Saturday, 13 October 2012

Possible Causes for the Development of Religious/Spiritual Outlooks:

To identify a thing requires contrast: 'A' with 'Not-A'.  The greater the contrast the easier it is to identify a thing.  A cathedral surrounded by open fields is more prominent than if it were surrounded by skyscrapers.
A given 'spiritual' minded person may develop different views on what is important in the cosmos depending on where he lives:
If he was born in a city, then he will have little exposure to living organisms (plants and animals) relative to someone living in a jungle who is surrounded by them.  Thus living beings will be more prominent (like a cathedral on an open plain), and possibly perceived as more valuable because of that scarcity (think of Jainism, or modern vegetarianism which is largely an Urban culture).
If he was born in a desert environment (be it the arctic desert or the sand desert), then he will have little exposure to people relative to someone living in the city.
If he was born in the jungle, then he will have little exposure to advanced technology relative to someone living in the city, thus will value it more than someone who experiences it everyday (think of cargo cultists).

To reiterate, the mindset intention of the person is more important than the environment he is born in.  The environment simply allows him to explore his own beliefs.  Without the intention the mind to explore, discover, understand the environment, then no spiritual world view will be developed by him.

An alternate theory is that a more blank environment will allow him to explore his own beliefs and thoughts in the same way that sensory deprivation (such as a floatation tank) allows one to experience and explore their own thoughts more intensely because they are not being distracted by outside noises.  (One of Odin’s name is 'Hattr' which is derived from the hat that he wears, to cover his eyes, when in his mantic state; which is a form of sensory deprivation).

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