Sunday, 10 December 2017

Patterns of thought in Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain




For the past three weeks or so I've been writing a paper on aspects of mind during the late Neolithic and the early Bronze Age in Britain, during the period when most of the megalithic circles were built. I wrote a paper in 2016 (Stone Circles, Phenomenology, and the Neolithic Mind) which explored the possibility that we might have enough information from the structures to infer thought and motive of their builders. 

In that article I wrote: 



The main objection of the archaeological community to the acceptance of this view of the circles as sophisticated tools for the observation of the heavens and its movements is two-fold. The first is that there is nothing (beyond what these objects seem to show) which suggests to us that the megalith builders and their contemporary culture was concerned at all with precision. The second is that, even if the circles can be shown to mark certain astronomically precise points, we have no clue at all about why the megalith builders would want to do this. We have no understanding of the function and purpose of such observations, and so we can say virtually nothing about either the purpose of the monuments, or about the culture which gave rise to them. In other words we are no further forward in our understanding.

This two-fold objection is sound, at least from the archaeologists point of view. We have no contemporary description of anything at all from the time and culture of the megalith builders. We have no understanding of their intentions, and no understanding of the function of the circles, and it is unlikely that archaeological interpretation by itself will reveal these things to us. It seems to be gone altogether, and all we are left with is insupportable speculation. Perhaps it would be best to draw a veil over this apparently anomalous aspect of the past, since we can have no understanding of it.

The upshot of the article was not as negative. I argued that:

[in] both Greece and Assyria, the heavens, and what the heavens represented, were of particular importance for cult practice. Plato is clear that the heavens represent an image of divine Being, also spoken of as the ‘Living Animal’, created out of the materials of other gods, by the demiourgos (the ‘Living Animal’ is created by the Demiourgos rather than by God directly, so that there should be not too much of the divine present in the world). He is also quite explicit that the body of the ‘Living Animal’ was created with precision.

In which case astronomy is important for the understanding of divine Being. An infamously unintelligible passage in Plato’s Timaeus talks about the perception of images being possible only because the soul already contains exemplars of these. If the heavens represent an image of divine Being, then all other images are poor imitations, and we should direct our attention principally to the heavens. The soul represents the heavens most closely, and in antiquity was notionally the part of us which is most connected to the divine. It is the soul which recognizes divine knowledge when it is presented to it.

We already know the importance of the soul in Britain in the late 1st millennium BCE, from several sources, including Julius Caesar.  It may be that these ideas were similarly tied together in Britain, and perhaps at a much earlier period. I explored a Mesopotamian parallel:

In ancient Assyria, part of the ritual for creating an image of a god (thereby conferring divinity on the object) involves the image being exposed to the sight of the heavens. As a god, it needs to have perception of Being, of which it is an aspect. We have this ritual from the reign of Esarhaddon (7th century BCE), who was the predecessor of Ashurbanipal, one of the last Assyrian kings, and the owner of the famous palace library, much of which is now located in the British Museum.
So the point is the establishment of contact - even an identity with - what is divine. It is possible to see this concern with connecting Heaven and Earth as a parallel to what Plato describes more abstractly in his Republic. I wrote:

...Plato argues that the philosopher should ascend to the idea of the Good, which is another way of referencing the idea of transcendent Being, by a series of connected images, without specifying what those images might be. These images, as imperfect representations of Being, are subject to change. Matters are complicated by the fact that the things which are imaged are also subject to change. Thus both subjective impression and objective reality are subject to change and uncertainty.
So the process is problematic, and complex. To some extent it is a matter of conjecture, as well as knowledge.
A key characteristic of ancient religion was that it entertained conjecture regarding knowledge of the gods. Plato refers to this in his discussion of the divided line in The Republic. We cannot know Being itself directly. We cannot know the lesser gods directly either, but we can understand some of the characteristics of these gods, though full knowledge is necessarily beyond our understanding. We can approach some limited understanding of Being via the images and descriptions of the lesser gods however, which is one reason why they were deemed to have some kind of reality.
In which case knowledge of divine things is a journey through the problematic and sometimes paradoxical aspects of reality as it presents itself to us. You need a priesthood for dealing with that. They were dealing with ontological questions, and did the best they could within the limitations of human knowledge.
This limited set of characteristics and properties emerges from thorough and precise discussion of the nature of ontology (Being), as the focus of human conjecture. This is quite clear in both Plato and also in what we know of the teachings of Pythagoras. The paradox of knowledge is the consequence of the idea that all knowledge is present in the divine, and that we only have knowledge because we have a soul. In other words, we can have knowledge as the result of the divine having a presence in us already.

I suggested that Plato, rather than exploring a pattern of ideas created in the Academy in Athens, was in fact transmitting and refurbishing some

...key aspects of a Bronze Age philosophy, which has its roots in the Neolithic in both Europe and the near East. The transcendental doctrine which is enshrined in his work is actually in plain sight to anyone who can follow his reasoning that all the merely likely stories are just that: no more than likely. The single argument which is not a mere likelihood, is counterintuitive, paradoxical, and beyond common sense. And it remains a matter of conjecture. This argument about the nature of the world used to be the apex of learning and knowledge. Reality is transcendental, and neither subjective or objective. Nothing lay beyond this fundamental understanding of the world.
If this argument is correct, then we can know what Neolithic man was up to, and in some detail. In short, for the intellectually sophisticated in the Neolithic period, the heavens represented, as for Plato much later, a moving image of eternity. To measure the parameters of this moving image of the divine was to know God, and to have knowledge of divine things.


This represents a radical departure in our understanding of the development and the history of human thought. We know that the heavens were important in the neolithic and the early Bronze Age in Britain, and if that importance stemmed from an understanding that the heavens represented a moving image of eternity, then the people who built the megalithic circles had a concept of Being, and of a reality which transcended most human experience. Such an idea is the most abstract of all. It transcends all images of what is real. It implies a culture built on responses to questions about the nature of reality, and many conjectures about what can be known.

The Pythagoreanism which the surveyor of many of the megalithic sites in Britain, Alexander Thom, detected in his findings, was very basic in nature, and based on statistical analysis of his data, and the geometrical construction which could be found in the monuments. Which means the observance of the importance of the Pythagorean right angled triangle, and the concern with whole numbers.  Both of these were of importance to the later Pythagoreans, as we know. A further clue was the statements by a number of ancient authors to the effect that the religious belief of the Britons in the late 1st millennium BCE was akin to Pythagoreanism.

But there is very little detail about what Pythagoreanism in Britain might have entailed, if the identification is correct. This is rather surprising, since we have a great deal of information about Pythagoras and Pythagorean doctrine available to us from sources other than Julius Caesar, and the authors whose opinions have survived as a result of being quoted by Eusebius (though often inconsistent, and sometimes quite obscure in meaning). We have a biography of Pythagoras from both the neoplatonist Iamblichus, and also from Porphyry. We also have an extensive and rather good account from the author of the Lives of the Philosophers, Diogenes Laertius. Plus we have the works of Plato, who is constantly referencing the doctrines of the Pythagoreans.

So this new paper looks at the material we have concerning Pythagoras, in order to know a fuller range of what Pythagoreanism implied in the late sixth century BCE, both in Italy and in Greece. As it turns out, certain key ideas in Pythagoreanism arise as the logical consequence of the kind of discussions which they entertained, mainly concerning number, mathematics and geometry. And these key ideas shape their ideas about religion, divinity, the nature of reality, of Being, and of Eternity.

The paper concludes with the suggestion that, if  key religious ideas emerge in the Pythagoreanism of the 1st millennium BCE, in the course of logical argument concerning number, mathematics and geometry, then we should entertain the notion that parallel discussions may have taken place in the late Neolithic and the early British Bronze Age, on account of their own evident concern with number, mathematics and geometry.

***

The title of the paper is: 

Patterns of thought in Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain

Abstract: Pythagorean elements detected in megalith circles in ancient Britain have no easy explanation, and precede 1st millennium Pythagoreanism by an extraordinary period of time. This paper explores the idea that there is a connection between some core Pythagorean mathematical and geometrical concerns, and ideas of divinity and eternity.  On the basis of a close examination of Pythagorean ideas in the 1st millennium, for which we have extensive documentation, it is suggested that this connection is based on a series of logical inferences. It is therefore possible that similar conclusions were arrived at in the Late Neolithic.

Key words: Megalith, Pythagoras, Philosophy, Religion, Mathematics


Paper sections are:

1 The Longevity of Ideas
2 Pythagoreanism in 1st Millennium Britain
3.The Principal Sources for Pythagoreanism
4 The Core of Pythagorean Doctrine 
5 Diogenes Laertius on Pythagoreanism
6 Pythagorean Thought in Italy
7 The Existence of Irrational Numbers
8 Religious Aspects of Pythagoreanism
9 The Pattern of Eternity
10  Pythagorean Syncretism
11. Transcendentalism in Late Neolithic and early Bronze Age Britain
12 Walking back the Insight into Ancient Mind
13 Pythagoreanism and the Deep

Publication details will be available in the near future (probably March 2018).

TY, December 10, 2017.











 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Philosophical Thought in the Neolithic (and why we cannot see it)



While responding to a mail from the managing editor of a scholarly magazine,  who I'd pointed in the direction of a couple of articles on my blog, I found myself condensing my project into the compass of just four paragraphs. This covers both what I am doing, and why. I reproduce them here:

Years ago I read Adolf Erman's collection of Egyptian Literature in English translation. One text in particular made me sit up, since it involved the use of concepts I associated with classical Greece. The text was Akhenaten's 'Hymn to the Aten'. Akhenaten lived some nine hundred years before Plato and Aristotle, yet he seemed to be comfortable with concepts which are supposed to have been first discussed among the Greeks. I looked for other 'anticipations', and found them.


That propelled me to study in London (in 1989). By that time I'd started to look at antiquity quite differently from the way I'd been taught by classicists. Instead of seeing classical Greece (and the work of the later philosophers all the way up to the closure of the philosophical schools in 529 CE) as the beginnings of sophisticated thought about abstract concepts, I began to treat major components of classical thought as the possible end point of a way of thinking, which might conceivably stretch back into the neolithic. The notion of excellence is one of those components, which as we now know was a concern for the megalith builders.


That's the basic hypothesis. The idea of Greece as the birthplace of philosophy is a modern construct. Plato himself said it was a very old discipline, but classicists don't bother to discuss what he had to say about that when they are writing about the history of philosophy. The evidence from around the eastern Mediterranean however, bears out what Plato said.


My focus so far has been mainly on Mesopotamia, and back to the 14th century BCE, because it is the area where I have the most expertise. It is now pretty clear however that the hypothesis that the presence of abstract ideas stretches back into the Neolithic is sound, and that this insight can deliver great riches. If only we can escape our enlightenment presumptions about the intellectual poverty of our distant ancestors.



Best regards,


Thomas Yaeger


The two articles the managing editor was pointed at were: Stone Circles, Phenomenology, and the Neolithic Mind, and: Frazer and the Association of Ideas

I introduced the first article as looking at the context and function of Stone Circles, particularly when looked at as structures which may have served a similar function to divine statues in both Greece and Mesopotamia. In Mesopotamia, during the installation of divine statues, the three day ritual necessarily involved pointing them at defined areas of the sky, because the heavens were understood to represent an image of the Divine - of Being and Reality itself. 

The second article I described as a review of J. G. Frazer's approach to the meaning of evidence from the ancient world. He was trained in Classics, and knew the works of Plato virtually backwards and his concern with the idea of Being, but chose to write his account of ancient thought entirely without reference to the idea of Being in antiquity. He suggested that since nothing could be predicated of Being, it was an entirely barren concept. So Frazer's voluminous output is really a species of fiction, replacing sophisticated thought about the nature of reality with the argument that ancient human thought was, more or less entirely, built on intellectual error.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

'The Sacred History of Being' is free to download in November!


This offer is now closed. Thanks to everybody who participated!

The Sacred History of Being will be available free from Smashwords during the month of November 2017, to mark the second anniversary of its publication in 2015. Use the coupon available on the Smashwords page for the book. The coupon is available for use from the 25th of October.

Coupon Code: TT95F

:


"All about how history is built by inclusion and omission. Even written histories have to hang together like a good story." - Nick Zacharewicz @NickSCZach

The Subject 


The Sacred History of Being has as its radical thesis that a philosophical knowledge of divine things was at the heart of ancient religion, both in Greece and the ancient Near East. And that the source of all knowledge was understood to be Being itself. 

 Formerly argued by classical scholars to have been first discussed by the ancient Greeks in the middle of the first millennium B.C.E., the articulate concept of Being can now be traced as far back as the middle of the second millennium, and the state of Assyria.

The Greeks themselves had several stories about the origins of philosophy, a discipline which essentially deals with abstractions, including that it originated elsewhere, but that is not the received narrative. The consequence of this, is that all historians of ideas, when constructing their accounts of the intellectual development of man before the arrival of Parmenides and Plato, have had to negotiate the Greek invention of philosophy, and the corollary, that articulate discussion of the abstract concept 'Being' didn’t happen before this. 

The Old Testament has examples where God declares his identity with Being itself (‘I am that I am’, better translated into English as ‘I am that which is,’ and ‘I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God', for example), but these are not regarded by scholars as evidence of a sophisticated discourse around the idea of Being. Instead these statements indicate inchoate notions and beliefs about the nature of god, rather than anything more profound. The statement in Malachi, however, that 'I do not change', is an explicitly philosophical understanding of the nature of God. 


This is the full chapter list for the edition of The Sacred History of Being, published on November 2, 2015. 


Preface.


Part One.

A Sense of the Past.
How old is Philosophy?
The Arrival of the Idea of Being.
The West and the Other.
The Golem.
Change and what is Permanent.
The Ontological Argument.
The Ontological Argument in Anselm.
The Ontological Argument in Descartes.
The Nature of Reality in Berkeley.
Hume and Kant on Reality.
The End of the Ontological Argument.

Part Two.

The Sweet Song of Swans.
The Academy.
The Platonic Theory of Being.
Plato’s Theory of Vision.
The Paradox of Knowledge.
Eleven attributes of Being.
Pythagoras and Totality.
Solon in the court of Croesus.
The Complexion of the Dead.
Being in Homer.

Part Three.

Ocean and the Limit of Existence.
Creation.
The Fifty names of Marduk.
The Idea of Being in Israel.
Understanding Creation as a Sacred Tree.
Being, Kabbalah, and the Assyrian Sacred Tree.
The Making and the Renewal of the Gods.
The Ritual sequence and its purpose.
The Nineveh ritual.
The Babylonian ritual.
Finding the Name of the Sacred Tree.
Postscript.

Appendices.

Thomas Taylor on the Ineffable principle.
Oannes and the Instruction of Mankind.
Ashurbanipal on the exercise of Kingship.
Select Bibliography.
Abbreviations


Available Full Chapters



The first five chapters of the book, plus the preface, are available to read in full, by following the links below. A further chapter from part one, which discusses George Berkeley's understanding of the Nature of Reality, and two chapters from part three, 'Ocean and the Limit of Existence', and  'The Idea of Being in Israel', are also available to read in full. Plus one of the appendices, which discusses the Babylonian account of the first sages, and man's acquisition of knowledge. 

Preface

Part One

A sense of the past
How old is Philosophy?
The Arrival of the idea of Being
The West and the Other
The Golem
Change and what is permanent
Recurring Questions
The Ontological Argument
The Ontological Argument in Anselm
The Ontological Argument in Descartes
The Nature of Reality in Berkeley
Hume and Kant on Reality

....

Part Three

Ocean and the Limit of Existence
The Idea of Being in Israel

....

 Appendices

Oannes and the Instruction of Mankind


The eBook is in ePub format, which can be read on Macs, iPads, iPhones, etc, and most other tablets, irrespective of the operating operating system they use. If you have an Amazon Kindle, the ePub formatting of the book can be converted easily to the MOBI format, which the Kindle uses, with the excellent eBook management software Calibre, which can be downloaded free. 

The book can be read on a PC, laptop or notebook computer, in ePub or any other eBook format, using the Adobe Digital Editions software, which is also available free, in both Mac and PC formats. Supports conversion to many formats, including PDF. 

The principal distributor of The Sacred History of Being is Smashwords. The book can be downloaded from Smashwords directly, after a signup which takes just a minute or so. After purchase (free, with the coupon TT95F), the book goes into a library space associated with your signup, and it can be downloaded on to your device from there. Just follow the link.

The book has a five star review at Goodreads

Thomas Yaeger, October 25, 3017.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

The Sacred History of Being




(New Cover, issued March 12 2017. The image links to the book page at Smashwords)

Nick Zacharewicz @NickSCZach
"All about how history is built by inclusion and omission. Even written histories have to hang together like a good story."

The Subject 


The Sacred History of Being has as its radical thesis that knowledge rather than belief was at the heart of ancient religion, both in Greece and the ancient Near East. And that the source of all knowledge was understood to be Being itself. 

 Formerly argued by classical scholars to have been first discussed by the ancient Greeks in the middle of the first millennium B.C.E., the articulate concept of Being can now be traced as far back as the middle of the second millennium, and the state of Assyria.

The Greeks themselves had several stories about the origins of philosophy, a discipline which essentially deals with abstractions, including that it originated elsewhere, but that is not the received narrative. The consequence of this, is that all historians of ideas, when constructing their accounts of the intellectual development of man before the arrival of Parmenides and Plato, have had to negotiate the Greek invention of philosophy, and the corollary, that articulate discussion of the abstract concept 'Being' didn’t happen before this. 

This can now be shown to be a faulty understanding, resulting in many absurdities. The Old Testament has examples where God declares his identity with Being itself (‘I am that I am’, better translated into English as ‘I am that which is,’ and ‘I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God', for example), but these are not regarded by scholars as evidence of a sophisticated discourse around the idea of Being. Instead these statements indicate inchoate ‘notions’ about the nature of god, rather than anything more profound. The statement in Malachi, however, that 'I do not change', is an explicitly philosophical understanding of the nature of God. 

The Sacred History of Being unpicks this log-jam in the history of ideas, largely the legacy of classical scholarship from the late eighteenth century onward.

Around late November 2016, 'The Sacred History of Being' entered the bestseller lists at Smashwords, in the categories of Philosophy and History

Chapter List for The Sacred History of Being


This is the full chapter list for the edition of The Sacred History of Being, published on November 2, 2015. 


Preface.


Part One.

A Sense of the Past.
How old is Philosophy?
The Arrival of the Idea of Being.
The West and the Other.
The Golem.
Change and what is Permanent.
The Ontological Argument.
The Ontological Argument in Anselm.
The Ontological Argument in Descartes.
The Nature of Reality in Berkeley.
Hume and Kant on Reality.
The End of the Ontological Argument.

Part Two.

The Sweet Song of Swans.
The Academy.
The Platonic Theory of Being.
Plato’s Theory of Vision.
The Paradox of Knowledge.
Eleven attributes of Being.
Pythagoras and Totality.
Solon in the court of Croesus.
The Complexion of the Dead.
Being in Homer.

Part Three.

Ocean and the Limit of Existence.
Creation.
The Fifty names of Marduk.
The Idea of Being in Israel.
Understanding Creation as a Sacred Tree.
Being, Kabbalah, and the Assyrian Sacred Tree.
The Making and the Renewal of the Gods.
The Ritual sequence and its purpose.
The Nineveh ritual.
The Babylonian ritual.
Finding the Name of the Sacred Tree.
Postscript.

Appendices.

Thomas Taylor on the Ineffable principle.
Oannes and the Instruction of Mankind.
Ashurbanipal on the exercise of Kingship.
Select Bibliography.
Abbreviations


Available Full Chapters



The first five chapters of the book, plus the preface, are available to read in full, by following the links below. A further chapter from part one, which discusses George Berkeley's understanding of the Nature of Reality, and two chapters from part three, 'Ocean and the Limit of Existence', and  'The Idea of Being in Israel', are also available to read in full. Plus one of the appendices, which discusses the Babylonian account of the first sages, and man's acquisition of knowledge. 

Preface

Part One

A sense of the past
How old is Philosophy?
The Arrival of the idea of Being
The West and the Other
The Golem
Change and what is permanent
Recurring Questions
The Ontological Argument
The Ontological Argument in Anselm
The Ontological Argument in Descartes
The Nature of Reality in Berkeley
Hume and Kant on Reality

....

Part Three

Ocean and the Limit of Existence
The Idea of Being in Israel

....

 Appendices

Oannes and the Instruction of Mankind



Questions addressed by The Sacred History of Being


The Sacred History of Being addresses many questions. Some of these have been puzzles over the centuries. What follows is a list of fifty of these questions, all of which are given some kind of answer in the course of the text. 

This list of questions developed slowly over the decade between the first draft of the book in 2003-4, and the final version which was published in 2015, after four years of writing. Other questions are discussed, including the meaning of the strange discussion of the Great Year in relation to the life of man, in the famous conversation between Solon and Croesus, recounted by Herodotus.

Here is the list.

 1. Is Plato writing literary fiction when he talks about the Forms? 2. Philosophical concepts and terms can be found in texts belonging to the 2nd millennium B.C.E. in both Mesopotamia and Egypt - is philosophy that old?  3. Can we identify philosophical ideas in Homer? 4. How and why did scholars schooled in philosophy not notice philosophical elements in Ancient Near Eastern texts from the 2nd millennium B.C.E.? 5. What was Homer joining together? Philosophical ideas in literature and poetry in the Late Bronze Age. 

6. Can philosophical underpinnings be identified in the liturgy of the New Year Festival in Babylon (The ‘Enuma Elish’)? 7. How is it the case that statues of the gods were considered themselves to be divine in the ancient world? 8. How was it understood to be possible to make gods, and why?  9. What was the significance of the Undefined Dyad in ancient thought? 10. When is polytheism actually polytheism, and when is it monotheism?

11. Why is the Ontological Argument such a disaster for our understanding of ancient philosophical ideas concerning the gods? 12. Why was philosophy in Egypt demoted from its original status by German scholarship? 13. How and why did Egypt lose its reputation? 14. Can the nature of Reality be accommodated by an Aristotelian logical model? 15. When scholars blink: Not seeing what there is to be seen. 

16. What aspect of philosophy did Pythagoras learn at Babylon? 17. How were the kings of ancient Assyria able to take on divinity? 18. How are we to understand what was called ‘The most secret and sacred of rituals’: the setting up of gods in Heaven? 19. What is the meaning and purpose of the Assyrian Sacred Tree?  20. What aspects of the Divine have existence on Earth?

21. Why is the home of the Mesopotamian god Ea at the bottom of the sea?  22. Why did Assyrian kings on campaign wish to touch the ‘Upper and Lower Seas’?  23. What is the meaning of the Mesopotamian story of man being instructed by the first sages in the art and science of civilization? 24. Why did the Assyrian Court value scholarship and excellence? 25. What theory of reality is present and cultivated from the 2nd millennium B.C.E., and can be found not only in the writings of Plato, but also in the Nag Hammadi codices? 

26. Why are rivers divine in Mesopotamia? 27. What is the symbolic significance of Ocean in both Greece and Assyria? 28. Can holiness be conferred and taken away? 29. Why does Marduk carry a woven basket (the banduddu)? 30. What is the meaning of the Mesopotamian interest in making lists?

31. What was the nature of philosophical analysis before Plato? 32. How old is Jewish mysticism, and what is its origin? 33.  Is ancient cultic life not best understood in terms of modern notions of religion? 34. Is the origin of the world always with us? 35. What did the European Enlightenment leave behind? 

36. How much fiction is there in our rational understanding of the past? 37. How old is abstract thought? 38. Has the myth of progress damaged our capacity to understand the history of the human mind, and the role and power of abstract thought in antiquity? 39. What is the relationship between ancient cult practice and the pursuit of knowledge? 40. Why was it considered necessary to know the mind of God, and how was it known?

41. What is the Doctrine of Wholes and Totalities? 42. What was the significance of the question whether Reality is One or Many? 43. How was the idea of a supreme 'God' understood to be different from the other gods? 44. What was understood to be the fundamental nature of Reality? 45. How were the properties and attributes of the Divine understood? 

46. What did Solon understand by the phrase: ‘the complexion of the Dead’? 47. What is Plato’s Paradox of Knowledge, and what does it tell us about his model of reality? 48. What is meant by the phrase:  ‘the Sweet Song of Swans’, which Olympiodorus used to describe Plato’s writing? 49.What is esoteric knowledge, and why is it esoteric? 50. What is the ‘True light of the gods’?


Thomas Yaeger, November 13, 2016


Buying The Sacred History of Being


I've been asked many times about the options for purchasing the book, so I've decided to digest my responses into one blogpost. The text contains active links to the relevant pages. This is all you need to know, in just a few paragraphs. 

Currently the book is available for sale in eBook format from a number of large retailers, including Itunes (click the link on the left which allows you to see the book in your Itunes application), Barnes & NobleBlio (search on Thomas Yaeger), Kobo (preview available), Inktera, and other retailers around the world. So, if you are already signed up to an account with one of those (and half the planet seems to be signed up with Itunes), you can buy the book in exactly the same way as any other book. 

The book is not available from Amazon. Their current terms and conditions are why I chose to exclude Amazon from distribution of the book. Their terms and conditions may change, however.

The eBook is in ePub format, which can be read on Macs, iPads, iPhones, etc, and most other tablets, irrespective of the operating operating system they use. If you have an Amazon Kindle, the ePub formatting of the book can be converted easily to the MOBI format, which the Kindle uses, with the excellent eBook management software Calibre, which can be downloaded free. 

The book can be read on a PC, laptop or notebook computer, in ePub or any other eBook format, using the Adobe Digital Editions software, which is also available free, in both Mac and PC formats. Supports conversion to many formats, including PDF. 

The principal distributor of The Sacred History of Being is Smashwords. The book can be downloaded from Smashwords directly, after a signup which takes just a minute or so. The book can be paid for using a credit or debit card, or with Paypal, if you have an account with them. After purchase, the book goes into a library space associated with your signup, and it can be downloaded on to your device from there. Just follow the link.

The book has a five star review at Goodreads

Interested in a review of the reasons why this book cannot possibly exist? I wrote about these (rather facetiously) while putting together an early draft of the book. The review is in the form of a publisher's memo. 

Thomas Yaeger, July 24, July 29, July 30, September 6, October 30-31, November 13,  December 31 2016, January 5, 2017, February 13, 2017, March 12 2017, July 1, and August 12,  2017. A copy of the static page, October 21, 3017.