The natural world had thoughts, desires, and emotions, just like humans. Thus, the realms of man and nature were indistinguishable and did not have to be understood in cognitively different ways. Natural phenomena were imagined in the same terms as human experience. These ancients of the Near East did recognize the relation of cause and effect, but when speculating about it they came from a “who” rather than a “what” perspective. When the Nile rose, it was because the river wanted to, not because it had rained.
What does they refer to here? If it refers to ancients, what 's the meaning of came from, the verb of they?