration in quantum physics in that, on the quantum level, the manner in which data are measured has a significant effect on the data themselves. In this fashion, even Western science has come to realize the inevitable subjective element involved in perception, and the manner in which such perception takes place in time.
    In many cultures in which "magic" places a significant role in the interpretation of time, the Shaman, the technician of magic in tribal cultures, embraces such elements of chance, coincidence and subjectivity, synthesizing memories, observations, cultural mythologies in an entranced journey through the unconscious. The Shaman then communicates what is learned to the community.
    Cry cultures in the West still possess something of this frame of mind when we consider the concept of "coincidence." Coincidence is merely the surprise of two events occurring simultaneously. Cosmic coincidence is the simultaneous occurrence of everything that exists at any given moment. Our understanding of coincidence can often only be intuited through the interaction of all of one's thoughts, feelings, emotions and memories, and thus are to a degree "timeless."
    Just as with thoughts, feelings, emotions and memories, texts and artifacts relating to magical time are difficult to date. Stories and traditions important to magical experiences are usually passed on orally, changing with the transmission, while often retaining some very ancient elements of ritual, account and interpretation. The problems concerning the dating of such materials will be discussed more thoroughly in the next section, Mythic Time.
 
Texts Artifacts
Celtic Poem, Song of Amergin
Neihardt & Black Elk: Black Elk Speaks
Baka Yelli Music
The Tibetan Book of the Dead
The Tarot 
African Masks
Lakota Sweat Lodge
Tibetan Buddhist Mandala

Mythic Time:

    Mircea Eliade cites a creation myth which has been told with striking similarities from Romania to the Americas. He theorizes that the story may have a common origin dating before the crossing of the Bering Strait by the Amerinds over 25,000 years ago--yet the story takes on a slightly different version in each re-telling. Of course the story itself relates its own age as as old as creation. The story's own account of its age is an example of  time in a mythical context. Such myths are universal to human cultures and communities, from the Graeco-Roman, Babylonian and Sumerian, Phoenician, Chinese, Aboriginal, Aftican and Native American--to mention only a few the mythic narratives that survive into our time. One thing is for certain: where human communities are founded, mythology evolves.
    Perhaps the best articulation for a temporal mythic context is elaborated in Hinduism in which the duration of the universe is calculated in cycles of kalpas. A kalpa is a day of Brahma, and one day of Brahma consists of a thousand cycles of four yugas, or ages. The four yugas are Satya (1,728,000 years), Treta (1,296,000 years), Dvapara (864,000 years) and Kali (432,000 years). The end of the 20th century is said to be 5,000 years into the age of Kali. Each age represents a different stage of decline until the cycle begins again with another "golden age"of Satya. This cycle rotates a thousand times and comprises one day of Brahma. All beings, according to the Bhagava-Gita, become manifest from the unmanifest state in a day of Brahma and are annihilated in the same amount of time during Brahma's night. Brahma, who is the creator of the universe, lives for 100 kalpas and, therefore, the universe exists for the same amount of time. However, innumerable universes are said to exist, each with their own Brahmas, thus further expanding the time-frame. One aspect of God, Visnu, is said to sleep in an Ocean of Milk. When he breathes out, each bubble formed from his breathing is a potential universe. If he happens to glance at a bubble, it becomes impregnated with another sleeping Visnu shaded by a multi-headed serpent. A lotus grows from the navel of this Visnu, and upon its blossom is born a Brahma who creates a new universe. The scriptures, which tell of such wonders, from the Vedas to the Puranas, have existed in the mind of God since before time. They have been revealed anew slowly in the haze of ignorance in the Kaliyuga. Thus in effect, although time to a degree is measured in Hinduism, it is in fact eternal and infinite.
    The "Vedic Period" of Hinduism dates from 1,500 BC onward for approximately 800 years, yet the avatars of their gods are said to have appeared along a time-frame extending millions of years. According to Hindu myth, Rama attacked the Demon, Ravana, in Lanka during the Tretayuga over 1 million years ago. Some scholars connect this with the Aryans attacking Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) around 800 BC. Yet, this is an attempt to impose historical time upon mythic structure, and is in fact, by a mythic criterion, an act of ignorance demonstrating the inability of consciousness alone to grasp the true mystery of both time and the universe. Mythic time dwarfs linear time in a fashion reminiscent of how, as many modern psychologists have assured us, the unconscious and the imagination dwarf what we perceive to be conscious reality--just as geologic time dwarfs human history and cosmic time dwarfs the history of the earth. If we try too hard to force myths into an historical framework, much of the power of the myths is lost, and perhaps as well much of our power to understand the vastness of the universe we inhabit. In such loss we risk losing as well crucial insights into our own nature. Thus Myths often demand a willingness to suspend (at least temporarily) what is known to be demonstrable "fact." One may then be rewarded by far greater powers of insight and imagination.
 
 
Texts Artifacts
Lucius Apuleius: The Golden Ass
Ovid: Metamorphoses
Hopi, The Four Worlds
Popol Vuh (Book of Community)
Balinese Monkey Chant
Tibetan Thankas
Tlingit Partition Cell