The role of fear in evolutionary progress of humanity is a very lengthy and interesting story. It is actually the very beginning of personal religious experience. Prior to the ability of reason and science to explain reality and experience, fear invents solutions or causes for all effects we experience. That includes the good things that happen and the bad things that happen. Since so much that happens to us appears to have no observable or understandable cause, then we invent such causes, including causes for such natural realities of sunrise and sunset, rain, the seasons, accidents, good luck/fortune and bad, feast, and famine, victory and defeat, etc.
Such fears of misfortune and hope of good fortune led to the earliest concept of spirits, ghosts, and the unseen hand of intelligent and deliberate forces in the world....the very beginning of the God concept in the most primitive of minds. Our dual nature and our own awareness of that dual nature has been with us as a defining and fundamental element of humanity from the very first humans - Andon and Fonta. Our awareness of this reality is the line of definition of our humanity. We are not humans, as a species, until such awareness!
However, the grip that fear has upon us and to the extent that fear determines our priorities and choices and perspective of reality, to such a degree do we remain primitive and ignorant and unenlightened. Paper 86 and 87 are a good introduction to the very real contributions of fear to our evolutionary progress as people through the earlier Mortal Epochs. We are told many of us are still very primitive today and are still motivated by unrealistic and self invented fears.
But faith and religious experience delivered by fear are still today superior to no faith or religious experience...so even now, that which drives people to a search for answers and a belief in gods, creators, controllers, rulers, and the causes of all material effects is relatively and ultimately good.
We are told we are not to judge primitive religions or the relgious experience of primitive people by our own more informed and more enlightened perspective. All religious experience is functionally progressive no matter how ill conceived or distant from reality in fact. Isn't it odd how truth can be approached and acquired no matter how false its origin or the perspective of its experience.
While we are not to judge primitive religions or people, we are taught the meaning and value of discerning the differences in evolutionary religious experience and that of revelatory religious experience. Personal revelation by the Thought Adjuster/God Fragment and epochal revelations delivering fact and truth of universe realities offer us the means of progress both personally and socially as a world.
5:4.1 (66.5) The morality of the religions of evolution drives men forward in the God quest by the motive power of fear. The religions of revelation allure men to seek for a God of love because they crave to become like him. But religion is not merely a passive feeling of “absolute dependence” and “surety of survival”; it is a living and dynamic experience of divinity attainment predicated on humanity service.
86:1.4 (950.6) Early man lived in uncertainty and in constant fear of chance—bad luck. Life was an exciting game of chance; existence was a gamble. It is no wonder that partially civilized people still believe in chance and evince lingering predispositions to gambling. Primitive man alternated between two potent interests: the passion of getting something for nothing and the fear of getting nothing for something. And this gamble of existence was the main interest and the supreme fascination of the early savage mind.
86:6.2 (955.7) Very early in the history of mankind the realities of the imaginary world of ghosts and spirits became universally believed
, and this newly imagined spirit world became a power in primitive society. The mental and moral life of all mankind was modified for all time by the appearance of this new factor in human thinking and acting.
Into this major premise of illusion and ignorance, mortal fear has packed all of the subsequent superstition and religion of primitive peoples. This was man’s only religion up to the times of revelation, and today many of the world’s races have only this crude religion of evolution.
86:6.6 (956.2) But at last the mind of primitive man was occupied with thoughts which transcended all of his inherent biologic urges; at last man was about to evolve an art of living based on something more than response to material stimuli.
The beginnings of a primitive philosophic life policy were emerging. A supernatural standard of living was about to appear, for, if the spirit ghost in anger visits ill luck and in pleasure good fortune, then must human conduct be regulated accordingly. The concept of right and wrong had at last evolved; and all of this long before the times of any revelation on earth.
86:6.7 (956.3) With the emergence of these concepts, there was initiated the long and wasteful struggle to appease the ever-displeased spirits, the slavish bondage to evolutionary religious fear, that long waste of human effort upon tombs, temples, sacrifices, and priesthoods. It was a terrible and frightful price to pay, but it was worth all it cost, for man therein achieved a natural consciousness of relative right and wrong; human ethics was born!
86:7.3 (956.6) But these ancient ideas of religion prevented men from becoming fatalistic and hopelessly pessimistic;
they believed they could at least do something to influence fate. The religion of ghost fear impressed upon men that they must regulate their conduct
, that there was a supermaterial world which was in control of human destiny.
86:7.5 (957.1) Industry, war, slavery, and civil government arose in response to the social evolution of man in his natural environment; religion similarly arose as his response to the illusory environment of the imaginary ghost world. Religion was an evolutionary development of self-maintenance, and it has worked, notwithstanding that it was originally erroneous in concept and utterly illogical.
86:7.6 (957.2) Primitive religion prepared the soil of the human mind, by the powerful and awesome force of false fear, for the bestowal of a bona fide spiritual force of supernatural origin, the Thought Adjuster. And the divine Adjusters have ever since labored to transmute God-fear into God-love. Evolution may be slow, but it is unerringly effective.