Jurgen Renn is critical of Jasper’s account of the Axial Age. Transcendence as an intellectual awakening brought about by exceptional individuals is derided. Renn encourages us to think about the Axial Age and what might come next differently.
" The complex urban societies of the first millennium saw the emergence of intellectual elites with special roles in their respective economies, that led to second order thinking-thinking that took radically different forms. The topos of the Axial Age concept introduces an exclusivity that obliterates the fundamental diversity that this thinking can take; it denies that such thinking could have arisen earlier or later in other cultures; and it essentially freezes history at a crucial turning point. As for its usefulness as a reference frame for intercultural dialogue, the vision of the wise men of the Axial Age turns out to be little more than an origin myth of world society. It suggests that a future global convergence would be a matter of intellectual elites agreeing on some highly elusive second order framework, rather than of global efforts that make productive use of the inexhaustible variety of human thinking all all levels."
There is a difference between Globalization ( Neo-liberalism, Data Capitalism) and Planeterization( Earth as a living, complex, evolving System) and we have gone over much of this before. The USA political system is in the grip of this double bind, a struggle we may not have the meta-skills to resolve.
I am pausing and scratching my head. I got The Patterning Instinct from the library and will try to skim it before our next meetup. Thanks for your comments, TJ, and I will take it to heart.
I imagine that a group of social actors in a small scale network that can self-reflect upon the individual and the group at different levels could create conditions for a transformation of that group and beyond that group. I am operating out of a belief that sensitivity to shifting boundary conditions will considerably advance our development as anomalies ( what doesn’t fit within the inside or outside) is embraced. An epistemic community of those that have flipped could move mountains with a mustard seed of faith.