Peace and coexistence are fundamentally excluded from every "organized religion" by the very method in which it was dispersed throughout the world. In almost every case, the modern mainstream religions of the current era have forcefully imposed their will on every culture it has come in contact with. Ultimately, organized religion was created and (in many cases) forced to ensure societal control could be secured and maintained. Lessons in obedience can be found woven throughout organized religions, as well as collections of accounts to testify to its validation. The clearly defined exclusion of differences embedded within each organized religion undermines the very fiber of society. Thereby, a concept of population control can be clearly connected with the exponential growth of these mainstream religions throughout the world.
Keywords to help you better understand the statement "every organized religion". The first word I'll outline is "organized" and this typically indicates written text and structured demonstrations of the doctrine. The next "religion" is typically indicative of a monotheistic belief system where typically there is one god, but many important figures within the belief. The final word is "every", and this is inclusive of every monotheistic and most polytheistic, belief system. While primarily this hypothesis equates to the structure of the religion as a whole, I think that it is a general consensual interpretation of these written texts that have left too much up to the reader to translate.
GENERAL STATEMENTS OF BELIEF
In my exploration and study of religions throughout time and across the globe, there are some fundamental flaws that I have now learned about the mainstream religions that, quite honestly. have changed my whole perspective on spirituality as a whole. The two primary principles within each of the doctrines studied that have caused my personal division from the major doctrines of the current era are:
- The idea that, while most modern religions "preach" the practice and embracing peace, by its very method of distribution throughout their existence, they are fundamentally flawed at creating a natural coexistence. The fact that many of the modern religions have fundamental portions of the ideology dedicated to the "saving" of other religions by the method of conversion, this fact inherently creates conflict with any who come in contact. Throughout the history of humankind, stretching back to times before the current era, we find humans forcing their cultural beliefs on others as they migrated and or integrated into other communities.
- In addition, in my mind, another flawed concept is the one of non-belief or disobedience, would somehow equate to eternal damnation in a concept called "hell", or being identified as "evil" and inferior. This underlying principle of eternal damnation from the lack of obedience to a belief concept that the individual was never introduced to, just to explain that people who haven't "fallen in line" with the prevailing community beliefs, is a substantial break from the natural world. While yes, not understanding the natural world around us will present us with consequences, we should be afforded the opportunity to learn our lessons without the need for a societal agreement.
Please understand that I do not condemn those who choose to study within the ideologies that I identify throughout my studies, as another facet I have (personally) discovered, is that most of these "organized religions" were put in place, and enforced, to ensure population control within that distinct region. Many of whom I have worked with, and interviewed throughout the decades of study, have stories and accolades about their individual worship of whatever theology they believe in. I hold no prejudices as to how people see their deity or interact with that deity. However, I hope to be able to help those people understand that being different is not bad, or evil, just different. My hope is to teach all those I reach the underlying concepts of "true peace" by not being in conflict, and being accepting of being different.
THE PALEOGEOLOGIC RECORD
Our story begins during the “Upper” age of the Pleistocene Epoch in the Quarternary period of earth’s history, approximately 129,000 years ago, lasting until about 11.7 thousand years ago (kya). For most of this period we find the last “Ice Age” covering the North American continent, with the Last Glacial period lasting from 125 kya, until 11.7 kya, mostly ending when the Cordilleran Ice Sheet receding back far enough to allow further migration south and east. Based on some general precepts that anthropological studies have provided, we can assert that the relocation of these individuals would have created a substantial change in diet, which would have created different proteins within their bodies, thereby increasing the critical thought process. It also, according to many DNA studies, altered their genetic makeup, as diet, stress, and other immediate factors can alter the genetic code of each generation of offspring. During the 10000 years of migration across Beringia, many studies have concluded that this group became isolated, in what is called the Beringia Standstill population, meaning that there was very little genetic modification outside of themselves. It is during that period we find very interesting developments within the spiritual movement for these travelers.
At, or around 40 kya, a crossroads developed between China, Mongolia, and Siberia, named Altai. This area became a fairly large society, facing overpopulation by about 35 kya. The expanding population pressing the local resources for supporting life to the brink. Throughout the rise and continued development within this community, came the rise of the Altaian Shamanism for religious practices. These traditions continued for over 15000 years (seven times longer than Christianity has today). As the population continued to expand, a large group of individuals from the southern portion of Altai began their nomadic migration east, across Beringia.
Beringia was the landmass that extended deep from within the northern borders of Siberia in Asia, until deep within the North American Continent near Canada and Alaska. At about 14.5 kya, the Cordilleran Ice Sheet receded far enough to expose corridors further south and toward the east. However, there are approximately 2500 years that these nomadic travelers spent settled here in Alaska as the Cordilleran Ice Sheet (part of the last ice age) covered the border between what is now Alaska and Canada, and as far south as Oregon preventing any further migration. Sometime around 22 kya the historical records demonstrates that the Earth saw the Last Glacial Maximum where the weight of the glacier actually lowered the altitude of Alaska. Around the same time, about 14.5 kya, studies show a marked increase in sea levels throughout the world.
From the historical records, we find that modern humans went through a cognitive change starting in about 50 kya to 12 kya known as the "Upper Paleolithic Revolution". It is during this time that many surmise that anatomically modern humans underwent a gradual cognitive transition allowing for more critical thoughts to emerge. Things like planning, self ornamentation, and culture creation began to be a part of everyday life for these humans. From about 17 kya to (at-least) 13.5 kya we can assume that the transported Altaians brought, and practiced, Shamanism wherever they went, therefore it is safe to assume that this new place, called Eastern Beringia had its group of Shamans for healing and cultural traditions. This is very important when we consider the “unknowns” of the time, and their use of Shamans to explain the supernatural.
Right around 13 kya, some speculate that a big rock smacked into the earth at the southern Canadian border, and extinguished all the megafauna (large animals) of the time, leaving food sources very scarce. This, in turn with the substantial impact it must have had on the environment of the time. In addition, the need for the clan Shaman to explain how to get through this new obstacle would have definitely been necessary, therefore I am convinced that the practice of Shamanism continued throughout these times. According to many anthropologists, there seemed to be another migration that followed behind (sometime near 13 kya) thereby beginning to dilute the Ancient Beringia bloodline. In addition, this newer group continued further south as the corridors in the Cordilleran Ice Sheet had been exposed allowing movement. I believe that this newer group continued into what is the lower-48 where they met up with travelers from eastern North America. These two groups (my opinion only, no scientific facts) went on to form the Clovis peoples whose remains have been carbon-dated to about 13.5 kya. However, this left the Ancient Beringians in the central area of what is now Alaska. With archeological sites in Tanana and the Seward Peninsula in Central and Western Alaska today. This group would have retained its modified version of the Altaian Shamanism as their central religious practice.
In a normal evolutionary pattern a cultural-religious practice, I suspect by the time the very few remaining ancient Beringians were found by or became the Athabaskan native peoples by about 500 BC, the practice of Shamanism had evolved to the medicine man of historical lore.
From those days until now, the evolution of the shaman has continued, continuing in those early footprints, translating the interactions and wisdom offered by the millions of ancestral spirits who stayed to provide guidance to modern man. This is where my trajectory intersects with the evolutionary path. In a quest to alter my path, and retire my connection with the spiritual world around us. I have studied my whole life for this time, for a time where my spiritual freedom can ride in tandem with the ancestors who rode before me.
THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL AND THEOLOGICAL RECORD
It is a generally accepted anthropological point that Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH) Homo sapien came to being somewhere in eastern Africa sometime around 196 thousand years ago (kya) from their ancestor Homo erectus, and after a few thousands of years began their migration to all parts of the (then) world, Pangaea. Migrations from this original tribe headed out of its birthplace about 115 kya (essentially 80 thousand years later). From my basic reading, there were obviously four (4) major migration paths. My personal studies (my theory) presumes that most of the major (mainstream) religions followed these major migratory paths:
- North-eastern route 1, led into the area known as Saudi-Arabia today and became the nation of Islam, or the Muslim religion.
- North-eastern route 2, led along with the lower coast of what is considered Asia today, where it split into two routes, one led northeast, while the other led along to the east. The northeast route led to the tribes scattered across the steppes of northern China and Siberia where traditional spirituality is (even today) the main thread of "worship". The eastern route led to Confucianism and Buddhism. Ultimately the more northern route would ultimately travel across the Beringian Landbridge to become the origins of Native American Animalism and Shamanism.
- Northern. This route moved further north around the Mediterranean sea into what is Europe today. The route would become the practice of Judaism, and ultimately Christianity.
- The South and South-western routes led to the formation of many of the localized tribal religions.
Many of these identified religions took millennia to form, however, based on Archeological data, there is evidence that these early humans evolved to a point of critical thinking at or around 60 kya, this would be a great milestone in the hunter-gatherers of the time. Research would indicate that this arrival at critical thinking, began a process of determining the necessity of explaining the super-natural events that were occurring during this time. Weather events, and even the concept of reproduction, needed to have a valid explanation. The idea that animals (of the time) seemed to be able to harmoniously interact with the natural world must have been alluring because of the tribe's dependence on the animal migrations around them. Religion is certainly a development caused by the ability to perform critical thinking, but I think it also stems from leisurely thinking.
If one stops to think about the people of the time, migrating across the hundreds of thousands of miles of open terrain with natural predators lurking around every corner. We know (from the study of anthropology) that any migration of any animal typically follows the local resources. As these travelers identified locations with an abundance of resources, they would have built settlements at which to launch hunting parties from, as well as storing gathered resources for future use. These settlements would have had splinters fracturing off to form settlements further away from the birthplace back in Africa. Constantly at the mercy of the weather, and time of day, they would have been completely dependent on the food and water sources available. What is intriguing to me is the "mysterious things" they must have witnessed as they migrated towards the rising sun.
Again, at, or about 50 thousand years into their migration out of Africa, the general consensus of Anthropological studies tells us that these Anatomical Modern Humans acquired the skill of "Critical Thinking". There is evidence that the idea of dancing, art, and more advanced thought processes was occurring at, or around, 60 kya. This also means that these nomads began to wonder "why". Now, (my opinion only) is that while they may not have asked the question, they attempted to try to predict the natural world around them. Obviously, immediate thoughts like "our community fire goes out when the water falls from the sky" type of thought processes, but none the less, this survival instinct would have driven their internal need to understand the principles of consequences.
As I ponder those nomads making their way from Africa across the chosen routes in their migration paths, I am awestruck by their ability to adapt to their new environments. As they followed the resources, be it food sources, water, or weather, we know that their mindset was one of survival first, critical thoughts second. This means that these early settlers had little time to daydream about what made things happen, they focused on acquiring the necessities for continued life and avoiding predators of the time. As their "stores" built up, they were able to engage their minds in other thoughts. It was here that I think they discovered "spirituality". As their personal security had this very small "buffer" from immediate danger, if you will, they were able to allow their minds to drift to recognizing those spirits around them. I also think that the natural events that occurred would have stirred their thought process into engaging at higher and higher levels. Because the groups were fairly small, they had no need for societal control that was injected into a practiced religion millennia later.
The first Spiritual evolutionary step
Based on the anthropological record shows, these early travelers used the principle of "Hunter/Gathering" the resources for their survival. As they became more skilled in this endeavor, this would have allowed them the opportunity to ponder more complex thoughts, although the concept of "rational thought" is still millennia away, these early nomads would have started the process of understanding "natural consequences".
As the early humans attempted to identify the influential factors within their newfound land, their thoughts must have turned to ask why things happen the way they do. My thinking is that this led to an understanding that each living thing produced a spirit. A higher purpose that was beyond man's immediate ability to explain, this is where the development of animalism came to reality. Earning the understanding of each animal's purpose became a deep-seated thought process for these travelers. as these early tribes celebrated the animal spirits that brought them meat, and nourishment came to the need for an individual to communicate with the animal spirits, as well as ancestors for advice and guidance. To help understand the natural world as it was unfolding around these early humans. The creation of religion during this time was limited to the worship and recognition of the animals around them at the time or animalism.
I think it's a very critical key to note here, that these early humans started off on these migrations with no end-goal insight, they were on a mission to hunt and gather the resources necessary to survive. They left a "known" condition of safety, to the uncertainty of what lay over that next mountain range. As they migrated, another notable idea here is that it took tens of thousands of years to make the journey from their homeland to where mankind would eventually wind up. These peoples would migrate to find a good place, then live for thousands of years, before moving to the next good place. The migration across the northern shore of the Indian Ocean (today) from Africa to Southeast Asia took 40,000 years. Two distinctly separate tribes had made the migration across the Beringia Land Bridge before its submersion in about 11 kya. By the time cognizant thinking came to humans, they had migrated to northeastern Siberia (today).
From the idea of animalism/shamanism can the first steps into a religion came in the form of polytheism. This is a logical evolution from a mentality of recognizing many different "spirits" throughout the natural world. Each spirit became a "god" which may have included several different aspects making it easier to include many different facets of life into a single form. However, in most of the polytheistic religions, we find a "supreme" god identified. This basic principle led to the ultimate downfall of the poly to the monotheistic beliefs, as a form of simplism to the complexity of multiple gods.
Several Cultures embraced polytheism, and they have become legendary in their admiration by the masses:
- Ancient Greeks with their many gods under Zeus.
- Ancient Norse with their many gods under Odin.
- Ancient Egyptians.
- Several others.
As the timeline crept ever closer to the Current era (0 C.E.), the earth's population had amassed to millions of people (based on early Roman estimates in approximately 14 C.E.).This meant that societies (of the time) needed a way of controlling the masses. As many of the polytheistic religions lent themselves pretty well to monotheism due to a "supreme" god that oversaw all the other gods, monotheism made an easy evolutionary step. I also feel as if the idea behind monotheism came from almost all spiritual movements as well, due to their acceptance of a "Master Creator", or Supreme being. In addition, many of these newer religions of the day took advantage of the already established celebrations being inclusive to appeal to those practitioners.
Down to Monotheism
Starting with Judaism, the conversation to monotheism was a fairly easy one for those who needed to establish societal control. In many cultures, we see "the church" being tied to the established "state" which in some cases came from the belief that the earthly ruler supposedly was a direct descendant from the deity (i.e., Kings, Pharaohs, etc). It wasn't until eons later that we find a separation between the two, but for the majority of instances, we can read about the ruling parties using the established religions as a method to ensure that their subjects obeyed. This also enforced the idea that humans needed simpler things for their understanding to make things easier for all peoples to stay within the confines of their practice is where we come to the arrival of Monotheism, essentially starting with Judaism. Most of the historical facts about Judaism dates back to about 2000 years before the current era or approximately 4 kya.
Many of these newer beliefs required "an interpreter" to speak to their creator undermined my belief in that group, and while most of my initial studies were based on the Christian faith, starting with the divisions that occurred within the Christian faith, leading back to that first recognized monotheistic religion, Judaism. In much the same way Christianity had differences in the translation of the published text, causing division among the followers. The fact that the organized religion altered its core tenements to ensure adoption within specific regions, led me to continue to find an understanding of our natural world that "evolved" and did not adopt local manipulations.
Some six centuries later, we find a split occurring within the religious practice of Judaism to become the Muslim faith. Then when a disagreement as to the successor of Muhammad, which then lead to a bitter split (Sunni-Shia) that continues today. The middle east translating many of the initial biblical texts a little differently by two brothers who formed the two sects of the Muslim faith. Finally moving to the later developments within Southeastern Asia developing their own derivatives. From the practice of Muslimism, we find further development in the control of the masses, with the "Nation of Islam" which is essentially a "how to live life" within the Muslim culture was promoted, and in more cases than not, enforced.
The list of defined (or recognized) religions are about as long as there are people alive, however, the true measure of each of the faiths from my adherence to its doctrine was the idea as to how it was forced on others. This, I believe, is one of the strongest arguments for or against a particular religious practice. If, for example, my country were conquered, and the conquerors allowed me to continue to practice my religious practices, that is a "for". Whereas if I am forced to accept a new religious practice, or lose my family and property to the church to give away to someone who practices the church rites, is where most fall short. We can see that even though these monotheistic religions are all fairly new, they have all taken their support by force at some point.
As the migratory path of the Northern group exceeded Europe and continued West in their expansion they arrived in a land that retained its original animalism/shamanism type of religious practice. This fact was unacceptable to those who practiced this new religion called Christianity, and they set out to convert the local indigenous peoples to their beliefs by force. Between the new (population generated) diseases and their belief in their cause, the indigenous peoples were decimated without remorse. This, I feel, is where Christianity stopped being a religion and started becoming a control method.
Each religious group I studied has been identified here, with its associated holy text. After studying each in-turn, I found that they all seem to boil down to a very few critical keys for its adoption by parishioners. In addition, the fundamental values originally defined were then modified as the populations changed, which seemed to cause more concern for me regarding the legitimacy of the religious study as a whole.
Studied Organized Religious Core Values
Having spent a great deal of time isolating the individual beliefs, and underlying ideologies behind the major (or mainstream) religious practices throughout the world, I can say with some level of certainty that there are several critical factors in all the mainstream religions. These critical factors led to the adoption of the practice while making it easier to enforce at a community-level.
- A single entity at which to place credit, or blame, for dramatic events that intersect our existence.
- A single entity at which to explain the supernatural.
- General social rules of order. Behavior modification and/or manipulation.
- General punishments for defined crimes.
Ultimately, all the major (what became) "mainstream" religious practices across the globe all seemed to focus on getting others "converted", as if the only methodology of legitimacy lied in the population practicing. This ideology seemed contradictory to me, as interacting with the world around us and accepting it the way it is should be the basis of our existence. In addition, seeking to amass a good collection of wisdom and knowledge should be our highest priority during our lifetimes. Accepting people and practices, the way they are, and not forcing them to match our expectations. Being able to live completely free of other's ideas and interpretations is another one of the facets that I researched in great detail.
MAJOR POINTS OF DISCOVERY
- Approximately 45,000 years ago, humankind moved into what is now the Altai providence. Altai was divided into the northern and southern portions, with both having a separate DNA code. These two settlements created completely separate cultures, with the Shaman being the central figure for each culture.
- During the time of the Last Glacial Maximum (30 - 20,000 years ago), the sea levels were at their lowest point, exposing a natural land bridge between the northeastern portions of the Asian continent (Northern Siberia today), and the northwestern portion of North America (Alaska and Yukon, Canada today). This bridge was called Beringia.
- Nomadic peoples from the Southern portion of Altai migrated across Beringia before the sharp rise in the sea level about 14,500 years ago.
- These peoples settled in central Alaska (now) and east before arriving at the Cordilleran Ice Sheet which covered most of the northwestern North American continent at that time.
- These peoples remained in central Alaska until approximately 14,000 years ago when the Cordilleran Ice Sheet receded enough to provide corridors to migrate further south and ultimately east. There are plenty of debates as to the maritime expeditions from the Alaskan contingent to discovering lands beyond the ice sheet which extended to the 60th latitude.
- These people brought with them the culture and teachings from their villages in Altai. This included the "hunter/gatherer" lifestyle, as well as their religious beliefs. My assumption (based on information obtained through several sources) is that this religious belief was of the Altai Shaman and Shamanism.
- By the time we (humankind) arrive at our current era, we would note that many of the ancient religious beliefs and practices have evolved into the simplicity of early Native American beliefs.
- It will be another millennium before we find the European expeditions reaching the east coast of North America, and several more centuries before they (Europeans) reach the western portions of North America.
- It will be another bunch of centuries before the "American settlers" push the indigenous peoples from their lands in their (settlers) conquest of the North American continent while forcing their (settlers) beliefs on the peoples and (in many cases) forcing the indigenous people to change their beliefs to match.
The road from those early days of discovery to the ultimate loss of everything gained by those Paleo-Indians has been paved by more modern religions forcing their way through. Predominantly we can read where the "missionaries" of that early church spiritually destroyed everything they came in contact with. Hence, there are many who, like me, feel that this older, reality-based religious belief has a substantial amount of legitimacy to it.
Please read through My interpretations of the beliefs that these (now MY) peoples had that allowed them to live in harmony in this new world.