CHAPTER : I - THE NECESSITY OF RELIGION-4.
These two views, though they seem to be contradictory, can be reconciled on a third basis, which, to my mind, is the real germ of religion, and that I propose to call the struggle to transcend the limitations of the senses.
Either, man goes to seek for the spirits of his ancestors, the spirits of the dead, that is, he wants to get a glimpse of what there is after the body is dissolved, or, he desires to understand the power working behind the stupendous phenomena of nature.
Whichever of these is the case, one thing is certain, that he tries to transcend the limitations of the senses.
He cannot remain satisfied with his senses; he wants to go beyond them.
The explanation need not be mysterious.
To me it seems very natural that the first glimpse of religion should come through dreams.
The first idea of immortality man may well get through dreams. Is that not a most wonderful state?
And we know that children and untutored minds find very little difference between dreaming and their awakened state.
What can be more natural than that they find, as natural logic, that even during the sleep state when the body is apparently dead, the mind goes on with all its intricate workings?
What wonder that men will at once come to the conclusion that when this body is dissolved for ever, the same working will go on?
This, to my mind, would be. a more natural explanation of the supernatural, and through this dream idea the human mind rises to higher and higher conceptions.
Of course, in time, the vast majority of mankind found out that these dreams are not verified by their waking states, and that during the dream state it is not that man has a fresh existence, but simply that he recapitulates the experiences of the awakened state.
To be continued ...