The Religion that is not a Religion...

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Travisimo, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. Travisimo

    Travisimo New Member

    I have this basic thesis in my head of one of my cultures being built around the concept of there being an accepted deity, but one who did two things only:

    • Built the world.
    • Gave life to people's sleep in the form of dreams.

    ... and resigned to simply watching.

    However, in the world, it has been an uncountable amount of time since this occurred. In that time, systems of faith developed anyway based on dreams and that one deity, including the intentions of the deity overall in giving dreams, the purpose of dreams, and of course, death. The only influence on even the basest principles of civilization of Earth, such as general morals, come from other neighboring cultures. What I hoped to explore by using this system of religion/pseudo-religion is the concept of a civilization built entirely on human wills and wants and needs (going on a very vague guideline of dreams being important enough for the deity to have included).

    Any advice on how this culture would develop based on that? Brainstorm all you like on what you think :)
  2. Ravana

    Ravana Istari

    Uhm… at the risk of sounding as if I were being sarcastic: were you talking about writing fantasy? I think you should be able to find abundant examples of how a culture might develop based upon what you've given—thousands of them, in fact. That most of them came up with things which don't even remotely resemble your initial conditions doesn't mean those weren't exactly the conditions under which they arose.…

    To take a different approach—and assuming you're willing to subject yourself to the reading load—look into the works of C. G. Jung. That strikes me as the direction you're aiming at.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  3. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

    Question: why do morals have to come from neighbouring cultures? I'm cautious about straying into religious debate here, but morality is not god-given. It developed in every culture that ever existed, including those which never had any contact with the Judeo-Christian religions. Morality develops over time within a society according to what best serves the people of that society. For example, you get some nomadic tribes who believe it is moral to kill people from other tribe on sight, an approch which will have developed due to there being limited resources, and as such the one tribe will better survive if there are not other tribes on the same land trying to get what food there is too.

    Concepts of morality change to fit societal needs. For example, before contraception is was considered very immoral for a woman to have sex before marriage, because it was a patriarchal society and without a husband or a job, she could not look after a child very well, or she would have to depend on family who may not, themselves, be able to afford it. Now, because of contraception, sex before marriage is only thought of badly among the very religious or conservative, because they don't understand the reasons behind it being shunned in the first place and why those reasons are now irrelevant.

    As for what you're looking for, I don't think we can give you the answers. You'll just have to research real civilisations and societies and see what inspires you. That's mostly what worldbuilding is about, really.
  4. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Valar Lord

    I am aware of a number of real world tribal cultures where 'Dreamers' were accounted high or mystical status.

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