From Religion to Reality: One Ring to Rule Them All
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40,000 years ago, across Europe and Asia, our ancestors felt the need to crawl deep underground, braving the depths and darkness, to paint magnificent images on the walls of caves. Why?
The incredible megalithic temple called Gobekli Tepe was built 11,600 years ago, before the Agricultural Revolution, before humans had discovered how to grow their own food to support such an endeavor. It begs the question - Why?
6,000 years later humans dragged stones, weighing up to four tons, 140 miles across England to build a monument called Stonehenge. Why?
On an equatorial band circling the earth, our ancestors felt the need to build pyramids. Why?
Over the course of a thousand years, no less than five world religions were born that are still a source of faith and practice to billions of people around the world. Why?
Over the last hundred years scientists have probed deep into the nature of material existence itself, uncovering a wild and whacky quantum universe unimaginable until our day were it not for the visions and experiences of shamans and mystics. What they discovered has caused even the most secular people to ask the question, "Why?"
The great questions of humanity have been the same for as long as there have been humans around to ask them: "Who are we?"..."Why are we here?"..."What is our purpose?"... "Is there more?"
Why does religion even exist? Is religion merely an opiate of the people, salving over the human need to solve questions about the Great Unknown? Or is it so much more? Could there be a very real Great Unknown, such that we can communicate with It, and It with us?
Religion, going all the way back to the earliest forms of Shamanism, attempts to bridge the gap between the material world and the metaphysical, or spiritual, world. It may even prove to be the thing that made us human in the first place!
We’re joined by Ancient Origins contributor and author Jim Willis for an exploration into the biggest, most vital questions.
Having earned his master's degree in theology from Andover Newton Theological School, Jim Willis is the author of nine books on religion and spirituality. He has been an ordained minister for over forty years while working part-time as a carpenter, hosting own drive-time radio show, as well as being an arts council director and adjunct college professor in the fields of World Religions and Instrumental Music. His current residence in the woods of South Carolina inspired his books Supernatural Gods: Spiritual Mysteries, Psychic Experiences, and Scientific Truths, and Jim digs deep into essential topics with Ancient Gods: Lost Histories, Hidden Truths and the Conspiracy of Silence.