Introduction to Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment
by Ken Wilber
We live in extraordinary times. In the history of all humanity, there have only been five or six major world transformations: somewhere around 500,000 years ago, humans began to emerge as a distinct species, with an archaic worldview which separated us from the great apes. Around 50,000 years ago, the archaic worldview gave way to a magical worldview, anchored in foraging, hunting, and gathering. Then, around 10,000 years ago, farming was discovered. Simple farming, with a hand-held hoe, called horticulture. Concurrently, the worldview of simple magic gave way mythic-magic–more complex, and more sophisticated.
Around 4,000 B.C.E., the animal-drawn plow was discovered, and horticultural gave way to agrarian, while mythic-magic gave way to fully-developed mythic, with its traditional fundamentalistic values. The mythic world ruled until right around the Renaissance in the West, where myth began to give way to reason, which exploded during the Enlightenment. The rational worldview, along with its scientific materialism, and with its modern values, became in many ways the official worldview of the modern West. Until, that is, the 1960’s, which saw the last major world transformation–this time from modern to postmodern, from monolithic reason to postmodern pluralism and the “cultural creatives”.