Day 21 - Waning Moon - Month 12 - Winter 2348 (Dec 21, 2013)

Wilmington DE, United States


Ethnic Religions are Essence of Humanity


Ethnic 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.                                          


Present Status

Fortunately, there have been some positive developments over the past three to four decades.  


Firstly, 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.                                           


Secondly, 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.      


Thirdly, 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.


These 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.




Ethnic people are not a monolithic block. That being said, there are some unique shared characteristics.


Ethnic 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.                     


These 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.


Let us look into a few specific aspects of Ethnic religions and the contributions to humanity that arise from them.  



Renewable Knowledge Repositories

All 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.                     


These 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. 


Humanity 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


We 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.                              


Proselytizing 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.    


The 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

Flora 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.  


Business 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.      


Ethnic 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.



Integarted Environmentalism

Ethnic 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.   


These 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.             


This 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 development.                     




Ethnic 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.