Throughout the ages, humankind has investigated and explored the Creation. As we continue to discover the unknown, it becomes increasingly obvious that humanity is incapable of recreating that which has been created. Hence, my foundational belief rests in the existence of a Divine Creator of all things seen and unseen, 1.) whose Divine Presence is beyond the bounds of temporal time or physical sight, 2.) whose Divine Power infuses Creation with light and goodness to heal, repair, and restore, and 3.) whose Divine Spirit interacts with the human Creation in an outpouring of love, guidance, grace, and mercy.
In prehistoric and ancient times, however, people believed in the idea of multiple gods that controlled life on earth through fickle weather patterns, unexpected volcanic eruptions, sudden earthquakes, rising flood waters, severe droughts, lightning, hailstorms, and the ever present celestial lights that moved across the dome.
We can appreciate that life on earth would have been scary without shelter, clothing, or a guaranteed source of food. Fear caused people to hide from imaginary monster gods, or pray to the gods for safety and security. Fear led to the desire to appease these gods much like a child begs for approval from older siblings or adults. Thus, humankind begged their gods to forego hardship or punishment, and to treat them with favor.
Eventually, the need to appease the ‘higher powers’ resulted in the offering of non-living and living sacrifices to the gods. Such behavior became an exercise in right believing. Over time, the original desire to appease the gods morphed into the belief that the imaginary gods required such sacrifices in order to be pleased!
In truth, the Creator of all things seen and unseen never required such sacrificial offerings, but no one questioned the validity of their twisted understandings.
Archaeologists are not certain when the intentional practice of religious sacrifice to the gods began. Instinctively speaking, human life would have naturally modeled the hierarchical nature of the animal kingdom. Humans would have killed in self-defense. Their motive for killing would have been survival. Yet, at some point in prehistoric human development, a change occurred that turned instinctive behaviors into pre-meditated murders.
The practice of offering living sacrifices as appeasement to the gods indicates pre-meditated thinking. Moreover, the shift in human behavior—from instinctual thoughts of survival to premeditated murder as religious sacrifice—may be intimately linked to the measurement of temporal time.
Ancient Horology and the Development of Memory
The measurement of time began in earnest around 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Earlier indications of notching stones, or similar evidence of counting was a necessary precursor to the more difficult skills of measuring time and making timekeeping devices. Basic arithmetic was needed in the initial attempts to understand cycles, seasons, and repeated patterns over long periods of time. Therefore, the desire to learn timekeeping wisdom and solve the unsolvable riddle would have taken thousands of years. Indeed, astronomers are still scratching their mathematical heads.
Prior to the measurement of time, humans lived in the present moment without a lasting connection to their past, or any real projection of their future. A toddler has no memory of their time in utero, their birth, or their infancy. An elementary age child has no memory of their life as a toddler. Likewise a young child has no forethought. No warning system. No experience with projected consequence of their actions. Prehistoric peoples functioned much the same. They lived in the present without a developed memory or developed forethought. Living moment to moment meant that everything in the garden of life was unexpected or unanticipated. Behavior was reactive rather than deliberate.
Enter into this scenario the desire to predict the times when weather patterns changed, when floods would occur, when certain food sources would be available, or when the human reproduction cycle might occur. Would such a gain of wisdom provide some stability? Would the knowledge lessen fears and offer a sense of security to the tribal community?
No. The measurement of time never offered such comfort.
Instead, the measurement of time developed the inability to forget. Measuring time also brought with it an ability to fret about things to come! Hence, the measurement of time caused a major shift in the development of past memories and future projections that could not be reversed.
The measurement of temporal time also kidnapped humanity’s attention because a strange, unseen spiritual voice began to communicate with the human mind! This voice, with which humans had no prior engagement, talked about the past, whispered about the future, and questioned the present! This internal voice became an added burden in the garden of life! The voice convinced humanity to believe the lies that it told.
- We believed that we had more control, when in truth, we had less control.
- We believed we had gained wisdom, when in truth, the human mind had been deceived.
- We believed that new found knowledge would set us free from fear, when in truth, we became entrapped by, and enslaved to, our own timekeeping devices and fear continued!
- We believed the imaginary gods required sacrifices to keep them happy!
This multi-layered scenario, based on the desire to measure time and the desire to appease imaginary gods, created the perfect spiritual storm during the passage of prehistoric ages! It laid the foundation for a behavioral debacle that continues to be repeated over and over again!
The problem of violence that plagues the world today is rooted in the original lie that time told to the human mind thousands of years ago … namely, “If you turn on each other, and continually appease your gods, life will be better!” It is based in the development of human memory, projected forethought, and the problem of rote repetition without examination or question. The storm of deception that created the original debacle must be understood, examined and questioned, if humanity has any hope of securing peace on earth. Understanding the lie of prehistoric development, the twisted beliefs, and the original spiritual deception is key.
How were living sacrifices chosen in ancient times?
We can only guess that victims were chosen in the same manner as we choose victims today. We have uncovered evidence that animals served as ancient sacrificial victims. We also know that the weakest members of a tribe, or physically defective members of the tribe might have been chosen. Often it was the first born that became the victim. We can also assume ‘the other tribe’ was frequently seen as the targeted scapegoat. Thus, begins the onset of warfare and the ‘eye for an eye’ mentality.
Whatever or whoever was blamed for making the gods angry, or causing life on earth to be wrong, uneasy, tense, or difficult—that creature, human, or tribal community, became the sacrificial entity that must be offered in order to please the gods, purify the tribe, cleanse the earth, or make things right again. With the onset of measured time, the development of memory ensured that this sacrificial system would not be forgotten—ever!
A foundational belief system that rests in the existence of a Divine Creator of all things seen and unseen, 1.) whose Divine Presence is beyond the bounds of temporal time and physical sight, 2.) whose Divine Power infuses Creation with light and goodness to heal, repair, and restore, and 3.) whose Divine Spirit interacts with Creation in an outpouring of love, guidance, grace, and mercy—is crucial to dispelling the idea that the Divine Creator ever required living sacrifices!
The God, to whom Jesus prayed, never required sacrifice. Jesus made a conscious choice to become a living sacrifice and take on the role of the ultimate scapegoat. He chose to become the victim in order to shine a light on the error of ancient practices; to expose the futility of appeasement to angry gods; to illuminate the falsity of sacrificial teachings passed from generation to generation; and lastly, to unveil the spiritual deception that the voice of temporal time had injected into the development of human memory.
When we can grasp onto the fact the human spirit was kidnapped by a form of spiritual entrapment 10,000 years ago—we may realize the role human behavior plays in every subsequent victim that is chosen as today’s living sacrifice, or today’s living scapegoat. Sacrificial offerings were never required by the imaginary gods of ancient history. Elimination of the other never led to a less frightening life. Elimination of the other never pleased the God of Creation. Elimination of the other is all based on a lie that the voice of temporal time continues to tell!
Thoughts along the way,
SUBSCRIBE Carol Wimmer is the author of the acclaimed poem When I say I am a Christian, and three books entitled: The Net—An Organizational Vision for the Church of Tomorrow; The Clock—A Timekeeping Tool for the Church of Tomorrow; and The Key—A Spiritual Language for the Church of Tomorrow