The idea of reincarnation in ancient religions
Already the Egyptians believed in the transmigration of the soul
In the new age movement the belief in the reincarnation of the soul is widespread today but the thought of a transmigration of the soul is much older and probably dates back even before the rise of the Egyptian religion.
It is known that the Egyptians believed in reincarnation or the transmigration of the soul. They thought the soul transmigrated from body to body and this was a reasen why they embalmed the body in order to preserve it so that it could journey along with kan, an animating force that was believed to be the counterpart of the body, which would accompany it in the next world of life. Ka might be considered equivalent to the term of soul. This establishes the dating of the concept of reincarnation back to the ancient Egyptian religion but many think it dates beyond antiquity.
The belief is thought to have been a necessity among primitive people. Certainly long before ancient Egypt people believed in the transmigration of the soul. If they were not sophisticated enough to understand the concept of a soul, then they may have simply called it life. An individual or object which moved had life, and the one which did not, did not have life.
Gradually the concept of a soul developed with a further realization that the soul departed the body at death and entered the body at birth. Soon it was thought the soul leaving a dead body would seek another body to enter, or enter an animal or another lower life form. It was also thought that the soul left the body during sleep. This soul was pictured as vapors that entered and left through the nostrils and the mouth.
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The history of religion
Ancient gods and how they were worshipped
In former times a plethora of different gods and goddesses were worshipped and even the major divinities like e.g. Zeus were differently seen from clan to clan and were worshipped in various ways in different regions.
What is a religion?
A religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a supernatural agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
Aspects of religion include narrative, symbolism, beliefs, and practices that are supposed to give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life. Whether the meaning centers on a deity or deities, or an ultimate truth, religion is commonly identified by the practitioner's prayer, ritual, meditation, music and art, among other things, and is often interwoven with society and politics. It may focus on specific supernatural, metaphysical, and moral claims about reality (the cosmos and human nature) which may yield a set of religious laws and ethics and a particular lifestyle. Religion also encompasses ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history, and mythology, as well as personal faith and religious experience.
Ancient creation myths
Old stories about the begining of the universe
For many modern people it is difficult to read and understand ancient myths because they seem to be unlogical and scientifically wrong. But this is a misconception since one needs to use the assumptions of the myth scriptwriter in order to realize the fundamental ideas behind different creations myths...
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