From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 13 - August 1993
See Home Page at http://www.ivymag.org
By Todde Salen, Sweden
Funeral rituals have been performed since prehistoric times. Even
Neanderthal(1) men buried their
dead. To understand the subject of religion, it is necessary to learn
more of how it has developed since Man became homo sapiens.
Scholars have made efforts to find a line of development in religion
and religious rituals from prehistoric Man to civilization. Alas,
very little is known about the beliefs of tribal societies and
that left no written records. The only way to learn about belief
of hunting packs has been to find out what hunting packs in modern
times believed in and comparing the results with whatever traces early
hunting packs left behind. Since the only lasting traces are graves
and their contents, that is where most of the comparisons have been
One feature about modern hunting packs and their burial rituals is
a concern to stay on good terms with the deceased and to prevent the
dead from haunting those still living. This seems to be the main
for leaving the earthly possessions of the dead in their graves. As
civilisation developed, especially in ancient Egypt, the graves were
filled with more and more luxurious goods, and even with servants
and other personnel from the present life (Babylonian custom for their
Various cultures devoted more or less of their energy to rituals
for burying their dead. All these rituals stemmed from the belief
that the 'human-nature' (= 1D) continues to exist after the
death of the body. Throughout recorded history, there are stories
of how 'the deceased' have haunted those still living -
in many cases, directing their activities towards enemies especially.
Naturally, the possibility of such haunting is the reason for efforts
to remain on good terms with the deceased and not to offend 'the
dead' with anything that might make them seek revenge. A considerable
number of the graves found have skeletons with cracked bones or bound
legs and arms to prevent the corpse from haunting.
Although archeologists have tried to find a line of development for
religion, they have not succeeded in doing so. For a philosopher
of Life, though, there very obviously is one, but it is not obvious
to materialistic researchers due to their inability to think in the
field of non-materialism.
What is evident, both in rituals of handling corpses and in religious
theories of body and spirit relationship, is that prehistoric men,
most cultures and hunting packs, did not distinguish clearly between
the human body and the spirit. Thus they tried to handle the spirit
by treating nicely the remains of the body.
Body, mind and/or spirit
Developed civilizations, such as Egypt and Babylon, believed that
the 'human-nature' kept on living after the body died. They
did not realise that, as the being left it's human body, he also
to differentiate himself from his 'human-nature' (1st Dynamic- 1D).
Archeologists have noticed that the practice of burning corpses
mostly in the Indus Valley and, at times, among various tribesmen
and hunting packs. It is quite obvious that the practice of burning
the body is significant for a religion where the human spirit is
as something very separate from the human nature. And it is no
to find that the first powerful 1st Empire Civilisation that practiced
burning corpses was in the Indus Valley, from where it spread to the
rest of the Orient.
We should not be surprised about this fact, since we have learned
that the Veda scriptures originated in the same area. Even in our
modern, Western civilization, the practice of burning corpses is
as, more and more of us realise that the spirit of Man is different
from his human-nature.
However, taking care of the corpse and sinking it into the ground
(for what reason?) is still very common in the West. The habit of
going back to old graveyards to celebrate a long-gone dead loved one
is a sign of a belief that the spirit is attached to the body somehow
instead of a realization that the spirit of Man is an entity superior
to bodies and cultures.
When a society burns corpses, it has developed to the level where
there is recognition of the fact that the spirit will not come back
to the body. (Even though many spirits are so unaccustomed to a life
without a body that they cling to their 1D even when it has ceased
to exist - died.) By burning the body, you actually help the being
to leave his 1D.
By informing the human being that he shall remain in the grave
until someone raises him out of it sometime in the distant future,
you only make the being liable to remain motionless in that grave
for eons. Doing nothing may be a good meditation exercise, but it
hardly appeals to the active mind of a live spirit - the player
of games - to be totally inactive around a rotting corpse in a
When you research the field of prehistoric religion, you find no
of any belief-systems. Thus, we do not know who believed in
and who did not. When you talk to hunting packs or tribesmen that
exist today, you find that some believe in reincarnation while others
In ancient Egypt, at least in the ordinary man's Osiris-religion,
as well as in Judaism and Christianity, there is a strong belief that
you live only once and, after death, your future (in heaven or some
kind of hell) is determined by how you lived your current lifetime.
In the Orient, there is a very strong belief in reincarnation. During
the history of the Western world, many sects have agreed with
Even many Christian sects have believed so - Gnostics, Kathars
who were burned in France during the Inquisition, and so on -
even if the Catholic Church decreed in the year 553 A.D. that Man
did not reincarnate and that it was heresy to assert such a belief.
Buddhism advocated reincarnation, and asserted that it was a goal
for each true Buddhist to get out of the death and rebirth cycle of
action. In the words of our modern Buddhistic religion, we say that
each being should expand (exteriorize) out of his narrow human-nature
(which involves itself mainly with the lower Dynamics) and grow as
a being into a higher Dynamics beingness, which we call reaching a
state of Operating Thetan.
Another area where archeologists failed to get a line of development
for religion is: who is the Supreme God or gods? Because most of the
early archeologists were from the Christian, Western civilization,
it was asserted that religious development had progressed from many
gods to a Supreme Being. But even primitive tribes had belief-systems
with a Supreme Being, while many high-level 1st Empire civilizations
had numerous different gods in their belief-systems.
Another very obvious development in religions was noticed by the
too. The fact that, as Man has learned more and more about the laws
of Nature and Life, he has had less and less need to use his God (or
gods) as an explanation for what is going on in life.
In our modern civilization, this development has advanced further
than anywhere else. It has gone so far that, in some areas, science
has proven that only randomity exists without any laws to govern.
Yet science has also proven that, at times, there is interaction
particles where the known laws of such particles say there can be
Thus it can be said that, in some instances, our modern science has
advanced so far that it now needs either to change fundamental laws
of physics or to use a God (or gods) to get any further.
The subject of Semantics tells us that to solve the riddle of whether
there is only one Supreme Being or many gods ruling the universe,
you need first of all to clearly define what or who God or the gods
is/are. In our philosophy of Life, we leave it to each individual
to find the answer to this riddle for him or herself as he or she
increases in beingness to encompass the first seven Dynamics (as did
(1)Neandertheal: `An extinct primitive man of the Stone
Age' -The American Heritage Dictionary.
Mon Jul 17 18:24:54 EDT 2006