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Benefits of religion: their origins


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5 - "How we are well in these arms"

## The membership of a religious community gets strong emotions and a feeling of security

Tone down: The compensation is the loss of some individual responsibility. See below.

Nature of the phenomenon
Profane versions and / or substitutes
Man, gregarious animal, feels well in the community to which he belongs. Like any relatively powerful group or community, religion offers its faithful to give up some their personal aims of life and to take those that it proposes. In return for a renunciation of oneself, of one’s free will, faithful receives protection and support from the group.

The feeling of peace that one can feel sometimes in the bosom of a sect or of a religious community, is only a kind of anaesthesia that prevents one’s ego from suffering (cf. paragraph 1, "The opium of the people").
Profane versions:
  • Political parties.
  • Associations that support or defend a cause (humanitarian, human rights, solidarity, freedom, secularity...).
  • Sports club.
  • The realisation of a project with a team.
An individual is often placed at the intersection of multiple groups or communities (for example: a catholic Scottish, hunter, football player, follower of a political party, member of a baker’s association....). If one of these takes precedence over all the others to such a point that it eclipses them, then one can speak of community drift.

Substitutes:
  • The research of happiness in a personal process. This is not incompatible with solidarity and altruism.



6 - "Hidden in the crowd"

## The feeling of happiness and of wellbeing in a pilgrimage or in a procession

Nature of the phenomenon
Profane versions and / or substitutes
Together, people feel stronger. The individual has the feeling to take part in something perfectly codified, which reassures him, and in something imposing that exceeds him and to which he, ordinary ant, identifies himself.
This phenomenon brings together that of ritual (§ 2) and that of membership at a community (§ 5).
Profane versions:
  • Military march pasts, parades or convoys.
  • Demonstrations in the street.
  • Children walking in ranks at an educational exit.
  • Athletes marching past in the Olympic Stadium for the OG opening ceremony.



7 - When the music is good

## The enthusiasm and the euphoria caused by hymns; the choruses of church that thrill one’s.

Nature of the phenomenon
Profane versions and / or substitutes
Music carries away.

Brain is sensitive to the consonances of chords. The periodic sounds are composed of harmonics, sinusoidal sounds, multiple of the same frequency called fundamental. In fact the harmonics make pleasant the sound of an instrument, if not it would be only more or less an acute whistle. A musical chord is consonant when, to schematize, the periodic sounds that make it up have some harmonics having the same frequencies. Example: the third harmonic of C (261,6 hertz) "tunes" to 784 hertz with the second harmonic of G (392 hertz).

Brain is sensitive to rhythm. This phenomenon finds its most extreme application with the military march when a drum, a brass band or a song gives rhythm. The rate of steps or of drum is close to that of heart. There is an effect of resonance, an amplification of the "enthusiasm" that induces euphoria. The roll on the drum has always been an effective mean to send soldiers into action in trance.
One also finds a similar phenomenon in nightclubs when the rhythm of music speeds up like that of the dancers’ cardiac pulsations of. This state of "trance" can lead them to dance until exhaustion.
Profane version:

It is not necessary to take part in a religious ceremony to feel an enthusiasm that make seeing everything through rose-coloured glasses. Concert of modern or classical music, according to tastes of each one, is enough. Everybody has experienced it.

To well understand this effect, one may listen to the Bolero of Ravel, masterpiece of the musical architecture and to be charmed by acting of the play instruments in which the composer carries us away.



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