From the very beginning, human beings have been experiencing paranormal interactions with the spirits of their dead relatives.
As I have stressed earlier and as I will continue to stress throughout the remainder of this book, the paranormal is such a ubiquitous property of the universe, that it has become embedded in the psyche of mankind. It is not too difficult to see how human paranormal interactions would naturally be integrated with the more secular rules that family and tribal members had to obey to keep order within their own group.
This was the ancient origin of primitive religion. Ancient ancestors became gods. The gods accumulated mythologies in addition to their rituals. The mythologies were used by tribal leaders to reinforce social rules and eventually became religious dogmas. Finally this combination of tribal politics with the spiritual beliefs pertaining to the afterlife became the defining characteristic of the tribe and ultimately, the dominant reason that tribal members followed tribal rules. It may not have been as much fun to live in a tribe ruled by a bunch of “Thou shalt nots”, however they sure made life safer. People adhered to these tribal codes of behavior because doing so ensured a smooth transition into heaven when you died.
Spiritual insights have been the glue that has bound humans together since the beginning. Clans of prehistoric people who shared their spiritual visions created myths around them, and these served to maintain order as the clan grew into tribes, and the tribes grew into nations. These spiritual myths implied that there were rules for living a good life compatible with the other members of the clan, and these rules eventually evolved into political laws.
If you wanted to live within the tribe, you had to follow the rules. Knowing that those rules were also enforced by the gods kept people on the straight and narrow. Even if no one was watching, you could count on the gods to keep track of your misdeeds! You had to keep in mind that there would be a metaphysical reckoning after death even if you were not discovered in your misbehavior by the members of the clan. “Honest to God”!
Today, the enormous power of religion is its ability to persuade people to be honest! No modern nation can survive unless the majority of its population is honest, and people can be counted on to uphold their end of the countless number of bargains people make every day. Unfortunately, honesty is NOT an inborn part of our naturally narcissistic human nature. It must be taught, but more importantly, it must be maintained throughout life.