In order to properly evaluate and trace the evolution of religion and its impact on our modern religious philosophy, we must go far back in time to the earliestanthropological and archeological indications of the ascendancy of man from roving bands of scattered families, foraging and hunting for foodstuffs wherever possible, to nascent establishments of settled tribal communities.
The history of ancient mans emergence from the nomadic state into settled communities with organizational structure, agriculture, animal husbandry, and the partitioning of permanent hereditary duties to families and/or members of the community, the nascent formations of Military, Royal, Ecclesiastical and Artisan Class structures with centralized authority and rules of conduct is Key to pinpointing the embryonic cultural and social traditions that over the millennia would eventually evolve into the social force popularly known today as revealed religion , inclusive of its social creeds and spiritual concepts. In fact all forms of religion practiced in this (our) era can be traced to this same type source or origin. Our religious philosophies are an evolutionary reflection of mans historical interaction with nature , shielded in myth and fable. These myths and fables of the distant past have evolved into our modern religious concepts. There is no truth to the concept of Revealed Religion (Revelation From a god (supernatural spirit) to a messenger (prophet)) – all religious beliefs are the result of mankind’s social evolution and the Key to interpreting the myths and symbols embodied therein is found when we accurately separate actual history from mythical history, and then evaluate the actual history dispassionately – and this task is not easily accomplished.
I must re-emphasize that the Key to unlocking the veiled theological mysteries of the distant past and thereby shedding great and illuminating light upon the religious enigmas of the present, lay in uncovering and analyzing the early social structures of the first settled agricultural communities emerging from pre-history. That is not to say that mankind did not possess god concepts in his nomadic phases – most certainly he did, if we accept that the belief in the great-unknown (spirit) creator is instinctive. Natural history and Time have no beginning, no origin that we can point to, no year one (or 0) so to speak and herein lays the eternal unfulfilled quest of the enlightened of mankind – to find this Father of our beginnings with the hope that such knowledge will unveil our purpose and destiny.
Evolution Of The Priesthood
The evolution of religious thought from primitive times to the present is explainable but entails a dispassionate study of history and some common unbiased logic. The first step in this long process of religious evolution started with the emergence of the Priesthood. They evolved from a class of Star Gazers and Naturalist whose appointed hereditary duty, within ancient society, was the recording and forecasting of seasonal transitions. They (the Stargazers) signaled the planting of seeds and the harvesting of the crops. They studied and measured the cycles of time and the seasons by observing and recording the comings and goings of the celestial entities – and noting the terrestrial associations (rainfall, flooding, drought, animal migration, etc.) that accompanied the arrival and departure of these cosmic entities (stars, planets, asterisms, etc.) to and from specified coordinates. They were the first astronomers and meteorologists and masters of mathematics, which was a required skill within their ranks.
These early societies were stratified – whatever caste or class that an individual was born of determined his destiny throughout life, that is to say the obligation of the child to his society and rank or position within the society was inherited from the parents. This worked fine for the stargazers, in that their pivotal profession as keepers of the time blossomed intellectually far, far beyond the scope of the masses. Their abilities became prodigious over time, to the amazement of the common classes. They not only predicted the coming of the seasons in their order, but they forecasted the rains, the floods, solar and lunar eclipses, the phases of the moon and declinations of the sun and the Impact of their transits upon the land and its inhabitants. They charted the heavens, grouped the stars and named them. These stargazers garnered this phenomenal knowledge and ability at a time when the general public was overwhelmingly illiterate – they became a lordly class unto themselves. They cherished their supreme position and it was, of course, preserved within the caste system that prevailed. But the security afforded by Class distinction was not enough for these elitists who through superior knowledge had de facto control of the ancient emerging world which over time would evolve from community farms into city-states and into empires. So they decided to encode their knowledge into cryptic (symbolical) form – they invented the language of esoteric mythology, symbolism and allegory –a symbolic language that could only be correctly interpreted by those who had undergone mystical initiations within their Secret Societies or Fraternities.
This ancient mystical code that was incorporated to preserve and enshroud the wisdom and knowledge of the emerging sacerdotal class of antiquity is the archetypical mythology that has blinded common society spiritually down to this day. This mythology at the exoteric level is literal nonsense but within its esoteric folds resides the supreme wisdom of the ages.
When Primitive man began to settle in agricultural communities, it became necessary that they regulate their farming and animal husbandry within the constraints of the seasonal changes. It therefore was necessary for the tribes to assign some individuals (stargazers) to devote themselves to the study and tracking of the coming seasons and of course to financially support these appointees who worked for the common good. The offices or positions of these appointees (stargazers) were hereditary and their scientific knowledge increased exponentially and was kept strictly secret, not shared with the other levels of society. Their cosmic prognostications took on the aspect of secret wisdom; and of course it was to their advantage to conceal their methods and knowledge so as to secure their privileged position in society. So as society evolved religiously (over thousands of years), these astronomers and mathematicians (calculators of the seasons) became the primary ministers of religious thought, thus the sacerdotal class was begun.
In order to clearly understand the evolution of religion from the science of astronomy, we must recognize that this process of religious evolution covered many thousands of years. The actual birth of the process is forever lost in antiquity, and the motivations of those who engineered and in later times diverted (or modified) the focus of the process (in terms the mythical-religious illustration of a physical reality) were varied. Originally, the primitive stargazers (astronomers) of primordial times were certainly dedicated to the common good of their tribes. But as the centuries passed and their intellectual advances so greatly exceeded those of the general population, they succumbed to the inevitable temptations of avarice and lust for power. They applied their superior knowledge in a way that enhanced and secured their privileged status. First of all their positions as Timekeepers were hereditary, so this served to keep their advanced knowledge of mathematics, astronomy and meteorology confined within close ranks. But this did not satisfy them – they also established secret codes and symbols so that their knowledge was elevated to another language that was incomprehensible to the uninitiated. They covered the possibilities of dissension within their families also so as to prevent the unworthy or untrustworthy access to this esoteric wisdom; they established secret and closed societies for those that were chosen as candidates to be trained in the mysteries of their esoteric wisdom. The candidates had to pass certain arduous test, which served to gauge their loyalty and dedication to the inner circle. They also had to swear life and death oaths – that they would never reveal the secrets of their closed society. Even when the candidates were accepted, all the doors of the esoteric wisdom were not opened to them. The ancient Priests established a tier system for the gradual advancement of the potential hierophants – knowledge was unveiled to the candidates in degrees and each advancement required tasks of qualification.
The ancient Priesthood of primordial times and early civilization possessed an environmental knowledge that rivals our understanding of the environment here in the 21st century. They possessed this knowledge (higher mathematics, astronomy , geography, meteorology) at a time (in pre-history) when perhaps 99% of the population was illiterate. The ignorant masses were superstitious and uneducated with little or no understanding of the cycles of nature and the causes of the seasons. And this ignorance suited the tactics of the Priesthood just fine. The esoteric wisdom was maintained and controlled by the priesthood and shared somewhat with the Royalty. As religion evolved from astronomy i.e. the symbolic illustration of the science of astronomy, the Priesthood used their advanced scientific knowledge to mesmerize and astonish the masses.
So as the Priesthood (this sacerdotal society that over hundreds and thousands of years had evolved from a class of Timekeepers, star gazers, weather forecasters) began to proselytize the public and formulate the religious tenets of the various societies, they touted themselves as the vicars of the gods, as gods’ emissaries to the populations of earth. The Priesthood had the Power (knowledge) in their minds to actuate and perpetuate this chicanery- they would astound the people, for example, by declaring that at a certain time and location at their command, the moon shall blot out the light of the sun, or perhaps they would predict a Lunar Eclipse or the onslaught of turbulent weather or drought. All this they could predict by means of their scientific knowledge, but in the minds of the ignorant masses these Priest , Soothsayers and Witchdoctors were visualized as true emissaries of the gods. How else could they possess such powers was the thought of the benighted.
Star and Nature Worship
I would add that the special dates that were established for harvesting or planting or whatever, may have at first only been secular notations on the calendar, but over time these special days became sacred days and eventually deities were attached to these sacred days as well as religious ceremonies which served to offer sacrifice or obeisance to the deities so designated. It also follows that the priesthood became very adept at the science of architecture and that religious buildings and monuments were therefore designed to help aid in the effort of tracking time. The orientation of the structures were laid so as to measure the movements of the sun, moon and stars and thereby give notice to the initiated of the entrances and exits of the seasons.
Originally, the tasks assigned to the ancient Time Keepers (Stargazers) of these fledgling agricultural communities was to track the seasons and notify the public of the appropriate time to sow their seeds and of the appropriate time to harvest the crops. This information was vital to the survival of these newly settled hamlets of antiquity, making their first attempts at transition from the hand to mouth existence of nomadism. And as these ancient Timekeepers recorded their observations by the customary methods of oral traditions or markings on natural landmarks etc. they had in fact entered the embryonic stages of the science of astronomy, and concurrently (and unknowingly) laid the foundation upon which the world’s religions would be fashioned in the millennia that followed.
Of course the system of tracking the seasons by using stars as signpost to announce their (seasons) comings and goings worked fine, just as it does to this very day. But anciently, as the system of using stars to mark the skies and announce the entrances and exits of the seasons became customary and second nature to the peoples, the original purposes (or understanding of how and why the system was initiated) became lost or clouded in the minds of the masses. As the years rolled by, the custom of searching the heavens for particular asterisms to signal various agricultural and related activities became ritualized. After a while, in the public mind, it was not enough spiritually or psychologically to just run into the fields and sow or harvest when the appropriate heavenly signpost appeared on the horizon. They fashioned that a celebration was in order and festivities and the like.
As more years rolled by, just celebrating the arrival of the starry signpost became spiritually insufficient and psychologically non-fulfilling – so much depended upon the arrival of the stars that announced not only the agricultural activities, but marked the seasons for rain and sprouting fields and forest and spawning fish, animal migration and so forth. The masses began to look to the starry signpost not only as markers of the seasons but rather as Bringers of the seasons. They imagined that their rituals of celebration that greeted the annual arrivals of various stars or star groups (constellations ) did not carry enough glory (significance) for these momentous occasions. Now praise and supplication were in order – the starry signpost at this point took on aspects of divine deities, in the minds of the superstitious masses, deities worthy of praise and laudable beyond limits. The stars were no longer viewed as only heavenly lights but also as temples of the gods – these stars were imagined to house the spirits of the divinities and were not only worthy of praise but praise was required. The stars were the first celestial entities to be ranked as deities, according to the scholars that have researched these matters, then came Lunar deities, followed by the Solar deities – they (the stars) were imagined as residents of heaven and the bringers of fair weather and bounty and rain and blessings to their human subjects.
The above written expresses the early stages of human development and also of human religious development – and all is innately connected with the cosmos, the heavenly vault of the skies. The link between all is the element of Time, that is the tracking and measurement of Time, and Time tracking is the basis on which all scripture is formulated. The scriptures are, in fact, registries of astronomical phenomena written in a mythological format, plain and simple.
It is logically evident that Star Worship evolved from the ritualizing of the system of using stars and asterisms (groups of stars) as markers so as to track time. The stars were used to signal the comings and goings of the seasons, and to locate the position of the sun on its annual journey. These stars, asterisms, common constellations and zodiacal constellations enabled early man to identify the cardinal points and use other assorted stars and constellations as signpost for measuring the span in between cardinal points and tracking the sun as it traveled throughout the year. This was of obvious importance so that early civilization could successfully plant and harvest crops as well as for other reasons such as migration, animal husbandry, food storage and export and so on and so on.
It is very easy to understand that by making these signal days of the stars into holidays and festivals their remembrance was assured. And it follows that as society became more and more religious that these signal days (that were a matter of life and death in terms of their importance to agriculture) – that these signal days would over time evolve into religious or sacred days dedicated to certain deities (stars) that were now not just signals of the seasons but actually viewed as the bringers and causers of the seasons. After humanity deified the stars, it of course followed in natural progression that the deities became deserving of worship and sacrifices. And in this we have the evolution of religious rituals based on primitive astronomical observations that were geared to tracking time in order to assure propitious agricultural and related enterprises.
The first stellar deities were depicted as animals, some malevolent and some benevolent. They chose animals names for the various constellations, animals whose presence or activity was somehow associated with the season of the stars heliacal appearance on the eastern horizon, such as the heliacal rising of the Dog-Star Sirius , barking its announcement of the dog days of summer. A stars heliacal descent on the western horizon was also a reference indicator and the stars that transited the midnight meridian served as another reference coordinate for tracking time. The characteristics of the animals would in some way be associated with the concurrent activity or season that the stars arrival on the horizon was found to indicate. For example, the bull deity was associated with fertility – hence a Spring constellation indicating new birth. The lion was in some instances associated with ferocious heat – hence it was a summer constellation. The Virgin with a stalk of Wheat may have been associated with harvesting and so forth. The deities were not limited to just one symbolic indication. As time passed the deities became humanized in form but maintained animal attributes as part of their guise, perhaps in the attire of the deity or some ornament. And in many cases human and animal anatomies were fused so as to create a mythically symbolic portrayal that was part animal and part human in visual appearance. I’m thinking mainly of ancient Egyptian symbolism as I write this.
Of course some stars (deities) were indicators of propitious events (seasons) while other stars (deities) were witnessed with foreboding. The benevolent stars (deities) were greeted with great offerings of flowers, foodstuffs, dancing and various tangible demonstrations of gratitude and welcoming. But the ominous stars (deities) were served with blood sacrifices, fasting, self-mutilation and various rituals that were designed to appease and placate the wrathful deities. Our religious rituals of today have sprung from the sources that I have just described.
Theology Of Time
Hence, this is the true and accurate account of the evolution of religion – it started as astronomy that evolved into cryptic Myth , for reasons that I have explained above – and out of this mix has emerged our present day religious creeds. The fables that we call religious history are completely bogus in terms of actual history. The evolution of our modern Religious Concepts began with Astronomy, and evolved through Mythology and Astrology into modern religion. Jesus Christ, Moses, Abraham and all of the other so-called prophets of the Quran, Bible and Torah are cosmic myths – they never existed in actual history. They are the personifications of cosmic entities and their tales, in truth, are no less than a registry of astronomical phenomena written in a mythological format.
The best term that I have ever heard as a description of religion is Theology Of time – that’s exactly what religion is and has always been. Religious myth was born out of a system of Time-Keeping, its originators were primitive stargazers whose history goes back more thousands of years than I would like to count, in fact I could say millions of years, but I wont stress the point since that time-frame covers cycles that we haven’t covered to this point, in my previous books on this subject. The largest cycle that we have discussed is the precession cycle that spans 25,920 years, and this is where our focus should remain for the moment, but the ancients actually measured time in excess of that cycle.
Subjects Reviewed In Book Four
Within this Book, we shall also bring greater clarity to the important book of Genesis. Witness this quote from Book Three: Chapter One “Genesis One contains a Lot more Symbolism. The First chapter and more of Genesis is actually Bursting At The Seams with Stellar Symbolism, but that is not our Focus, at this Time. Furthermore the Interpretations are much more involved and tedious, so we will move on”
In Chapter two I have included much of the Stellar and Circumpolar symbolism that was omitted from the previous volumes. The inclusion of the stellar symbolism and its interpretations will give the reader a much broader comprehension of biblical allegory. I have found astronomical correlations going back over 8,000 years in the Book Of Genesis. The interpretations are very vivid and jolting.
We have attacked and explained many of the most enigmatic portions of the bible within Book Four, and that includes the Book Of Revelations – that mystery of the Ages. We have included many interpretations relating to Environmental (Agricultural) symbolism within this Volume, as it is very pertinent to the New Testament and to Revelations as well.
We have included an extensive explanation of the cycles of Time in Chapter One. It is fundamentally important that the reader delves intensely into that chapter, as it is Key to many interpretations that follow. And furthermore I have written this book with the assumption that the reader is familiar with the information contained in my previous books on this subject, which serves as a sort of stepping-stone to the more intricate matters that are reviewed within this Volume.