Throughout the ages, humankind has investigated and explored the Creation. As we continue to discover the depths and heights of the unknown, it becomes increasingly obvious that humanity is incapable of creating from nothing. We can only create from something that is already in existence. Hence, I continue to believe in the existence of a Creator of all things seen and unseen.
My belief in a Creator includes, 1. a Presence beyond the bounds of temporal time or physical sight; 2. a Power that infused Creation with light and goodness to heal, repair, and restore itself; and 3. a divine Spirit that interacts with the human spirit through an outpouring of love, guidance, grace, and mercy.
However, in prehistoric times, people believed in multiple gods who controlled life on earth. These gods were believed to show displeasure by causing terrifying weather events, such as unexpected volcanic eruptions, sudden earthquakes, rising flood waters, severe droughts, lightning, hailstorms. These gods were believed to be associated with the ever-present celestial lights, that moved across a dome-like sky.
Surely we can appreciate the idea that life on earth would have been scary without shelter, clothing, or a guaranteed source of food. The very real emotion of fear caused people to hide from imaginary monster gods, or pray to imaginary gods for safety and security. That same fear led people to think they needed to appease these gods, much like a child begs for the approval of older siblings, or adults. Thus, humankind begged their gods to forego hardship or punishment. They begged their gods to treat them with favor.
Over time, the need to appease these ‘higher powers’, turned into living and nonliving offerings and sacrifices. Such behavior led to ideas of right believing, and right practices.
Over time, human desire to appease the gods morphed into the gods’ requirement to be appeased.
Did you catch that?
All of these ancient theological thoughts developed over time. It’s over time that false beliefs take root. It’s over time that reality can morph into fantasies or superstitions.
In truth, the Creator of all things seen and unseen that many of us have come to know, never existed in the minds of ancient peoples. Instead, they believed in gods that required sacrificial offerings. No one questioned the validity of their understandings. Their beliefs were based on ideas passed from generation to generation. It’s just the way theological ideas developed.
Archaeologists are not certain when the intentional practice of religious sacrifice began. Instinctually speaking, human life would have naturally modeled the hierarchical nature of the animal kingdom. For millions of years, humans would have killed out of fear, or self-defense. Their motives for killing would mirrored all of the other animals on earth. Instinctual survival.
Yet at some point in prehistoric development, a change occurred. Instinctive behaviors turned into premeditated murder, and premeditated sacrifice.
The practice of offering living sacrifices, as appeasement to the gods, indicates premeditated thinking. Moreover, the shift in human behavior—from instinctual “fight or flight” behaviors for survival, to premeditated murder, as religious sacrifice, may be closely linked to early attempts to measure temporal time. The measurement of time would have developed human memory. With a developed memory, humanity could begin to “keep a record of wrongs.” They could remember the wrongs done by others, and the wrongs that offended the gods.
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 first step to the mathematical skills required when measuring time, and creating primitive timekeeping methods. Basic arithmetic was needed in the initial attempts to measure seasons, years, and repeated light patterns over long periods of time. Therefore, the desire to learn timekeeping wisdom, and solve the unsolvable riddle, would have taken thousands of years.
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 future projected consequences to their actions.
Prehistoric peoples functioned in much the same way. They would have 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, and unanticipated. Behavior was reactive rather than deliberate.
Enter into this scenario the desire to predict the times when weather patterns would change, when floods would occur, when certain food sources would be available, or when the human reproduction cycle might produce new life. Would such a gain of wisdom provide some stability? Would the knowledge lessen fears? Would it offer a sense of security to the tribal community?
Well, they probably thought such knowledge would offer a sense of security. But that would have been a lie. The measurement of time never offered such comfort.
Instead, the measurement of time developed the inability to forget. Measuring time gave humans the gift of fretting 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 Voice of Spiritual Deception:
The measurement of temporal time also kidnapped humanity’s attention, as 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 the voice told.
- “You will have more control!” In truth, we had less control.
- “You will gain wisdom.” In truth, the human mind was deceived.
- You will have new found knowledge that will set you free from fear.” In truth, we became trapped by, and enslaved to our own timekeeping devices.
Meanwhile, fear continued grow. The belief in imaginary gods who required sacrifices, continued to be appeased! This multi-layered scenario, based on the desire to measure time, created the perfect spiritual storm during the passage of time in the 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 told by the voice of time thousands of years ago. Listen.
“If you turn on each other, and continue to appease your gods, life will be better!”
The lie lives on in human memory and forethought. It lives on in the repetition of ritual, practice and belief, from generation to generation. It is a lie that is never examined or questioned. Yet, humanity is forever wondering why life on earth never seems to get better! The storm of deception that created the original debacle must be understood, examined and questioned, if humanity has any hope of securing an enduring peace. Understanding prehistoric development, the twisted beliefs that accompanied ordinary life, and our original spiritual deception, is key to overcoming the lie that time continues to tell.
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. Hence, the onset of warfare, and an ‘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 in a Creator of all things seen and unseen whose, 1. divine Presence is beyond the bounds of temporal time and physical sight; 2. whose 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 our Creator ever required living sacrifices!
The Father, to whom Jesus prayed, never required sacrifice. Jesus made a conscious choice to become a living sacrifice, and willingly took on the role of the scapegoat. He chose to become the victim so, 1. his death would shine a light on the error of ancient practices; 2. his death would expose the futility of appeasement to angry gods; 3. his death would illuminate the falsity of sacrificial teachings, passed from generation to generation; and 4. his death would unveil the spiritual deception, injected into the development of human memory, by the voice of temporal time.
When we can grasp on to the idea that the human spirit was kidnapped, by a form of spiritual entrapment, 10,000 years ago—we may begin to see the role human behavior plays in every victim chosen as living sacrifices, or living scapegoats, today. Remember! Sacrificial offerings were never required by the imaginary gods of ancient history.