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The Origin of Culture and Civilization: The Cosmological Philosophy of the Ancient Worldview Regarding Myth, Astrology, Science, and Religion Paperback – September 1, 2005
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-of interest to modern science as well as mythologically and astrologically minded people. -- Karin Hoffmann, review www.astro.com, Nov. 17, 2005
From the Author
The worldview of the ancient people was founded upon their knowledge and study of astronomical cycles. This hierarchy of repetitive cycles preserves a semi-permanence of life -while it slowly moves on internally to allow gradual change, mutations, natural disasters, and freedom of choice by the human will.
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Top Customer Reviews
Author Thomas Dietrich decodes ancient areas such as astrology, mythology, natural disasters and even climate trends and geological evolution and how they intertwine in history. He takes these topics, and more, and shows how they certainly have been instrumental in our past and our future.
Quoting from Mr. Dietrich's press release, he says the following, " We cannot advance scientifically, nor can we form a philosophically-correct image of this world, without the information that the ancient people have so patiently collected for us, and have transmitted over such immeasurable periods of time." This book itself shows the intense research that Mr.Dietrich has done to provide the information within the pages of this work. Incredible!
I found his work to be fascinating and I particularly enjoyed reading the area about the birth of Christ and the signs and symbols foretelling that event. Very interesting.
Now understand, this is not a quick read, but one that you will want to make sure you have time to truly give before you begin. The author has packed this work full of information and you will most certainly need time to digest it.
A work that is an eye opener and one that will most definitely make you stop and think, read,learn and understand more than you thought possible.
As the book begins, the author works exceptionally hard to describe the difference between Culture and Civilization, and he does this fairly successfully, showing that while the tradition of Civilization progresses east to west across the world (i.e. Babylonian Civilization spread to Egypt and Greece, which progressed to Rome and the rest of Europe), Culture, Dietrich argues, progresses west to east and is demonstrated by stories related to the Atlantis tradition.
Dietrich spends considerable time talking about the different stories from mythology, demonstrating that important cultural traditions have come out of the west.
Astrology is the means by which these ancient cultures were to have possessed great scientific knowledge. The author takes pains to distance his meaning of astrology from its modern interpretation. Astrology and cosmology for Dietrich mean the way that the moon, planets, sun, and other cosmic bodies affect the Earth as well as the elements and people on it. This is perfectly reasonable since it is readily apparent that celestial bodies like the moon have a great affect in the earth as demonstrated by effects like the tides.
A key part of The Origin of Culture's argument is that Culture is driven by the Processional Cycle (representing the procession of civilization), which has directly correlated with the rise and fall of the world's great civilizations. The most important of these for Dietrich and for Christians in general is the procession into Pisces, which corresponded with the coming of Christ. Christ, as well as the locations of his birth and death, for Dietrich represent the key to understanding the mysteries of culture and science, as it provides a reference point from which one can clearly indicate the exact position of the cosmological cycles in relation to Earth.
God, says Dietrich, sends prophets at the end of cosmic cycles to bring his messages for the future cycle. The problem with this seems to be that every 2000 years or so a new message is brought by a new messenger (and corresponds with the procession of civilization). It implies, and perhaps requires, that Christ is just one prophet among many. Dietrich attempts to place Christ at the top by pointing out that as Aries gave way to Pisces at the time of Christ, the Processions of Culture and Civilization were directly opposed.
Dietrich follows up with a difficult claim to accept, namely that all religions agree about God but disagree over their respective prophets, and that in order to maintain our own religion we must accept that of others. He says further that God has never allowed man to be without his guidance. Taken together these claims suggest that God has spoken and even directed every major world religion. This could be accepted as a true statement if a standard is set for what is called religion, however basing this definition on historical retrospective is temerarious at best.
Also, had Dietrich provided a more comprehensive account of astrology's power than just the brief discussion of a few world events and minor (in geological terms) earthquakes, he might have better convinced his readers that it is not simply an arbitrary system. Although a reader can easily conclude that though the alignment and correlation of certain phenomena may certainly be considered the work of God, there comes a problem when men try to interpret their meanings in some applicable way. Even taking the Christ's coming as a kind of astrological primer does not make it apparent that we can attain any greater scientific or religious understanding of the cosmos's meanings.
Dietrich presents an amazing history, and makes some powerful claims, and the reader is left to assume that there is something to them. Sadly, the book, as it is, is somewhat incomplete. As history it is compelling, but as philosophy its rational argument is not as strong. If Dietrich were to write a follow-up that explains these few questions, the two together would be worth reading.
Response to the Review from the Author:
Dear Mr. White,
I hope that you will be able to publish this response to your review:
Response to review of The Origin of Culture and Civilization
by Thomas K. Dietrich
The Origin of Culture and Civilization is a life's work (40 years) worth of concentrated information. I humbly admit that too many new and unfamiliar topics are thrown at the reader to quickly absorb and digest. May I please offer the following corrections?
Culture is driven by the Galactic Cycle [not Processional] of the revolution of our solar system around the Milky Way Galaxy. This Cycle takes millions of years to proceed. The appearance of Christ is a function of the Galactic Cycle -and His Reign is unique, and His Era, or Age, will endure for millions of years, Hallelujah! This Cycle helped to manifest the Divine Nature of Christ.
The Precessional Cycle of the advance of the Vernal Equinoxes moves rapidly through the signs of the zodiac at about 2160 years per sign, or 25,920 years for a complete revolution. This cycle promotes the exaltation of prominent cities in it's path, the growth of politics and empire. God also uses this heavenly mechanism of His design to send philosophers, scientists, prophets, and leaders into the world -which is His Garden. This cycle helped to manifest the Human Nature of Christ.
The mystical generation of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, took place as the Galactic Cycle moved from Pisces into the new Age of Aries. At the time of the Crucifixion -astronomically the Cycle of Precession crossed over from Aries into its New Age of Pisces; and therefore CROSSED over the Galactic Cycle moving in the counter-clockwise direction.
Astrology is not the power behind ancient thought. Their world-view was based upon Cosmology which is a balanced Concordia of astronomy, astrology, philosophy, history, religion, and all the important disciplines. This is why neither Newton nor Einstein could solve their greatest questions -because they restricted their viewpoint only to their science or their narrow faith.
At this moment I am in the middle of my follow-up book, The Eartholder, which will better present many of the topics already discussed, answer pertinent questions, and review Mesoamerican myth and history, and explore the possibility of natural disaster and earthquake prediction through the Concordia, the cosmological science. The appearance of Christ determines geography and the current time in cosmic cycles -information that is vital to the final advancement of modern science.
I want to thank Christian Review of Books for their fine work and help!
Thomas K. Dietrich