Day 21 - Waning Moon - Month 12 - Winter 2348 (Dec 21, 2013)
Wilmington DE, United States
Ethnic Religions are Essence of Humanity
people including polytheistic, pantheistic, shamanic, animistic and related
indigenous traditions comprise about 25% of the world’s population. The approximately 1.8 billion ethnic people
are spread around every continent of the world.
While this might seem as a sizable fraction, a historical analysis of
the change in this statistic tells a different story. A little over two thousand years ago, prior
to the emergence of proselytizing non-ethnic religions and anti-ethnic
political ideologies, most of the earth was populated by ethnic people. Within two millennia, hundreds of ethnic
tribes have been made extinct and majority of those who managed to survive the
onslaught have been coerced into abandoning the faith of their ancestors. Today, ethnic people are just a quarter of
the world’s population. They continue to
suffer the existential pressures from proselytizing religions, environmentally
unsustainable developments and anti-ethnic political ideologies that seek to
marginalize, convert or eliminate them.
At this rate in about 600 years virtually all of the Ethnic people may
vanish from the face of this earth.
there have been some positive developments over the past three to four
in Europe and other non-European English speaking countries, there have been
many neo-ethnic revivals. Through their unswerving dedication the leadership of
these movements have brought back to their people the ancient wisdom of their
great ancestors. The only help these courageous sages got along the way was
political and/or social intimidation and largely corrupted archeological,
historical, cultural and literary resources.
there has been a concerted effort by various ethnic and neo-ethnic groups to
organize themselves and present their case at various regional, national and
international bodies. The partial social
acceptance of ethnic religions in many countries is a natural consequence of such
efforts. More importantly, their work
has borne fruit in the form of their legal recognition as a religion by several
regional governments, national governments and international organizations. The
“United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” is one such
notable acheivement at the international level.
many individuals in the modern society have become disenchanted with purely
materialistic existence on one hand and organized religious orthodoxy on the
other. Their search for alternatives
will undoubtedly lead them to their ethnic roots. Some of them may hop around other paths to
seek solace and may even find it but a majority of them will find their true
calling in the faiths of their ancestors.
trends indicate an emerging global paradigm for mankind based on people’s
ethnic roots. This paradigm must
translate into vitality, growth and prosperity of existing ethnic tribes and
bring to life the lost traditions. All the ethnic people must continue to work
together for the same and thereby bring to humanity a better future.
people are not a monolithic block. That being said, there are some unique
religions are driven by orthopraxy as opposed to just a set of beliefs driven
by orthodoxy. Their religious practices are integrated and inseparable from
their way of life to the point where the word “religion” is inadequate to
describe their practices. Ethnic frameworks acknowledge in varying degrees the
essence that binds the Universe and their cosmologies by and large function as
cycles rather than a linear history with defined start and end. They do not consider nature as a resource
meant for exploitation by mankind but rather see themselves as an integral part
of it. Ethnic people have deep respect
for their ancestors and in many cases believe in reincarnation. They do not think of their practices or their
beliefs to be exclusively right and therefore see no necessity to proselytize
beyond their ethnic kin. In addition,
they have made and continue to make invaluable contributions to humanity.
characteristics of the ethnic religions enable the most conducive global environment
for achieving sustainable development, basic human rights and world peace.
Therefore it is imperative not only to preserve the existing ethnic people but
also to revive the extinct ethnic traditions of the world.
us look into a few specific aspects of Ethnic religions and the contributions
to humanity that arise from them.
Renewable Knowledge Repositories
Ethnic people are valuable knowledge repositories across multiple fields such
as nutrition, medicine, astronomy, other sciences, engineering, fine arts,
performing arts, linguistics, spirituality, martial arts and several
others. There is no field of human
endeavor that cannot benefit from these repositories. In fact all our knowledge streams have come
directly or indirectly from these springs.
complex knowledge bases, be they texts, oral traditions or other practices are
inextricably integrated with their religions or in other words with their ways
of life. In addition, these systems are
not a one-time collection of lifeless facts.
They are renewable knowledge resources that are continuously being
refined and improved by the practice of their respective religions. They are subsets of their native ecosystems
and their value is best realized when their way of life is preserved as
perfectly as possible in their native land.
has lost an immense amount of such knowledge with the destruction of 75% of the
world’s ethnic people. It is high time
that we develop a non-destructive learning methodology and utilize our
understanding to preserve these people, breathe life into the lost traditions
and find ways to utilize the knowledge for the benefit of all mankind.
Reverence for Ancestors
are not different from our ancestors. Unbekonst
to us, they continue to live within us at many levels and influence our
behaviors. This makes it essential for
us to know them intimately. We will
never be able to properly know our ancestors by documenting them in museums and
libraries and read about them in history and anrthopology text books and
research journals. It is ignorance and
arrogance to assume that the past was less intelligent than present. We cannot relegate our ancestors to annals of
history. We have to keep their spirit
alive within our practices and way of life.
religions and/or anti-ethnic political ideologies in their shortsightedness and
blind belief in their invented shallow frameworks have severed the ancestral
links of a substantial portion of humanity and erased from their conscious
memories the ideas of their forefathers.
Fortunately, these forces could not remove this connection from the
genetic makeup of the people. However, this
has led to a confused state of existence for these people. The confusion stems from a dichotomy between
the imposed religious dogma on one hand and their natural persona that is
genetically transmitted to them from their ancestors. This confusion creates an unhealthy society
peopled by spiritually dissatisfied individuals that produce unsustainable political,
economical and social structures.
followers of ethnic religions maintain a strong relationship to the
ancestors. Consciously and/or
unconsciously they revere their forefathers and so carefully maintain their
links from generation to generation even under extreme duress. Their practices are valuable guidelines for
us to help us restablish connections to our ancestral faiths.
Value of Diversity
and fauna are variegated across different parts of the earth and so are the
various ethnic religions. In fact, ethnic religions are an inseparable part of
the flora and fauna. Destruction of any part of nature’s diversity has
disastrous consequences. This becomes
especially important in light of complex global problems of today. These vexing problems need multiple
philosophical perspectives to solve them.
Imposing uniformity by eliminating valuable diversity of thought
processes leads to reduction of potential solution sets.
strategists stress the importance of diversity and develop new paradigms to
value and manage the same. Even a novice financial investor understands the
value of portfolio diversity. Secularism
and democracy, the hall marks of the political structures of today place a
strong value on accommodating diversity. The same should be the basis for
preserving and reviving the ethnic traditions of the world because diversity of
religious perspectives benefits all mankind.
It is essential to mention here that promoting diversity is not against
globalism or global unity. Unity amongst
mankind should be derived from respect of diversity and not by elimination of
all differences. Unity does not mean
uniformity. Actually, majority of the
road blocks to unity amongst faiths comes from exclusivity based proselytizing
paradigms that seek to erase religious diversity and impose their ideology on
everyone. Also these exclusivity based
proselytizing paradigms are responsible for almost all of the religious
fundamentalism and consequent destructive behaviours.
religions do not promote the concept of being exclusively right. The importance for their beliefs is
restricted to their people only and it is within this grouping that they want
to maintain their heritage. They do not
believe in imposing their ideologies or practices on others beyond their
kin. An Aztec , a Kemet, an Asatru, a
Wiccan, a Navajo and a Hindu are all different in their practices and beliefs
but they can all coexist without a conflict because of these characteristics.
This non-exclusive and non-proselytizing framework that celebrates diversity
through mutual respect is the only way to global unity and lasting World peace.
religions do not see nature as something that is merely there for exploitation
by mankind. Instead they see themselves
as an integral part it. They realize
that randomly and constantly changing complex systems of nature make it
impossible for us to understand it completely and predict it accurately all the
time. They believe that in face of this
limitation we need to be humble especially if we are intricately connected to
the system that we are disturbing for our survival.
nature based religions respect the mundane by elevating it. To them all of nature and in fact the entire
cosmos consists of a connecting essence.
Their gods are also intertwined with nature as well. To them nature is divine and at the same time
inseparable from their very selves. This
concept becomes very powerful especially because for them religion is not just a
set of beliefs but a whole way of life.
So when they see the divine in nature they become consciously aware of
the need to practice a sustainable life style.
Their whole way of life is ingrained with this understanding.
does not mean they do not appreciate the material benefits from nature. They do
need and use its resources for various physical needs. The difference is that they see nature beyond
just the material plane and on that higher plane they see a unity with it and
from that stems a deep respect for it.
We need to protect the environment not just because we need to keep the
resources for future generations but also because we are the environment and
its mysteries are too hard to comprehend at just the physical plane. A way of life that stems from this respect
and understanding engenders the strongest form of environmental protection and
lays the foundation for developing the best frameworks for sustainable
religions are invaluable resources for humanity to promote sustainable
development, basic human rights and world peace. Proselytzing religions and anti ethnic
idelogies have reduced them to a quarter of the world’s population within 2000
years. These same forces continue to
exert existential pressures on them and seek to marginalize, convert or
eliminate them. However, there is a new
global paradigm that supports the ethnic thought. It is the bound duty of all of humanity to
preserve the existing ethnic religions and revive the lost traditions because they
are the essence of humanity.