There are so much things that we can learn by studying the transition from the paleolithic to the neolithic. And one of those things is the emergence
of religion. Agriculture and livestock breeding really changed everything about how humans lived and about how they saw themselves and the world
around them, and their place in that world. We can't really understand the world in which we live today if we don't understand what happened around
12k years ago.
According to palaeoanthropology, anatomically modern humans emerged 200k years ago and modern human behavior around 50k years ago. Which means that to
this day, our species has lived outside of civilization for 95% of its existence. And during that time, humans have lived integrated into Nature. And
as such, humans didn't feel the need to invent unseen entities, because they already felt that they were part of something bigger than them, part of
a system that treated them in no different way that it treated the game that they hunted. Nature was untouched and thus could provide for everything
that humans needed. it was seen as a lush and mysterious caring Mother. Humans didn't have the knowledge to transform their surroundings but also
they didn't feel the need to, as they were nomad hunter-gatherers.
Agriculture changed all of that. It created a physical and symbolic distance between humans and nature. A physical distance because as humans became
sedentary, they started to transform their immediate surrounding, they started to transform nature. Sedentarization made them build houses and roads
and small villages, etc.. And it created a symbolic distance between them and nature because humans started to feel more and more different, more
unique, more isolated from nature. They started to master nature, they domesticated plants and animals and those became resources to be manipulated
and harvested. Humans felt as if they had been planted there, they felt so different as if they were not part of this whole. And they started to
invent invisible entities to which they could connect to, entities that could give a meaning to their situation, that could symbolize what they had
lost in the transition.
All religions today try to convey this symbolic meaning : that we are not alone and isolated, that all of this is not meaningless, that we are part of
the whole, that there is a plan for us, etc.. Even religions that have multiple gods, because in the end it's the same symbolism. Paleolithic men
didn't need this symbolism, because it was all over the place, and they were living it thus they didn't need to intellectualize it, they didn't
need a system of ideas to represent it. Nature was god and god was nature, and they had a direct relationship with it. With civilization, we made a
difference between what is sacred and what is not, while before civilization they didn't need to make this distinction, as everything they did in
their daily life was sacral because it was a direct relation to mother nature, or god as we would say today.
There are many other things that we can learn from the transition to the neolithic, as it gave rise to sedentarization, inequalities, patriarchate,
militarization, and so on.
Also, I made this thread some time ago to talk about a theory that I had that says that the story of Adam and Eve is actually a metaphor to symbolize
this transition from the paleolithic to the neolithic www.abovetopsecret.com...
Also this thread about inequalities in which I talk about the fact that our inequality-meter has been fine-tuned by many millennia of negligible
levels of inequalities www.abovetopsecret.com...