|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
Cyclic history is a theory which dictates that the major forces that motivate human actions return in a cycle.
Among these forces are religion/spirituality, politics, science, philosophy, curiosity, creativity, psychology, morality and astronomical conjunctions. D. H. Lawrence thought that there existed a high technology civilization in the remote past.
Religion recurs whenever a new sect reaches a large population. Christianity peaked three times: around the 2nd century AD, when the core of believers gained political power; in the Middle Ages; during the reformation, where the religion split and the many branches modernized themselves.
Cycles of history are not easily measured, except in terms of cultural changes. Pivotal events accompany these changes. For example, the American Revolution of 1776 brought about a classless version of democracy. Individuals came to be valued by economic success as much as hereditary birthright. The French Revolution gave humanity a measuring system that was simple enough to be understood by the lower classes as well as the aristocracy. If historians can agree on which events are truly pivotal, they can look for patterns of their occurrence. If pivotal events occur at periodic intervals, culture will evolve in regular phases. Lifestyles, fashions and dietary customs may change from epoch to epoch, but the underlying pattern remains, and this represents the cycle of history.
Most importantly, if historical cycles exist, their recurrence should map onto historical timelines. Here, common criteria are needed to evaluate historical events that influence changes in social customs. Gandhi's nonviolent method of protest and Hitler's rise to power happened during the same years. The former has been copied many times to foment social change; the latter led to the terrible horrors of war. Yet, both in their way brought forth the modern age we live in today.