Saturday, April 14, 2007

harvest resurrection

1:35 PM Posted by: M., 3 comments

It is interesting to see how resurrection themes appear in ancient and indigenous religions. Among other groups, the Pawnee indians would sacrfice a male on their land each year, believing that his blood would fertilize the ground--and when the harvest came, the tribe interpreted that as the man's resurrection. Then, he was considered a god. It is from these types of rituals, that it is thought our understanding of a god sacrificing himself and being resurrected comes from.

I know that there are a lot of gaps that science has thus far been unable to fill...and occurences that science still has not explained--but when I read about all these different groups who believed that their agricultural haul was related more to spiritual rites, and less to fertilizer and planting patterns, makes me wonder what other ways in the future, science will be able to enlighten us that we are just kidding ourselves.

If anything, this all just makes me realize that our brand of Christianity is just a phase--even if Christianity is true. All this trendy focus on "giving it up to God" and biblical literacy seems like just another period in the long existence of religion.


HeIsSailing said...
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HeIsSailing said...

Hi Marie. Do you ever notice how when the year progresses, the sun gets lower on the horizon, the air gets colder, the leaves start to die, the plants die, people need to live off their food reserves. The sun slowly disappears lower and lower into the horizon.

The winter solstice is the resurrection of the sun, and the sun begins its rebirth every year about December 21 (near another famous birthday). I suspect the dying and rising sun was the initial beginnings of a lot of that stuff. The Sun was the source of life to the ancients, and knew they would die without it. I can understand why they would try to diefy the Sun, celebrate the annual rebirth of the Sun, and appease the Sun somehow. We don't understand that mentality as well in our modern world.

I love to camp out in the desert near my home. The desert is always cold at night, even in the summer. WHen the sun rises, there is a rapid temperature rise near the surface of the ground, and this creates a sharp temperature gradient. The point is - it makes mirages. Sometimes when you look at the mountains on the horizon at Sunrise, you can actually see the mountains change shape right before your eyes!! Sometimes they form narrow bottoms and wide tops - so that they even appear upside down!! Sometimes mountains appear, then slowly disappear as the day gets warmer.

Now a modern man who studies physics knows all about temperature gradients and light refraction and can explain why that happens with a couple of equations on a notepad. Not the ancients. I can understand why watching distant mountains change shape, appear and disappear, and even float above the horizon would make them believe in spirits. I am really not surprised that they believed in spirits, gods, whatever other mysterious beings they could to control the unexplainable in their lives.

I enjoy looking at the strange things in nature and put myself in the mind of an ancient person - how would they explain this stuff that we take for granted?

marie said...


well said! that is cool about trying to think like the ancients, and camping in the desert as well. Yeah I was reading about how a lot of groups saw even the daily rising and setting of the sun as that resurrection. I wonder how they viewed its consistency--were they afraid every night that it wouldn't return? I can imagine some were. if anything, just studying what people have believed is fascinating.