display | more...

A long time ago there was a village by a river which, every year, would flood the surrounding plain and ruin the village and its buildings - but it left behind rich soil that allowed for bountiful harvests.

One day, one of the villagers went to the marketplace and proclaimed to them, "Fellow villagers! I know when the floods come, for my god Sirius tells me!" Of course, he was laughed at.

Months later, that same villager appeared again in the marketplace shouting "The god Sirius has told me that the floods are coming! Gather your stuff and head to the hills!" He was laughed at, but a few saw that they had nothing to lose, so they followed. Sure enough, two days later the river swelled and flooded the village. From then on, whenever the man said that Sirius told him that the floods were coming, they packed their belongings up and moved to the hills.

He had become the first priest.

Years later, he said to his son, "Now that you are almost a man I will let you meet our god, Sirius." In the evening, he led his son up the hills and pointed to a star. "You see that star? That's Sirius. When that star is on the horizon, the floods come."

And so Religion was born.

This story was related to me by my 10th grade history teacher.

Another theory is that in actuality religion was around at the birth of humanity as a response the spiritual void that material association in daily life created. The holistic, and gestalt nature of human perception required a united view of reality that reflected the understanding and order imposed upon the world by man's daily activities. Religion was thus the concious manifestation of the human desire to return to the unity and harmony which was present in the original perceptual matrix, and viewed as a gateway to God. Or to put it another way, we created religion as a way of becoming closer to God.

The advent of the priest and other innovations are perhaps more closely associated with societial needs for ritual and exercise of authority than with genuine religious purpose. As we find in Buddhism, and in Islam, while there are religous persons, there is rarely the kind of priesthood seen in various cultures scattered around the world. These two religions also exhibit interesting views on society, Buddhists rejecting it, and Islamic peoples drawing it into religous expression.

In one there is ideally no government, and in the other the government is a religious institution set up for the moral organisation and welfare of society. Thus in both, religion comes before and encompasses society within a moral framework.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.