“If you look to the future and keep one eye on the past you are blind in one eye. If you keep both eyes on the future you are blind in both eyes.”
Does history repeat itself?
When looking at the earth’s climate we see a repetition of events.
We have measured time from our observations of solar movement.
When looking at the movement of the earth we see a repetition of orbital inclination, eccentricity and axial tilt.
Whether one wants to become rich, safe or just make the right decisions in life one looks to the past and the future. At some time we have all wanted to predict the future.
This essay is not to draw an opinion on AGW. The anomalies and problems between reports and solutions are there to be seen by all.
What is to be established is the occurrence of cycles or repetitions. How repetitions can be seen throughout our observations. By analysing cycles we may be able to predict our social future.
The first clear and recurring changes in human history may well be the rise and fall of civilisations.
The ingredients must be in place settlements, the availability of commodities such as water and food production. Security, administration, laws and regulations, the arts, are more requirements.
But the life of civilisations needs a different perspective.
Eight stages of civilisation, attributed to Alexander Tytler, are
- Bondage to spiritual growth
- Spiritual growth to great courage
- Great courage to liberty
- Liberty to abundance
- Abundance to complacency
- Complacency to apathy
- Apathy to dependency
- Dependency back to bondage
We know a Totalitarian state is bondage as was cleverly depicted in Orwell’s classic. We can also see how Socialism breeds dependency shortcutting a few of the expected stages.
Where have we got to in this social template?
Sometimes one has to step back to get a better picture. More detail then starts emerging. Another step back and patterns are identified. Yet another step gives context and maybe understanding. We must see the ‘wood from the trees’.
Our communication rides on waves ruled by time. Our computers have beating hearts. Our sight, our sound, our world, relies on time. As the blades of the wind turbine turn, we count the seconds, the hours and the years.
The time one starts looking to the time one stops. The time for the apple to leave the tree and hit the ground. The beat of the heart and emotional chemistry. A time to live and a time to die. For time is the king that sits on high. We will run out, but not time.
Man is designed to question to be curious to challenge. Man is on a mission and it will be the stars or extinction. Can we disrupt the cycles and change the pattern of nature’s destiny? Maybe we should not try if we do not understand. But given freedom and self-determination could we change the outcomes?
Looking back for patterns in the history of Great Britain. First, consider how geography shapes us. Do those who invade and stay, remain the same, or do they become British? Are they shaped by this land and by what they find here?
The harmonics of emotions, culture and the richness in the geographical diversity of the country make us what we are with the open sea around us.
In the last 2000 years, a pattern emerges.
- The Romans came and conquered in the first century They brought us towns with architecture and sanitation. Currency, advertising, and bureaucracy. Importantly their calendar, Latin and roads.
- The Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain occurred over a number of centuries after the Romans left but was truly established in the sixth century with control of what is now Sussex, Kent, East Anglia and part of Yorkshire, West Saxons founded a Kingdom in Hampshire and later the English Midlands and London. They gave us the modern English legal system and the modern English language.
- The Norman Conquest, in comparison, was short, sharp and brutal. Anglo-Saxon aristocracy were stripped of their assets. This took place in the eleventh century AD and by the end of that century the Normans had built stone castles and cathedrals and the Domesday Book was compiled. We may never know the degree of shock to the English psyche but time heals.
- The English Reformation of the sixteenth century marked the taking back of power from the Roman Catholics. It swept through Europe and manifested in Great Britain with Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy in 1534. The publication of The Book of Common Prayer in 1549 brought ownership to common people who found they did not need to pay priests for redemption.
With these hugely significant events in English history, a five hundred year interval stands out.
In the 21st century, there will be another major change in our history. Will it be any the more painful than the previous four? Will we be able to make it work for us or is our fate already predestined?
There are other harmonics and trends in play. The rise and fall of ideologies, demography, and environmental change.
But the one catalyst that may be the decider of our fate as was the printing press of the 16th century will be Technology.
Will we, can we, make it work for us the common people. Will we have a Second Reformation or enslavement?
We are herded along a corridor, it is corrupting our reason and our judgement. Are we herded or are we the herd?
Those up ahead are screaming and panicking. A door in the side of the corridor is marked Localism offering a way out. But that is another argument and another article.
Time sets the mood the music and the light that pours in, and as the energy washes around us we realise that love is the beginning, the end, and evil is but a subsidiary.