Book Excerpt
The Origin of Culture and Civilization : The Cosmological Philosophy of the Ancient World View Regarding Myth, Astrology, Science, and Religion
by Thomas Dietrich

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An excerpt from The Origin of Culture and Civilization : The Cosmological Philosophy of the Ancient World View Regarding Myth, Astrology, Science, and Religion by Thomas Dietrich, published 2000 by TurnKey Press.
Book excerpt reprinted with the permission of the publisher.
Copyright © 2000 Thomas Dietrich

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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"This is what makes cosmological thinking so unique. For in the mind of the ancient people there is no science without religion, or religion without science. There is no history without myth, and no myth without history. And, there is no astrology without astronomy, and visa versa."

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"Everything that the ancients talk about is a giant woven tapestry of all the conditions of life. Every detail is considered on a multiplicity of levels: myth, astrology, science, and religion. Nothing really has intrinsic meaning, that is, nothing has meaning of itself. Everything only has contextual meaning, that is, it has to fit in with everything else. Its definition of itself has to fit in with all the other things that surround it and serve to define those other things; and thereby illuminate the greater context. Such thinking breeds an infinite respect for the order of all things in nature and the divine."

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"I have found that even those whom we call the ancients had difficulty dealing with the antiquity that appeared before them. It is a part of human nature to forget the past. We build our palaces upon the promontories of a haunting and jagged coastland, only to be surprised to see them fall into the ocean at the next earthquake. The very sharp fronts of Pompeii were built of the very tufa stone of the previous lava flow."

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"As our investigations continued we came to the realization that the ancients thought cosmologically. That is, their worldview was that science, religion, and history are woven together into one fabric of life. These separate disciplines are different expressions of one unity of God, nature, and man."

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"We would like to say that many of our investigations throughout this book illuminate the cosmological thinking of the ancients.We also noticed the utter simplicity of the tale. You will remember the story of The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allen Poe? The secret was that if you wish to hide something successfully, you would attach it to a ribbon and hang it in plain sight on the front of the mantelpiece of you fireplace. This is exactly what the ancients were doing. They were encoding their deepest mysteries in the transparent simplicity of a child. Their religion and science were wrapped in a cocoon of myth and astrology."

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"All cultures and civilizations steal, borrow, and appropriate the very best and most important information from their predecessors. Every nation appends ancient histories onto their own identity and experience of their own regional disasters. Nations tend to absorb scientific ideas until they actually believe that they have become the true and original discoverers of those very ideas that their ancestors had stolen. For in the course of time, as nations and cities rise and fall, the survivors easily appropriate the glory when there is no one left to challenge their claims. All this is very natural and it is exactly how civilization and culture interact. It is for these very reasons that it is possible that ancient information is preserved over millions of years."

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"[The ancients] distrusted the accuracy of yearly measurement over greater periods of time as well as the variability of cycles and the changes in the rotational and orbital speeds of heavenly bodies.They established a scientific cosmology where time only meant a heavenly position.In this way, history, astronomy, and religious celebration are scientifically and accurately unified in the one medium of cosmology."

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"We also noticed that the ancients were extremely religious. The final expression of every form of their technology was a temple to their gods. This may not have been totally to gratify their devotion, but rather, God was the final frontier of all their sciences. As well, their pragmatic scientists used Revelation to coordinate points of geography with regions of the heavens in order to develop and synchronize their science of cosmology."

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"Our intention is to rediscover the underlying philosophy of ancient thought. Their ideas were that nature proceeds in many cycles within cycles. As minor cycles keep turning and reoccurring they are modified by the slight advance of the higher cycles. This creates a theater for nature in which many things seem almost to stay the same-while many other things seem to change ever so slightly."

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"We have called this book, The Origin of Culture and Civilization, because we are continually alerted to the amazing interplay of these two very opposed forces. Civilization deals with the enticements of this world, such as power and empire. Culture deals with the spiritual reality which transcends this world. Yet, often these two forces work to assist each other."

The Origin of Culture and Civilization : The Cosmological Philosophy of the Ancient World View Regarding Myth, Astrology, Science, and Religion by Thomas Dietrich,
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born in the medieval walled city of Fritzlar, Germany, cultural philosopher Thomas Dietrich has resided in the San Francisco area since age seven. He received bachelor's degrees in philosophy and classical studies from the University of San Francisco, where he "read practically every piece of classical literature in existence." Dietrich has traveled extensively in Greece, the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, Europe, and South America, and has lived and studied privately in Ecuador and Ireland.

The idea for Dietrich's first book, The Origin of Culture, began with his studies at the University of San Francisco. These beginnings were cultivated by 40 years of research into an array of different sciences and ancient cultures, including astrology, cosmology, cosmochronology, and mythology of the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Mayans, Aztecs, and Irish. In The Origin of Culture, Dietrich uses the original testimonies of ancient sources to bridge the gap between history, religion, science, and mythology, thereby uncovering undeniable cycles of culture and civilization.

Professionally, Dietrich is a noted stone figure-carver and monumental designer. He and his wife live in San Bruno, Calif., and have three grown children. Dietrich is currently at work on a sequel to The Origin of Culture, as well as a book about designs for small urban gardens.

The Origin of Culture and Civilization : The Cosmological Philosophy of the Ancient World View Regarding Myth, Astrology, Science, and Religion by Thomas Dietrich,
PLEASE CLICK HERE for BOOK PRICE and SHIPPING INFORMATION

We have reviewed this book.
Link to our book review.