Oldest Religion? before christ ?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by nomanshake, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. nomanshake

    nomanshake New Member

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    After going through one of the discussion topics here, I came up with another question, what is the oldest religion ever?
    Now the people who lived before Jesus Christ (to me the first messenger of od that bought an organised and a proper religion) how can they be blamed? they never had any religion? Their ideas of God were based upon trees, moon, son, stones etc. etc. They never taught any religion, what will God do to them ?
     
  2. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Good Evening Nomanshake,

    Hinduism is generally considered to be the oldest religion still being practiced today. This ancient religion was born when the Aryan peoples migrated to Northern India and first put their religious tradition into writing. The texts they created are the Vedas, which were written around 1,500 B.C.E. (before common era) and have greatly influenced Indian culture ever since.
    Several other religions are almost as old as Hinduism. Judaism traces its roots back to the patriarch Abraham, who lived around 1,800 B.C.E. While the Jewish people are descended from Abraham, it was Moses who first recorded the Torah, the Jewish holy text, in 1,400 B.C.E. Most sources consider the date of the Torah as the beginning of Judaism.

    I hope this helps.

    v/r

    Q
     
  3. Bellator

    Bellator Catholic. Formerly StarshipEnterprise

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    The oldest religion would be shamanism. It was an unorganised religion practiced by prehistoric people. It said there was a physical world, and a more powerful spirit world. I think dealt with magic and the worship of nature spirits. This may not be what your looking for because it is not a religion practiced today, but I hope it helps.
     
  4. brucegdc

    brucegdc Moderator

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    Starship, I would tend to disagree with your last statement - Shamanism is indeed still practiced today, although as with many of the nature-based religions, the practices may or may not actually reflect what was done centuries ago (come to think of it, the same is true of most (if not all) of the religions - no Temple = a lot of Judaic practices can't be done, and Christianity has changed considerably over the years).

    ... Bruce
     
  5. Bellator

    Bellator Catholic. Formerly StarshipEnterprise

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    I could be wrong:(
     
  6. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Only on the part that Shamanism is not practiced today...
     
  7. Awaiting_the_fifth

    Awaiting_the_fifth Where is my mind?

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    If I remember my Christian Theology correctly, that's what jesus was doing in the 3 days between dying and rising. He went down to Hell and saved all the people who were good but died before christianity.

    Although if you read Dante's inferno, which I think is a fairly good representation of medieval catholic dogma, all these people are in limbo, the first level of hell where they only have a slightly unpleasant eternity.
     
  8. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    (This is lengthy, but gives a totally different perspective on early religions.)

    Just for the record, not all people believe in the contemporary and still-very-popular view of Humanity as being only a few thousand years old. Some believe that our current civilization, and those of the past 10,000 years or so (Greece, Rome, Egypt, India), are just the tip of the iceberg. It is just as believable (and far more likely) that Humanity is millions of years old. In fact, much evidence can be presented to support this view.

    Nor were we simply a bunch of stupid Neanderthals, and spirituality wasn't limited to so-called `primitive shamanism.' Mystery Traditions maintain that our planet has seen at least two prior civilizations on a large scale, one about a million years ago, called Atlantis, and the other as much as 15+ million years ago, called Lemuria (or Mu). During both of these earlier stages of Humanity there existed what we might call religion.

    Lemurian Humanity included the "race of giants" described Biblically, in Norse mythology, and various other religious teachings. The size of the statues on Easter Island gives us a clue as to our proportions during those times, as did the Buddhist statues at Bamian/Bamiyan (Afghanistan) before they were recently destroyed (one was 173ft high, MUCH higher than the Statue of Liberty and the Colossus at Rhodes!). As for specifics of Lemurian religion/spirituality, I'm a little sketchy on details, but Humanity wasn't nearly as intelligent as nowadays, so any religions would presumably have been fairly simple - maybe shamanistic, animistic, pantheistic, etc.

    Atlantis, in contrast, saw the rise of religion as we know it, and even though average Humanity wasn't super-intelligent, we could still probably say that the average person was far more in possession of "the facts" as to (the Truth of) religious teachings than is the case today. This position, also, can be supported with various forms of corroborating evidence, and from people the world over, of many different backgrounds and schools of thought! I can say more about that if someone is interested.

    Atlanteans, during some portions of their evolution (100s of thousands of years!) were clairvoyant, and early on the wise teachers of our race walked openly among us. We were taught directly and honestly, and fear was not an element of the doctrine of the Lords of the Shining Face. Nor was the acquisition of power or the wrongful manipulation of the forces of nature (living spirits, or lesser angels - as Christians might call them). In our ignorance, however, not as yet possessing greater powers of discernment and wisdom (as if things are any different today!) ... vast portions of Humanity strayed from the moral teachings presented by our Teachers. Through various grave and grievous errors, we allowed our own darker aspects to assume control - and this (influence and control by evil agencies), literally, is what happened. We have yet to recover.

    Our karma became heavy, the Divine Teachers were banished from outer expression (but not from Inner Rule), and in several global catastrophes the continent (a vast landmass configuration) of Atlantis gradually sank into the ocean. This occurred 800,000 and 200,000 years ago, and the tail end of that great civilization saw lesser deluges in about 75,000 BC and then finally, in 9564BC. World religions almost universally speak of the flood myth, even though but a fraction of the reality has been preserved or recorded. And the mythical `Garden of Eden' recalls our pre-Atlantean glory (or innocence, rather) ... although this may also suggest our spiritual state collectively before incarnation on this globe (not our first planet, not our last).

    Our problem - it seems to me - is that we take so many teachings at face value, or swallow them whole, without questioning. If ancient texts universally speak of something like a `Great Flood,' with figures such as Noah (or Manu) left to represent the portions of Humanity that survived to repopulate our current race ... then may we not draw as a working hypothesis that something like Atlantis did indeed exist, such that maybe fairy tales such as these might begin to make sense? But don't buy into it without questioning it, researching it, and in the end - proving for yourself that such is/was the case. Having done this, I simply retell a snippet as did Plato, although he - a great Initiate - was allowed to tell very little in his time ... and I, neither great nor an Initiate, may only repeat what I have learned indirectly.

    Few people recall past lives as far back as Atlantis (and thankfully so!). But of those who do - given special permission in order to better understand the Law of Cause & Effect (taught by Christ, Krishna, the Buddha, Pythagoras, Apollonius of Tyana, etc.) - there is much to reconcile. Religion, or spirituality, takes on a whole new meaning if we find evidence that Humanity has never been without its Guides, and that in fact at one time these Guides walked openly among us, recognized as incarnations of and thus representatives of the One Divinity. Many may find difficulty and resistance even considering this idea, but it won't hurt you.

    The truly open-minded may remember (or might learn) that Christ simply means annointed (`Christos,' or chrestos, from the Hebrew mosiach). Likewise `Buddha' signifies awakened, and is not the man's last name. Siddharta Gautama was not the first, nor the last, Buddha, and Christ Jesus was not the first, nor the last, Christ. Shocking to some, but nonetheless true. Look it up, do some soul-searching. This assails no one's personal relationship with Jesus as lord & saviour, except insomuch as it restores to you the right and responsibility to do as the Army says, and Be All That You Can Be. Jesus said the same, a bit like this: "Greater things than this, ye shall do." Buddha also said it, in his last words: "Be a lamp unto your own feet. Work out thy salvation with diligence."

    Here are spiritual teachings that did not originate with the Buddha or the Christ, because they were ancient when these men came to re-invigorate and reform them. Yet neither Judaism nor Hinduism were Humanity's first spiritual teachings or religious code, because these were but early presentations for our current world cycle, or age, or civilizations. Dating on the Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx mistakenly place these monuments and temples just a few thousand years BC, but far worse - they label the Pyramids tombs!!! And strangely, not a single mummy has been found within them! Why is that? Hmmm, tomb-robbers, must be. I think not.

    More than 200,000 years ago the Great Pyramid was built, and not by simple slave labor (as if that were either possible or simple). The Sphinx is older. Time will show this to be true, although evidence already asserts my crackpot assertion. The research of John Anthony West alone, and Robert Schoch (?), Bauval and Hancock, etc. is increaingly gaining ground and being accepted. Ignorance, bias, fear of ridicule and pure ego keeps mainstream Egyptologists (such as Zahi Hawass) in the dark.

    So if the Great Pyramid was built 200,000 years ago as a temple - even after Atlantis' catastrophic decline - then in whose honor? In order that we might recognize and worship What or Whom? When will people gain an inkling of the notion that the Divine is utterly transcendent of all human representations or anthopomorphic conceptions? (Hence the missing capstone atop the Great Pyramid. It never existed!)

    Do we not know that it is at once both the greatest blasphemy, yet also the highest form of worship, honor and flatterly to even try and represent the Divine??? How can we reconcile that? I may, personally, be greatly lacking in humility (and knowledge profits a man not one whit when Love is lacking, eh?) ... but for those who yet retain or cultivate this virtue, Consider the lillies. There is your worship, there is your proof of God, there is your religion, dawned upon our globe long before Humanity ever set foot (or consciousness) upon her soil.

    And so what if it came from Sirius, via Venus. All will know this in time. The Sphinx guards the secret. And we cannot blast it free with dynamite, or bombs, or filch it from her lips at gunpoint. When we are ready, it will be revealed, willingly and joyfully!

    Namaskar Devatma,


    protokletos
     
  9. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Judaism are all pretty ancient religions in terms of recorded history, that all predate Christianity and yet are still in existence and use on a social scale today.

    Not sure what Atlantis or Mu have to do with organised religious history, though, as these concepts are effectively part of a modern New Age movement which is unable to relate to the sociology of these concepts as part of recorded history.
     
  10. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste all,


    an aside, if you will.

    the term "hindu" is actually an insult. the term was coined by the British to denote the entire range of religious belief and practice by those beings "beyond the Hindus river". thus, Hindu rightly refers to Christian, Muslim, Jew, Jain, Sikh Buddha Dharma and Sanatana Dharma.

    generally speaking, the Indian population has done what many groups do with perjorative names, they have co-opted it and now use it for themselves.

    technically speaking, what most beings are actually referring to is a religon called Sanatana Dharma.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  11. truthseeker

    truthseeker New Member

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    I love it when you do that, Vaj.

    The oldest religion?
    Religion has nothing to do with who was civilized first. It is a belief system. And, religion is progressive. Humankind existed long before the oldest writing system and so did religion.
     
  12. Awaiting_the_fifth

    Awaiting_the_fifth Where is my mind?

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    Im gonna say Taoism. I remember reading about an ancient Taoist text that was discovered in China and was something like 10,000 years old.

    The book was a description of how to predict the future by heating a tortoise shell and analysing the cracks that appeared. The idea behind it was simply that if you use a prescribed formula that everyone believes will work, and therefore you believe that your future wwill be thus, you WILL find a way to make it turn out that way.
     
  13. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Taoism I believe is about 2480 years old.

    Sumerian, the oldest known written language in human history, was spoken in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and peripheral regions) throughout the third millennium BC and survived as an esoteric written language until the death of the cuneiform tradition around the time of Christ.

    The earliest known writing comes from Uruk and has been dated to about 3,300BC. It took the form of 'word-pictures' drawn with a stylus on tablets of damp clay. Each word-picture represented an object. Much later, the complete system had more than 700 signs. Tablets measured about 5cm wide and 2cm thick.

    Chinese culture dates back to 5000 BCE, or roughly 7000 years. The original or "Neolithic Chinese" built settlements in the Yellow River basin. They farmed, kept animals, produced painted earthenware pots, and worshiped animist gods. This period is known to have lasted until 1900 BCE.

    From 1900-1050 BCE the Shang dynasty presided. Cities developed, bronze casting was perfected, and writing was invented. The capital was Luoyang.

    Lou Zi formulates Taosim, and Mencius advocates moral code, during the Eastern Zhao, Warring states era of 475-221 BCE.

    v/r

    Q
     
  14. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards!

    I am wondering...

    Most of the stuff associated with the cave paintings is presumed to be associated with some form of shamamic practices, or maybe more accurately nature worship / animism. And while I am pretty certain Q's description of the dating of Lao Tse and Taoism is accurate, I am thinking maybe there are certain similarities between animism and Taoism. I am not sure what I am trying to say, and perhaps Vaj or another better versed would be able to set me straight in this. Does Taoism stem from or grow out of animism proper?
     
  15. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Juan,

    I believe Taoism and the moral code of conduct stemmed from the warring states of China circa 475-221 BCE. Out of the fire, the finest burnished gold emerges.

    Also, written languages of China per se, was not "officially" identified until the 1900s BCE (Shang dynasty).

    The original post stated that Taoism was written ten thousand years ago. That was my only point, considering that the Chinese state that their cohesiveness as a people, let alone a language written (of any merit) is only 7000 years old.

    But I digress.

    v/r

    Q
     
  16. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Q!
    No, no. The digression is mine, but I hoped to stay fairly close to the topic. I agree with you regarding the written aspect, that is pretty well established. If one can conceive of religion prior to writing, as in oral traditions, I was merely wondering if Taoism may have had some predecessor in animism? In what very little I hear of concerning both, it would seem a possibility...
     
  17. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    They were not in the inferno of hell, nor even in one of the levels of hell. They were in a paradise, awaiting salvation. Even Moses and Abraham were there, because they did not always walk with God in their lives. And the Father can not face sin. Hence Jesus had to sacrifice in order for the sin of all to be taken away from the face of God. Even for the faithful.

    Which leads me to question, how one of Seth's sons and Elijha were able to be taken straight to heaven without dying...I mean, did these "HUMANS" sin not? If they did not sin, then man can live without sin?

    Hmmm, I've got to do more research.

    v/r

    Q
     
  18. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    well... since we are going to speak of the Tao...


    i should like to say this...

    the Tao does not depend on written texts to exist or not exist. the chinese view of Tao is not the same as Western views of their religions :)


    metta,

    ~v
     
  19. VLreal

    VLreal New Member

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    In response to taijasi, in some ways I think you are correct. I believe the human race is much older than we understand. I feel the Old Testament is just as old. The stories in Genesis are about the time of Atlantis and Um. In Genesis 6 giants are mentioned. Isn’t there a similar creation story in all religions? In Genesis 10: 25 it talks about the earth being divided. I think this is speaking about the division of the continents. I don’t think the tower of Babel was a simple brick and mortar tower. It had to be more than that to anger God.

    I feel Jesus was the final messenger to reconcile us to God. Through him we are able to be reconciled after original sin. There were other sons of God. This is also mentioned in Genesis 6. Jesus was the only begotten Son of God, born of flesh, a sacrifice for our sins. We shouldn’t try to limit God. I would feel I was being arrogant if I did that. God is great, greater than I feel any of us realize. What we have knowledge of is just the tip of the iceberg. Why we were created and why we are so important to our creator is something I have a difficult time understanding, especially when I see what horrors men are capable of. This is where faith comes in. :rolleyes:
     
  20. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste VLreal,


    thank you for the post.

    no, not all religions share the same basic creation myth. in point of fact, both Buddha Dharma and Tao have very different cosmologies than what one may initially suspect.

    welcome to the forum, by the way :)

    metta,

    ~v
     

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