by William A. Spriggs
I theorize that perhaps toward the end of this hunter-gatherer period, and before the domestication stage, there arose the possibility of our ancestors grasping the conception of "animal" or "human" sacrifice in order to "keep the predator at bay."
The possible use of a small domesticated dog as a sacrifice to "feed" the predator, as the group "escaped." The practice could have then developed further into a "giving thanks" as a group made a safe passage to a designated area.
Another form of "celebration" could have evolved from the "self-sacrifice" of one individual, (or a faithful dog fighting off a predator to protect its master's family), giving up his or her life in order that the predator would find its fill and leave the remainder group alone. Ultimate altruism: the giving up of one's own life in order to save others of one's group or clan. It could begin to help explain religions developing animal and human sacrifices. The dark side of our animal past may very well be that there also could have been a "shunning" of potential "losers" and even "choosing" a "loser" for the hungry beast, all done collectively in the name of survival of the herd. In order to do this a ranking, comparing method must have been established. No wonder we do not want to admit that we evolved from the lower animals. Like any "problem," let's get it out, examine it, and then focus on a "solution."
However, the sooner all the peoples of this great planet become aware of our biological animal emotional beginnings, the sooner we will no longer allow anyone to "fall prey to the predators" of bigotry, prejudice, injustice, hypocrisy, low self-esteem, and blocked opportunities.
There were two types of cannibalism, exocannibalism, eating members of an enemy group, and endocannibalism, eating members of one's own group.
Endocannibalism symbolized very different things: reverence for the dead, an incorporation of the spirit of the dead into living descendants, or a means of insuring the separation of the soul from the body. A Mayoruna man once expressed a wish to remain in his village and be eaten by his children after his death rather than be consumed by worms in the white man's cemetery.
As repulsive as the notion may seem, it is a fact that "theophagy" - the technical term for the consumption of a god's body and blood - has been considered a religious experience worldwide for thousands of years. While certain cults/religions may think that they invented the concept of the Eucharist, and that the Eucharist has nothing whatsoever to do with cannibalism, the ritual of sacrificing a god or goddess and sharing his or her blood and body as a sacrament is an act found throughout the ancient world. The only thing so-called modern religion has done is to maintain the form of the Eucharist in a symbolic rather than literal sense, and for that perhaps we should be grateful.
"He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him," so the alleged founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, purportedly said (Jn. 6:55). It may seem abhorrent to the Christians of today that one of their most precious rituals actually has its roots in the cannibalistic sacrifice and consumption of their deity. This origin, however, is the fact.
Far from being a Christian invention, the ritual of the Eucharist has been practiced for millennia by various cults and sects around the globe. Initially, thousands of years before the Christian myth was established, an actual human being, acting as proxy for the deity worshipped, was sacrificed and eaten by the cult's followers.
I have more information on some Website. I will look for it and post some more later.
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