Hokay, here is the text of what zenden found from the WIH files concerning some new
information about Shamanistic religions and their relation to Theocracy:
Sorry this is so long, but I don't know any other way to link to this where everyone can see it.
Here is some supplementary Information on “The Stages of Theocratic Religion that I channeled in 2005, at a time when I hadn’t actually read the text of the original War in Heaven for about ten years:
The most primitive forms of religion contained mythological elements received from Theocratic spirits, but these concepts were a relatively minor part of an over-all structure that emphasized magic and shamanism by living people over influences from spiritual beings. Everyone in the tribe believed individuals could control certain aspects of physical reality by certain patterns of thinking and behavior – for example, that people can heal their own illnesses and injuries by a process of “mind over matter” . There was also usually an emphasis on developing and using psychic powers such as telepathy, and on taking whatever psychotropic herbs were available.
The old souls who happened to be incarnated in the tribe at any particular time tended to become shamans. They taught whatever knowledge and intuitive wisdom they remembered from their past lives to other members of the tribe, and they also performed healings and other practical magical workings for other individuals and for the tribe as a whole.
The fact that all members of such a primitive religion had an extremely strong faith in their own ability to alter reality by working magic had a profound influence over the evolution of individual personality structure and tribal culture that was entirely separate from any purely physical miracles that occurred. This belief system tended to create a tribal “group mind” or “collective unconscious” that programmed each succeeding generation with similar personalities and a strong sense of tribal identity.
As long as humans lived as hunter-gatherers, this primitive belief system met their needs well enough to discourage further religious evolution. Families and tribes already had Theocrats living among them, but they were simply the astral bodies of ancestors who became permanent “hitchhikers” on their descendents. These ancestrial spirits were often able to exert enough telepathic control over the person they were attached to practice what is now called “possession” , but because the physical and astral minds all tribal members were so similar in personality structure, this influence tended to be stabilizing rather than disruptive. There was also no motivation for the Theocrats to organize among themselves, because there was no opposition to organize against.
Primitive tribes sometimes admitted outsiders, usually by enslaving them until they were able to learn how to fit into the tribe’s social structure, but more often, strangers were simply killed and their astral bodies were devoured by the tribe’s Theocrats. In many cases, the physical body was devoured as well. However, this was not true human sacrifice or ritual cannibalism as practiced by later religions – it was simply an easy way of dealing with strangers who didn’t fit into the tribal group mind.
The philosophers who have described this primitive way of life as “nasty, brutish, and short” are correct, but so are those who speculated about the “noble savage” . Ironically, the average member of one of these primitive tribes was probably “saner and better adjusted” than the average person in “modern civilization” , and in many cases, superior in intelligence as well.
Since the tribe’s customary practice was to exile or kill members who didn’t fit in with its group mind, those who were left tended to treat one-another as “one big happy family” . This was
natural because their personality types were already similar, and of course there was powerful motivation for individuals to fit in.
The intelligence of the average individual tended to be high because most tribal members had incarnated in the same family for many lives, and carried subconscious past life memories that made their personality structures more complex. It’s hard to define exactly what “intelligence” is, but there’s no doubt that it is directly related to the complexity of the mental programs used in memorizing, retrieving, and evaluating data. The “older” the incarnated soul, the more complex the mental programs that the person develops during a particular physical lifetime.This primitive tribal religion has never completely died out, and is still being practiced by family and tribal groups that exist inside existing cultures whose over-all religious structure is more advanced and Theocratic. Needless to say, such groups are persecuted by the Theocratic religious establishments around them, but even if a culture completely stamps out primitive religion for a while, people always reinvent it, because it meets certain basic human needs that are going unmet.
Polytheism arose as people stopped living mainly as hunter-gatherers and developed agriculture. As the human population increased, religious, political and economic institutions became more complex. Priests, kings, and landowners replaced tribal chiefs and shamans as the leaders of society, and in the most primitive Polytheistic societies, a single social class dominated all three sets of institutions.
The rulers claimed to be gods in human form or their living representatives of disembodied gods. They demanded absolute political power, and they also claimed to own all the land. As Polytheistic societies became larger and more complex, descending hierarchies of priests, nobles, and landowners gradually evolved to put the will of the “God King” into practice.
On the political level, this specialization of social function gradually created democracy and dictatorship in addition to monarchy, and on the religious level, it led to the creation of religious cosmology, mythology and doctrine as we know them today. I assume that priests and priestesses came first, then gods and goddesses, and after that, complex elements of mythology, doctrine, ritual, and custom. And of course, priests used their power over people’s religious lives to gain political and economic power for themselves as well.
The main cause of the rise of Polytheistic religion was purely physical – as human technology progressed, the population constantly increased, which in turn increased the proportion of new souls over old souls.
Theocratic spirits found the new souls easier to control and exploit, both during life and in the disembodied state, so they started actively discouraging belief in reincarnation. For example, the “official” doctrine of Greco-Roman Polytheism taught that the vast majority of souls wandered for a while in Hades an then ceased to exist, though they grudgingly admitted that a few souls “drank of the waters of Lethe” , lost their memories, and reincarnated.
The details of the Earth Plane infrastructure of the thousands of Polytheistic religions that have existed over the course of history are irrelevant here. I’m concerned more with how Polytheistic religions made it possible for Theocratic spirits to form social institutions on the Astral Plane that have been influencing the evolution of human civilization on the Earth Plane ever since.
One of the major tools the Theocrats used to create Polytheistic religion as an earthly power base for controlling and exploiting living people was the strategy of personifying archetypal concepts. Primitive Shamanism was based on the assumption that disembodied spiritual entities were simply deceased human beings, so believers tended to relate to them as they related to other living people. Magic spells to ward off mind-control by spirits were common, and so were spells intended to put spirits under the magician’s control. Other common rituals involved trying to persuade one of the Ancestors to grant a shaman, or any tribal member, for that matter, a favor of some kind.
Changing this basic assumption and postulating that certain spiritual beings were “nature” gods or goddesses that controlled physical phenomena such as the weather or the human reproductive cycle caused a complete revolution in the basic structure of religion. The all-important change was in accountability – since it was assumed that the new gods and goddesses operated through forces of nature that were obviously beyond human control, they did not need derive any significant portion of their power over living people from “consent of the governed” , as the Primitive Shamanism had assumed was true of the “Ancestors” .
As Polytheistic religion developed, Shamans who made decisions after “talking things over with the Ancestors” were gradually replaced by priests and priestesses who were simply “mouthpieces” for the gods and goddesses. Essentially, this was a matter of replacing personal leadership with institutional leadership. The concept of “I’m only following orders” was transmuted from a lame excuse for egotism and selfishness into a compelling reason to demand blind obedience.
The existence of an authoritarian priesthood within Polytheistic religious sects made it easier for spirits who wanted to remain disembodied indefinitely to persuade living people to supply them with the nourishment they needed for survival. They simply posed as the gods and goddesses the priesthood was claiming to represent. This is why I coined the term “Theocrat” , defined as “a disembodied human soul who claims to be divine in order to exert power over living people.”
Soon after Polytheistic religion was invented, Theocrats discovered that they could obtain ample sources of nourishment and energy through encouraging their living followers to practice human sacrifice. Over long periods of time, this tended to be self-limiting, simply because killing large numbers of one’s own population was inefficient, and killing large numbers of outsiders started major external wars. However, even the Greeks and Romans of classical times practiced human sacrifice on a limited scale, often disguised as capital punishment of criminals or acts related to war.
Monotheistic religions, when they arose, inherited the basic cultural infrastructure of the Polytheistic religions they replaced – they just used it in different ways. Monotheism transmutes the idea of personifying archetypes from a relative concept into an absolute concept. Conceiving of a “Thunder God” who controls the weather is simply the personification of an archetypal concept based on the realization that it is important to learn as much as possible about the causes of meteorological phenomena in order to make best use of them.
This process is relative rather than absolute, because the more we learn about a particular phenomenon, the less important the personified archetype becomes. Once reasonably complete scientific knowledge about it becomes available, the personification becomes absurd, but only because our concrete knowledge has approached quite closely to the archetype.
However, if the archetype is a concept that, by definition, defies human understanding, then the personification becomes absolute. The concept of a “Supreme Being” that is omnipotent and omniscient is such an archetype. “In order to understand God, you would have to become God yourself.” Personifying such a God and then claiming to have a direct pipeline to divine knowledge is the essence of Theocratic Monotheism.
Ancient Judaism was derived from a Polytheistic religion, but if a detailed description of the original cosmology and mythology was ever written, it hasn’t come down to us. When Moses wrote, “You shall have no other gods before me,” he was strongly implying that gods beside Jehovah did exist. Essentially, he was creating a sect within a Polytheistic religion that stressed the worship of one deity to the point of banning the worship of all others, but this wasn’t quite Monotheism.
It’s important to notice that the first thing Moses did when he came down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments was to start persecuting Hebrews who had been worshipping other gods and goddesses during his absence. Then, he and the leaders who succeeded him fought a series of wars that eventually resulted in the founding of an actual kingdom in what is now Israel. It is also important to realize that most of the tribes and nations the Hebrews fought against spoke close related languages and believed in the same Polytheistic religion.
It’s obvious from reading the Torah that the primary motive behind the cosmology and mythology of ancient Judaism was the founding of a politically coherent Hebrew Nation. This started with the “Covenant” between the Jews and Jehovah described in the Ten Commandments, and was greatly elaborated later, especially in the book of “Leviticus” . Monotheism as we know it arose at some point during this process, but it is difficult to tell just when, because the Torah as it exists today is not organized in chronological order.
Some scholars have speculated that the ancient Egyptians knew the concept of an archetypal Supreme Being, but there’s actually no hard evidence of this in their surviving writings. The Pharaoh Akhnaton may have been trying to start a Monotheistic religion, or he may have only been using the idea of emphasizing the exclusive worship of one particular Polytheisitic deity to consolidate his political power. There’s no way to tell which. However, it’s extremely likely that Moses, who probably lived relatively soon after Akhnaton, borrowed many of his ideas and applied them to the Hebrews. The concept of Monotheism may have been among these ideas, or it may have been invented later by the Hebrews themselves. (And there’s evidence that the concept has arisen independently many times throughout history, but this is irrelevant here.)
Once ancient Judaism became Monotheistic, the history of its development was rewritten to give the appearance that Hebrews as far back as Abraham believed in “only one true God” . For example, the creation myths in “Genesis” were written long after the Ten Commandments, but the modern Torah gives the reader the impression that Moses was familiar with them.
The practical difference between Monotheism and Polytheism is simply that the former defaults to bigotry and conformity whereas the latter defaults to tolerance and pluralism. This is the real reason why Monotheistic religions have destroyed most of the worlds Polytheistic religions, except for the two biggest ones and a host of tiny ones that are “beneath notice” . Buddhism and Vedanta survive because of their sheer size and social influence, and small, localized Polytheistic
religions are often ignored because they don’t threaten whatever major Monotheistic religion exists in their area.
Monotheistic religion gives Theocrats much more influence over human beings both during life and after death than Polytheistic religion does. If millions of people are programmed to believe essentially the same things about “the nature of spiritual reality” , then any one of them can be controlled and exploited using the same general techniques. Ancient Rome, for example, had many different kinds of Theocrats, each operating within its own Polytheistic sect. Modern Christian or Islamic societies, on the other hand, have essentially only kind of Theocrat – a type skilled in the mind-control techniques used within Christianity or Islam as a whole.
For example, there are probably close to a billion people in the world who fall into a Religious Trance and become susceptible to hypnotic suggestion on either the sensory or telepathic level when they hear certain Islam prayers repeated in the original Arabic, or even when they recall these prayers from their own memory during private worship. I’ve recently seen figures that roughly 75% of the worlds Moslems are “fundamentalists” , but only about 15% of modern Americans are Christian fundamentalists. The difference is simply that Christianity as a true Monotheistic religion is rapidly withering away, as exemplified by the fact that the Roman Catholic Church recently dropped the use of Latin. Once the triggering mechanisms are dropped, the religion’s hypnotic hold over people is greatly decreased.
As Theocratic religion evolved, opposition to it evolved simultaneously. During the past two thousand years, there have been four major movements opposing Theocratic Christianity: Underground Shamanism, Anti-theocratic Christianity, Western Occultism, and Humanism. There has always been interaction between all four of these movements, but until the last couple of centuries, they remained essentially separate.
Primitive Shamanism didn’t die out when Polytheism and Monotheism arose. At first, it retreated into rural areas, and maintained an uneasy coexistence with Polytheism. When Monotheism arose, Shamanism went completely underground and became a family religion among people who outwardly practiced their society’s official religion.
For example, the Roman Catholic Church waged all-out war against what it called “witchcraft” for centuries, but large numbers of people, especially in the lowest social classes, went right on communicating with the spirits of their deceased relatives and friends, practicing psychic healing, and “casting spells” just as their ancestors had been doing since the dawn of time.
The development of Underground Shamanism is almost impossible to describe using historical methods, because the name is just a catch-all term for thousands of tiny, family-centered groups that have nothing in common except the basic shamanistic practices I’ve already described.
Many of these groups contain elements of pre-Christian Polytheistic mythology in their doctrines, but I’ve always felt it’s fallacious to call them “Pagan Survivals” – in reality, the ancient Celtic, Germanic, and Slavic Polytheistic religions were actually led by Theocratic priests and priestesses who persecuted the Shamanists of their day just as violently as the Catholic Church did during medieval times.
I also feel that Shamanism tends to spontaneously reinvent itself. All it takes is one “old soul” in a family who remembers past lives, starts channeling messages from the “dead” , and is able to get his or her family to believe.
There has also been an anti-Theocratic movement within Christianity throughout most of its history, based on an interpretation of the teachings of Jesus which stresses free will and a direct relationship between the individual and God. Like Shamanism, this movement tends to reinvent itself, because the actual sermons of Jesus were apparently highly anti-Theocratic, and enough of their actual words have been included in the Christian New Testament to allow many readers to see through “official” interpretations and draw their own radical conclusions.
Over the centuries, many “heresies” have been violently suppressed by both Catholic and Protestant hierarchies, but many equally anti-Theocratic movements within Christianity have passed into and out of existence quietly, simply because they didn’t attract enough of a following to seriously threaten the religious establishment.
The third major movement to oppose Theocratic religion in the Western World can be called Western Occultism. As the Greco-Roman culture became more urbanized, history reports that many city-dwellers joined secret “mystery cults” . From the fragments of their teachings that found their way into the literature, some of these may have perpetuated various Shamanistic practices, and others may have been Occult groups, in the sense that they were efforts to preserve “ancient wisdom” that the Theocrats wanted to conceal.
Another more recent, movement to oppose Theocracy grew out of rational Western philosophy, and has traditionally been called “secular humanism” .