Reimagining our Future Based on New Evidence from our Past

Published on 07-04-2016

From the traditions of the Hopi, the Maya, and others, it becomes obvious that when we look to our past through the traditional eyes that appreciate only the last 5,000 years or so of history, it’s like the experience of catching just the ending notes of a great song on the radio. While we may hear something we really love, if we tune in too late we only catch a sound bite - the last few seconds.

Since the time of Napoléon’s excavations in Egypt in the late 1700s and early 1800s, we ’ve built our understanding of civilization’s rise, fall, wars, conquests, and migrations largely on historians’ interpretations of only 5,000 years of our past: a snapshot of a moment in time. But as we now know, this period is actually like one small sound bite of the big song of our past. Only when we embrace the time before traditional history begins – events that took place more than 5,000 years ago - will we be capable of hearing the entire composition.

Without listening to the totality of the song, without viewing the entire picture of our past, the time we call the history of civilization falls short of helping us solve the mysteries of how we ’ve come to be as we are, and how we can learn from – and hopefully avoid repeating - the mistakes of our ancestors.

photo credit:                                                                               Göbekli Tepe

One characteristic example is the ceremonial complex at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, where recent excavations unearthed temples of a civilization, which is considered as the earliest documented so far on Earth. The scientifically accepted method of carbon dating (14C) which was used, determined the age of findings to 11,550 years old. For the sake of comparison, this means that they were built 6,000 years before the ancient stone circles of Stonehenge in England.

So, the evidence is in, and the scientists agree. Something happened at Göbekli Tepe 11,500 years ago that our modern worldview can no longer ignore. And when we consider this site in the revised timeline of our past, along with other additional findings from around the world, an entirely new view of our history begins to emerge. A story that links the modern world of today with our past: the story of us, where we come from, and how long we ’ve been here. Ancient legends and myths contain the history of our species.


Just like an orphan yearning to know who his or her parents are, we long to know the truth of our origins. And when we aknowledge the evidence of our true antiquity, we begin to understand how we can use the experience of our collective past to steer us into the choices today that might have helped our ancestors. This is precisely why sharing the deep truth of our history is so vital to us.

If great civilizations have appeared in the past, lasted thousands of years longer than ours, and then disappeared so suddenly that their memory has been reduced to a fairy tale in our memory, we must ask: Could the same thing happen again? Is it happenning now?

In the discoveries themselves, we may find the clues to solve the deepest mysteries of our past, as well as the answer to these two questions.

New discoveries of advanced civilizations dating to near the end of the last ice age provide insights into solving the crises of our time that our ancestors also faced in theirs.

Gregg Braden