When I contemplate and consider the many different religions and faiths and spiritual expressions and denominations that exist, often I wonder if there isn’t at least one core fundamental thread of thought or one principle that exists that would transcend these differences. I wonder to myself, couldn’t there be one most basic, universal truth that would apply equally to all manner of faith and religion?
When I think on this and suppose there may be some universal fundamental principle or idea extending through all faiths and religions, I then naturally wonder why there are conflicts and wars among the different religions and sects and denominations of faith.
If, for example, every religion or faith has as one of its primary tenets to “love others as you would want to be loved”, then as long as you were a person of any faith or religion, there would be only adherents who practiced love of others as much as one loved one’s own self. If violence was considered an abomination in every religion or faith, then the incentive would be to refrain from violence if one expected to be pleasing to their Creator or highest power.
The message that needs to be shared among the many different religions and faiths and spiritual traditions and cultures should be of love and non-violence. Peace and harmony among all of God’s creations should be a primary focus.
Obviously a central tenet of any and all religions and faiths is to praise and worship and obey the Creator. Differences lie in how we give praise, who or what we praise and worship, and under what laws or guidelines we chose to live by in accordance with the divine.
You would think every religion or faith would value love of others, compassion, non-violence, charity, generosity, patience, mercy, and forgiveness. So why are there conflicts among the different faiths and religions?
Pride. Prejudice. Ego. Arrogance. Ignorance. The belief that somehow one faith has all the answers and the others maybe only some of the answers or no answers at all. The belief that the real valuable insights and scriptures can only be found in one religion and not any of the others; and the belief that there is only one true path to salvation or liberation of the soul from the burdens of sin or bad karmic attachment and so on. We all are in some ways guilty of self-centeredness or possessiveness. We sometimes believe our way is the only way or best way. We shun or reject the beliefs of others if they seem too foreign or contrary to our own thinking or too remote from our own cultural understandings.
Yet the truth is, the closer we examine the religions and faiths of the world, the more we find the commonalities and shared threads that link us together in common humanity. We may come to find that love and compassion and mercy and forgiveness are found everywhere in every scripture or holy text that exists. It is perhaps when we try and manage the divine messages from God that we muck things up. It is perhaps when we try and control the message or “fix” the message for some personal purpose or end that we do the most damage. When we inject our pride and ego as well as our own personal preferences and prejudices and politics into our core religious beliefs that we invite conflict.
When we lose sight of our shared and common humanity and our shared capacity to see each other as equally loved under God and all equally made in God’s image, that we really reject the unifying force that ties us all together and reject harmony in favor of possessiveness and pride. I believe that while there are many voices, the does exist a unifying message.