Do the roots of modern religion go further back than recorded history? Many are surprised to find the answers.
Imagine that you lived fifteen thousand years ago.You live in a small group of hunter-gatherers. Food is scarce, so you always need to be on the move. Your diet consists of whatever you can get your hands on. Sometimes you get lucky and you and your buddies stalk and take down large animal, which can feed your group for a couple weeks. Sometimes you go out every day looking for game, and come back empty handed. So you need to resort to eating nuts and berries, and roots that you find. This is sometimes dangerous, as many plants around you are poisonous, and because you are always moving, you are never completely sure which are safe to eat, and which will kill you slowly and painfully.
Life is filled with uncertainty and fear. If you fall and hurt yourself, there are no doctors, and you will likely be left behind. Such is the life of a pre historic hunter-gatherer. Perhaps the biggest collective fear of your group is winter. With winter comes shorter days, which means shorter time to look for food. With winter comes much colder temperatures, making staying alive much more difficult. With winter comes the cold dark reminder that your life is always at the mercy of nature, and what nature provides for you.
The best time of the year is the spring. The spring brings a renewal of many plants that you can eat, which attracts animals that you can eat as well. Spring brings longer and warmer days. Spring brings hope that you can your group can survive another year. The center, of course, is the Sun. The sun, whose time in the sky grows shorter and shorter as winter approaches, mysteriously turns around. Primitive man soon learned when exactly the days stopped getting shorter, and began getting longer. There were two specific days in particular that were extremely important to primitive man.
The time during the year when the length of day stopped shrinking, and began growing. This was considered the rebirth of the sun. Or every year, they celebrated the birth of the sun at this time. This is the Winter Solstice, or December 23.
The second important day of the year was when the actual length of the day overcame the length of the cold and dangerous night. This was celebrated as the day in which light overcame darkness. This is the Spring Equinox, or March 23.
These two pagan days of nature worship have worked their way into the major religion that has shaped the course of western civilization.
The first, the day when the days stop shrinking and start growing, or the birth of the sun, is now celebrated as Christmas, or the Birth of the Son.
The second, when the length of the day overcame the length of the night, or when the light overcame the darkness, is today celebrated as Easter, when Christ, the Son, rose from the dead. Good overcomes evil.
These two holidays, whose origins stem from worshipping the physical sun in the heavens, have transformed into two of the most celebrated days in the world, and have brought the same peace and hope and redemption that they brought to our hunter-gatherer ancestors thousands of years ago.
Religion has a dark side. A side that some even willingly use to destroy. Find out what transformed such a shy, conservative churchgoer into a powerfully irresistible seducer of women, with deadly consequences. Readers everywhere are starting to realize that George Hutton's widely read Zapotec may be one of the most engaging and disturbing psychological thrillers to come out in years. Find out why many agree that Zapotec is both irresistible and controversial at the same time when you visit George Hutton's Zapotec.