Thank you graybeard.
Primitive peoples got less superstitious but not less religious as they discovered more scientific and physics based solutions to natural phenomenon and began to manipulate nature by engineered solutions and technologies which gave them more control over outcomes and more protection from the forces of the natural world. Unfortunately, IMO, today's primitives (modern peoples) tend to dismiss the spirit nature and the supernatural as they embrace more scientific explanations for the material universe....as though science displaces or dismisses the power and relevancy of the supernatural and the spirit forces of reality.
A most unfortunate displacement by one aspect of reality as some form of substitute for the duality of our existence. Others of course disbelieve the contributions and value of science and tightly grip the false belief that science is purely a hoax of the irreligious.
Others among us are more mindless IMO, simple materialists pursuing the escapes and blindness and ease of pleasure and distraction. Without the religious life within and growth of the soul (spiritization) and fruits of the Spirit, happiness is illusion and unattainable and life is filled with frustration and disappointment the ONLY the Spirit can soothe. The yearn and the hunger and the urge of the Spirit is relentless and it is only by our personal responses to those thirsts of the spirit that we receive Divine Assurance and those fruits!
As graybeard and so many others here proclaim: Both spirit and science coexist in complete harmony. Natural laws are created and managed by the supernatural agents of creation. Natural law is not accidental or chaotic or unreasoned or haphazard or unmanaged. The integrated perspective is a view of reality as a harmonious system of reality that responds to both the mechanical and the personal aspects of that reality.
86:4.7 (953.6) Early man entertained no ideas of hell or future punishment. The savage looked upon the future life as just like this one, minus all ill luck. Later on, a separate destiny for good ghosts and bad ghosts—heaven and hell—was conceived. But since many primitive races believed that man entered the next life just as he left this one, they did not relish the idea of becoming old and decrepit. The aged much preferred to be killed before becoming too infirm.
86:4.8 (953.7) Almost every group had a different idea regarding the destiny of the ghost soul. The Greeks believed that weak men must have weak souls; so they invented Hades as a fit place for the reception of such anemic souls; these unrobust specimens were also supposed to have shorter shadows. The early Andites thought their ghosts returned to the ancestral homelands. The Chinese and Egyptians once believed that soul and body remained together. Among the Egyptians this led to careful tomb construction and efforts at body preservation. Even modern peoples seek to arrest the decay of the dead. The Hebrews conceived that a phantom replica of the individual went down to Sheol; it could not return to the land of the living. They did make that important advance in the doctrine of the evolution of the soul.
5. The Ghost-Soul Concept
The nonmaterial part of man has been variously termed ghost, spirit, shade, phantom, specter, and latterly soul. The soul was early man’s dream double; it was in every way exactly like the mortal himself except that it was not responsive to touch. The belief in dream doubles led directly to the notion that all things animate and inanimate had souls as well as men. This concept tended long to perpetuate the nature-spirit beliefs; the Eskimos still conceive that everything in nature has a spirit.
86:5.2 (954.1) The ghost soul could be heard and seen, but not touched. Gradually the dream life of the race so developed and expanded the activities of this evolving spirit world that death was finally regarded as “giving up the ghost.” All primitive tribes, except those little above animals, have developed some concept of the soul. As civilization advances, this superstitious concept of the soul is destroyed, and man is wholly dependent on revelation and personal religious experience for his new idea of the soul as the joint creation of the God-knowing mortal mind and its indwelling divine spirit, the Thought Adjuster.
86:5.3 (954.2) Early mortals usually failed to differentiate the concepts of an indwelling spirit and a soul of evolutionary nature. The savage was much confused as to whether the ghost soul was native to the body or was an external agency in possession of the body. The absence of reasoned thought in the presence of perplexity explains the gross inconsistencies of the savage view of souls, ghosts, and spirits.Related text:
111:0.2 (1215.2) The concept of a soul and of an indwelling spirit is not new to Urantia; it has frequently appeared in the various systems of planetary beliefs. Many of the Oriental as well as some of the Occidental faiths have perceived that man is divine in heritage as well as human in inheritance. The feeling of the inner presence in addition to the external omnipresence of Deity has long formed a part of many Urantian religions. Men have long believed that there is something growing within the human nature, something vital that is destined to endure beyond the short span of temporal life.
111:0.3 (1215.3) Before man realized that his evolving soul was fathered by a divine spirit, it was thought to reside in different physical organs—the eye, liver, kidney, heart, and later, the brain. The savage associated the soul with blood, breath, shadows and with reflections of the self in water.
111:0.4 (1215.4) In the conception of the atman the Hindu teachers really approximated an appreciation of the nature and presence of the Adjuster, but they failed to distinguish the copresence of the evolving and potentially immortal soul. The Chinese, however, recognized two aspects of a human being, the yang and the yin, the soul and the spirit.
The Egyptians and many African tribes also believed in two factors, the ka and the ba;
the soul was not usually believed to be pre-existent, only the spirit.
111:0.5 (1215.5) The inhabitants of the Nile valley believed that each favored individual had bestowed upon him at birth, or soon thereafter, a protecting spirit which they called the ka. They taught that this guardian spirit remained with the mortal subject throughout life and passed before him into the future estate. On the walls of a temple at Luxor, where is depicted the birth of Amenhotep III, the little prince is pictured on the arm of the Nile god, and near him is another child, in appearance identical with the prince, which is a symbol of that entity which the Egyptians called the ka. This sculpture was completed in the fifteenth century before Christ.
111:0.6 (1215.6) The ka was thought to be a superior spirit genius which desired to guide the associated mortal soul into the better paths of temporal living but more especially to influence the fortunes of the human subject in the hereafter. When an Egyptian of this period died, it was expected that his ka would be waiting for him on the other side of the Great River. At first, only kings were supposed to have kas, but presently all righteous men were believed to possess them. One Egyptian ruler, speaking of the ka within his heart, said: “I did not disregard its speech; I feared to transgress its guidance. I prospered thereby greatly; I was thus successful by reason of that which it caused me to do; I was distinguished by its guidance.” Many believed that the ka was “an oracle from God in everybody.” Many believed that they were to “spend eternity in gladness of heart in the favor of the God that is in you.”
111:0.7 (1216.1) Every race of evolving Urantia mortals has a word equivalent to the concept of soul.
Many primitive peoples believed the soul looked out upon the world through human eyes; therefore did they so cravenly fear the malevolence of the evil eye. They have long believed that “the spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord.” The Rig-Veda says: “My mind speaks to my heart.”