When you or I have a question about something or other, we frequently run to our computer and send our curiosity over to one of the search engines, such as Google. We want answers. Sometimes we actually get answers.
Think about how possibly identical to one another "religions" might have become had the ancients been blessed with some sort of a Google search engine kind of thing.
How many religions are there?
How many different "religions" are there? Why so many? Does each separate religion have a belief setup that is true and correct, but different from all of those other religions? Well, there surely are a bunch of different religions, too many of them to ever list on just one or on several pages. Most of their adherents will assert that "their" religion was dictated to them by "the maker." Now, that is rather interesting. If that is how each religion began, then "the" maker was a teller who constantly lost track of his own story, for each of the religion founders had obviously been told something different from that which was told to all of the other founders.
How many commandments?
How many "commandments" are there really on those "10 commandment" tablets, and were they truly hauled down a mountain after being carved onto heavy stone facings without the use of carving tools? Did one of those edicts actually warn people against wanting to grab the neighbor's ass? How did a burning bush do that text composing and carving? Or did it?
Did the ancients do drugs?
Did the ancients do drugs and marijuana? Did they abstain while writing out their religions? Their religious ideas had to have come from somewhere other than only from dreams in the night. Maybe people whispered tales to them and the religious scribes wrote the stories down onto cave walls or papers of papyrus.
Why do they dress differently?
Hats and coats. Therein lies controversy of custom and habit. Why do some religions go for particular wearables? Little round hats for men, flowing robes for preachers, face masks for females over the age of puberty, and bones through the noses for others? If a person does not dress out using the dictates of their own religion, will they be doomed to fry in a sinners' fire pit?
Eats. Fish on Fridays. No pork ever. Alcohol is out except during a religious ceremony. This and that on separate plates. Sometimes it is "eat with your fingers" and other times, not. Religion and public health are often combined. It is of some interest that the leaders of some religions are called "medicine men." That side of things can become fairly complicated, one religion to the next.
Harken to the singing and screaming
What is an angel? Why are some big money financial investors called "angels?" What is a devil? Is there more than one of them? Someone said that the devil is a "fallen angel." Why didn't some other angel pick that devil back up again? Do angels really have wings? How do devils survive the heat and pain of hell? What is a "bat out of hell - one of the fallen angels reincarnated as a flying rat?
Is your grandpa now that bullfrog?
Is reincarnation, per se, possible. If not, is it symbolic only or is it somehow "real" in some other way? Is it bologna? Over by the Himalayan Mountains, best you do not molest a migrated stork, for the ancestors of the people over there are said to be "in the storks." Perhaps that is just another way of saying that matter is neither created nor destroyed. Maybe that goes for "spirits" and "souls," too.
Grandpa being returned to us as a bullfrog would present much the same kinds of problems as to size and shape, but the croaky voice might seem to be in there in a more sensible manner. It is said that some sects wear masks over their noses to avoid harming an ancestor who has been reincarnated in the form of a flying bug. That might work for me, depending upon the bug population in which that procedure might be applied.
Should we look it up in our Grimm's?
Don't you just wish that the ancients had recourse to a "Google" sort of thing. Then, today, I could go to some textbook and get the straight of how things really were and are in the maker business. Yes. I understand that each religion has its own textbook.
The problem is that each book says things unlike what is said in the other books. Today's computer search engines plus Internet content can almost immediately show that to be so. It would have helped to have had search engines back then when religions were first put into the cookpots in preparation for feeding them to humanity.
What seems to work for me will work for you, too
Oh well, I suppose that I will never get the straight of this stuff.
Even so, I will admit that I had a most pleasant experience with one of the established religions one time, some years back. The first magazine article for which I was paid (real money !) was for a piece I sent off to one of the religious magazines. They paid for that article with a nice big check. After that, whenever I looked in on one of that religion's worship services, they passed a brass collection plate to me such that I might return their money to them.
When things like that happen I remind myself of the many of the good things that religious sects try to accomplish, and which often enough they actually succeed in pulling off. Some, on the other hand, seem to get into doing evil things - bad, hurtful things that no one should do as individuals or as religious conglomerates.
Now I am doing it, too
I look to my own experiences with things akin to religion - no drugs, alcohol, hypnotism, and things like that to influence me. One day, I looked out the window. Green grass. Lots and lots of green grass. All that grass out there. No man could have made even a single blade of that grass. Someone or something had to have come up with all of the grass seed. Only earlier grass could have managed that piece of work. But from where did that earlier grass come which made the grass seed that made my through-the-window green grass? Grass does not come from a book nor from the mouth of a preacher carrying on in a pulpit. There are rain clouds, but I had never come across a grass seed cloud. There were no voices whispering in my ears, and nothing close by with which to "Google" for answers or for suggestions. No priests with little round hats nor learned PhD's in professor clothing to explain to me what I was seeing.
All of that grass that came from somewhere didn't need any of that stuff. That was when I figured that I had been looking through the window at my very own "Blade of Grass Church."
Maybe that is where they all came from, all those many different religions - simple people looking through windows and marveling at what they saw beyond. There surely is a lot of grass in the world, plenty of stone for carving, mountains for descending, jackasses for not grabbing, food for eating and for avoiding, clothing to be worn, bullfrogs that croak in the night (with or without Grandpas), and storks that migrate back and forth, full of ancestors, to and from the mountain valleys every year.
All that a person needs to conjure up their own religion is a window through which to look.
Some benefits from there having been no "God's Google"
My conclusion is that ours would be a very dull world were there but one or two religions. If you want to start people feuding, yelling, cussing, laughing, crying, and getting their undies all wadded up, even to setting off with their own killing wars, you need only carry on about religion as you understand it rather than as others want you to undergo it. Or, if you are not the worrying type, establish your own religion and tell others what you did. Why not? Seems to me that's what many, many people did before you showed up looking for the manger or its counterpart. Then, sort of sit back and observe the ruckus you will have started.
Works every time.