by Marinus Jan Marijs
Karl Jasper’s Axial period. Similarly revolutionary thinking in China, Ancient Greece, India and the Middle East.
The phrase ‘the axial age’ was coined by the existentialist philosopher Karl Jaspers: “In the years centering around 500 BC”  (This ‘centering around 500 BC’) is seen in the diagram in here above.
Around 500 BC the developments in Greece were tempestuous. In a very short period, logic, ethics, natural philosophy, state philosophy, aesthetics, physics, pedagogy and meta-physics emerged. These developments unfolded at a remarkable speed.
At the same time, similar events were taking place in other parts in the world. This parallelism is not only striking, but defied every explanatory hypothesis. The revolutionary developments taking place in Greece were also taking place in China, India and with the Hebrews in Canaan.
These events included enormous spiritual developments. In a very short period Buddhism and Jainism were established, the great Hebrew prophets came to the foreground and in China Lao Tzu and Confucius appeared. This all happened simultaneously with the development of philosophy, mathematics, logic, science and mysticism in Greece.
It is remarkable that the shift from mythic to rational in the axial age, was at the same time when the first (high) causal mystics in human history manifested in the sixth century B.C.
Karl Jaspers  called the period around 500 B.C., “the turning point in human history”. According to Arthur Koestler , it “would radically transform humanity within the next two thousand years, more than the foregoing two hundred thousand years had done”.
H.J. Störig  found it both astonishing and inexplicable that the human spirit could take such an enormous step forward at different places on the globe, in several mutually closed cultures, at the same time. “It goes against the grain with us to consider this typical coincidence of circumstances as just chance. However, a convincing explanation of this coincidence has not been found so far”.
Within the Axial period the Athenian democracy started (Greece) in 508 BC and: The last king of Rome had been expelled in 509 BC and the Roman Republic had been established. In the place of the kings, the city-state was governed by two consuls, elected annually and serving in office for twelve months. Other government institutions included the senate, and various assemblies of the people. At this time, the consuls were elected from amongst the patricians, who were the upper class in Rome. Likewise the senate was composed only of patricians. The consuls and the senate together exercised the executive and majority of the legislative functions at Rome. The first secessio plebis of 494 B.C. was an event in ancient Roman political and social history between 495 and 493 BC, involving a dispute between the patrician ruling class and the plebeian underclass, and was one of a number of secessions by the plebs and part of a broader political conflict known as the conflict of the orders.” (Wikipedia)
Relevant in this regard is a book from the American philosopher Ken Wilber “Up From Eden” , in which he shows the correlations between the average-mode stages that emerged at any given epoch and most-advanced states of the most evolved spiritual figures.
Relationships between the height of the culture and the level of the most developed individuals:
– Archaic – nature mysticism: Animism
– Magic – low subtle mysticism: Shamanism
– Magic / mythical – high subtle mysticism: Polytheism
– Mythical – low causal mysticism: Monotheism
– Rational – high causal mysticism (12 A): First Buddha’s
– Relativistic – non dual mysticism (starting 12 B)
– Integral – temporarily bhava mysticism (advanced 12 B)
Still to be realised relationships:
– Nature Mysticism – Start individual Supramentalisation (12 B→12 C):new 5 X 5 particles are deposited
– Low subtle – Developing individual Supramentalisation – (starting mystic .12 C) retro causal stage, so working back in time
– High subtle – Full individual Supramentalisation (advanced mystic 12C)
– Low causal – Collective Supramentalisation (starting 2nd involution)
– High causal – Divinisation (starting 3th involution)
The Battle of Salamis was a naval battle fought between an alliance of Greek city-states under Themistocles and the Persian Empire under King Xerxes in 480 BC which resulted in a decisive victory for the outnumbered Greeks. The battle was fought in the straits between the mainland and Salamis, an island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens, and marked the high-point of the second Persian invasion of Greece. A number of historians believe that a Persian victory would have hamstrung the development of Ancient Greece, and by extension western civilization, and this has led them to argue that Salamis is one of the most significant battles in human history.
In 490 and 480 B.C, the small armies and navies of Greece defeated the huge invading forces of the Persian Empire at the battles of Marathon and Salamis. The Greeks saved not only themselves, but their democracy, classic literature, art and architecture, philosophy and much more.
: Karl Jaspers, “The Origin and Goal of History”, 1949.
: Hans Joachim Störig; “Kleine Weltgeschichte der Philosophie”,W. Kohlhammer – Verlag, Stuttgart. 1950.
: Ken Wilber; “Up From Eden, a transpersonal view of human evolution”, Anchor Press/Doubleday, Garden City, New York 1981.