That feeling when you read something that sticks in your mind like a nagging thought. It won’t go away. It feeds on hope and insecurity. All that is right with the world, all that is wrong, is consumed by the thought that perhaps as a society we’ve been here before.
Joseph Campbell (2008) writes in The Hero with a Thousand Faces:
As Professor Arnold J. Toynbee indicates in his six-volume study of the laws of the rise and disintegration of civilizations, schism in the soul, schism in the body social, will not be resolved by any scheme of return to the good old days (archaism), or by programs guaranteed to render an ideal projected future (futurism), or even by the most realistic, hardheaded work to weld together again the deteriorating elements. Only birth can conquer death–the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new. Within the soul, within the body social, there must be–if we are to experience long survival–a continuous “recurrence of birth” (palingenesia) to nullify the unremitting recurrences of death. (pp. 11-12).