Friday, December 14, 2012

Psycho-Social Expressiveness: Speculation


D. Speculation (Emergence of Religious Consciousness):
     Speculation developed out of the human propensity to reflect, dialogue, exchange ideas, share experiences and consider matters of existential importance such as meaning. The movement of the campsites into caves, and social inter-dialogue centered around fire, encouraged artistic expression, story telling, etc., lending itself to social exchange concerning the nature and meaning of life.[i] Dr. Morgan notes:
The only animal, apparently, to intentionally engage in such an enterprise, namely, speculating about life, was the human animal and, therefore, the earliest human communities necessarily and inevitably played host to the resident philosopher.[ii]

Out of this development and the cave experience emerged the philosopher or wise one of the cave community who could captivate the audience with years of experience (a posteriori) and age. Speculative thinking/dialectic conversation lent itself to verbal acuity/language development and ultimately holding the position of leadership/authority in the cave communal setting: “To control the story is to control the power.”[iii]
     The speculative quality of the human animal, the ability to reflect and ask questions of existential value/substance concerning the meaning of life, is the emergence of a religious consciousness in its most fundamental development. Theological anthropologist, Robley Edward Whitson, notes that meaning in the experience of a communal setting lends itself to the conscious awakening of the transcendental, out of which religion emerges.[iv] This emerging religious consciousness of the Cro-Magnons can be further understood by theologian Paul Tillich, who maintained that “meaning is the common characteristic and the ultimate unity of the theoretical and the practical sphere of spirit, of scientific and aesthetic, of legal and social structures…”[v]



[i]Morgan, “In the Beginning…” 18.

[ii]Ibid.

[iii]Ibid. 19.

[iv]Whitson, Robley E., The Coming Convergence in World Religions. New York: New Man Press, (1971) 8.

[v]Tillich, Paul, What Is Religion? New York: Harper Torchbooks, (1969) 22, 19.

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