Right, this week, lets have a look at organised religion. In prehistoric times when the knowledge of Man was limited all types of natural phenomena were incomprehensible sources of fear and terror to him. Now to ensure his continued survival, he decided to attribute the phenomena as the work of superhuman beings called Gods who had unlimited power. To propitiate these imaginary beings he dreamt up many rituals and sacrifices. Thus religion started off as away of survival against nature. Actually of course it couldn't really stop anything but it gave man a psychological boost. now in course of time the performance of religious functions became a specialised job and devolved to a class of people called priests. With the passing of time these priests got powerful. Firstly they could get anything they wanted by holding the threat of divine wrath over the heads of the multitude. Also they were extremely rich as the offerings of the people were enjoyed by them "on behalf of the Gods". Classic examples are the priests of Amon in Ancient Egypt and the temple towns of sumer. Reform movements occurred, new religions with none of the vices of the old ones gained popularity, but in the fullness of time things largely returned to the old system.
Next post: the development of organised churches
And now I am going to continue the story of last week. No I havent forgotten it and no, I still have'nt finished it.
Chapter 2Trying to clear his head of the disorientation that follows a sudden waking from sleep, Henry tried hard to remember what he was dreaming about. It had been a very interesting dream, so clear in some places that he had really thought it to be real. There had been a man. He had been looking for a cab. Then he had started walking and had turned into an alley way. Henry remembered feeling a strange sense of foreboding when the man had turned into the alley. The man had walked forward and then hesitated. He had turned back and Henry remembered feeling oddly relieved. But the man had seen something. He had stopped and watched carefully. A creature (was it a cat? It had been so small) had fled from the shadows. The man had let his guard down and Henry had felt a thrill of terror. For from the darkness a shadow had advanced on the man and had jumped on its unsuspecting victim. Try as he might Henry could not get the image of the shadow clear. Whenever he tried his memory seemed to shut down. It was as if some unknown mysterious terror had drawn a curtain across his mind.
Shaking his head, Henry got up and looked at the clock. It was twenty minutes past ten. Henry had arrived in the city that afternoon on a plane from New York and had turned in early to get rid of the jetlag. He went to the bathroom and as he looked at his reflection in the bathroom mirror, for the first time he noticed something unusual. A spot on his chest seemed to have turned red. Henry noticed that a small area where four parallel lines like scratch marks had appeared. Each of these lines seemed to glow a fiery red, but the glow was diminishing even as he watched. Casting his mind about he tried to think what the mark could be, and then remembered the old scar. It had been just a white patch on his chest all these years, and he had forgotten all about it. Henry remembered first asking his uncle about the scar when he was about five. His uncle had said that a cat had scratched him when he was two and the scar had remained ever since. But why would it be glowing suddenly after all these years? Henry decided that he would worry about it in the morning. He turned of the light and went to bed.
The next morning dawned bright and clear. Henry woke up feeling refreshed and rested. In fact, he had almost forgotten about last nights incident had it not been for the scar still glowing away on his chest. He gave it a close examination in the bathroom mirror. It was glowing more dimly than before but the mark was still quite distinct. It looked exactly like a scratch mark and that agreed with the cat scratch story his uncle had told him. But whoever had heard of such a big cat? The marks were about an inch apart and that called for a claw very much larger than a cat’s. Still puzzling over the problem he made a simple breakfast and taking up the newspaper turned on the T.V. It was then that he received the shock. The reporter was interviewing a policeman. Below on a large banner was the line “Gruesome Death in Grove Alley” And in smaller type “Mysterious Marks on Broken Neck”. At the same time his eyes fell on the newspaper and the headlines screamed at him – “Bloody Body Found In Alley”. He listened to the reporter’s excited talk as he skimmed through the newspaper. The bloody dead-body of a middle-aged man had been found late last night in Grove Alley – a small bylane. Death seemed to have been caused by breaking of the neck. But most mysterious were the curious marks to be found on the back of the neck. But Henry received the real jolt when he saw a photo of the dead man. It was the exact same man he had seen in his dream. The clothes, the face, everything matched up. In fact, from what little he could see on T.V over the reporter’s shoulder he could even recognise the place. It was the same alley he had seen in his dream. Slowly the realisation sank into his numbed, shocked brain. He had seen the murder in his dream.