Human History sans religious spin

The Roman State Church with the Edict of Thessalonica in 380 CE made Nicene Christianity the Empire’s state religion. This is the beginning of the Catholic claims to Jesus Christ as their president and being the only true Church of Christianity. The Church declared human history first began with written history effectively eliminating and labelled hundreds of thousands of years as Before Human History that did not exist as part of human history. Creationism was the accepted answer to the origins of Heaven and Earth. Since then, information has been deciphered that provides evidence that the planet and life has developed over a long period of time not created all at once as in creationism. Why are those two concepts of our origin still being argued.

You partly answer your question. 380 is when the book burning really began. It’s still seen as a good idea by many.

Intuition guides my skepticism of American brand-name-religious teachings and my adherence to a style of animism that is basically a belief that life and the planet have a symbiotic relationship that is suffused with spirits and therefore sacred to humans.

This style of animism stands apart from brand name religions that regard certain things, like a particular text, such as a bible, or building, like a church, mosque, or synagogue, is sacred, and the rest of the world is regarded as profane.

Animism is the most ancient religion. Although there is some controversy regarding the derivation of the word “religion” – most people agree that it is from the Latin religare (to bind strongly. So Animism is like other religions in that it involves being strongly bound, but it differs in that its binding is to the Universe rather than to a particular deity.
<p style=“text-align: right;”>“A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the</p>
<p style=“text-align: right;”>universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw</p>
<p style=“text-align: right;”>forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by con-</p>
<p style=“text-align: right;”>conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.”</p>
<p style=“text-align: right;”>– Carl Sagan, Astronomer & science writer, 1994</p>
Animism is not a religion that has a special building or temple, or scripture, or holy days. The religion of Animism, strongly binding one to the Universe in all its manifestations, all of which have spirit or soul, is more a way of life or culture than a formal religion.

Animism was originally the religion of all Hunter-Gatherers, our ancestors for most of the last 200,000 years. How do we know that? Through archaeological traces of our ancestors and comparative anthropological studies of present-day hunter gatherers, all of whom are animists.

It is basically a belief that every part of the world is suffused with spirit and is therefore sacred. It thus stands apart from most contemporary religions in which only certain things, like a particular text, such as a bible, or building, like a church, mosque, or synagogue, is sacred, and the rest of the world is regarded as profane.

I would like you to read the words of Chief Seattle, and see if you recognize some of these animist ideas in his speech:


These are probably not Chief Seattle’s exact words. They are based on notes taken by a local physician, who attended the speech, and which were written up some years later in a newspaper article. Nevertheless, the sentiments expressed in this speech fit so remarkably the animist point of view, and have such a poetic nobility, that they can stand almost as an animist manifesto. Here are the words:

“The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? The land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?

Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadow, [the body heat of the pony,. . .] and man, all belong to the same family

The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give to the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.

If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us; that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

. . .Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted by talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival. . .

We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother’s heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children and love it, as God loves us all.

As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you. One thing we know: there is only one God. No man, be he Red Man or White Man, can be apart. We are brothers after all.

How do you like the Chief’s speech?

Still today, the Indian fishing tribes have a ritual which is perhaps one one of the earliest conservation practices.

When fishing for salmon, at the beginning of the salmon season, it was customary to give thanks to the river gods by returning the first salmon caught back into the river, ensuring that at least one salmon would reach its spawning ground up-river and spawn, thereby helping in continuation of the species.

While this was a religious practice, it was based on a basic respect for natural functions and maintenance of the natural processes. Animism?

Write4U - Yes “a basic respect for natural functions and maintenance of natural processes” fits. You can find snips of animism like your example or Moses having a discussion with a burning bush. There are no books telling you what animism is compared to the brand name religions. I will have a section discussion on my blog.