`` Homo Religiosus `` By Karen Armstrong Essay

`` Homo Religiosus `` By Karen Armstrong Essay

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More than forty-five thousand years ago, there have existed two types of bipedal humans, the Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, but only one has survived. The survivors were the humans who we are comprised out of and still breathing and living today the Homo sapiens. Some scientist say that the lack of imagination was the key factor to the Neanderthals demise, while the Homo sapiens with a broader imagination lived on. In Karen Armstrong’s essay “Homo religiosus” she describes her time in the caverns of Lascaux, while she explains the painting on the walls as part of the ancient civilization’s rituals. The painting tells us a story of their daily lives and the myths in which they believe in, that keeps them in a peace of mind. As there were many unexplainable and unknown phenomena going on during the premodern age, many feared the unknown as they could not understand why a certain thing was happening and so through the use of imagination, myths were used as a tool of storytelling where it tries to explain these unknown phenomena. Fear has prevailed and halted the ancient civilization from achieving true enlightenment, but as time passes and the dangers cease to exist while new modern myths called science continues to explain the unknowns. People have now had the chance to delve deeper into themselves by achieving mental tranquility and achieving the impossible.

During the premodern age, no one knew if they were going to see tomorrow as there was no sense of security because every day was dangerous. This type of danger impedes the mind to a state of restlessness, where the only thoughts were of surviving. To survive, the only method was to listen to the shamans and follow their orders of living life. This restricts the potential of an...

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...ty to the progression of another race.
Through the act of myths and rituals, religion came to be developed during the premodern era. As the world became a more peaceful place through time and there are no more imminent danger, humans have started to think deeply of their own existence and the world in which they live in. As rational creature we seek the understanding of the world around us and to also understand our own lives. Religion was the answer to the problem as it tried to explain the world like how myths did, but it also tried to explain our existence. As Armstrong puts it “Like art, religion is an attempt to construct meaning in the face of the relentless pain and injustice of life. As meaning seeking creatures, men and women fall very easily into despair. They have created religions and works of art to help them find value in their lives” (Armstrong 5).

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