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The Old Testament and the Eonic Effect

December 27th, 2008 · No Comments

On the subject of the Old Testament here’s a passage from World History And The Eonic Effect:
The Old Testament as Eonic Data

One of the most remarkable cases of the eonic effect is reflected in the Old Testament. Historians are beginning to close in on the Old Testament period, to produce an account that finally begins to make sense of the confusing history and scholarship here. The worse it gets for the theologian the better it gets for the student of the eonic effect. Biblical scholarship, so-called, has often been little more than the theologian’s disinformation. We have to manage to be somewhat ruthless, and yet respectful here. We are about to annex the Old Testament to a secular model. The document, as it stands now, is beyond salvage on its own terms.
One advantage of our eonic approach is that we can partition world history into a series of meaningful blocks, and assess their high level relationships, up to a point, without the exact data. Thus we might inject some bogus data from the Old Testament account, passed like bad money by theologians, and then find that wrong. But our ‘eonic history’ of the Old Testament would remain, more or less. That’s because it is pure architecture with default content, e.g. the well-attested facts we know, and even those we may not know. And those facts are almost entirely in the ‘eonic Axial range’. Almost nothing can be taken at face value in this labyrinth of distortions. But an invariant structure remains in all accounts. That high-level model merely says that the core Old Testament block, a few centuries before the Exile, roughly, in the period of the Prophets, shows ‘eonic determination’, Axial Age correlation, same as Archaic Greece, which it resembles very closely (at this level of abstraction). We can see immediately on the grounds of periodization alone that we are missing something in the standard accounts, religious or secular. The religious account is mythic, while the secular can’t explain the timing. Timing of what? However, the right data finally seems to be emerging, and it fits our eonic model to a tee.
In fact the whole document falls into our lap as a play of ‘eonic data’ built around a transition, albeit in disguise. Don’t be distracted by monotheism here. Like Orpheus, if you look backward at Eurydice, you will be lost, confused all over again. A transition is a fuzzy time-zone patch where eonic emergents appear on schedule in a frontier effect. The relative transform of the nth god name sequence is itself an eonic emergent, monotheism is an eonic emergent self-referentially applied to its own ‘history’. A close look shows an embedded account of this eonic transition. Let us look again at our stream analysis of the Greeks:

    An independent stream, e.g. Indo-European Greeks
    A mideonic entry into a diffusion field, e.g. Mycenaeans
    A transitional time-slice, e.g. the Archaic Greek period
    A post-transitional oikoumene

Let us note in passing that the third, transitional period produces a great literature in the gesture of putting the Iliad into writing, sometime in the eighth century or early seventh. This literature is about the second Mycenaean period, which is not a part of the Axial period. So it is the transitional rendition of ‘stream entry myths’ that is significant.
Now substitute the relevant data from the Canaanite area of the emergent ‘Israel’. Our Axial period clearly seems to straddle a broad band all the way across Eurasia, one transition in a suitable roughly spaced spot from Rome to China. We have to be careful and not exclude other ‘eonic data’ in the Mesopotamian region. But, as history shows, this field tends to fail the test of the ‘acorn effect’ and we see the hopeless cases like the Assyrian empire rise and disappear, unable to extricate themselves from the mideonic empire trap. (Note that Israel is itself barely able to manage its acorn effect, and yet seems to survive its own demise as a kingdom. First ‘Israel’ is lost, as the remnant Judah becomes the carrier, then that is lost). The only real survivor of this area will prove to be the Biblical documents and the Judaic stream. With that caveat (we will see clear blending later with Zoroastrian thematics), we can take this one great gift of data slightly to the fore. We get the following:

    An independent stream, e.g. Semitic Canaanites
    A mideonic entry into a diffusion field, e.g. tales of Egypt, a kingdom in the field of late Mesopotamian mideonic empires
    A transitional time-slice, e.g. ‘Israel’ and Judah up to the Exile
    A post-transitional oikoumene or generator, here spectacular, several religions

The two structures are isomorphic, if we can sort out the actual data that we are dealing with. The Old Testament clearly records a transition, but throws us off the scent because of its instant mythological wrapper. But given this resemblance of our two lists we can safely predict the key period will correspond to the Greek Dark Ages and Archaic period. And that there might be a clustering near the divide, if we can find one to correspond to the modern. Tracking backward 2400 years gives us about –600, the period of or just before the Exile. The clue might lie there and our butterfly net coordinates suggests something interesting between about –900 and –600, especially the last half: about the time of the major Prophets! We check the divide period. Let’s look at ‘state of the art’ Biblical Criticism, attempting to uncover the archaeology of Israel. As the authors of The Bible Unearthed note,

    During a few extraordinary decades of spiritual ferment and political agitation toward the end of the seventh century BCE, an unlikely coalition of Judahite court officials, scribes, priests, peasants, and prophets came together to create a new movement. At its core was a sacred scripture of unparalleled literary and spiritual genius. It was an epic saga woven together from an astonishingly rich collection of historical writings, memories, legends, folk tales, anecdotes, royal propaganda prophecy, and ancient poetry.

So the Old Testament is really a creation of the divide period! It may not be quite that simple, but the point is clear. This is a climax of strains emerging in the period of Axial phasing. Thus the new world of Biblical archaeology is producing a remarkable result, in the almost complete erosion of the standard Old Testament mythology. The secular student of the eonic effect finds the ‘eonic rubric’, compression near the seventh century, splendidly confirmed by the emerging picture of the rapid crystallization of a viable but still contradictory monotheism in the ‘YHWH alone’ movement and the testimony of the Prophets, in a rapid phase visible consolidated in the period of Josiah. It is here that many of the outstanding Judaic myths suddenly crystallize via the formation of an ideology of what is still a ‘state religion’ in the kingdom of Judah. And it is this corpus, complete with its contradictions and the strategies of its lost moment, that will be injected into the world stream, among other characteristics its unwitting record of the eonic effect being the most ironic, and the strange ‘miracle’ of another kind, the secular student must reckon with as he inherits the elegant remnant of this ‘tavern of ruin’ as eonic data. We tend to get into a snafu over the clear nationalistic origin of the Bible, its Prophetic anticipations (with retroactive fudging), and the final result, which is several religions in tandem. But in fact the whole structural dynamic is ‘eonic’ from beginning to end, as long as we don’t get sidetracked by later revisionism. It is hard to think of anything more remarkable than the appearance of the Prophets, but it is not more remarkable than the appearance of the Greek Pre-Socratics, Buddha, Confucius, and Lao Tse.
We see the pieces falling into place once we realize that the patriarchal myths of Abraham, the tale of the Exodus, the saga of Joshua and the invasion of Canaan, and the Davidic/Solomonic Kingdom are later nationalistic myths emerging over the transition and starting to crystallize just before the Exile. These are stream entry materials from the mideonic period. Elements clearly predated this codification, but the point is that we see the eonic timing almost eerily in place. Who were the Israelites then? In fact we see that current archaeology shows us the highland peoples drifting in and out of Bedouin stages in the millennium before the pastoralist David, around whom a considerable myth is to be created. The account that we have is backdated with the later codifications we now see in the Bible. Monotheism appears relatively late, in organized form, although there is no objection to evidence that it existed in some primordial version much earlier. But there are still clear elements of polytheistic religion until near the end. And in fact, the whole point was that there was a process of consolidation based on the Jerusalem temple, appearing near the end of the eighth century in our ‘acorn field’, the remarkable Judah.
Now compare this to the Greek case. We can almost map isomorphic elements one to one between the two. Both produce a nationalistic literature during a transition, using elements outstanding from a mideonic legacy of the culture stream. This history of the Israelites turning into Jews shows a remarkable culture-form, something like networking ironically enforced by the repeated loss of the ‘geographical base’. The spread of this network into the coming worlds of recurrent empire will prove a source of general innovations throughout that greater area yielding finally to the Roman world, and this feature goes a long way toward accounting for the emergent Christianity to come.
We must be very careful of teleological questions here, keeping in mind that while our large-scale model shows ‘eonic directionality’, that does not allow us to transfer that directionality to the interiors and their mideonic productions, e.g. Christianity. Our model only allows ‘seeds sown in a transition’ to create a cone of diffusion in its follow-up, as the period of eonic determination passes into ‘free action’. Some other form of explanation is needed. We can make no teleological statements about the relationship of emergent monotheism and later Judaism, Christianity or Islam, save that they are in the oikoumenes generated by the transition. However, we can see that while our eonic effect is intermittent, and complete by the time of the divide, ca. the period of the Exile, the clear sense of the transition is the creation of instruments of cultural integration, oikoumenes, and that is the result we see emerging in the wake of this transition. Beware of teleological thinking here, and indeed we see in the centuries to come clear ‘teleological tragedy’ in action as the collision and jackknifing of the mideonic and transitional productions. It is worth proceeding to the Indic example to see the eerie isomorphism once again in the transitional gestation and crystallization of a world religion. For a system modeler this result is far more gripping than the mythology of the text itself.

Tags: Third Edition · World History and The Eonic Effect

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