28 April 2012

What do I mean by "Time and Religion".

a man decribes his search for "time" on youtube

What is Time ?, How do we perceive time ?, is our perception of time changing, evolving ?
As Dan Falk put it "Time surrounds us. It defines our experience of the world, it echoes through our every working hour. Time is the very foundation of our conscious experience. Yet as familiar as it is, time is also deeply mysterious. We cannot see, hear, smell, taste or touch it. Yet we do feel it - or at least we think we feel it. No wonder poets, writers, philosophers, and scientists have grappled with time for centuries.

Every early religion around the world developed in order to grasp the concept of time. From the early days of Shamanism and burial rituals during the Natufian culture that flourished between 15,000 and 11,600 BCE through Neolithic burials, 'homo-religious' as Karen Armstrong calls our ancestors, has tried to deal with the meaning of time, life after death, and eternity.
Our ancestors must have had a need to track time and seasons. Night must have been quite scary back in the days and harsh winter or summers must have had a determining role in our survival. In fact I believe FEAR and DREAMS were the two factors that led mankind to a spiritual awakening. On the one side fear of night, harsh nature and death, and on the other, dreams of fair weather and food in abundance or dreams of a deceased parent that might have been so vivid as to make us truly believe they still lived in another dimension or that we could somehow communicate with them. Most early tombs functioned as some sort of giant clock/calendar. A great example is the "passage tomb" of Newgrange in Ireland dating back to 3,100 BCE, making it five centuries older that the great pyramids of Giza. The tomb is richly decorated with triple spirals and other geometric shapes. The tomb spans 25 meters in length ending in 3 small perfectly preserved and dry alcoves giving it an elongated cruciform design. One of the most intriguing feature though is that once a year, on the morning of the winter solstice, sunlight reaches into the passage into the deepest burial chamber.

Many of the symbols of ancient religions are inspired on the sun, the moon, the seasons and the cycles of the stars. It is the sense of sacred that our ancestors had to try to explain time, death and eternity and that evolved around the world in various forms. If we want to fully understand time we need to have a deep understanding of religion and its evolution throughout time.

The above video resumes the concept quite well. It is unfortunate that the man speaking has beliefs that diverge hugely from mine; he speaks of ill credited scientists, believes in conspiracy theories and in other interviews talks of machines that don’t really exist. But in the pursuit of truth I will not be censoring anyone's ideas especially on a subject like "time".

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