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Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Evolution of Religion

 Tsin Kletzin

I have been reading about the Chacoan Culture, and in particular about their architecture: the orientation of eleven of fourteen major buildings are associated with one of the four solar and lunar azimuths on the horizon, and Pueblo Bonito, Puenblo Alto, and Tsin Kletzin are associated with the cardinal directions, and there is much more.

In my lifetime, I have watched the notion of this type of ancient sophisticated astronomical observation and techniques go from the theories of a few cranks to a generally accepted understanding of the science of our ancestors.

To be very, very brief: the priesthoods in antiquity seems to have ruled over a much more extensive domain, which included astronomy and the observations of the Great Cycles of life - the turning of the seasons every year - as well as the Moral order and the Visionary order. There are probably many more.

Today we see that the Observation of the Great Cycles, among which are the regular motions of the stars and the sun and moon, has over time been split off into Science and Astrology.  At present, Science rules over this domain.
At this point, we need only to see that what we call "Religion" and what we call "Science" seem to come from a common root.

The Moral Order seems to remain under the sway of Religion, although there are Moral Theories which are not part of religions. The Visionary experiences of mankind seem to pose a problem for us, most such events seeming to be explained by Cognitive Science and other phenomena yet remaining Miracles and Mysteries.

There is much more to this, but for now take notice that the life of the Human Spirit has evolved and changed over time. The multitude of scientific and theological and philosophical disciplines were probably originally subsumed under a much more logically rudimentary - although vast in range and myriad in experiences! - type of intelligent understanding: the fact that Astronomy was once the province of the priesthoods makes this manifest to us.
Before Darwin, both Spirit and Body were unchanging. Now the Body changes and was not designed to be immutable, yet we still seem to believe in the unchanging Spirit. We wonder if Body and Spirit are separate, indeed do these concepts have any meaning anymore?

(I think we are on the verge of a great ideological change from the past, at least as great as that Meiosis which saw Astronomy be born from the Religion of the Great Cycle of Life. Being on the verge, however, may take a very long time.)


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