I appreciate your efforts here. Just a couple of clarifications, though. I’m not sure from where you got the “six years” figure. As you can see from its “archive” which gives the timeline of posts, I started my blog in 2011 and I switched to Medium in November, 2019. Before the blog I did a Ph.D. in philosophy and I majored in philosophy as an undergraduate, so I’ve been thinking about these things for much longer than six years.
There are actually a few of my articles that are directly on-point to your account of prehistory, which you missed (links below). In “Mythopoesis and the Consolation of Technology,” I talk about the prehistoric mindset, returning to Henry Frankfort’s idea of the mythopoeic. I suggest that technological and civilizational progress may be ironically, albeit subconsciously, meant to redeem the childlike prehistoric vision of enchanted nature, by injecting our mentality into matter with computer programming, the designer’s intentions (artificial functions), societal laws, and the like.
In a neo-Spenglerian article on “Our Imminent Doom,” I take the individual lifecycle, from the carefree flowing of the imagination and lack of distinction between subject and object, in childhood, to teen angst (the world’s disenchantment), to adult servitude to social functions, to the elderly’s return to childhood innocence, helplessness, and inevitable death, and I connect that to our collective, historical cycle, from the childhood of prehistoric hunter-gathering, to the enlightenment of the Axial Revolutions, to progressive civilization, to what may be our approaching collapse. The point was that a cycle implies an inevitable end, as may be indicated by climate change and so forth. I talk about these connections also in “Taking Fictions Seriously” and “Modernity and Disenchantment.”
Although I deal at some length with the beginning of civilizational corruption, in “Psychopathic Gods and Civilized Slaves,” for example, and I also go into great historical detail in my long article on the world’s religions, in “The Horror of Life's Meaning: From Eastern and Western Religions to Liberal Humanism,” I don’t deal much with the interregnum you put your finger on, the five thousand years of egalitarian civilization.
So you’re right that the transition is more complicated than saying just that the mythopoeic, animistic hunter-gatherers woke up one day and discovered that nature is horrific so they realized they had to create a refuge, namely civilization run by the theocratic dominance hierarchies needed to rationalize the brutal means of “progress.” I’d equate that interregnum with the awkward, in-betweener stage of being a teen (neither child nor adult).
The building of walls around farms did represent at least an unconscious preference to be clear of nature, but that doesn’t mean the earliest civilized people understood right away the full existential ramifications of their decision. It’s not like they drew up a chart and did a cost-benefit analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of both ways of life. In the same way, teenagers don’t become nostalgic as soon as they lose their childhood innocence. That doesn’t come till years later, as it arrived with the Garden of Eden myth and the Epic of Gilgamesh.
For one thing, writing had to be invented to establish objective, non-mythological collective memory, that is, to establish history, not just the passing on of fanciful oral traditions (essentially the game of Broken Telephone). Likewise, the child’s brain is still growing so she doesn’t yet have any long-term memories. Only with memory do you have a sense of deep time, which facilitates nostalgia and hope for progress in the future. Childhood feels timeless and magical because the brain’s control mechanisms aren’t yet up and running and the Stone Age reflects that same innocence because of its lack of historical record-keeping (collective memory).
Teenager-status, then, includes the interregnum or half-way house you’re right to identify. But I should return to this esoteric link between our collective and individual life cycles, because I haven’t written about it in a while.
As for psychedelics, I’m not sure why you say, “I guess you would not argue that they are a clear testimony, that animism, and in extension all religions without fail, are tied to entheogens.” You must have missed the articles where I argue exactly the opposite, in “The Psychedelic Basis of Theism” and “Entheogen: The Source, Substance, and Bane of Religions.” (I feel like the Bush administration that had to admit it had a daily brief before the 9/11 attack called, “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US.”)
As for monism and Hinduism, you might be interested in “The False Synthesis of Hinduism,” where I show that the ascetic, anti-natural Sramana or renouncer tradition was synthesized with Brahmanic orthodoxy in the second urbanization. I’m not sure we can say that Hinduism is essentially monistic, since Hinduism co-opts all kinds of philosophies and religious interpretations. Ancient Indian philosophy is as complicated as the Hellenic kind. There were Hindu traditional polytheists, skeptics, materialists, dualists, positivists or empiricists, as well as monists.
Even if you could interpret animism, too, as implicitly monistic, I’m not sure how that’s supposed to challenge my account. The main difference between our views is that you take the entheogens and mystical religions to present us with ultimate truth, whereas I side more with science and philosophy. So it’s a question of starting points of inquiry: we start from different places, but we reach each other’s home ground from those opposite directions, as it were.