Tag Archives: God

Does Man wear religion like a cloak to differentiate his ‘tribe’ from the other??

29 Jul

Man is essentially a territorial tribal ‘creature’. The homosapien owed its allegiance to a tribe as a cave dwelling Neanderthal that hunted in packs thus it formed a ‘kinship’ with its tribe which allowed them to protect their territory(essentially their ‘bread basket’). Any human belonging to another tribe was seen as the enemy for it was the ‘other’ that encroached upon your territory hence was seen as competition to be combated. To distinguish yourself as different to other tribes whilst identifying yourself with own tribe, specific body markings/style of hair/style of attire was adopted and initiation cemented by rituals. Through the ages in order to help ward away ‘evil spirits’ (a word for any illness which man could not explain otherwise eg Smallpox, Epilepsy, Mental illness etc), rituals and sacrifice to the spirits were adopted on the say so of learned tribal elders…..the pagan rituals were extended to offering your tribe protection against ‘evil’ tribes helping you to defeat them. These pagan rituals and sacrifices also were Man’s way of dealing with natural calamities such as earthquakes, volcanoes or hurricanes over which it had no control, same applied to unusual phenomenon emanating from the skies such as a total or a partial eclipse..a strict list of “do’s and do not’s” came in to existence as the only way of dealing with these ‘unnatural’ events shrouded in mystery………..village society looked up to the village elders or wisemen who had a lot of sway…these wise men would further reinforce the “do and don’t” list adding their own contribution to it!(sounds familiar hey!)

What does this have to do with religion you may ask? Whilst genetic evolution over the many millennia has allowed man to adopt modern ways of living through progress in Science & Industrial revolution, our primordial instincts still make us “tribal” in nature……as the mystics/witch doctors in tribal society gained a special status as the ‘enlightened ones'(akin to having the crystal ball). The common uneducated folk in an effort to find cures for their loved ones clutched at straws’ and turned to the ‘mystics’ giving them an elevated social status. As Man progressed from a hunter gatherer in the jungles to a farmer/fisherman in settled village communities, the Sun and Rain(Water) Gods became very important to their livelihood…the wandering mystics offered special prayers/rituals for good harvest and protecting crops from devastation by rain/wind/locusts etc By this time the communities that had emerged from distinctive tribes had started worshiping essentially similar Gods dedicated to Earth, Fire and Water..this manifested itself as worshiping the ‘life giving elements’ such as Sun, Earth(Mother Nature) and Water….thus the first semi ‘organised’ religion emerged gradually some 5000+years ago and as the earliest religion it is not surprising that it heavily dwelt upon ritualistic worship, many Gods(Or Many facets of the 3 primal forces), as science was in its infancy, it placed a greater emphasis on warding of evil spirits and through the ‘contribution’ of mystics over the centuries it became riddled with superstitions (add ons to the “Do and Don’t list)….although this religion was led by the ‘privileged class’ Brahmins who had the privilege of being literate in Sanskrit, one of the earliest written classical languages……but the religion was not organised under one figure head as later religions became…..thus it was a bit like a “buffet” where you could pick and choose to follow only one or two of the many “Gods” or a spiritual Guru’s whilst ignoring a whole host of other rituals or deities and still …..in essence it allowed the freedom to be more or less religious as you see fit….and for many it was more a case of being spiritual with the added baggage of rituals that marked birth, marriage, death and moksha. The later religions were more organised having a “Head of Religious order” steering his flock….and a set of do’s and don’ts,(many of them added by followers long after the messiah’s had left the departure lounge). This also applies to the youngest religion, the Sikh Guru’s as the head of the ‘new theological order’ gave guidance on leading a spiritual life without enemity, devoid of the ritualistic baggage that had been added to the ‘gospel’ of earlier Maharishi’s…..but humans being primordially tribal in nature have already started to “add to the list of do’s and don’ts” in order to preserve their tribal identity as they see it……considering this religion is only half a millenium old, is it any wonder that hinduism that has been around for five millenia plus gathered some “moss”(read “add ons”) ……alas will Sikhism resemble Guru Nanak’s teachings in 5+millenia? Well for sure, those that understand the spiritual message whilst disregarding the “add on’s” will carry on heeding the teachings of humanity for essentially that is what SGGSji embodies…but for those who through the generations become more obsessed with the “add on’s” to the extent they are ready to” throw the baby out with the bath water” would call themselves true believers without realising they have become more obsessed with the “wrapping” the holy book was delivered in than the teaching of a common human brotherhood contained within it! It is a great shame that this primordial tribal instinct steers Man to adopt religion like a ‘cloak’ as a means of a differential identity…it then develops into a narcissistic behaviour where He believes his adopted “cloak” to be superior than those around him…next step then becomes to overtly or covertly (depending on self interest) denigrating other ‘cloaks’ as inferior or without the holy merit ordained in your own ‘cloak’…..Yep Man is tribal and the dumbest amongst us carries his religion like a Tribal ‘Cloak’……which He reckons is the only righteous cloak to be worn whilst all others are wearing the ‘fools cloak’ or worst still the ‘devils cloak’ …….GOD must be a little peeved that despite dispatching messiah after messiah to go have a word with the earthlings…..no sooner has the messiah’s returned….the primitive Neanderthal gene kicks in and Man is doing what he does best…..twisting the words of the messiah and adding his own “Add on’s” in the form of “Do’s and Don’ts”!
Now to bring this full circle from where i started, the modern urban Man of the 21st century living here besides me in the UK is less religious in theological terms but that primitive tribal instinct has not left all of us…..in the modern urban setting he may have shed off the ‘cloak of religion’ but has adopted his football club as his new tribe, some have rebelled against society and adopted lifestyle as a Punk, or MotorbikeRockers etc as their new tribe! Those people of faith, any faith, that do not allow them selves to be blinkered by the “add on’s” don’t have a conflict with those of another faith around them……for they can see through the “tribal” facade……..erected like scaffolding around a building……the beauty of which they are able to decipher whether they be sikh, hindu, muslim, christian , Jew or buddhist…GOD ain’t interested in your religion …God is only concerned with your deeds! No, religion is not needed to perform good deeds………Philosophers of conscience have attempted to focus people around being good human beings ..be they Nanak or Jesus..but time ‘n again humans have been found wanting!