From mythology to organised religion
The manner of conversion of peoples from their old beliefs to organised religion of whatever form has been decisive in the development of the majority of mankind. In most cases, these conversions can be regarded as being uprooted from a familiar soil. What must it have felt like for these peoples during these periods. History shows that in most cases, the people rejected these new forms and force had to be used, in the form of intimidation, torture and murder. But why? Why did the people resist what was meant to be good for them? And why use force if true love for one’s neighbour was the driving force behind these conversions.
Before the advent of organised religion, man was already firmly rooted in his beliefs of gods, goddesses, nature and so on. He stood firmly on the soil of this knowledge. This was what he understood. In fact he understood the complete mechanism of the workings of his surroundings. He knew when to plant, when to harvest, where to build shelter. He knew how to avoid natural disasters. Why? He was close to the nature beings. He could see them or at least intuitively perceive them. He heeded their advise as these knew better since they were the custodians of Nature. He adjusted himself to these mechanisms and was happy. There was no question of blind faith or ignorance. He knew exactly where he stood. He knew exactly what role he played in the mechanism. The same cannot be said of man of today.
He had his gods and goddesses, he knew what roles these creatures played. He knew how the elements were ruled by these beings and knew how to organise his life accordingly. In the step-wise spiritual evolution of mankind, we had reached a stage where we understood the complete mechanism of how the natural world around us worked. This knowledge was applied in Agriculture, Medicine and in so many other ways for the benefit of the peoples. These people were not ignorant as the intellectuals of today would like to make us believe. Surely these people who so much like to criticise can not be serious. Were the civilisations who built the pyramids in Egypt and South America ignorant? It has been acknowledged that the architectural sophistication that led to the construction of the pyramids can not be matched today? What does that tell us? These people through their observance and acceptance of the Laws of Nature were much more sophisticated and knowledgeable than we are today.
So mankind in the various cultures had reached stages where he had become familiar with all the elements. His knowledge had to be taken further. He could not stand still spiritually. He had to know more as there is no end to spiritual evolution. His knowledge of the elements and Nature in general would form a basis for further expansion of knowledge. Mankind would gradually have been led from his beliefs in gods and goddesses and would have been made to know that those creatures were not gods or goddesses but servants of the Most High whose activities they were already familiar with. They would have gradually been led to the recognition that these creatures were not to be worshipped. Yes, they must be acknowledged and their roles fully understood but they must not be worshipped.
With this knowledge as a foundation, mankind would gradually have been introduced to higher spiritual concepts as to who he is, what he is, what his role in Creation is, what lies after death, the mystery of birth and so on; questions which remain unanswered with today’s mankind. There is hardly any religious representative who can give answers to these questions with any degree of conviction. What one will hear are expressions of blind faith and so on.
Christianity, in the early days fought for its survival and was finally accepted as the official religion of Rome about 300 years after Christ’s death. But then what was the core message of Christianity? Why Christianity? Why did Jesus come? The Jews after having gone through all the previous spiritual stages had at last come to divine that there was only one God. With this knowledge, they outstripped all other races in their level of spiritual development. This has nothing to do with outward appearance or standing or even wealth or earthly power. The Jews indeed had no earthly power. This recognition lies solely in the ability of the intuition to perceive something which goes beyond the capacity of the earthly brain to grasp. The Jews had reached this stage in their spiritual development. All that was left was to take this knowledge further and gradually reveal more of the spiritual to them through Christ’s Message so that the divining they had of the existence of the one God can become conviction and reality. Please see the title “Jesus Christ and His Mission” for a fuller explanation of the true significance of the mission of Jesus. If Jesus’ Message were to be critically examined, one would see that His emphasis was on teaching the people. He brought the kind of knowledge that could take the people further on the last steps towards the full recognition of God which is the goal of every human spirit.
Jesus, therefore through His Teaching provided the opportunity for the further expansion of spiritual knowledge, taking whoever adheres to them to the very steps of the Throne of God. In His explanations of the Laws in Creation, He afforded us the opportunity to improve ourselves. It is interesting to compare the mode of teaching of Jesus to what has become common knowledge as to the way whole peoples were converted when Christianity took root. Jesus taught and people out of their free wills accepted His Teaching and changed for the better. He never forced anyone, He never threatened anyone. The early Apostles too did the same. They taught and then allowed for a free decision as to whether the individual accepted or not. One could make the argument that they themselves were always under threat of persecution and that there could be no question of them being in a position to persecute anyone else. In fact this bore itself out later after the Church had consolidated itself. It had become an earthly power and could drop its mask and persecute people who refused to acknowledge it.
Therefore, Christ’s Coming was vital to the further expansion of spiritual knowledge for the whole of mankind. The small group of people who received His Message were meant to spread this Message abroad among different groups of people. After Christianity became the religion of the empire however, what happened? How did it go about its conversions? What was the prevailing religion of the peoples it encountered and how did it set about proselytising people?
Apart from the Jewish people and perhaps one or two other races, most societies still believed and worshipped gods and goddesses. Across the whole of Europe and indeed in the whole world, polytheism reigned supreme. Mankind had come to perceive and interact with these servants of God, whom because of their different natures and the apparent power he thought they possessed and because he could see how these influenced the natural world around him, began to worship them. These recognitions of the activities of these beings and the interplay with them form the whole bulk of the mythology we know of today. Hence in Europe alone, each peoples had their own stories to tell of these interactions and observation of the activities of these creatures. The same can be said of other peoples on other continents. In fact the accounts of these interactions are so universal that the existence of these creatures cannot be denied lest we conclude that perhaps the different races conspired to invent these stories. In fact some thoughtless intellectuals have been known to make such assertions.
Thus we have Roman Mythology, Celtic mythology, Nordic mythology, Egyptian mythology and so on. These were all accounts of the religious lives of the various peoples. We find detailed accounts of how they lived their lives, how they worshipped and so on. Because of the close interaction with the elements, they were in a position to exploit what these had to offer. They could gain direct knowledge of how to farm, build houses and so on. They had a set of rules which guided their lives which had been taken directly from their observation of nature and the adoption of the advise that the elemental creatures had to offer. Rooted in this knowledge they were satisfied, happy and there were absolutely no gaps in their knowledge of Creation. In interacting and observing Nature, they had attained the conviction which they needed to stand firmly on earth and indeed in the entire Creation. They knew the Laws. They knew exactly what they had to do to avoid guilt.
A mass of knowledge had built up over Millennia which people refer to as tradition and culture. These are nothing but accumulated experiences or a body of collective experience which the people have accepted as being good for them and adopted. Do we not often ask ourselves what the origin of some of our culture is. Some of them seem to have been around for so long and have stood the test of time, but how they came to be we do not know. I am not referring to distorted cultural practices which are to be found by the thousand among all races, but true culture and tradition which have truly arisen as a result of a peoples’ observance of the Laws of God. The darkness through its servants have been able to introduce all sorts of abominable practises into some societies. We all know the nature of these practices. If we but exercise our intuitions just a little, it would not be too difficult to recognise them. We must realise that side by side with good cultural practices are also to be found in almost all cultures, what are obviously evil. We will pay attention at this point only to those aspects of our cultures which we can easily perceive to be good. The great architectural knowledge, the good agricultural practices and so on are examples.
All these knowledge had to be built upon as time went on. Their could be no standstill as far as spiritual knowledge was concerned. The opportunity for this presented itself through the incarnation of Jesus. He gave of His Word and admonished His followers to spread It. Those who received of the Word did not understand It and Jesus often lamented about this fact. He found a soil that was too overgrown with weeds for the comprehension of His Words. Even though the Jews had reached a level spiritually where they could understand Jesus, they allowed too many external, earthly factors to divert them from the goal. Even worse they reject Him for Whom they had been waiting for thousands of years. They allowed their outward circumstances, that is their colonial condition under the Romans to interfere with their calling, not allowing for the fact that true freedom is of the spirit and that your earthly condition has nothing to do with it. They would listen to a Christ who would free them from earthly servitude under the Romans but not to One Who promised true real spiritual freedom which is the real freedom. Freedom from guilt, from wrong doing through the acceptance of the Teaching that He brought.
Therefore, Jesus brought the knowledge that built upon what the peoples already knew about their natural world, about the nature beings and so on. His disciples showed time and again how uncomprehending they were and this formed the foundation of so much that is wrong in the way the Word of Christ is being spread and interpreted. The first three hundred years was a struggle for the believers. The Church soon became established, however. The leaders could come together and decide what and what not to include in the Scriptures. Belief in gods and goddesses was rife among the people and even the early fathers knew these beliefs to be true but for one reason or the other they took a big jump forward, hanging on to what they thought they understood of Christ’s Message believing that with this Message, belief in the gods was no longer necessary even contradictory and that it would severely damage their standing. It was old fashioned, even primitive. In jumping forward and embracing the Message of Jesus or their interpretation of it, they left a very dangerous chasm. The common man was asked without further ado to accept the teaching of Jesus. Without any explanations, or even any preparations, no intermediary steps. The fathers themselves took this jump, this leap of faith into the highest knowledge brought by Jesus. As a result of this jump, they themselves have no firm basis within and lacked the knowledge about how to proceed, about how to guide the people gradually into the acceptance of this highest Teaching. When the peoples’ questions could not be answered, they demanded blind faith. Just believe. Of course. A very dangerous precedent had been set. A chasm had been opened into which millions of souls have fallen.
The fathers did not build on what was already available in the body of natural knowledge and convictions of the people and as the Church increased in influence and power, they felt that they could ignore this body of knowledge. It was no longer included in the teachings. Traces of such ‘pagan’ thoughts were carefully expunged from the Bible. They became ruthless and tortured and killed those of a contrary opinion or even those who still possessed ancient knowledge of for example how to heal with herbs and so on. Ignorance, fear, ambition led to this. The mass of knowledge has now been relegated to the realm of myths and sagas. All the knowledge that we used to have about the nature beings, natural healing and so on have been systematically suppressed either through intimidation or deliberate omission. It is so bad that some people even assert today after having analysed the pyramids in Egypt that it was built by Aliens. That we simply could not have possessed the knowledge necessary to construct such edifices. The possibility of a retrogression in mankind’s knowledge did not even enter their minds. So aliens went to Egypt, South America and so on and constructed Pyramids. Let these people keep their aliens. What is important here is the recognition of what we have been made to forfeit. What we have lost through allowing other people to make spiritual decisions for us.
The introduction of organised religion be it Christianity or any other has not been properly done because it did not build up on existing knowledge and has left a huge gap in the spiritual knowledge and development of the majority of mankind. We have lost the knowledge of the nature beings and therefore as a result we have no grasp of Christianity. What then do we have? Nothing. It is in fact impossible to truly grasp the Word of Christ without fully understanding the elemental beings and Nature. How could we presume to understand the highest knowledge brought by Jesus when we lack the foundation. It is like trying to run before having learnt to walk. Do not believe any one who claims that he or she has understood the Teaching of Christ if he or she denies the existence of the nature beings. How does that individual explain the natural world, their coming into being, their decay and so on. How does he or she explain what Power lies behind it all. If he resorts to empty platitudes of blind faith then he is a hypocrite. Even worse if he resorts to science which has bound itself to the earthly limitations of the intellect and as such is not in a position to offer opinions on these matters. He is a danger to himself and others and such people must be avoided at all costs.
The Way Forward
We must fill the gaps in our knowledge if there is to be any possibility of spiritual progress. It is precisely all that has been systematically taken from us that are the most important. The real knowledge of the working of this Creation. The knowledge which the Church leaders expunged because they did not know what to do with it. Interestingly they themselves are in need of this knowledge and will have to go back to it if there is to be any possibility of spiritual progress. All that which points the way to spiritual independence and freedom and offers a complete solution to all our spiritual questions with no gaps is what we should be on the look out for.