Human Beings on Planet Earth: Religion and Spirituality of Man

About human beings on planet Earth, the only spiritual animal, worship of Gods, history and use of religion.


Man is the only spiritual animal. From his 1st days he has worshiped gods and goddesses. Originally there was an entire pantheon of nature deities--Gaea ("Mother Earth"), Poseidon/Neptune ("Father Sea"), and a strange zoo of animal omnipotences. The great animal paintings by the cave dwellers at Altamira in Spain, at Lascaux in France, and at Tassili des Adjjer in North Africa, were, as Andre Varagnac hailed them, "the work of some of the most gifted painters, engravers, and sculptors who ever existed." They were recorded perhaps to improve hunting, but surely they were also used for worship. We may never know this for certain. But in thousands of temples, cathedrals, and sanctuaries man has impressed his finest handiwork on stone, in paintings, and in the very design of the structures themselves.

Differences in religion have been the cause of much warfare, along with underlying and associated economic factors. Man is the only animal that consistently engages in organized warfare to kill his own kind. Modern weapons and atomic missiles make this most dangerous game a likely means of ending all life on earth.

There has been a vast increase in evangelical fervor during the 1970s, particularly to promote the concept of an "eternal" afterlife for those who have followed the precepts of a particular religion. Meantime, the exact location of a heaven somewhere within the visible universe--where all the departed souls have gone to live--makes for enchanting cosmography on the part of inventive religious interpreters. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, for example, suggested that around us is a noosphere which clings to our own earth like the fuzz on a peach.

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