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Extra resources for The age of the sages : the Axial Age in Asia and the Near East
The five tribes are no more to me than a mote in the eye. Have I not drunk Soma? . . . . . . . . . . . . In my vastness, I surpassed the sky and this vast earth. Have I not drunk Soma? Yes! I will place the earth here, or perhaps there. Have I not drunk Soma? . . . . . . . . . . . . I am huge, huge! flying to the cloud. Have I not drunk Soma? I am going to a well-stocked house, carrying oblations to the gods.  Where Soma enabled the priests to see visions of the gods and poets to utter great, beautiful words, it now propelled the warriors to feel invincible, powerful, beyond the confines of worldly limits.
The rise of urbanization was significant because of its effects on social structures and the human psyche. Urban life often disrupts one’s sense of identity and places traditional values and beliefs in doubt. In towns and cities, one often meets others quite unlike oneself, and that fact frequently challenges a person to look at him- or herself in different ways. Conventional beliefs and ways of being are thrown into flux. Some people are challenged by such conditions to entertain new ideas, while others cling more resolutely to their old beliefs.
2] Remarkably, this burst of creativity occurred almost simultaneously in separate areas on the Eurasian continent. In East Asia, Confucius and his followers laid the religious, philosophical, and political foundations for the next 2,500 years of Chinese culture. At the same time, Daoist philosophers produced a compelling alternative to Confucianism, affecting Chinese society in an equally powerful but very different way. In South Asia, a countercultural movement of ascetics and mystics composed a diverse collection of profound teachings that gave ancient Hinduism its characteristic features.