THE HISTORY OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

ROBERT CAMPBELL
October 2003

General:
Historically, cultures have had a strong tendency to become ends unto themselves, often seeking supremacy
over others in some way. It is only necessary to look at the tragedy of mindless conflict for the past few
thousand years to confirm this. Even the current conflict in Iraq is no different in kind for either side involved.
There is no culture on Earth that is not guilty of promoting its self-interest over others in some way. Any yet we
need cultures, and we need to develop them in constructive ways. At this point in history, with the world
shrinking so quickly due to instant communications, it seems clear that all cultures should relate to the global
community in a constructive way, while still preserving positive aspects of their cultural traditions. This is not
happening as well as it should. The constant bombardment of media advertising, thoughtless movies,
commercialism, and the general erosion of traditional values is eating away at our very foundations. Even
though many of us have never had it so good in material ways, there is an ominous sense of uncertainty about
the future that is growing day by day. Nobody knows what new calamity might happen tomorrow. How then are
we to relate socially to the world in a positive way through our various cultural orientations? Is there a global
ethic to follow that is common to us all? Is there an overriding pattern to guide us?

No evolving pattern is apparent from the short-sighted perspective that we normally take of human history. But
if we stretch the window to span thousands of years back into the roots of humanity, then we begin to get come
indication of a moving finger pointing the way.

Early Spirit Cultures:
The fossil evidence indicates that early human beings first evolved in Africa and that there have been
successive migrations out of Africa over the past million years, colonizing Asia and Europe. These early spirit
cultures all shared similar beliefs in spirits that animate the natural world. It was only since the last ice-age,
about 15,000 years ago, that human beings first reached the western hemisphere. They originated in Asia,
migrating across a land bridge to America, and they brought with them the spiritual beliefs of East Asia. Prior to
that, the western half of the planet was populated only with animals. Half the world had never seen a human
foot print in several million years of hominid evolution. This is strange indeed. It seems that a global theme had
already begun. However tenuously, it hinted at humanity’s social development being linked to physical events
on the planet. The intuitive half of man’s brain was attuned to animist spirits, while only animals occupied half  
of the planet until the end of the last ice-age. Was there a connection between the staged migrations that
populated the planet and the staged development of the human mind?

Early Civilizations:
While the Native Americans were migrating through the Americas and adjusting their spiritual beliefs to a new
land, in a new way, events began to take a different turn in Africa, Europe and Asia. A few thousand years after
the last ice-age, the land began to dry out in broad bands around the planet, roughly twenty to thirty degrees
north and south of the equator. Large areas of savanna in these semi-tropical zones had supported huge
herds of animals and the human populations that depended upon them. As they continued to dry out, they
eventually turned into the most arid of deserts. Humans were forced into more concentrated settlements in
major river valleys. Four major areas of concentrated settlement began to take place as follows: the Nile Valley
in Egypt, The Golden Crescent surrounding the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley
in present day Pakistan, and the Yellow River in China. Concentrated settlements brought with them the
development of agriculture, the domestication of animals, the first written scripts, systems of sacred
mathematics, and major building works, together with a major shift away from a nomadic way of life.

This brought about complex systems of writing and early works of literature. The human mind expanded.
People began to search deeper into fundamental questions about the universe, far beyond the simpler
musings of earlier spirit cultures. Spiritual beliefs began to evolve with a cosmic theme. All of these events were
consistent with a major step in humanity’s further social development, associated with the left hemisphere of
the brain. Meanwhile humanity’s earlier spirit culture traditions were preserved safely apart by the Native
Americans, while human development moved up a level on the other side of the world.

Vedic Knowledge Spread by the Persian Empire:
It has been a two-step pattern, each new step having a thrust from the one before as preserved on the other
side of the world. It appears this kind of resonance in the biosphere of the planet has been employed in
humanity’s social and cultural growth. The pattern continued to unfold. Major social developments took place in
the Indus Valley some four thousand five hundred years ago that erected planned cities and brought with it a
spiritual and literary tradition that eventually became known as the Vedic period. The Vedic writings that come
down to us today explore the nature of meaning, human values, and an intelligent transcendent reality
associated with the cosmic order. The cosmic order became known as the Rta and was related to the concept
of a supreme creative intelligence accessible to man. Later, with the emergence of the Hindu religion, the
cosmic order became known as the dharma. The Hindu religion emerged out of the Vedic tradition, after the
ancient cities of Harappo and Mahenjo Daro fell into decline and Indo-European Arayans migrated into the
area from central Asia. There were successive waves of migrations and invasions through which the Arayans
established an empire that linked the Indus Valley to the Eastern Mediterranean as a single political entity.
Known as the Persian Empire, it served as a pipeline for the transmission of ideas westward that had
germinated in the Vedic tradition. Many of these ideas found fertile soil in ancient Greece, giving rise to the
Golden Age of Greece. These ideas were also tempered by ideas of Ancient Egypt that had developed along
similar beliefs in a cosmic order known as Maat, associated with divinity. Greek thought arose from the ruins of
these ancient cultures that had survived for two thousand years. There were thus links to both Africa and Asia.

Two Focal Points Germinating Ideas East and West:
Two focal major points thus became important for the development of cultural and spiritual ideas that grew and
spread, one in the area of the Eastern Mediterranean, and one in the Indus Valley. About the same time,
securely isolated from the rest of the world by the Himalayan Mountains, the spiritual beliefs in China began to
develop beyond their shamanist origins. The development of the Taoist tradition took place without significant
influence from outside, due to the rigors of travel. And yet Taoism was also concerned with the nature of the
cosmic order as a supremely intelligent process, just as the Rta and the dharma were in the Indus Valley and
as Maat was in Egypt. The Tao provided an intuitive basis for coping with nature in a spiritually harmonious
way.

This approach of the Far East was facilitated by the structure of the Sino-Tibetan languages. This family of
languages lacks tenses to verbs, together with many articles and conjunctions that link things up in a flow
through time and space. Thought is not harnessed to physical causes in a linear flow of time in the same way
that it is in the Indo-European languages. The Sino-Tibetan languages are more attuned to intuitive processes
that bring things together holistically. They are more attuned to right brain intuition than to left-brain logic. So it
appears once again that physical events on the planet, going back to the development of language over
hundreds of thousands of years, had worked to facilitate humanity’s social development in a patterned way that
influenced the specialized functions of the human brain. The plan and the purpose may have gone all the way
back to the formation of the mountain ranges some sixty-five million years ago, when plate tectonics pasted the
sub-continent of India onto Asia and built the Himalayan massif.     

Vedic Ideas Re-Translated via Ancient Greece:
Ideas in the Golden Age of Greece developed around two divergent perspectives of reality. The early Greek
philosophers explored ideas much in the same spirit as in the Vedic tradition, with a cosmological focus guided
by divine teleology. This belief in a transcendent reality reached its zenith with the Socratic dialogues of Plato
and in his Theory of Forms. According to this theory all specific things that exist are known and identified in
relation to universal archetypes that determine their kind. For instance a particular leaf is known only in  
relation to a universal archetypal leaf that determines and defines its form. He believed these transcendent
universals to be real, lending a mystical theme to Plato’s beliefs. Plato’s outstanding pupil, Aristotle, believed
that the essence of a thing resided concretely within the thing itself and that there was no universal archetype
with a mystical transcendent reality that determined its nature. Having fragmented the universe in this way it
had to  be put back together again. So he introduced the idea of causality that links things together in space
and time. At the same time he believed that there was a teleological principle at work that determined the
essence of the thing, so there were ambiguous elements in his argument. Nevertheless his rejection of Plato’s
Theory of Forms marked a turning point in western philosophy that coincided with a major turning point in
humanity’s social affairs. Aristotle was teacher to Alexander the Great, and it was Alexander who conquered
the Persian Empire and established a Greek Empire that again joined the Eastern Mediterranean to the Indus
Valley in reverse direction. These two important focal points of humanity’s cultural development had thus
channeled Eastern influences first, only to be balanced later by Western influences. Although Alexander died
shortly after his conquest, the Greek Empire survived in fragmented form for a couple of centuries, just as the
Persian Empire had done. Greek advances further eastward were halted by a newly united India.

Movements East and West from the Two Focal Points of History:
During the time of the Persian Empire another major event took place near the opposite end of the Himalayan
massif from the Indus Valley. Siddhartha Gautama rejected his princely privileges to seek enlightenment and
he began the Buddhist religion. The silk route to China opened through the Indus Valley about the same time
that Rome was gaining ascendancy over Greece, although Greek cities remained in the Indus Valley region. It
is significant that Buddhism began making inroads into China about this time, as did Greek art, while Greek
philosophy was left at the doorstep. The rational concepts of the Indo-European languages did not lend
themselves to the Sino-Tibetan intuition, while Buddhism found some common ground with the Taoist tradition
and never moved into the west. Meanwhile the essentials of Greek thought appealed to the regimented Roman
mind and Greek philosophy was transplanted westward alongside the Christian message. For over a thousand
years Buddhism continued its slow progression through China, Tibet, and Japan, while Christianity and the
essentials of Greek thought incubated in the western mind. There were thus two movements that quietly took
place during this period, one westward from the focal point at the East Mediterranean, and one eastward from
the Indus Valley. The rational left hemisphere of the human mind was being educated to Western
developments in the Indo-European language tradition in Europe, while the intuitive right hemisphere was
being educated to Eastern developments in the Sino-Tibetan language tradition of the Far East.

The Renaissance Driven by Islam and the Mongolian Hoards:
In 630 AD the prophet Mohammed established the Muslim religion and the caliphs that succeeded him set out
to establish a theocratic world empire. Their conquests swept across North Africa, Spain, parts of Eastern
Europe, Turkey, the Middle East, India, and Indonesia. The might of Islam threatened to dominate the entire
world until an unlikely event occurred. At the beginning of the thirteenth century, a middle-aged blacksmith in
Mongolia jumped upon a horse and set out on a mission of conquest himself. Known to the world as Genghis
Khan, he established an empire that stretched from the Pacific Ocean all the way into Eastern Europe. His
conquests crushed the power of Islam and stopped its advance. But as a tribal nomad from an aboriginal spirit
culture, he believed in religious freedom and had no rigid belief system to impose. These violent events that
swept across Asia played no small part in sweeping away with them social conventions that had stagnated
throughout much of the world, especially in feudal Europe. Europe had been seriously threatened, first by
Islam, then by the Mongolian hoards. Virtually helpless, they had been delivered by a mere stroke of good
fortune. It was as if the swift and decisive spirit culture conquest of Genghis Khan from the intuitive right-brain
side of the planet had provided the energy that fueled the renaissance in Europe and propelled it forward. The
left-brain rational intellect of Europe was awakened from a slumber that had incubated the fundamentals of
linear thought formulated in ancient Greece fifteen hundred years before. The Western mind seemed to catch
fire with the spirit of invention. About this time many of Aristotle’s writings were rediscovered from Arabic
sources, lending more fuel to the fire. Events were seen to have causal origins in time and space. Radical new
developments took place in art, music, science and literature. The floodgates had burst into a flurry of activity
that ignited a spirit of discovery in every direction. And that spirit of discovery took to the seas. The colonial
period began and more fuel was added to the fire with the rediscovery of the Americas. The seeds of these
events had been sown in the Indus Valley thousands of years in advance to burst forth upon the world during
this time.

The Renaissance and Western Colonialism:
The colonial period generated great wealth and power for comparatively small European nations. European
influence became far flung around the globe, with access to virtually inexhaustible resources. Competitive
interests between nations also fueled the industrial revolution, since technical advances bestowed great
competitive advantage. As great wealth poured in from the Americas, Africa, and Asia, there was free time for  
a large class of people to devote to the arts and sciences. The Renaissance Man was broadly educated in
virtually every field of knowledge at the time, with a strong appreciation of the origins of western thought in
Ancient Greece. Aristotle’s laws of causality, operative in space and time, provided a paradigm for
understanding how physical events were determined by natural laws. These ideas had already become  
second nature in the culture, especially since they were consistent with the structure of the Indo-European
languages, tending to link spatial events up in a flow through time. The work of Galileo, Kepler, Copernicus,
and Descartes, became synthesized by Isaac Newton into universal laws of motion that established a firm  
basis for modern science.

Once begun there was no stopping it. Science began to peek into every corner of human experience, and
even religion itself became the object of scientific criticism. Christianity as established under Roman
Catholicism had already faced schisms and more came with the Reformation and the Protestant  movements.
These schisms opened a crack for Darwin’s theory of evolution to gain a strong foothold, and the very
existence of an intelligent cosmic order came under attack. As colonial empires spread, the aboriginal spirit
cultures of the world came under severe pressures. The several thousand tribal languages of Africa came
under European domination that by the same stroke integrated them into some fifty nations that could  relate to
the modern world. During this period of tortuous assimilation, the slave trade exploited free labor at enormous
human cost and transported African populations to parts of Europe and especially to the Americas. For the  
first time Sub-Saharan Africa, where humanity was born, felt the onslaughts of cultural developments in the rest
of the world. The effects in the Americas were even worse. The Native Americans were first decimated by
Western diseases, and the waves of settlers that followed displaced them completely. Life for  the few who
remain has been altered forever.

Eastern Entrenchment:
Meanwhile, during the 14th century, a Buddhist monk drove the last Mongol Emperor from China and
established the Ming Dynasty. There were sharp contrasts with developments in the West. Trade and industry
were controlled because of Confucian beliefs that held them morally questionable, and the increasing
bureaucracy strengthened the power of the official Mandarin caste. China reacted to increasing advances from
Europe, Japanese pirates and the Mongolian tribes with increasing isolationism. The Great Wall was extended
2450 kilometers, however sea routes were also extended as far as Africa and they encouraged Chinese
emigration into South East Asia. European trade became limited to the port of Macao, however the Jesuit
missionaries gained a degree of favor through their mathematical and technical skills. Scientific diagnosis of
medical conditions was advanced and acupuncture developed.

Japan during this period suffered a civil war that lasted 150 years. The state almost disintegrated during a
social transformation that saw the old clans replaced with new. The Samurai warrior caste of Japanese knights
arose with lofty ideals and there were movements to protect Japanese cultural and spiritual accomplishments.
The introduction of firearms from the west soon replaced the bow and arrow. Jesuit missions were established
in southern Japan in 1549, and were later encouraged for a short while to weaken the position of Buddhist
monk-warriors. As chancellor in 1582 the statesman Hideyoshi Toyotomi reorganized the central administration
and later annexed Korea. His successor was defeated and the Tokugawa Shogunate lasted until 1867. In 1638
an uprising resulted in the annihilation of the Christians, and all Japanese ports were closed to the West until
1854, a period of more than two hundred years.

Humanity’s Development Structured by Related Events in Global Cultures:
Despite the complexity of global events throughout this colonial period, and whether they were right or wrong, it
is obvious that while the West was expanding its influence in every sphere, that the East, especially the Far
East, was undergoing a period of entrenchment. While the spirit cultures of the Americas were being  
decimated, those of Asia were entrenched in self-preservation, and the most ancient spirit cultures of Africa
were being introduced to Christianity and Islam, even while being exploited unmercifully. All the while the  
African nation states were taking shape in a way that would allow them to relate to a global community in the
years ahead, something that Africa could likely not have accomplished alone. The pattern of all these events
points again to the self-similar structure of humanity’s social development. The music of our ancient heart is
rooted in Sub-Saharan Africa. We can all feel it in our bones, just visiting there. These emotional spiritual  
roots have taken on a cosmic flair in the East, facilitated by the movement of Buddhism eastward from a focal
point  in the Indus Valley. Ideas first considered in the Vedic tradition and in Ancient Egypt germinated the
development of Greek thought at the second focal point at the Eastern Mediterranean. This influence
eventually spread throughout the West. So here we have the correlates of humanity’s emotional heart in Africa
being tempered by right-brain intuition in the East and left-brain linear thought in the West. At this point,
however, these three arenas of human experience have received mutually separate development. There is  
still no global perspective that can show how they relate creatively to complement one another. They remain
isolated in association with the three primary races of humanity, with degrees of mixing between them.

The Globalization of Thought by Economic Interests and Technological Innovation:
The steady technological development of travel and communications brought with it more conflict that  
culminated in two World Wars, and several lesser major wars. During this time the colonial empires began to
weaken and break up. As they did the new socialist ideology of Karl Marx caught the imagination of the Asian
mind, at least sufficiently to establish totalitarian nations. The world thus became divided between western
capitalism and eastern communism following the First World War. The creative development of the human  
mind had become externalized, seeking egalitarian wholeness in eastern totalitarian states, and the
privatization of wealth and power in capitalist states. God was pronounced dead according to the theories of
Darwin, Freud, Marx and others who gained a wide hearing. Even though some of the most important
contributors to science had been profoundly religious men, the further development of science produced a
view that became exclusively materialistic.

The cosmic order suddenly has no divine connection. Nor does the cosmos engender intelligence in any way.
The teleological principle of antiquity fell into disrepute. The entire universe has come into being  without plan
or purpose from absolutely nothing, in an unimaginable Big Bang that began about 15 billion  years ago. And
the evolutionary process on the planet is governed solely by accidental random mutations, a rare few of which
can bestow a survival advantage. This process of natural selection and survival of the fittest determines the
genetic basis of our being without intelligent direction. While it is true that most of the world still does not
believe this basic assessment of our being, mainstream science openly advocates it. And  mainstream science
has developed hand in hand with economic interests on a global scale. Multinational corporations now guide
human economic progress and the social consequences that go with it. The materialistic worldview that  
science advocates thus provides a convenient justification for maximizing the bottom line on the corporate
balance sheet, without social responsibility to the cultures within which they function. Human thought is being
systematically globalized in the rapidly shrinking world of technological innovation, and this is happening in a
way that erodes our sense of humanity and social conscience.

The Need for a New Paradigm of Cultural Development:
If one thing is clear from a brief review of human history, it should be that we need a better view of how we can
relate more constructively toward one another in the global community. No concocted ideology, such as
capitalism or its opposite communism can hope to accomplish this. As human individuals we expect personal
freedoms in a socially appropriate way, and nations have much the same expectations. A free market economy
does not have to impose an ideology such as capitalism to exist, nor does it have to be free of practical
regulatory measures. In fact so-called free markets are becoming overburdened with regulations in some
respects, while multinational corporations grow in their bureaucratic capacity to cope with them. They do this
without modifying their basic philosophy of how to conduct business. In many ways they exploit the customer,
the employee, and even the stockholder, to enhance their wealth without social responsibility, and often at the
cost of the natural environment. They play one nation off against the other for profit. They move their
manufacturing plants and other operations to exploit lower wage rates and improve their position in the global
economy. They employ temporary labor to avoid long-term commitments to employees. They milk profits for
corporate takeovers that provide no constructive social or economic advantage and often end in total waste
years after a short-lived stock market bonanza. Not all of these measures are always bad, but they frequently
are, and the whole world is becoming cynical about the ultimate outcome of corporate globalization, the
instability of financial markets, and the social consequences involved.

The important point here is that something very fundamental has happened in the world. Historical events up  
to this point have focused separately on three arenas of human development, one emotionally spiritual in
Africa associated with our human roots, one right-brain with a cosmic spiritual flavor in the East, and one left-
brain with a linear technological flavor in the West. These three distinctions lose their separate global focus
with the multinational corporation. Huge conglomerates are directing events in every nation on Earth. All three
aspects of human development are involved in their operation, one emotionally rooted that assesses
performance in the marketplace, one right-brain and intuitive that develops the potential of new ideas, and  
one left-brain that organizes our technical commitment to production in a logical way. The three distinctions  
are still there, but they have been internalized by the corporate structure. They remain significant in every
nation on Earth but overriding corporate objectives fail to recognize the social importance of their historical
development on the planet. A new corporate paradigm is needed that renders the creative process
transparent, as an expression of the cosmic order. The three arenas of human development need recognition
by the human mind. The three arenas are themselves manifestations of the cosmic order through which we
evolve socially and spiritually. We are thus living through a major evolutionary event by becoming aware of our
own continuing evolution as human beings.

Corporations Can be Vehicles of Human Social and Spiritual Development:
By recognizing the basics of structure implicit in the cosmic order, corporations can structure themselves to
take advantage of our human creative capacity, in their own best interests. They can thus become vehicles to
facilitate our social and spiritual development within the context of any cultural tradition. This can best be
achieved by translating cultural development in a global historical context. In this way we can look back at our
long trek out of the jungle of conflict. We can see where we have been and we can better appreciate our long
struggle to relate to one another in ways that do not involve the dominance of one culture over another. The
wealth of human experience is indebted to our diverse traditions, and they can become instruments to better
foster our creative potential constructively. Only through our diverse cultures can we contribute to our
collective humanity in positive ways and learn from one another. Corporations can be the catalyst to make this
happen through the simple device of structuring themselves to make the creative process transparent. This is
in their own best interests. There are only six domains of activity in any company and they work in polar pairs
to provide insight into the three dimensions of development, namely right-brain potential, left-brain
commitment, and emotional brain performance. These three focal points of human development are implicit in
the structure of any company, just as they are in every human being, and just as they have been in the
historical development of our species on the planet.
The History of Human Development
Structuring Your Organization
Structuring Your Organization
The Meaning of Evolution