The purpose of all of the world’s religions is to move us away from negative impulses and towards internal peace. The only difference between the religions is the method in which they lead us to this goal. These differences are necessary in order to accommodate the various ways we are motivated towards change.
Did you choose your religion or did your religion choose you?
Most people are the religion of their parents. Some people (especially those who mature in small rural areas) may not even have had the opportunity to experience a religion other than their own because their entire community is homogeneous in this aspect. The choosing of ones way of life based on convenience leaves a percentage of the population feeling lost or uninterested. Those who become uninterested either fake it through their assumed religion or become atheists. All others go on a search through the spiritual wilderness to find their own divine truth.
Which one are you?
If you are innately impulsive, the ideology behind Eastern Religions may seem like unattainable nonsense. Conversely, if you are innately considerate, Western Religions may seem authoritative and unnecessary. Likewise, the fantastic parables found in Christianity and Hinduism can engage the creative mind, while the somewhat rigid structure of Islam and Buddhism may attract right-brainers. What Quadrant are you in?
I began my life going to the Baptist Church that my parents chose. When I was 7 or so, we move to a new city. While my parents were looking for a new church in our city, they “strongly suggested” that I attend the local A.M.E. Sunday school. The more I read, the more interested I became. Eventually, I had a few advanced understanding questions. Like any child, I asked my parents… They didn’t have an answer. I remember asking my mother, “You’ve been reading the same book for like 30 years. Why don’t you know everything about it?” She wasn’t very pleased.
Later that week, I asked my Sunday School teacher. I no longer remember the questions but I do remember the puzzled look on her face. In my arrogance and ignorance, I was sure that I understood the Bible better than these so-called religious people.
For the next few years, I attended church and Sunday school to the behest of my parents with absolutely no interest in the Bible. I began to resent it and them. I spent my time in captivity looking for holes in the stories and inconsistencies in the followers. By the time I went to college, I was done with it all.
While in college, I took a class called Humanities which introduced me to world cultures. I became interested in the ancient ways of life and now saw religious texts as a tool to understand people and culture. At this point in my life, I completely dejected everything I was force-fed as an adolescent including European history and Christianity. I spent the next few years reading and watching documentaries about various ancient cultures to my delight.
That interest blossomed into an interest in world religions. Since then I’ve read the texts of all the major religions… and even gave the Bible another chance. Now, I look for the similarities in the world’s religion and see all of them as useful tools on the path to internal peace. Have you started your spiritual journey?
Namaste, Amen, Salaam and Buddha bless you.
A quote from the Rig Veda 1700 B.C.:
Who really knows?
Who will here proclaim it?
Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation?
The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.
Who then knows whence it has arisen?