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Religion & Life Cycle
Different religious visions, different life cycles: The religious experience according to Rosenstock-Huessey and the Medicine Rite
Religion has always been the binding force that enabled humanity to create meaning in their lives and maintain unity among them. As a way of expressing spiritual reality, religion is instrumental in providing humanity a way of converting into concrete form (i.e., rituals and religious symbols) the different emotions associated to one's belief in a religion. Perhaps one of the most important functions that religion has for humanity is that it is able to depict humanity as the most important creature that the Supreme Being (or God) had created in the universe. That in our attempt to give meaning and purpose in life, we humans subsist to religion in order to validate that we, indeed, matter the most to God above anything else. This spiritual reality, despite its selfish nature, is supported by the fact that humans emerged as the most intelligent living organisms that were created on earth; thus, is through religion that we are able to express this gratitude for being the most intelligent and rational beings in the world we live in.
Indeed, this was the thought expressed in the religious discourse by Rosenstock- Huessey entitled "The Plenitude of Speech" and the religious myth called "The Cosmogonic Myth of the Medicine Rite." In these religious discourses, central focus is given on the different religious visions that each work expresses concerning the issue of the human life cycle. While most religions advocate the salvation of human beings because we are worthy creations of God, these discourses that are discussed in this paper illustrated an altogether different view of humanity's relation with God. Not only is the human race depicted as an insignificant element of the universe that God has created, these religious discourses went far as to illustrate how, the continuous existence of humans through the life cycle would be impossible had not God intervened in the process. Thus, this paper posits that Rosenstock-Huessey's and Medicine Rite's religious visions highlight the life cycle and perpetuation of humankind as only possible through God, therefore, humanity's triumphs in civilization and life itself should be attributed to God alone.
Both "The plenitude of speech" and "Cosmogonic myth of the medicine rite" work together to support the thesis explicated in the previous paragraph. The "Medicine rite" illustrated the insignificance of the human race as God had surprisingly and accidentally created the earth and its living elements. "Plenitude," meanwhile, demonstrated the insignificance of humanity's triumphs when compared against the creation of God (humanity itself) as embodied through the persona of Jesus Christ.
"Medicine rite" referred to its God as the "Earthmaker," the entity who created earth's living creatures, which included human beings. What made this narrative stand out from other creation religious myths is that it did not reflect the human-centric story of God's days of creating the world. In the story of Genesis in the Bible, humans were created last because they were considered the most important elements in the universe. Humans, in fact, were considered important because they were created in the 'likeness of God.' "Medicine rite" dismantled this illusion of humanity's inherent superiority over God's other creations. In it, it characterized human beings as the "very weakest of all things Earthmaker created," a statement that ultimately showed the discourse's stance that humans were not the center and just one of the elements that composed the earth as the Earthmaker accidentally made it.
Another important insight that this religious discourse brought into fore was the serendipitous creation of the earth by the Earthmaker. "Medicine rite" argued that the earth and its living elements were created only from an accident, attested by the claim from the Earthmaker that "[u]nbeknown to me, without my intention, my tears fell below, formed bodies of water ... " Eventually, however, the Earthmaker's created world "kept spinning around continuously. Never was it quiet," and this commentary in the discourse reflected how the creation of the earth was not only accidental, but the Earthmaker meant to bear no responsibility from what he had created. In fact, the earth was just the result of a "medicine rite," the result of the Earthmaker's attempt to stop the earth from spinning continuously. The inclusion of other living elements on earth, and lastly, the human…[continue]
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