What was interesting about the primal religions is its uniqueness from the other religions that we have studied thus far in the year. When we looked at both Eastern and Western religions, we were able to easily compare and contrast the religions found within such groups. To go through and outline how the primal religions would answer some of the fundamental questions of this world we have to be wearyr There are many differences within the different primal religions and it is very hard to generalize some of their key concepts.
In an attempt to do 50, Houston Smith, as I will do, goes through a few sections; orality, place versus space, eternal time, and the symbolic mindi Firstly, concerning orality, the primal religions are very critical of reading and writing Smith is clear in stating that, according to them, writing undercuts the importance of memory. Their memory is far superior to the other religions due to their constant need to remember, Other religions have become reliant on writing as their main form of memory.
This can be seen in something as daily as people making grocery listsi Instead of attempting to remember what they need, they rely on their writing Secondly, writing strips our eyes the opportunities to look at some of the more beautiful things in life such as an or nature. This inhibits us from seeing the true beauty in certain aspects of our lives With respect to ‘place versus space‘, there is a notable difference between the two, Space is simply the physical space that characterizes our planet Place, on the other hand, is the distinct place and purpose that anything in our universe possesses.
Smith makes the claim on behalf of the primal religions that intelligence does not come from institutions such as higher educations but instead comes from being aware and understanding the things and the places around them.
The primal religions are constantly engaging with their surroundings and this is one of the primary characteristics of their religion. The third major section that was touched upon by Houston Smith was in respect to eternal time There is a huge importance placed on the past in primal religions Houston Smith opens up the section with a brief explanation on what they classify as the ‘source’i The primal religions characterize this ‘source’ as the Gods that created our planets structures, While keeping this in mind, it is not difficult to see why the primal religions hold their elders in such high regard. They see their elders as being closer to the ‘source’ so they are therefore more divine, To finish with, this concept of eternal time is very different to what we have seen from the other religions we have studied As Smith states, these religions think of time as either being linear, or cyclical whereas the primal religions do not think of time in either of these lightsi They ‘renew’ their world each year in hopes to try and keep it in the divine state that it was when created by the ‘source’.