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Chapter 4.1

The History of Beliefs.


The oldest known spiritual center was at Gobekli Tepe between 9130  and 7370 BC. The first recorded writing occurred in about 3500 BC. In the illustration below it can be seen this was in the Stone Age.

The next illustration shows the timeline of ancient civilizations. The North American Indians was started during the Stone Age in about 8000 BC.  Note that the Egyptian period starts before Stonehenge period.

Beliefs of the Stone Age

Archeologists generally believe that Stone Age people were basically trying to survive, finding things to eat, keeping warm and out of the reach of big animals.  Much of the time they had strong fears of all the things that were out of their control and could hurt or kill them.

Some lived in caves, but they also build shelters.  They knew what was poisonous and what was good to eat through experience.

There was no written record, but through research on modern primitive people we can make assumptions about how the ancient people lived.

The tribe likely believed that that they were the people and they were at the center of the universe.  Their universe was flat, small and under the sky. Other tribes were creatures of another sort. 

Anything that moved had a spirit within in it. They wanted some of the spirits in themselves so they would be strong and cunning.  So in their mind the best way would be to pick up the spirit by eating certain animals. If an admired member of their group died, they would eat some of their body to get some of the person's qualities.

The sun and moon were animate beings that went across the sky. A body went limp at death because the spirit left it for the invisible world of the spirits.  Time for them was based on cycles, the day and the seasons.

If an insect moved, it was the will of the spirit that created the motion.  The world was filled with spirits, or to use another word Gods. When they saw their reflection in water they thought they were seeing their spirit that moved as they moved.

Grave analysis indicated that there were rituals concerning how bury the dead.  Items buried with the body seem to indicate that there was a concept of an after life.

It was all magic, the land slides, earthquakes, disease,  lightning, and fires. The gods they thought were people too, and they wanted to make sure they were happy.  They tried to make deals with the gods. They gave the spirits what they had, including food, trinkets and even their own tribal members.

As their spoken language developed they invented stories and began to pass knowledge between generations. The line between fantasy and fact was absent.

Most tribes had a population of about 200 members.  This was enough man power to allow enough hunting parties so that they had something to eat on a regular basis.

Before writing was invented, information was remembered through aural traditions.  Long songs were song.  If someone did not know the next line, some one next to them did.

Based on the theories of Lewis Browne some of the oldest religious ideas such as original sin were in place during this period. 

A tribal leader was needed to keep the tribe from quarreling, and fighting.  The tribal leader would plan ahead, based on prediction of what the weather would be, and where the game might be found.

Most leaders did not last long as the next day was mostly a matter of luck and little knowledge.

 Leadership was needed to accomplish these tasks.

The leaders liked their job, and tried to make good guess as the best plan might be.  When the plan failed, and often it did, a new leader would be found.

During one of the ceremonies to obese the gods some members did not do the what was thought to be the best procedure.  Correcting the offending persons gave the leader an idea.  The ceremonies could be done more perfectly and the future would be bright if everyone did the ceremony just right.  So the leader said, if the ceremony is perfect we will have an excellent hunt. If we fail, we will be hungry.

So blame was passed from the leader to the members of the tribe. The leader now was never wrong, and the leader could teach and control the tribe better. 

Placing blame on the members of the tribe exists today in modern churches.  It is called "sin." When coupled with the after life, the guilt of being sinful is amplified by the prospects of hell instead of heaven.

 Modern Day Belief

Since there are about 4,200 religions in the world today, it would be impossible to state all these beliefs.

The biggest religious group is Christianity with about 40%. The other major religions are Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism  and Muslimism.

To belong to a religion, in most cases, you have to believe in the dogma of the faith. But this was not always true.  Beliefs prior to 17th century were thought to be more of an inward quality.  People were somewhat free to discuss their ideas.

This tradition of open discussion is continued by Science. Science is a method of investigation, not a collection of religious facts. Science keeps getting better through experiments and rigorous thought.

Some people think of science as a religion.  They think that science is all knowing.

Science does not know the big questions.  Its does not know What is consciousness?; What the universe is made of?; Why do we dream?.  There are many more questions that science has no answer. In our own life, science cannot tell you how to control your brain, or who to marry.   

Recommended  books which support many of my ideas.

Feel free to write me if you have questions or

My email address is:


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