This notion of eternal return (i.e. the universe is infinitely recurring) has been explored in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, in Hinduism and Buddhism as well as by European philosophers Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedriech Nietzche. In The Gay Science Nietzche asks
'What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.'
The infinitely cyclical nature of existence is exemplified historically in the image of a dragon eating its own tail, a symbol that has itself been recycled by many cultures but can eventually be traced back to Ancient Egypt (circa 1600 BC).