Recorded human history spans about 3000 or 4000 years.  The question of whether something has been unfolding all this time - it remains open.    I would venture to say that most people today do not believe that human history is teleological - certainly most people in the secularized world do not.   Then there are of course people who subscribe to a religious eschatology of one kind or another - whether with an ultimate apocalyptic outcome or a cycle of ages that repeats itself.   

The main point to make  - and to continue to make - is that there are no rational grounds for having one set of beliefs about the logic of human history over another.   As passionate as some people's attachments to their core convictions - whether they are convictions that every moment, even the most tragic calamities, are part of a divine plan, or whether they are faith that science will one day prove that only "chance", whatever that is, governs the development of the world - we simply do not know.  

It is possible, though, to decide that there must be something unfolding - this is the decision that underlies the ark work.   One way of following through with that decision is to project a history authorizing the present - from the earliest civilizations of India, China and Mesopotamia to the present.   The desperation and sadness of social media, the art world, advanced capitalism takes on a different character when it is contextualized in a greater history.    The key, I think, is to grasp how alive the past is.  Not just the 19th century, which I've talked a lot about, but, just as much, the 4th and 5th centuries BC, the worlds of Pythagoras, the Buddha, Lao-Tzu.