Friday, 4 April 2014

Oldest roots and link-flow of religious evidences of worldwide - part - 0

( religion_roots in the history of human kind )
( religion_roots in the history of human kind )

Psychology of religion ( mass  administered by fear-penalty-punishment , perhaps  spirituality is Individual and fearless ) consists of the application of psychological methods and interpretive frameworks to religious traditions, as well as to both religious and irreligious individuals. The science attempts to accurately describe the details, origins, and uses of religious beliefs and behaviors. Although the psychology of religion first arose as a self-conscious discipline as recently as the late 19th century, all three of these tasks have a history going back many centuries before that.

the challenge for the psychology of religion is essentially threefold: (1) to provide a thoroughgoing description of the objects of investigation, whether they be shared religious content (e.g., a tradition's ritual observances) or individual experiences, attitudes, or conduct; (2) to account in psychological terms for the rise of such phenomena; and (3) to clarify the outcomes—the fruits, as William James put it—of these phenomena, for individuals and for the larger society.

Many areas of religion remain unexplored by psychology. While religion and spirituality play a role in many people’s lives, it is uncertain how they lead to outcomes that are at times positive, and at other times negative. Thus, the pathways and outcomes that underlie these associations (and sometimes causations) need additional research. Continued dialogue between psychology and theology may foster greater understanding and benefit both fields.

In the last several decades, especially among clinical psychologists, a preference for the terms " spirituality " and "spiritual" has emerged, along with efforts to distinguish them from "religion" and "religious." "religion" has for many become associated with sectarian institutions and their obligatory creeds and rituals, thus giving the word a negative cast; "spirituality," in contrast, is positively constructed as deeply individual and subjective, as a universal capacity to apprehend and accord one's life with higher realities .
the curiosity arises  towards  mystic  experience  gives query to explore  the stages  of  religion development in Human History...  which is  inspire  to go in the  development phases  of Religion world wide   . 
children develop ideas about God and about religion in general from generation  where   child take birth . By far the most well-known stage model of spiritual or religious development is  Social Stages of Human Faith Fear and beliefs.

** Prayers In Religion can help a person calm down and focus. Prayer is also positively correlated with happiness and religious satisfaction . Overall, slight health benefits have been found fairly consistently across studies.Three main pathways to explain this trend have been offered: placebo effect, focus and attitude adjustment, and activation of healing processes. (Whether the activation of healing processes explanation is supernatural or biological, or even both, is beyond the scope of this study and this article.)

** Ritual is Another significant form of religious practice .Religious rituals encompass a wide array of practices, but can be defined as the performance of similar actions and vocal expressions based on prescribed tradition and cultural norms worldwide . 

Prayers  and Ritual  also  related  directly or indirectly from  physical , mental  and social health . but Many psychologists reject religion Health Idea . For instance, Sigmund Freud viewed religion as an illusion, a sign of psychological neurosis.

Let's explore < Oldest roots and link-flow of religious evidences of worldwide > in 3 parts  to cover full religious  and spiritual  phenomena  ......  

Ever here of  Ancient Egypt, around oh 9000 B.C. 

Actually Hinduism came before Judaism... The trade relations of both communities can be traced back to 1000 BCE and earlier. 

But before Hinduism there was Shintoism and Animism which were the first religions that we know of, but there may have been more we did not find. 

( spirit worship  in animist worship )
( spirit worship in animist worship )

and if that doesn't satisfy you there is also Animism - the worship of spirits - and who knows how long ago that started. in fact, there was religion before there was even writing.The word animism comes from the Latin word “anima”, which means “breath" and "soul”. It is the spiritual belief and understanding that there is a spirit .....  In Animism/Polytheism Gods are  Inta (Sun Goddess), Anta-Lukowa (Water-Giver), Anta-Mukala (Stone-Giver), Anta-Paku (Law-Giver), the Igigi (lesser gods, animistic spirits).

{{{ Judaism itself references religions in the region that came before --- as it talks about not following them any longer. Specifically it objected to human sacrifices & worshipping idols as it's biggest complaints.  Hinduism is from before Judaism. Zoroastrarism is from around the same time OR after Judaism -- not before (according the leading researcher on it Mary Boyce.) "[Mary] Boyce has wavered on an actual date: between 1400 and 1000 BC (1975), between 1700 and 1500 (1979), around 1400 BC (1988), between 1500 BC & 1200 BC "with the latter more likely" (1992)." Besides the paganism that pre-dated Judaism, other parts of the world had religions too -- Native cultures around the world including in the Americas, plus all the Asia practices. Whereever they have been people, there have been religions of one kind or another...just not necessarily with a book. }}}

Perhaps some form of Animism, but difficult to detail specific beliefs because archaeological artefacts don't give that good an indication of spiritual beliefs. Impossible to give an earliest date but seems to go back to at least 10,000 BCE, Location- World Wide 

( animist worship of divine souls )
( animist worship of divine souls )

Animism :

is the worldwide  that non-human entities (animals, plants, and inanimate objects or phenomena), possess a spiritual essence . Specifically, animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the belief system or cosmology of some indigenous tribal peoples, especially prior to the development and/or infiltration of colonialism and organized religion.

Although each culture has its own different mythologies and rituals, "animism" is said to describe the most common, foundational thread of indigenous peoples' "spiritual" or "supernatural" perspectives. The animistic perspective is so fundamental, mundane, everyday and taken-for-granted that most animistic indigenous people do not even have a word in their languages that corresponds to "animism" (or even "religion"); the term is an anthropological construct rather than one designated by the people themselves.

The currently accepted definition of animism was only developed in the late 19th century by Sir 
Edward Tylor, who created it as "one of anthropology's earliest concepts, if not the first".Animism encompasses the belief that there is no separation between the spiritual and physical (or material) world, and souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in some other animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment, including thunder, wind, and shadows. Animism thus rejects Cartesian dualism. Animism may further attribute souls to abstract concepts such as words, true names, or metaphors in mythology.

Examples of animism can be found in forms of  
Shinto ,  Serer , Hinduism , Buddhism , Jainism , Paganism , and  Neopaganism . Some members of the non-tribal world also consider themselves animists (such as author Daniel Quinn, sculptor Lawson Oyekan, and many Neopagans)

Characteristics of Animism :

Tylor argued that animism consisted of two unformulated propositions; all parts of nature had a soul, and these souls are capable of moving without requiring a physical form. This gives rise to fetishism, the worship of visible objects as powerful, spiritual beings. The second proposition was that souls are independent of their physical forms. It gives rise to 'spiritism', the worship of the souls of the dead and the unseen spirits of the heavens. Others such as Nurit Bird-David, associate animism with various aspects of shamanism.(arctic_religion_people_praying_around_the_pole_of_animal_bones_burnt_offerings_can_be_seen_-_moon,_sun,_fish_and_animals_-_Kopi )

(arctic_religion_people_praying_around_the_pole_of_animal_bones_burnt_offerings_can_be_seen_moon,_sun,_fish_and_animals_-_Kopi )

Fatishism / Totemisim : In many animistic world views the human being is often regarded as on a roughly equal footing with other animals, plants, and natural forces. Therefore, it is morally imperative to treat these agents with respect. In this world view, humans are considered a part of nature, rather than superior to, or separate from it. Totemism (or fetishism) includes one or more of several features, such as the mystic association of animal and plant species, natural phenomena, or created objects with uni lineally related groups (lineages, clans, tribes, moieties, phratries) or with local groups and families; the hereditary transmission of the totems (patrilineal or matrilineal); group and personal names that are based either directly or indirectly on the totem; the use of totemistic emblems and symbols; taboos and prohibitions that may apply to the species itself or can be limited to parts of animals and plants (partial taboos instead of partial totems); and a connection with a large number of animals and natural objects (multiplex totems) within which a distinction can be made between principal totems and subsidiary ones (linked totems).(Karuk peoples traditional  sacred worship place  animistic  and restoring Earth )

(Karuk peoples traditional sacred worship place animistic and restoring Earth )

Many animistic cultures observe some form of ancestor reverence . Whether they see the ancestors as living in an other world, or embodied in the natural features of this world, animists often believe that offerings and prayers to and for the dead are an important facet of maintaining harmony with the world of the spirits.

Shamanism : A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.Shamanism encompasses the premise that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds. Shamans are said to treat ailments/illness by mending the soul. Alleviating traumas affecting the soul/spirit restores the physical body of the individual to balance and wholeness. The shaman also enters supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community. Shamans may visit other worlds/dimensions to bring guidance to misguided souls and to ameliorate illnesses of the human soul caused by foreign elements. The shaman operates primarily within the spiritual world, which in turn affects the human world. The restoration of balance results in the elimination of the ailment. 
(Okinawa Place of animist worship )

(Okinawa Place of animist worship )

Animism is not the same as Pantheism, although the two are sometimes confused. Some religions are both pantheistic and animistic. One of the main differences is that while animists believe everything to be spiritual in nature, they do not necessarily see the spiritual nature of everything in existence as being united (monism), the way pantheists do. As a result, animism puts more emphasis on the uniqueness of each individual soul. In Pantheism, everything shares the same spiritual essence, rather than having distinct spirits and/or souls.

Psychology : Animism in the broadest sense, i.e., thinking of objects as animate, and treating them as if they were animate, is near-universal. Jean Piaget applied the term in reference to an implicit understanding of the world in a child's mind which assumes that all events are the product of intention or consciousness. Piaget explains this with a cognitive inability to distinguish the external world from one's internal world.

* In the early 20th century William McDougall defended a form of animism in his book Body and Mind: A History and Defence of Animism (1911).

* The physicist Nick Herbert has argued for "quantum animism" in which mind permeates the world at every level.

* Werner Krieglstein wrote regarding his quantum animism: Herbert's quantum animism differs from traditional animism in that it avoids assuming a dualistic model of mind and matter. Traditional dualism assumes that some kind of spirit inhabits a body and makes it move, a ghost in the machine. Herbert's quantum animism presents the idea that every natural system has an inner life, a conscious center, from which it directs and observes its action.

(Djigibombo_dogon_country_animist_temple , rare example of temple worship )
(Djigibombo_dogon_country_animist_temple , rare example of temple worship )

few pic of rare  example  of temple worship in animist religion 

( traditional animist statues. The temple is a very important place in Korean history )
( traditional animist statues. The temple is a very important place in Korean history )


Shinto is the native religion in Japan with its roots stretching back to 500 B.C., and is a poly-theistic one venerating almost any natural objects ranging from mountains, rivers, water, rocks, trees, to dead notables. In other words, it is based on animism. Natural wonders make the Japanese believe, out of an awe or reverence, that such wonders are created by the mighty, super-natural powers, and the ghost of a deity dwells in such objects.(Shinto  worship )

(Shinto worship )


The main object of worship in this shrine is Nachi Falls with a drop of 133 meters. Ancient people believed God resides in this falls. Also great warriors, leaders and scholars are often divinized. Thus anything, even a rotten head of a sardine, can be deified, so goes a cynical saying. To dedicate to those diverse deities, shrines were erected in a sacred spots throughout Japan. Among the natural phenomena, the sun is most appealing to Japanese and the Sun Goddess is regarded as the principal deity of Shinto, particularly by the Imperial FamilyJapanese call their nation "Nippon" in Japanese. It literally denotes "the Origin of the Sun." The Japanese national flag is simple, one red disk in the center, and it symbolizes the sun. (Not the empire that the sun never sets .)

(Shinto , Japan )

(Shinto , Japan )

Today's Emperor Akihito (1933-) is said to be the 125th direct descendant of Emperor Jinmu, Japan's legendary first emperor and a mythical descendent of Amaterasu. Though not often referred to today, the Japanese calendar year starts from 660 B.C., the year of her accession. The reigning emperors were considered to be the direct descendant of the Sun Goddess and revered as a living god at one time or another.
With the introduction of Buddhism from China in the mid-sixth century, however, Shinto began to be overshadowed by Buddhism. Greatly affected by the new religion, Imperial Prince Shotoku (574-622) institutionalized Buddhism as a state religion and built many great temples such as Horyuji in Nara Prefecture and Shiten'noji in Osaka. Many Buddhist temples today have a hall, in which Prince Shotoku is enshrined in homage of his achievements. (As a matter of fact, his portrait had been printed on the 10,000-yen bills until 1984.) Since then, Buddhism had been supported by many emperors for quite some time, including Emperor Shomu (724-749) who founded World-famous Todaiji in Nara in 743. Entering the medieval ages, emperors and Shinto lost the reigning power, and the nation was gradually controlled by the military rulers. The process of blending Buddhism with Shinto progressed, and in the Heian Period (794-1185) Shinto deities came to be recognized as incarnation of the Lord Buddha. A case in point was emerging of the syncretic school that combined Shinto with the teachings of the Shingon sect Buddhism. The basis of the school's belief was that Shinto deities were manifestation of Buddha divinities. Most important was the identification of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu with Buddha Mahavairocana or Dainichi Nyorai in Japanese (the Great Sun Buddha). The well-known Japanese eclecticism in religion was already extant at this stage.

In the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), however, Shinto was emancipated from the Buddhism domination by the military dictators, and Shintoist claimed that Shinto divinities were not incarnation of the Buddha but that Buddha himself was rather manifestation of Shinto deities. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine used to be a typical mixture of Shinto and Buddhism elements and a prime example of syncretism as Yoritomo Minamoto (1147-1199), the founder of the Shrine, was in the lineage of the Imperial Family.

Basically  Shinto  is  a > 
 “Way of the Gods” • Japan’s earliest religion • No complex rituals or philosophy • Based on respect for nature and ancestor worship • Believe in kami   divine spirits that live in nature • Any unusual or beautiful tree, rock, waterfall, or mountain is considered home to kami .(shinto shrine )

(shinto shrine )

In general, Shinto has no canon of written scriptures like the Bible or the Koran , though ceremonial prayer called norito (a formulary statement addressed to the deity) is chanted by shrine priests. Nor is it an iconolatry. Most of Shinto shrines house sacred objects such as mirrors (the symbol of the Sun Goddess), swords and jewel (those three objects are the imperial regalia) on the altar, where the gods are believed to reside, and the objects serve as spirit substitutes for the gods.At the ground-breaking ceremony or at the start-up of new facility, be it a high-tech or a smoke-stack industry, a Shinto priest is always invited to perform the purification and exorcism rituals. Those are common Shinto-related customs practiced at any manufacturing plants in Japan In case of Toyota Motor, just one example out of many, top executives play out corporate ritual every autumn at the Ise (e-seh) Grand Shrine in Mie (me-eh)Prefecture, the spiritual home of Sun Goddess Amaterasu, with their newest models, making three-hour driving from their headquarters near Nagoya. Shinto is thus firmly embedded in today's corporate society.Shinto ceremony sometimes marks life stages of Japanese. One month after birth (31st day for boys and 32 days for girls, to be exact), parents and grand-parents bring the baby to a shrine, where they express gratitude to the Shinto deities for being given the baby and have shrine priest pray for his or her good health and happiness. This is called Miyamairi  {me-yah-my-re}, or Visit to Shinto Shrine, a Japanese version of infant Baptism. 

(Shinto )

(Shinto )

after  travel  world wide , we find   In India  stone time civilization  in Madhya Pradesh  is Bhimbetka 
The Bhimbetka rock shelters are an archaeological site of the Paleolithic, exhibiting the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent, and thus the beginning of the South Asian Stone Age. It is located in the Raisen District in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The Bhimbetka shelters exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India. At least some of the shelters were inhabited by Homo erectus more than 300,000 years ago. 

( paintings of  animals , Bhimbetka MP India )

( paintings of animals , Bhimbetka MP India )

Some of the Stone Age rock paintings found among the Bhimbetka rock shelters are approximately 30,000 years old .The caves also deliver early evidence of Prayers .perhaps they worshipped such animals as the lion, the tiger and the snake. 

(no Other architectural evidence  found of worship  other than Human  cultural evidences  on rock paintings )

(we are  not touching  here any religious internal controversies of any religion, our pure motive is to explore  roots of religion   )


  1. (we are not touching here any religious internal controversies of any religion, our pure motive is to explore roots of religion)......... very nice, real and true research objective...........

    1. thank you , Ajay Gajaria ji :) Jai shree Krishna