The Dead

The Reaper, by Gustave Doré.

Life Energy Fundamentals

This distinction between the body on one hand, and the incorporeal mind and life force on the other, were surely instrumental in leading primeval man toward a view of two opposing worlds: the corporeal and the incorporeal.

       There was one more ingredient in worldly existence pointing Homo rudis to such a division: the dead. People known and loved suddenly ceased to move, and there was no way to communicate with them anymore. Their flesh turned to dust, and nobody knew where their minds went. Still, the deceased ones remained in the memories and dreams of the survivors.

       So, the dead seemed to move to another kind of world - an imaginary one, we would say, but Homo rudis had no reason to claim one world as more real than the other. To him, all that he experienced was real, in one way or other. The dead really remained, although only in memories and dreams. But there they were, and needed to be explained.

       What survived death must be something of the mind, since the body obviously remained on the ground, deteriorating. The personality did not disappear, either from the memories or the dreams of those mourning the deceased. In their dreams, the dead seemed to move on, doing new things, keeping their relations to the survivors.

       So Homo rudis concluded that the mind was somehow immortal. The ancestors lived on, in a non-material way. They were revered, sometimes also feared. In many cultures they were worshiped. Several theories in anthropology and the history of religion claim that this ancestor worship was the origin of religions and the belief in deities. The ancestral spirits - i.e. the memories of the deceased ones - became gods.


  1. Introduction

  2. Homo rudis

  3. Prime mover

  4. Air

  5. Bodily fluids

  6. Survival

  7. The dead

  8. Spirits

  9. Hell

  10. Change

  11. Agricultural order

  12. A demanding spirit

  13. Magic

  14. The Scientific Revolution

  15. Mechanical man

  16. Subversive spirits

  17. Alien forces

  18. Future speculations

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