text size

Top comments

{{ annotation.praises_count }} Likes
{{ annotation.creator_alias }}
{{ annotation.creator_score }}

There are no comments yet. Be the first to start comment or request an explanation.

I have and still am studying many religions and I feel that there is truth in all religions. There have been and are many people on this planet who have found the right path - for them, at least. There are many paths to the Divine, mine is but one. Picture, if you will, a huge field. At the center is the biggest tree you can imagine. There are perhaps a million or more ways to get to that tree. It all depends on where you are currently standing. There is no one right way to get to the center. Will not any path to the center of the field get you to the tree? No matter what side of the field you are on, your path is to the center. The tree is the Tree of Life. It is the source of all knowledge. I feel that all religions stem from the same source. Just what the source is, I am not sure. Call it whatever you wish. We are all also a part of that source. We are one. One human family, one world, one universe. As the Dalai Lama says it: > "All human beings come from a mother's womb. We are all the same part of one human family. We should have a clear realization of the oneness of all humanity." > "All religions are essentially the same in their goal of developing a good human heart so that we may become better human beings." I have a deep respect for the Dalai Lama. He has his path to the Divine and also has a respect for all religions. If only we as the human family could also find that respect for each other. In finding that, we would also find a great respect for ourselves. Why do we seem to like to define ourselves with labels? Labels are mere words. If we want others to know what we are, why not show them? Show them through action. Actions still speak louder than words. I do not care if you are a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Christian, a Hindu, a Jew, a follower of the many Pagan paths; or any of the countless other faiths, traditions, paths, or religions that are spread throughout this World. We are all one. This is exemplified by the beliefs so many hold about Jesus. During the years of the historical Jesus' life, there are eight or nine years that his whereabouts are not accounted for. These are referred to as the 'lost' years. It was after returning that he truly began to teach his wisdom. Many scholars believe he was in India studying Buddhism during these 'lost' years. Who was Jesus? The Indians say He was a great yogi, the occultists and Theosophists say He was a great initiate of the arcane science, while Spiritualists regard Him as a great medium or a very high guide. I know who many say he was. Why can they not all be right? I do feel that if he was a real person, Jesus was a great man. His teachings are full of truth. It is some of the people that think they are following his teachings, that I sometimes have problems with. These people are not truly representative of the entire Christian path though. Just as there is good in everyone, there is also a tendency to - well, not so good. Jesus taught love, not hatred. Jesus taught tolerance, he treated all as equals. What I do with people is show them what I am. Let them see for themselves. Try to get them to learn for themselves. Let them know what I really am and what I really do. Show them that I am not what they have been told. Show them first hand. Let them see and learn instead of stating that which they have been told. With most of them, I have read The Bible more than they have. I also tell them to go read the rest of the Bible. Read it as a book. You can not take random quotes from a book and put them together and still have the same meaning that was originally intended. Some people tend to quote you this verse and that verse. They often do not know what the rest of the passage is about even. Read it as a whole as it was intended. As for The Bible, it is a good book. It was written by man, though, not God/dess. Many portions of it were written centuries after Jesus moved on. The Old Testament is not the only 'old' Christian book. How about The Dead Sea Scrolls? Have you read The Apocrypha? Maybe I should ask this first, have you ever heard of The Apocrypha? The Apocrypha where included in the Bible for some time, they were even a part of the original King James Version. How about the texts of the Nag Hammadi Library, have you ever seen them? They make for some interesting reading. The Gnostic Society Library shows these texts in a historical light. I recommend you read through them, if you want to see some writings from the early Christians. I feel Jesus was the son of God, just as we all are the sons and daughters of God. You ever notice how little Jesus actually talked about sin? He did say a lot about love. He lived his life as an example of what others could be and to show he was like us. I want to show you something I have come across myself while studying. This was put together to show the similarities of the many religions of the world. You might take a special notice as to where the wording of 'The Golden Rule' actually comes from. All religions have such 'rules'. The religions are in Bold print, followed by the quote and then the source text. An Ancient Precept Baha'i > 'Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself.' BAHA'ULLAH, Tablets of Baha'ullah, 71 Buddhism > 'Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.' UDANA-VARGA, 5:18 Christianity > 'All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.' JESUS, Matthew 7:12 Confucianism > 'Do unto other what you would have them do unto you.' Analects 15:23 Hinduism > 'This is the sum of duty: do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.' Mahabharata 5:1517 Islam > 'No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.' SUNNAH Jainism > 'In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self.' LORD MAHAVIRA, 24th Tirthankara Judaism > 'What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowman. That is the law: all the rest is commentary.' Talmud, Shabbat 31a Native American > 'Respect for all life is the foundation.' The Great Law of Peace Sikhism > 'Don't create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone.' Guru Arjan Devji 259, Guru Granth Sahib Zoroastrianism > 'That nature only is good when it shall not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self.' Dadistan-i-Dinik, 94:5 And of course my favorite: > 'An it harm none do what ye will.' I feel there are truths in all religions. I feel that all comes from the same source. Call that source what ever you wish. There are many paths to the Divine, mine is but one. I want to give you a few more quotes here from different paths. > "Do not say, 'I follow the one true path of the Spirit,' but rather, 'I have found the Spirit walking on my path.' For the Spirit walks on all paths." \- Khalil Gibran > "At the top of the mountain you find it very cool. There will be none of the dissimilarity that you can see at the bottom of the path. The fundamental principles of all religions are one." \- Words of Yogiswami > "Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in Holy Scriptures. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of Teachers, elders or wise men. Believe only after careful observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it and live up to it." \- The Buddha on Belief - from the Kalama Sutta I do feel that a Christ type figure was a great spiritual teacher. So was Buddha, So was Krishna, So was Mohammed. So was the great Egyptian sage, Hermes Trismegistus. As was Plato, Socrates, Pythagorus and many others before them. The story of a God born into the flesh was told many times in many parts of the world long before Christ was supposed to have existed. Many of the initiates in the various Pagan Mysteries were wandering teachers and healers. They all performed the various miracles later also attributed to Christ. Life cannot be explained with a single formula. If it could be, we have no free will. If we have no free will, why are we even here trying to learn? No free will would mean life is predestined. Now I can imagine many, many formulas reacting to each other in a random fashion. Sure, things are influenced to some degree by what is around them. There is an order to the universe. The universe is constantly changing though. The formulas have to keep changing with it or be left behind. It is nice to see some 'maps', if you will, have been left behind. Where are we going that we need a map? I can only speak for myself, but I am on a journey. A journey of the spirit/soul/divine - call it what you will. If the map is internal, or of your spirit, it could come in handy. The beauty of freedom is that we are all entitled to our opinions as much everybody else. That is what all beliefs are though, opinions. We have no clue what the truth is. Beliefs are things we humans create to help us make sense of the things we do not understand. There is a difference between beliefs and facts. If something is a fact, it cannot be a belief. If it has been proven to be a fact it can no longer be a supposition or theory or belief. I do not know if what I feel is fact or belief. I know that I feel it and it feels great to me. I feel lots of things. My 'church' is the world. The best chapel I can imagine is forest clearing or a mountaintop, with nature all around. How does everyone feel? Do we all feel? Do some just go off what they have been told and have yet to explore for themselves? There are those who think they are outside of the universal laws. What I say about them, is Karma will catch up with them. It will catch them in this life or the ones that follow. They must learn or it will cause them harm. They will likely not only harm themselves, they may indirectly cause a ripple effect on those around them. All things begin with thought. Thoughts can manifest themselves into reality. That applies to both positive and negative thoughts. With that in mind, be careful what you spend your time thinking about. When you think about something you are devoting energy to it. To perhaps oversimplify things: If you want to help, think positive thoughts. If you spend time and energy worrying about what might happen, you are only helping it to become closer to reality. We may not be able to control much in the world, but we can control our thoughts. Control your thoughts and control yourself. Why do we humans think we know anything, much less religion? We live on a speck of dust in the middle of nowhere in this universe. We practically border on insignificance on a universal scale. How dare we think we know what God thinks or even what God is, for that matter? We are specks of dust, living on a speck of dust, in this awesome Creation and we THINK we know God. We have no clue what the truth is, we never have and so we begin to form beliefs. There is a difference between a belief and a fact. If something is a fact, it is not a belief. Beliefs are things we as humans create to make sense of the things we do not understand. We fear what we do not understand. In the days of early humans, fear served a primary purpose. Fear kept us alive. Fear to not play with the tigers. Fear not to take food from a lion's mouth. That type of fear kept people from dying. Perhaps, we should not say fear but rather having a healthy respect for those things kept people from dying. At that time the 'rule' was pretty simple, If you do not know it, fear it. We learned to fear what we do not know from an early point in human history. We have since outdone that though even. We learned to fear that which we not understand. In some cases we went one step further, we learned to fear anything that is not familiar. There are some cases where fear can still be helpful, but in most cases, fear is our own worst enemy. Fear keeps us locked away in our own little box. This fear we have of everything must be overcome for our spiritual growth. This fear keeps us locked away from our own true nature. Many people have a fear of death. Why is that? Death is not the end. Death is another part of the cycle of life. Death is a release from this physical body. It is a release that allows the spirit to be free of the physical world. Just because many people fear death, does not make it natural. We must respect and honor our emotions and feelings of loss, but there must be a limit. How do we overcome these fears of the unknown? Learn to understand them. Face your fears, overcome them. Learn about the things you fear. Once things are more familiar to us, it is easier to overcome any fears we have associated with them. If anything I have said rings true in your heart, then take it and make it your own. Make it a part of your thoughts. If nothing I said rings true to your heart, then disregard it. The things I have said are neither positive nor negative they are neutral. It is our own interpretation that assigns the positive or negative to thoughts and actions. > "Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in Holy Scriptures. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of Teachers, elders or wise men. Believe only after careful observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it and live up to it." The Buddha on Belief - from the Kalama Sutta Many of us are from families where we were taught one of the more prominent western religions. Unfortunately, the driving force that guides us is often extinguished by organized religion. That force is to ask questions and to THINK for ourselves. We are taught This is the way, do not question it, just believe. Where is the Wisdom in that? We must THINK for ourselves. There is no new knowledge. The things we may learn a hundred years from now are not truly new. They may be new to us, but the knowledge was always there. All the knowledge we have gained is but the diluted Knowledge of the God/dess. I thank you for letting me share my views. Sharing is how we learn from others. Through sharing comes understanding. From understanding comes trust. From trust comes friendship. From friendship comes hope and admiration. From all of these great things there comes peace. In the end all is the same. There is only Love and the source of that Love - God/dess. Remember, Love is the Law. Love knows no religion. Love knows no country border or nationality. Love is Love. Bill Schell

read all comments

1 Sara Di Diego = "You can read The Apocrypha on Deily now!"
2 Sara Di Diego = "Learn more about Baha'i on Deily here!"
3 Sara Di Diego = "Hermes Trismegistus wrote the Hermetic Corpus, which is the sacred book of Hermeticism.Work Cited: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermes_Trismegistus"