If you look through all the different cultures, right from the earliest, earliest days with the animistic religions, we have sought to have some kind of explanation for our life, for our being, that is outside of our humanity. ~ Jane Goodall
Many Spiritual Traditions and Religions, One Purpose
As a Roman Catholic student long ago, I studied theology for eight years—that is, the theology of the Roman Catholic Church. We were never taught anything about other religions—or that they were as legitimate as the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, other religions were considered evil institutions, tools of Satan. And that, believe it or not, included other Christian religions!
In later years, I learned more about other religions. For example, I studied a bit about the Quran (or Koran), the holy book of Islam and the Muslims. The Quran mentions Jesus (about 25 times, as I recall) and John the Baptist.
Other religious traditions talk about Jesus or a savior-type figure similar to the Christian Bible’s depiction of Jesus. There are so many striking similarities among the world’s various religious traditions. None of them, in my opinion, are “the one true religion,” as the Roman Catholic Church used to claim for itself—and maybe still does.
What Is the Meaning of Life?
Again in my opinion, some of the world’s religions have “missed the mark.” They seem more interested in imposing their beliefs and values on people (for manipulation?) than offering explanations (as Jane Goodall says above) “for our life, for our being, that is outside of our humanity.” In other words: “What is the meaning of life?”
All of this brings up the question, “Who is God?” Here are some thoughts from Spirit:
You are God, and God is all that is. God is your family. God is your friends. God is your enemies. God is your pets. God is the animals of the world. God is the plants growing in your garden. God is the food you eat. God is the clothes you wear. God is the country you live in. God is the countries you are at war with. God is the mountains, the hills, the valleys, the deserts, the oceans. God is the sun, the moon, the stars.
God is all that is.
If you acknowledge that God is all that is, you must have reverence for all life, all existence—yours and that of all other human beings. And all other animal beings. All plant beings. And your Mother Earth, the planets, stars, and galaxies surrounding your Mother Earth. Even so-called “inanimate” objects have their roots and their sacred beginnings in God.
Nothing is evil. All is good. While we understand that humans perceive the need to label things “evil” and “good,” we also say that need has led to many of the problems you are all facing today.
This narrow view of God has led to the forming of religions, creeds, cults, etc. Most of that divides you. It does not unite you as humans or as fellow citizens of your planet and the universe. That’s not who God is.
Remember, God is all that is. Always be aware of the divinity within you—and within all your sisters and brothers.
Adapted from Spirit Oracle Cards
Why do we focus on the differences among us rather than the many more things we have in common with one another? Especially with regard to religion?
Please share your thoughts with us below.
Copyright © 2016 by John Cali
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In this video, Understanding Religion, Abraham and Esther Hicks give us their perspective of religion. I don’t expect everyone will agree with their words, but listen to it with an open mind. It’s short.
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“Why do we look or focus on differences?” I think we do so because we are looking for who we really are. Who am I? Why am I here? And, we seem to believe that “others” are different from what we believe. We don’t realize “yet” that we are whole, complete, and an eternal being. We are part of “All That Is,” and that each of us is unique while at the same time One. It is a bit complex, but when you figure it out, it is a blessing above all else. Just my opinion.
Thanks very much, Mikala, for sharing “just my opinion.” I completely agree with you. It is indeed a blessing.
Oh, boy, does this bring up some sore subjects, John. I was raised Catholic, too, but I haven’t “practiced” for years. My son wasn’t allowed to enter 1st grade in Catholic school unless I signed over my income tax refund (I didn’t); my daughter wouldn’t be confirmed because she had the audacity to ask, “If God is so good, why did my daddy leave?” (the CCD teacher hung up in a huff when I asked what she told my daughter); I wasn’t allowed to celebrate Mother’s Day because I went out to work and left my children running amok on the streets (my children stayed with my parents). I got up and left with my children in the middle of that sermon. And I should never ask God for anything because I was thinking of getting a divorce. I could go on and on. The “Church” did nothing for me or my kids. Talk about missing the mark!
Sorry for the rant, John. But it was somewhat cathartic.
Love you and what you do,
Thanks very much, Toni, for sharing. Your stories bring back many memories of my experiences in the Catholic Church — not personal experiences so much as watching some of my family and close friends be treated pretty much as you describe here. As you say, the church missed the mark, big time!
You can “rant” here any time you want. 🙂
Lots of love,