The fact that in Spiritualism we study all religions and compare them it what attracted me to this religion. Attending my first service, I was in awe of Pastor Edna Claussen, as she was giving a sermon about ALL religion. I had been brought up as a Catholic, and many of the practices and “laws” always puzzled me. For instance, how can a small angelic child be born with mortal sin, and damned to hell if not Baptized: because the same punishment would be implemented if you took the Lord’s name in vain, ate meat on Friday, or disobeyed your Parents. But here was a woman, the Pastor preaching about different religions from the platform, and the roof of the building did not fall on her head.
This lesson dealt with an introduction of religion. Religion is the worship and service by man of invisible powers believed to be like himself, yet above himself. Religion has three categories, tribal ethnic and catholic. Religions of primitive races are classified as tribal, religions confined within a nation, are considered ethnic and religious with a founder who have missionaries are considered to be catholic.
Magic played an important part in early religion. Many traditions of magic from the past faded and others continued to be practiced. The use of magic can be either in service of a high mystical ideal such as white magic, or a lower state of consciousness, such as black magic.
Babylonian religion had many interesting features, most notably conservatism. Its deities, even at their highest showed traces of ancient primitive demoniac characters. The most outstanding gods of Babylonia were, Ea or Enki, Anu and Enlil. Magic was an important ingredient of the religion and this led to the division of the official priesthood into two classes: Ashipu the exorcist and Mashmashu the purifiers.
Egypt has long been regarded as the home of civilization, science, and religion. Egyptians were known for their interest in religion and ceremonial worship as well as the shamanistic practices that were incorporated by Egypt’s national priesthood. A study of Egyptian religion reveals their belief in a future life and their understanding that life after death is a natural continuation of life on this Earth.
The Egyptian religion was the most obstinate in its resistance to Christianity. The Egyptian religion had only a minor influence on Judaism and Christianity. Herodutus noted that: “ the gods of Egyptians were in three orders, the third order are those of popular worship such as elements of nature-the sun, fire, water and air…but, the gods of the first order were the gods of the priesthood, understood by them alone, and expressing ideas which they shrank from communicating to the people.”
The Greek religion differed from many other religions in that it had no great founder, no sacred books and no priestly caste. The gods had distinct human characteristics enjoying adventures, ears and loves. The Greek religion differed from the Egyptian in that the general and heads of the family performed the priestly functions and offered sacrifices. There were the Oracles of Delphi, with the highest rank, also Dodona and Epidaurus of Trophonius. The oracles were able to invoke divine foresight in the direction of human affairs and affairs of state. Symbols or sacred emblems given to us by the Greeks were the phallus, the egg and the serpent. They were used in different ceremonies.
The Romans, were considered an exceedingly religious people, and their religion was intimately connected with the affairs of home and state. Their ceremonial worship was very elaborate and consisted of prayers, sacrifices, festivals and investigations by augurs and haruspices, who were priests or prophets who practiced divination or predictions. The decline of Roman forms of worship was inevitable. The religion was not derived for inspiration but sense of obligation, and did not evolve over time.
In all the common thread is belief in something higher than all of us. Knowing all and seeing all. Even with all the different gods and magical qualities, we still believe that there is a life after death, with much knowledge to come.