I believe...Submitted by admin on Wed, 02/08/2012 - 15:25
I believe religion is a system of control, but also a system of information and inspiring freedom that enables us to reach beyond what we think we are capable of.
It seems as though indigenous religions helped people understand the world, pass on information and traditions and empowered them to interact with nature, the supernatural and the unknown. This was particularly important when there was no written language and no Google. Back when you had to be standing in front of someone to communicate with them.
Modern religions help organize and control vast amounts of people with similar goals, opinions and characteristics. This is the system of control that like a scythe (farm tool or weapon) or nuclear power (energy or bombs) can used positively and negatively. I can't think of anything in history that has been more abused by individuals and sub-groups than religion. Yet nothing seems to unify so many people either.
One last thing, I think its that sense of a higher power that has such a profound effect on people enabling them to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles that is most amazing.
my original title for my post was "Going out on a limb" haha. Anyway, I agree religion can be dangerous in the hands of those that appropriate it for their own benefit and its seem like the smaller religious group get abused the most but then again look at the Crusades and Spanish Inquisition! It was interesting to read about the indigenous shaman needing to go through purifying rituals to ensure what they ask for is not driven by their own needs or their personal benefit, it must always be for the good of others and the good of the family or tribe as a whole.