Have you ever felt deceived? At times, I’ve felt deceived by people of my own faith tradition. Except deceived not a fair term to use because deception implies knowledge of the full truth that is willfully withheld. If you never understood truth to begin with, how can you willfully withhold it? God is has not chosen one religion over another. As I paraphrase Jesus, “God sends the sunshine and the rain on everyone, the good and the bad.” We are all on a journey in life. Some of it is life-giving and some is not. It is fruitless to separate ourselves from each other as we work to come to a better understanding of ourselves and this awesome world we live in.
We are all ignorant of the full truth. Therefore, to condemn others because we believe others don’t know the truth makes no sense. We’d make more progress as humanity if we were open to the knowledge and experience of every tradition. I have to say that I’ve been totally blown away in the last year by some of the wisdom and the expressions of love for the Creator arising from Hindu, Tao, and Sufi sources (Sufi is the mystic component of Islam). The mystic component of Judaism is found in the Kabbalah, but for some reason, there is less readily available – or at least, it hasn’t been laid in my path to stumble across.
I identify today as a Christian, but have great problems with trusting in theologies dictated by one group of men in the fourth century as if nothing has been learned about God for sixteen hundred years. I find it satisfying that most spiritual traditions that know of Jesus assign him a very special place in the plan of the Creator’s revelation of Self. It’s also pretty mind-blowing to see how today’s quantum physics (science) is confirming the inconceivably intelligent design of the universe in incredible ways. And these findings agree with the teachings of very ancient Hinduism and with Jesus.
Yet, we are all at different levels of understanding on the spiritual journey. For some, it’s easier to accept the information presented to them by the people who raised them. That’s okay. Many are productive, hard-working people, trying to do what is good and right. It’s okay as long as they don’t dictate how others must be like them and believe like them or suffer the disrespect that no child of the Creator should have to bear.
There’s no life-giving religion that accepts inflicting willful harm on any other person. The only life-giving religions are those that live and breathe love for the Creative Force that dwells in creation and to humanity.
Christianity has life-giving forms and it has non life-giving forms. Judaism has life-giving forms and it has non life-giving forms. Islam has life-giving forms and it has non life-giving forms. Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, etc., all have life-giving forms and non life-giving forms. How do you tell which are life-giving and which are not life-giving? It’s easy.
The life-giving forms in each religious tradition accept the goodness and wisdom and love of the Unifying Force expressed in each other. They pursue harmony in self and in the world together. The non life-giving forms deny that anyone else might know the truth. The life-giving forms easily unite with each other to assist each other in advancement on the journey. The non life-giving forms divide, separate, and isolate themselves from others. The life-giving forms recognize the worth and value of every person, of every level on the journey. The non life-giving forms think only they possess the truth.
And then there are those on the spiritual path, traversing the various levels of consciousness, who don’t ascribe to any particular religion. They don’t need specific rituals or dogmas or rules or traditions to guide them – or to mislead them. Who are we to deny God’s ability to help them move forward?
There is Something out there, or in here [pointing to myself and in yourself], that is so amazingly Intelligent that is leading all of us along the Path toward Self-Realization, that it behooves each of us to take the time to pursue it—for it will be truly life-giving.