Cultural Anthropology

Anthropology of Religion

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"Anthropology of Religion"
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It's only ever been one message.

The science of religion is what this title means in simple terms. So let us start at the beginning of it all, when the earth was full of wide open spaces and the earliest humans had to battle with the elements. They would have looked at the sky turning black and then a huge downpour of rain would have followed. They would have watched the powerful winds blow trees over. They would have noted that in periods of sunlight plants would grow and animals would have come our of hibernation and they could get food. All the seasons would have dictated the pattern of life. They would have then attributed these changes to some power other than themselves and maybe have held this power in some sort of awe and reverence.

You know nothing much has changed in 'essence of the truth' of the way our planet works and functions throughout time. The only thing that has changed is man's interpretation of these happenings and then trying to intellectualize them. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves let us go back to an incident, that from all the contemporary evidence may have happened in Australia some 40,000 years ago. A group of aborigines, who incidentally are the oldest race on earth, were sitting in the desert watching the stars one summer night . They had already noted the constellation of the Pleiades was sparkling with star glimmer, as it is the youngest constellation in the heavens and certainly one of the most identifiable with its cluster of seven stars. The aborigines told a myth about these and called them the seven sisters, as did many indigenous peoples around the world. These same people globally all had this next experience too, if we read their stories either carved into rock or painted on rock walls.

As the group of elders were watching the heavens in the vast desert spaces their Creator had given them, a bright light approached from where the Pleiades were. It got brighter and brighter and came closer and closer and started to change colors and finally shimmered before their startled eyes. Then this ball of light landed and four men got out looking similar to themselves but clothed in silver all over. They made friends and said they were from the stars and had come to show a better way of living to these people and this is what they did. They stayed a while, returned every now and again and the aborigines respected them and never forgot them. Their messages worked to give their life more color. In a sense they were revered as a form of god and maybe religion. But not quite, this was 'real' religion is 'theory'. This was the earliest form of a recognition of something more advanced than themselves and that is the anthropology of religion in a nut shell. (Recently, in 2003, my wife and I spoke to aboriginal elders who confirmed that their ancestors arrived from the stars.). The worship of something greater than ourselves. In the above mentioned story it was simple and appreciated. As time went on and man began to develop more sophisticated ways to live, the temptation was too much not to use this as a power tool over others who could be taken advantage of.

Many indigenous people have had extra terrestrial visits and have believed what they saw and recorded it. Why the Wandjina rock cave paintings in far North Western Australia are depictions of people from the stars with halos or helmets on. Erich Von Daniken in his book, 'Chariots of the Gods', puts forward many examples from all over the world that cannot be explained in earthly terms. He is a definite believer that these visitors were gods and arriived in chariots not like ours, but sleek interstellar craft; hence the book title.

This is the real anthropology of religion. What has happened since has been man made and used as a power tool. If such stories as outlined above are mentioned in our churches these days, they are dismissed as the work of the devil. Why Jesus was even transported back to his Father, God, and home planet buy one of these interstellar transports, when he rose up and away from earth on the Mount of Olives, or Ascension Mount, as it is known in Jerusalem. It is even stated in Acts of the Apostles, in the first chapter, that two men appeared 'in white' (space suits) to calm the bewildered disciples by saying,' This same way you see Jesus go will be the same way that he will return'. So if the mainstay of our modern religion is Jesus, then it had come full circle. He is the same as those early visitors from another dimension, who came to the Australian aborigines to spread a message of peace and hope for better living. But here is the real test. Suggest that idea to our conservative pope in the walled Vatican and you will be excommunicated for heresy. Yet in a very contemporary way, Jesus was and is still part of a superior, advanced race of peacemakers from 'out there', where we look when we pray. See the new anthropology of religion as very much space age.

More about this author: Jishi Santos

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