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Middle aged heterosexual, WASP male. Semi retired, semi-sane and semi-serious. And endangered species and I'm not going quietly!!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Church of Allan - The Plain Truth About God.

A serialization of the book The Plain Truth About God (Chapter 4 Stairway to Heaven-Part 2)

The Dream Time was a very common belief amongst not only the aboriginals of Australia, but also North and South America and, to some extent, both the Neanderthals and the Humans of Central Europe.

It gave people a view of life in which they believed that ancestral spirits were not only involved in creation, but also remained in the tribal land after death.

The ancestors’ played and active role in the life of each succeeding generation!

Religious leaders led each tribe, (of which there were about 500 in Australia) with no political chief or formal government.

They were broken down into hunting groups and family units and these units were vitally important as all members of the tribe were related!

The territory of the tribe was centered on the place where its ancestors had originally settled. It was believed that the spirits of these ancestors remained at the watering place at the center of the territory awaiting re-incarnation.

None of them ever really died, but rather merged with the natural world and so remained a part of the present and of the tribe.

This was one of the plainest and simplest methods of avoiding the pain of death and separation, since the departed had not really gone anywhere!

These myths and rituals, signifying communion with nature, and the past, were known as the “Dreaming” or “Dream-Time.” They reflected a belief in the continuity of existence and harmony with the world!

They were also a source of inspiration for aboriginal art, including paintings, carved objects, symbolic weapons, and poetic chants. (Similar to the Vedic chants of the Indus Valley Culture thousands of years later.)

For the Aboriginals the “Dream-Time” is the period in which the original ancestors were thought of as heroes and spirits. They took a variety of forms, both animal and human, and created a pattern for the very existence of these people.

It was a great comfort for early people to think that death did not separate them from their loved ones!

Aboriginal people believed that the land was their mother, and their dreaming had answers to life’s mysteries. The forces - the heroes and spirits - of the “Dream-Time” were all the creative ancestors of the tribe.

It is through their traditional art forms, especially rock carvings, (Some as old as the original settlement of Australia) that the past is realized.

The “Dream-Time” existed as long as the people exist. They re-create it with their rituals, their arts, their life, and their stewardship of the land.

That is why when a Christian kneels down in Church, or when a Neanderthal or Aboriginal bows down in fetish, it is done with the same purpose, submission!

Also, Australian Aborigines, who have been virtually untouched by either Western or Eastern religions for the past fifty thousand years, show God did not sent prophets or emissaries with warnings of a final judgment.

It did not make them aware of a negative force we choose to call the “devil,” or Satan. This is a factor only in the religions that have developed a “priestly” or privileged class, so that they had something to protect you from!!!

It turned out that the progressive increase in the availability of free time for socializing and leisure amongst the members of an agricultural society, brought about a corresponding increase in a priestly hierarchy.

Anyone who was a bit on the lazy side but was creative and ambitious enough could proclaim themselves a “shaman” or priest.

This automatically conferred upon them the duty to attend to “priestly” tasks and left the hunting and manual labor up to others.

Among the ancients, the mutual interdependence of people in a tribe or group meant they more common beliefs to tie the members of a society together.

After all, if you spent every waking hour with other members of your tribe, it also followed that you were all anchored in common sets of representations and assumptions about the world around you.

This led to a natural “moral unity” amongst the tribe members.

BUT! Once we get beyond the 25-30 member size of a tribe and the population goes into the hundreds, as it did in the four early “River Valley Cultures,” we see a marked change in morality.

When the hunters were replaced by an agricultural society, a profound change occurred in their religious life as well. People remained in one place and settled into a more structured and organized way of life.

The fertility of the crops, animals and even the tribe itself became of paramount importance and became the new focus of social interaction and planning.

Fertility was obviously feminine by its very nature as only females could produce offspring so here the group’s religion tended toward the Earth Mother, Great Mother, or Matriarchal goddess.

(Today we still have followers of this ancient Pagan ritual in the form of Wicca’s, who derive their beliefs from the ancient Celtic people and Druids. Much as their forbearers, they also follow many aspects of early fertility religions.)

The beliefs of early fertility religions were to fulfill a very early human and societal need. That was the guarantee of high fertility rates for their crops, animals and other tribal members.

As far as we know there was an ancient fertility culture about thirty thousand years ago, that made the first clay representations of the female nude.

These fertility idols, made by the “Gravettian” or ancient Aryan people, were the first manufactured pieces of art and were a talisman to guard against the extinction of humankind by representing a perpetuator of the species.

This fertility cult was widespread, and one of the areas that were inhabited by the Gravettian people is in an area of France known as the Dordogne region.

Here we have a series of caves that has been continuously occupied for almost all of the last 100,000 years, first by Neanderthals and then our own ancestors.

(In other words since the dawn of our own awareness.)

To understand the advantages and disadvantages that humanity faced over the millennia, it is important to realize that man alone emerged from the early primates as a change maker.

We spent a long, long infancy living much the same as the rest of the inhabitants of this planet. Then, about 12,000 years ago, we began the momentous journey that was to take us from the Stone Age to the beginnings of recorded history 5,000 years later.

It was the first vague awakenings of wonder and terror about the world around us that provoked early feelings of religion and art that is evident today in ancient cave dwellings and pottery.

By about 7000 B.C.E. the Indo-European cultures centered around what is now modern day central Turkey and Iraq had been in one place long enough that they took on their own distinct culture and language.

Then, after the retreat of the ice fields those many thousands of years ago, various migrations of light skinned, partly nomadic “Aryan” Indo-European tribes left their homeland in what was to become the Middle–East and advanced east into the Indus Valley of India and also back over the Black Sea and into Europe.

With them, they brought their religion called Vedism. This religion had such innovations as the practice of war, belief in male gods, exploitation of the land and knowledge of the male role in pro-creation.

Goddess worship had been augmented and combined with the worship of male gods.
The Sun was viewed as a male entity by this time because it encouraged the crops to grow, just as rain was also a male energy.

These beliefs mingled with an equal or even more advanced Indian native belief is often referred to as the “Indus Valley Culture.”

Although the people around the Indus Valley began a decline in about 1600 B.C.E. that led to a gradual fragmentation of the area, its religion continued to flourish and grow through the centuries.

This Indus, or Indian culture, underwent a renaissance of change that would ultimately lead to the establishment of the first of the great religions.


Allan W Janssen is the author of the book The Plain Truth About God (What the mainstream religions don't want you to know!) and is available at the web site www.God-101.com

Visit the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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