posted on Aug, 9 2010 @ 03:02 PM
Here's my thoughts on how it all started:
Way back in prehistory, and I mean back to the days when humanity existed as groups of hunter/gatherers (roughly 70-100,000 years ago). I say that
only because of the artifacts that are clues left kicking around for anthropologists to find. It could even be much earlier that the practice of what
kicked off religion started. We've still a lot to learn
Anyways, people began to take note of their dreams and discuss them with their fellows in the family/tribe. Sometimes the dreams were about events
such as herds of their favourite prey appearing in a certain valley, other times it was about other tribes who might attack to steal women and
children... whatever. They then noticed that some of their dreams came true while most were false and they gave special attention to those people that
had the correct dreams, looking to them for advice on when to hunt or move to a new location.
After many generations, people then began to also use 'special aids' in promoting these dreams. Some would dance for days, others would fast for
weeks and others began going into deep dark caves, all in an attempt to have 'visions'. The methods were varied and many, but those among the group
who were most successful in having useful visions became 'special'.
They were called shaman and could be male or female, although the preponderance were female. They were held in such esteem that their 'advice' was
not to be questioned, but acted upon immediately.
The upshot was that these visions often provided the 'inventiveness' whereby people could coordinate better hunting methods, become versatile in
regards to the planting of crops, building bigger and better enclosures to protect people and facilitate the beginnings of animal husbandry. In other
words, the willy-nilly effectiveness of the shaman, over tens of thousands of years, allowed the hunter/gatherers to eventually become herdsmen and
Over the millenia, these 'special' people became responsible for the beginnings of society. The result was the first city states and they were ruled
by a combination of monarchies and the priesthoods that sprang from the 'idea' of shaman. This is why different city states had different Gods, used
various methods to appease or beg favours from those Gods, but, if you were to wonder who had the upper hand between a king or a high priest, I'd bet
the people would kill a monarch if the augers saw trouble coming because of him or her.
In time, these city states, with their different religions and monarchs started to fight with each other to take whatever they had and subvert their
populations into their own. The religions became bigger and the monarchies became more powerful until countries were carved out of those many wars.
Coming back to religions, the various practices started melding together; as in Rome where every religion from all quarters of the empire were
allowed. The Greek Gods had temples beside Roman Gods and African temples also jostled with Middle Eastern temples.
Then the fights started.
Polytheists were thoroughly detested by monotheists and the 'Great Struggle' for religions began in earnest. Christianity won that centuries long
war and the polytheists were either eradicated or converted. Then the various sects of Christianity began fighting amongst each other until, at the
last, the Orthodox Christian Church won out over all the rest. Once more, the heretical sects were searched out and either converted or destroyed.
This then became the Holy Roman Empire which still exists today in the Catholic Church.
Today, we have another religious struggle on our hands and there's no need to point out who the two main antagonists are. We can only hope that the
bloodshed won't be as bad as it was in Roman history.
All the above history started from a few scattered groups of hunter/gatherers who found value in dreams. That 'small voice within' which showed the
best way forward grew into the powerful religions we have today.
A small voice within.