"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
3 China’s Giant History in Brief5 China’s Giant History in BriefChina’s Giant History in BriefChapter 6: The Big Cycle of China and Its Currency2020-10-09Journal
In the chart above, note the cyclical ups and downs. The reasons for them are mostly the reasons I explained in my description of the archetypal Big Cycle—because of the gaining and losing of the most important strengths and weaknesses in cyclical and mutually reinforcing ways. (My more detailed descriptions of the rises and falls of these dynasties will be given to you in Part 2 of this book, which covers the major cycles of the major empires and dynasties covered in this book in greater depth.) Notice that these dynasties’ Big Cycles typically lasted about 300 years. Within each of these were the different stages of development and the things done by emperors to bring the dynasties from one stage to the next, and the reasons for setbacks and declines. In other words, there are many lessons embedded in these histories. That is why Chinese leaders study history to learn lessons that help them plan for the future and deal with the cases at hand. Believe me, the lessons learned from these histories are now guiding Chinese leaders’ decision making. What was especially interesting to me was to see the patterns of the archetypal Big Cycle go back much further in history and be described in such detail because China’s continuous history is so ancient and so well-documented. It has also been interesting to see what happened when the Eastern and Western worlds met each other and interacted from the 17th through the 19th centuries and how, as the world has become much smaller and more interconnected since then, the Chinese and Western Big Cycles affected each other so that they are now one of the biggest influences on both these two regions and the entire world.