Ever since I started working with the visions, I’ve been wondering how such an elaborate, recurring cycle could have gotten started.
A year ago, I compared the dance of the visions to a Rube Goldberg machine, because it has something of that quality of disparate elements zooming around and banging into one another in ways that trigger new flurries of activity. But unlike Rube Goldberg’s ingenious devices, the cycle of visions is circular and self-sustaining. New visions emerge to take on the roles formerly held by older ones, and the same sequence of events keeps repeating over and over.
In recent entries, I’ve suggested that the three original visions — the transformative, kinship, and spirit visions — might have arisen out of attempts by the first modern humans to reflect upon and systematize their own scientific, social, and inner experiences.
And I’ve speculated that after perhaps a hundred thousand years of gradual development, a desire for even greater systematization might have brought the transformative and kinship visions into a secure intellectual partnership, which was also able to encompass at least part of the spirit vision.
That urge towards systematization may be key. If we assume that the evolutionary leap which produced us modern humans resulted in a raging desire to make sense of the world, it would go a long way towards explaining the creation of the first three visions and the first dominant partnership. It would also indicate why new visions should have continued to appear as new information and new experiences rendered the old ones inadequate.
If that was all there was to it, though, the new visions ought to click into place as smoothly as software upgrades — slide the old one out, slide the new one in, no fuss, no bother. But that isn’t what happens at all.