Predicting History:

The Cycles of the Past, Present…and Future


In the 1860s, concerns about civil rights were so high that the United States waged a war against itself to end slavery. Why did rights for African-Americans go on the back burner soon afterward, only re-emerging again in the 1960s?


In the 1880s and 1890s, a fad for tattoos swept Europe — an estimated one in five members of the English aristocracy acquired tattoos, including the future King George V. Yet a few decades later, tattoos had gone entirely out of fashion once again. What caused them to return a century later?


Predicting History explains it all.

Have you ever wondered why civil rights suddenly burst onto the scene in the 1960s?  Why technology boomed in the 1980s and 1990s?   Why so many people are embracing religion these days? 


I’ve discovered why. 



There’s a three-part cycle in the procession of western civilization.  A cycle that goes back at least 500 years.  Each part in the cycle expresses a totally different world view which influences our politics, economics, and culture. 


Mind, Body and Spirit.  Plato wrote in The Republic that if we looked at the parts that make up a man, we would find his society.  Plato was right.   The three parts that make up a person take turns dominating the way we look at the world --- with profound effects upon our lives and our history.  For about 32 years our priorities shift in a way that produces very predictable results --- even as the priorities of the other time periods are shunted to the background.


In this book, I take you on my personal journey of discovery back through time.  A journey revealing that the past — in ways that affect us politically, economically and culturally —  is predictable.  A journey that will teach us to recognize the signs — to understand the organizing principle.  So that, for us, the future may become predictable, as well.

What is the organizing principle?

Different world views occur — one, two, three  in a repeating cycle that can be traced through at least the last 500 years of the history of western civilization.   The same three world views in the same order.  Together, they make up a single cycle.  This book follows five cycles.

What are these world views?

In the 1720s and 1730s, a Great Awakening swept the United States, while Pietism took Germany by storm and John Wesley founded the Methodist church, preaching some 42,000 sermons in the fields of England. 

And then nothing of much interest happened in evangelical religion until...

In the 1820s and 1830s, a Second Great Awakening swept the United States, an Erweckung (Awakening) spread across Germany, while France and Switzerland participated in a Reveil (Revival).

And then once more — nothing.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, when Pentecostalism and Fundamentalism were developed and spread rapidly in the United States and western Europe.

That’s one.  Spirit.

In the 1770s, we had a war in America that was all about the proposition that “all men are created equal.”   In the years that followed, people like Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, Benjamin Rush and Thomas Paine became active in anti-slavery clubs. 


And that’s the last we heard of anyone politically powerful caring about slavery until...

The 1860s, when concerns about the rights of African-Americans led to a civil war to end slavery.

What happened then?  Nothing.   By the 1890s, civil rights was dead. 


Without a glimmer of popular interest in it for at least half a century, before becoming a powerful movement in the 1960s, bringing greater rights for blacks, women and others who were being treated less than equally.

That’s two.  Mind.

According to writer Alan Woods, beginning in 1795, France was run by “a bunch of self-serving and disreputable opportunists” made up of “businessmen, financial speculators, people who had grown rich out of swindling the army,” and the new landowning commoners.   In England and the United States, it was the time of the First Industrial Revolution.

This was followed by a period in which nobody had much to say about financial speculators or economic revolutions.  And then, suddenly, we had...

The Second Industrial Revolution — the Gilded Age — which peaked in the 1890s with corporate “robber barons” becoming megamillionaires even as inventions like electricity, radios, phonographs and automobiles spread rapidly across the western world.

But that time came to an end.  We stopped hearing praises heaped on our “captains of industry.”  Inventors didn’t stop inventing, exactly, but far fewer important inventions made it to the consumer.


Until now.  Until a time period that began around the 1980s, when new multibillionaires were made — when people like Bill Gates and Donald Trump became household names.  When suddenly every home had a personal computer, internet hookup, fax, copier, and several mobile phones.

That’s three.  Body.

For the last couple hundred years, the full cycle has taken about a century to complete. When we go further back in history —  before industrialism and democracy — the cycle is about a third again as long.  World views that currently come and go for a period of about 32 years, used to last for nearly 45 years.  At the same time, the countries of the world have become more and more interdependent, more and more similar in their level of development, and as a result, more and more synchronized.  One hundred years ago, the Russian Revolution took place in a Mind Era in Russia, even as the rest of the world had just entered a Spirit Era.  But with its recent history embracing capitalism and oligarchs it is clear that Russia has now “caught up.”   Even as some countries --- like Iran --- still experience their cycles on a different schedule --- Iran’s revolutionary history of late indicates that they are presently at the tail end of a Mind Era. 

Most countries today, however, are transitioning from a Body Era into a Spirit Era.  Governments, businesses, families --- all of us --- we’re floundering as the world around us changes and the values we’ve held for these past 30 years no longer appeal.  This book explains what is happening and what our new values will be.  It prepares us for the rise of the working man, big government, big brother and, yes, spiritual awakenings.  It also talks about the soon-to-be fall of the corporate gravy train, out-of-control consumption, and style over substance. 


It prepares us for this time when we will reach out to something greater than ourselves.  So that the group, for many, will come to be valued as more important than the individual.


I’m twittering as CatherineDong about what the future holds as most of the industrial world enters a new Spirit Era in mid 2010.


Read the sample below, and if you find it compelling, then follow me on Twitter and email me at if you would like to be put on a mailing list to let you know when the book comes out.


Yours sincerely,


Catherine Claxton Dong, Ph.D.










Excerpt from Predicting History


Timeline for Mind Era Revolutions


Diagram & Table of Mind, Body & Spirit Eras

2009 © Catherine Claxton Dong. All rights reserved.


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