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Linear versus Golden Age Views of the Evolution of Consciousness

Discussion Post I submitted for my Atlantic University TP5100 Course – December, 2020

At the core of the “alternative” information provided in this week’s reading is a clash of two worldviews. The first, the one dogmatically accepted by modern archaeology, science, and academia, is what Joseph Selbie and David Steinmetz call “linear evolution, in which each-new-bit-of-knowledge-has-to-be-derived-from-the-one-before” (2010, p. 221). This linear evolution approach puts everything into a clean, neat timeline, where ignorant humans began evolving into modern man starting in approximately 3,100 B.C., or at least this is when our ancestors began leaving discernible clues. As the authors continue, “Archeologists love to come up with the first instance of – take your pick – writing, metallurgy, medicine, agriculture, architecture, pottery, etc., but always at the same time careful to make a connection to the previously accepted first instance in the chain of development” (2010, p. 221).

An alternative viewpoint, which has existed for thousands of years, holds that very advanced civilizations existed before 3,100. For example, Plato mentioned the lost city of Atlantis, which is confirmed by Edgar Cayce, along with his mention of another highly evolved society, Lemuria. Not only were these cultures as advanced as us moderns, in many ways, they exceeded our ability, particularly when it related to spirituality. As the authors note, when discussing “Treta Yuga man,” he “possessed an exalted and subtle understanding, far beyond our own” (2010, p. 204). The creation myths also point to a time of Paradise and then Paradise Lost, as seen in the story of the Garden of Eden. In these cases, humans looked backward to a “Golden Age” when they were more in concert with the Divine and their surrounding environment.

The evidence presented as part of this week’s readings completely undermines the linear evolutionary view. It provides substantial and irrefutable information that highly advanced human societies existed tens of thousands of years ago. Whether this proves the accuracy of the 24,000-year Yuga cycle is open to further debate. However, there is no question that early humans, who we are told were superstitious and simple, actually possessed tremendous intelligence, planning and logistical skills, and a much more profound spirituality than we’ll ever understand.

For example, Dr. B.G. Sidharth calculates the Vedas date back to roughly 7,300 B.C. (2010, p. 190). According to the Spiral Dynamics theory, at this point, humans are squarely in the Red Meme, or the adolescent stage, which sees them “egocentric” and “lacking ‘discipline’ and ‘sensitivity'” (2015, p. 4). The Vedas, however, depicts a civilization that was anything but lacking discipline and sensitivity. The authors suggest the “astronomical, mathematical, and physical knowledge embedded in the Vedas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads” was “popularly believed not to have been discovered in Europe until the Renaissance or later” (2010, p. 200).  Spiritually, the mantras contained within the Vedas enabled the practitioner to “manipulate his inner world'” and achieve an “exalted states of awareness” (2010, p. 197), something that only the most devout yogis, shamans, and saints have achieved in recent times.

The authors also provide other evidence that undercuts the linear evolution theory. They point to observatories that tracked the “paths of the sun, moon, stars, and planets” initially in Germany and Egypt, to name a few, dating as far back as 4,500 B.C. (2010, p. 212). Between 3,400 B.C. and 2,900 B.C., “scores more observatories were built,” including those found in England, Ireland, France, and Portugal (2010, p. 212). These observatories point to a much more knowledgeable civilization regarding astronomy and mathematics, much more so than the average person today. And this doesn’t even consider how these extraordinarily precise and extremely heavy stone structures were built by humans who only supposedly had the most rudimentary tools available.

The Piri Re’is Map was fascinating since it pointed to a period of understanding not only when the map was first thought to be dated but also to a much earlier time by what it depicted. The authors note that the mapmakers had understood the “principles of spherical trigonometry,” and Professor Charles Hapgood and other modern scientists found the “map to be highly accurate” (2010, p. 223). While it was initially thought that the map created in 1513 AD, it’s an accurate depiction of a landmass that “is currently under ice, and has been for thousands of years.”  This points to a much older map origin date (2010, p. 224). As Selbie and Steinmetz note, a section of the map indicates it was a “copy of a much older map,” and using a period when the landmass now under the ice in the Antartica and when the Sahara “would have had rivers and lakes” puts the map’s creation sometime from 5,000 to 3,000 B.C. (2010, p. 225).

The evidence provided by the authors not only destroys the official narrative about the linear evolution of human consciousness and development, it runs broadside into common and widely taught dogmas espoused in mainstream science, anthropology, sociology, and even psychology. Since the late Nineteenth Century, modern humans have convinced themselves that they are the top dog. They are the chosen, enlightened ones, and anything that happened previously must be primitive, whether in human relationships, worship, and the means of production. A common teaching in sociology, for example, is how we’ve evolved from “hunter-gather” to a much more sophisticated and integrated society. The evidence will also have a dramatic impact on psychology as well.  If more people wake up to the notion that human history is cyclical and not linear and that they’re not superior to all who have come before, they will need some serious couch time with a good shrink!


Paine-Clemes, B. (2015), “Spiral dynamics and evolutionary consciousness,” Virginia Beach, VA: Fourth Dimension Press.  Retrieved from

Selbie, J. & Steinmetz, D. (2010). “The yugas: keys to understanding our hidden past, emerging energy age, and enlightened future,” Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity Publishing.