Tag Archives: faith

Progressive People, Regressive Religions


I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is. ~ Albert Camus

 

An interesting fact prevails in all of these various religions that were established at different times based on different messages from different Prophet’s in different cultures. The surprising fact lies in the “similarities” in these “religious” systems. The message and the moral basic core principles are identical. When one investigates further, we can see that there are many similar rituals practiced by the followers of all these various faith systems including monotheistic and polytheistic ones. For example, the similarity of two faiths and belief systems which is widely considered to be opposing in fundamental concept, Islam and Hinduism have quite a few similar rituals: one being monotheistic and against idol worshiping, while the other a polytheistic, with an idol for each of their gods and their respective attributes. They both have holy water, both have the practice of circling around their place of worship (Muslims around Kaaba, and Hindus around their temple), both cut their hair after pilgrimage, both fast, both offer sacrifices, both bow to their Gods. Further, they have the same beliefs in good and bad, love, peace, and respect. Yet it is believed by their respective followers as an opposing religion surprisingly.

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.  ~George Bernard Shaw

 

People have progressively evolved into more intelligent beings but religions havent. Hence, as man becomes more intelligent, the religions and several rituals and illogical practices are losing value and significance rapidly. As people evolved and developed into more intelligent beings, so did their ability to comprehend, learn, communicate and better understand life. In our current advanced age and time we still have trouble communicating and understanding our own language, nuances, behavior and most importantly controlling the integrity of a message, which only proves that this communication skill is still in a state of evolution and will continue to be so. Thus, many people who try to learn the doctrines and writings of this man-made religion happen to question aspects of it which doesn’t appear to be logical or make sense. Many such doctrines are questioned on a few selective messages therein which clearly doesn’t appear to be part of those with divinity. Particularly, messages that defy or contradict equal respect for both genders, tolerance and respect for all religions, serving humanity regardless of race, color or creed, be forgiving, how to be modest, and rights of all human beings to be equal. Such differences between what the Prophet’s preached which is considered to be divine and what the religion proclaims has caused many to explore these religious beliefs further. The result of such questions which are often considered as blasphemy in nature by the stubborn and illogical religious heads of these religions has provided very few logical answers that are convincing. Clearly, man has evolved much further than expected by those who formed these religions a few thousand years ago. It is quite disappointing to still watch a small portion of the more educated and advanced people of today often blindly follow a specific fundamental set of religious beliefs and practices that often defies any logic, divinity or are in line with the original messages by their own Prophets. Although we witness each generation evolving into more intelligent begins than the last, many of us still trust and follow the wisdom of people who lived several generations past. This is where people began to shift their faith from God of mankind to religion. Perhaps in a way a shift from humanity to community.

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. ~ Mohandas Gandhi
However, no matter the religion or the respective deity or symbol, all of them preach very similar aspects of life, morals and values and often indulge in similar practices and rituals. What makes them different are the rules, laws of conduct, social norms, symbols of identity, attire, social behavior and systems of control that were developed by people who soon took control of the followers of the prophets under the banner of religion. This need and desire to control and exercise power over the respective communities or followers, gave birth to the evils that human beings fester till date. Ego, pride, arrogance, and vainglory are some of the key characteristics of these appointed spiritual or religious leaders of these faith systems today. Surprisingly, these are the same characteristics of Satan under which he refused to obey God and bow to his creation – man. Under these very influences these leaders often abuse their power and try to manipulate their people to achieve their personal goals and egoistic aspirations. They often are very wise and recruit people who are accustomed to obeying commands blindly due to fear of persecution from the powerful. But the true shock is when educated people armed with some basic rational thinking also choose to blindly follow such leaders and actively participate or support in their egocentric and political aspirations under the pretext of religion.
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. ~ Dalai Lama
Before one speaks of his or her religion, it pays a lot to get educated a little about the true and unbiased history, inception, growth and evolution of thier faith system. History has proved time and over again, that all of the popular religions or faith systems of today had begun with peaceful intentions. Each of these religions were spread with humble intentions but each had a handful of leaders who used violent force unfortunately due to their individual choice, limited wisdom, ego, and the lack of any other system available to them but religion as a viable political system to manage people and install familiar culture that is easier to manage. Each of these “religions” went through a phase of power struggle soon after their inception and the demise of their  Prophet. In the immediate years to follow, each had their share of religious leaders trying to use and manipulate the then political leaders and kings to their advantage, each have good followers and bad ones, all of these religions had leaders who were good and bad as well, every religion has their share of positive social and scientific contribution by people from their faiths. Some had great builders and ambitious plans to expand their cultural richness, some were conquerors of different strategic lands and some tried to spread their culture, beliefs and religious practices by force. But regardless of the religions or practices, all have the same fundamentals of good values and morals and each have their own set of social rules and norms that drive and influence behaviours based on moral living, love, tolerance, peace, justice and faith in the creator.
A just laicism allows religious freedom. The state does not impose religion but rather gives space to religions with a responsibility toward civil society, and therefore it allows these religions to be factors in building up society. ~ Joseph Ratzinger
I oppose religion based charities. I believe if a religion preaches to serve humanity, then the charity work should be without the need to convert their faiths. Not in this age and time. The people of faith, especially who are seen or hold the position as leaders or experts should not speak words of hate, anger, rage and incite such concepts in people. If anything, these are the people who should be preaching tolerance, love, peace and instill hope, faith, and inspire morality. But all that we see is many such people doing exactly the opposite and tragically people following them like cattle. People of good faith should rather strive to inspire others by their character, demeanor, deeds, love, respect for others as opposed to their attire, communal strength, and rituals.  And above all, should evolve with time. The need for progressive evolution has become more essential now more than ever. Past mistakes of others and poor past leaderships should be left in the past and we need to see ourselves as the new builders of society.
That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.  ~ Albert Einstein
If we can primarily be human beings and begin to behave like one that could alone ignite a flame of enlightenment. Do not choose to be blinded by your faith systems, and live in the assumption that your faith is the only path to heaven. If this is true, the creator would not have sent several prophets. Followers of the wrong faiths could be wiped off this planet if the creator chooses, followers of other faiths will not be prosperous and happy, followers of other faiths will not have their prayers answered and people who follow wrong faith systems will not be able to procreate and give birth to pure innocent souls. Thank the creator for life, for making us human, giving us the ability to think, creating us and this world with all its endless resources, our ability to learn and appreciate, love, be loved, procreate, help others, and appreciate his or her divine powers being exercised on us and creation every day. Do not be blinded and instead choose to thank for a man-made religion, rituals, age-old beliefs and fables, or mundane stories of proof less miracles. Learn, read, explore and understand. Do not blindly follow like a cattle but use your own ability to seek, read, learn, think, understand for yourself. Be sensible enough to differentiate between the man who speaks the words of compassion and love from the scriptures from the man who speaks of hate, intollerance and prejudice in the name of religion. If we refuse injustice towards one and all regardless of their cast, creed or color we can bring change. If we can lead by example of character rather than a display of costumes and rituals we can creat a positive influence. If we can be charitable to all humans regardless of their religion, color or culture we will bring peace. With such a balanced approach and the will to coexists by mutual respect and understanding and by removing ego and pride from the equation, mankind can and will eventually develop a much more peaceful and resourceful living. They can leave behind a life of love, and peace for their loved ones to enjoy, thrive in and sustain for the other following generations to come. But we must remember to eliminate the dreaded characteristic of the evil: “ego and pride” especially associated to our faiths and our belief systems as it has no place in there. We need to realize that if we feel the need to keep our faiths, then we need to keep the faith in God of mankind as opposed to the man-made religion, religious leaders, religious systems, rituals and beliefs. Learn and seek yourself for the truth and answers using your logic and intelligence and you shall find it. If God does exisit then it is only in your heart where he or she lives and in your conscience where the truth resides.
I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit. ~ Khalil Gibran

Losing my religion but keeping my faith


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When I was 16 I turned to God to save me from a pending consequence of my failure to prepare myself for a rather major exam at school. Not being ever inclined towards the religion I was born into or God or faith, like all scoundrels do, I resorted to invoke the power of the creator for a miracle to save me.  I was failed by my new found and short lived faith.

Faith, indeed, has up to the present not been able to move real mountains…. But it can put mountains where there are none.  ~Friedrich Nietzche, Human, All Too Human, 1879

Later again, during the same winter, I woke up to the sound of someone banging at my door amidst a roaring winter storm in my dormitory at school. A building and the surroundings that was claimed to be notoriously haunted sitting alone below a hill surrounded by sprawling fields and mature trees. The abandoned church and an old cemetery beside added the buildings added to my naive fear and fright when I realized that I was staying alone in that section of the building being the holidays that December. My immediate reaction was to immediately reach out to the Holy Book that sat beside my bed holding the power of assurance and protection from all that is considered to be evil and harming. But this time, the moment I grabbed the book and clenched it against my chest, I noticed the banging on the door had stopped and in a few minutes the storm had shockingly settled. It was perhaps that that moment my faith in my religion was reluctantly born.

As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.  ~Emmanuel

The preceding years lead me to learning more about my religion, and exploring the power of prayers and faith in, what was then, “my” God. As I explored further and tested my new found faith by prayers whenever I found the need, I was often rewarded with all that I had asked for at that moment. Thus my faith in the creator and the power of prayers solidified. But I thankfully had the wisdom and never did seek for anything that was materialistic or based on greed.

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.  ~Kahlil Gibran

But as life took over and time passed where the time to fight the daily hurdles and challenges of took precedence, my incline towards my religion declined. But often it found its way into my heart as I began to learn more and observe the disparity between the Godly people and their true virtues. I began to see the hatred and anger being spread by those who claim their religion to be that of peace and love. I increasingly began to question the numerous faith and basic sensibilities defying rituals that were followed by all the religious around the world including that of mine. And the arrogant claim by those who consider themselves to be holier than others about not being allowed to question the rituals and religion began to develop a sense of implied force on my beliefs. The need to follow like sheep, obey the rituals and cultural systems developed and instilled hundreds of years ago didn’t sit well with me.

The faith that stands on authority is not faith.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Later as time and life permitted I ventured to learn and educate myself about the history of my own religion. The origin, how it was initiated, the Prophet, the teachings, the events soon after the prophets death, the political factions, the compilation of the holy book, the development of cultural norms, laws and rituals, the people who were instrumental in spreading the religion, the early oppositions etc  were very interesting and highly educational to say the least. I paid careful attention to read and learn from various materials to form an unbiased opinion about my religion. Then I took this approach further to learn about other religions and faith systems around the world.  My intention wasn’t to become an expert in any particular faith or a theologian. But my efforts were only fuelled by my interest to explore and learn the history of other faiths, what they preach and how they were born and spread. Although I occasionally did seek to understand which of these religions were better in comparison, but my findings often proved to confuse me more. Similarly, my respect for other faith systems grew and my acceptance of their moral beliefs and values increased. But I could never find any respect in the many mindless rituals and basterdized and corrupted versions of all these faiths.

 

All religions must be tolerated… for… every man must get to heaven his own way.  ~Frederick the Great

Sadly, all faiths and religions have its share of legitimate and made up stories and tales, politically motivated laws and wars, crusaders, manipulations of the rituals and norms by the then leaders, several territorial and economy based wars, mysteries, wise kings and humane commanders, and a hand full of ruthless and senseless leaders. There are many within each of these religions who may agree and disagree with these facts as well. Some blinded by their fear of learning the truth that may alter their age old beliefs, some who chose to mindlessly follow the opinions of those they place their faith in, some insensibly defiant, and who fear losing their spirituality and faith in their God should the rituals and history known to them are proved wrong.

 

This is my simple religion.  There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.  Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.  ~Dalai Lama

But amuses me most is the fact that all Gods messages are almost identical. The moral conducts and the values asked are exactly the same. Do not kill the innocent, spread love, be charitable, do not lie, be generous, pray, be righteous, be generous, hold moral principles, respect one and  other, all creation regardless of caste, creed or color are made by God, respect, protect and serve all of Gods creation are some of the common messages from all of these Gods. And all these messages were often conveyed to man by those who were considered to be prophets. The messages were pure, clear, made sense and were highly inspirational.

Our respective religions were born soon after the demise of these prophets. The people who were soon, elected, appointed or took over the responsibility of upholding the preaching of these prophets eventually developed and established the respective religions. And as time passed each of these religions developed their respective cultures, laws, and territorial expanse by either war or offering protection.

 

Man is a Religious Animal.  He is the only Religious Animal.  He is the only animal that has the True Religion – several of them.  He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight.  He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven.  ~Mark Twain

Today after many hundreds of years after all the major religions had been established many of us sit pondering and questioning several misconceptions and rituals that many of these religions have been carrying. We, the more civilized, developed and educated people of today and the most intelligent of all of Gods creation still indulge in senseless behaviours that all of our respective individual faith systems condemn. Hate, prejudice, intolerance, disrespect and discrimination still continue. We have developed, advanced, challenged and changed age old paradigms and constitutions and progressively evolved. But we never have managed to let our religions to progressively evolve along with the ages and time. Many of us continue to conform to age old rituals and tales of our respective faiths, seek to follow blindly but never strive to get explore and learn, refuse to face the truth and continue to disrespect the very core moral behaviours that each of our Gods have asked of us.

 

There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.  ~George Bernard Shaw

But I for one am now perhaps more at peace with my faith and spirituality. I have grown to respect and accept every faith as I hardly see any difference between them. Although I still continue to question several rituals and tales within many of these religions, I have witnessed and seen that each of these faith systems get their prayers answered, believe on the same moral conducts, and the followers are allowed to progress, question, learn and be happy by their respective God or creator of mankind. Faith heals, faith empowers people, and for many the belief they have in God and the powers of their faith helps them sail through many of their troubles in life. I have grown beyond stereo typing a terrorist or a Zionist by their faith or religion and learned that the political and economic objectives influence all of the wars and hatred and not faith. Good people and bad people exist in every faith or religion and it is not a representation of their religion, but just the way human beings are. I do not belive any religion or faith is greater than the other but merely the same concept on moral values with different methods of worship and rituals based on the cultures and time when it was realized.

I have taken a strong stance against religion base charities as opposed to charity for humanity regardless of their religion or color. I have little regard for those who claim to be holier than thou. And I believe that bringing respect and identity to ones faiths must be done by an individual’s character and deeds rather than their attire and proclamation. Being a greater, tolerant and humble human being is much greater than being a good religious person. I still fail to understand the blind ritualistic behaviours of certain religions where a living man is treated as God and continue to be baffled by the often highly educated people who blindly follow many senseless rituals and conform to certain highly primitive thinking. But I have also learned that there are several things that we may not understand today, but time and wisdom shall open us to better understanding and acceptance towards out own self, faiths and other people.  

My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality.  Morality is of the highest importance – but for us, not for God.  ~Albert Einstein

I many have lost and found my religion many times, but I have never managed to lose my faith in the creator, good, and serving humanity. Serving humanity regardless of their religion, color or race is certainly more gratifying than otherwise. And accepting and respecting everyone beyond their individual faiths has become supremely important in our world today than ever before.  For, if you are a believer; when you die and if you do happen to face the creator, it is your individual actions and decisions that shall be questioned on your conduct in this life. Your excuses, influences and circumstances will hold no value against your own beliefs, behaviour and faith.


Progressive people, regressive religions


 

 Please enjoy the audio feed above

 

I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is. ~ Albert Camus 

 

An interesting fact prevails in all of these various religions that were established at different times based on different messages from different Prophet’s in different cultures. The surprising fact lies in the “similarities” in these “religious” systems. The message and the moral basic core principles are identical. When one investigates further, we can see that there are many similar rituals practiced by the followers of all these various faith systems including monotheistic and polytheistic ones. For example, the similarity of two faiths and belief systems which is widely considered to be opposing in fundamental concept, Islam and Hinduism have quite a few similar rituals: one being monotheistic and against idol worshiping, while the other a polytheistic, with an idol for each of their gods and their respective attributes. They both have holy water, both have the practice of circling around their place of worship (Muslims around Kaaba, and Hindus around their temple), both cut their hair after pilgrimage, both fast, both offer sacrifices, both bow to their Gods. Further, they have the same beliefs in good and bad, love, peace, and respect. Yet it is believed by their respective followers as an opposing religion surprisingly.

 

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.  ~George Bernard Shaw

As people evolved and developed into more intelligent beings, so did their ability to comprehend, learn, communicate and better understand life. In our current advanced age and time we still have trouble communicating and understanding our own language, nuances, behavior and most importantly controlling the integrity of a message, which only proves that this communication skill is still in a state of evolution and will continue to be for a few hundred years. Thus, many people who try to learn the doctrines and writings of this man-made religion happen to question aspects of it which doesn’t appear to be logical or make sense. Many such doctrines are questioned on a few selective messages therein which clearly doesn’t appear to be part of those with divinity. Particularly, messages that defy or contradict equal respect for both genders, tolerance and respect for all religions, serving humanity regardless of race, color or creed, be forgiving, how to be modest, and rights of all human beings to be equal. Such differences between what the Prophet’s preached which is considered to be divine and what the religion proclaims has caused many to explore these religious beliefs further. The result of such questions which are often considered as blasphemy in nature by the stubborn and illogical religious heads of these religions has provided very few logical answers that are convincing. Clearly, man has evolved much further than expected by those who formed these religions a few thousand years ago. It is quite disappointing to still watch a small portion of the more educated and advanced people of today often blindly follow a specific fundamental set of religious beliefs and practices that often defies any logic, divinity or are in line with the original messages by their own Prophets. Although we witness each generation evolving into more intelligent begins than the last, many of us still trust and follow the wisdom of people who lived several generations past. This is where people began to shift their faith from God of mankind to religion. Perhaps in a way a shift from humanity to community.

 

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. ~ Mohandas Gandhi
 
 
However, no matter the religion or the respective deity or symbol, all of them preach very similar aspects of life, morals and values and often indulge in similar practices and rituals. What makes them different are the rules, laws of conduct, social norms, symbols of identity, attire, social behavior and systems of control that were developed by people who soon took control of the followers of the prophets under the banner of religion. This need and desire to control and exercise power over the respective communities or followers, gave birth to the evils that human beings fester till date. Ego, pride, arrogance, and vainglory are some of the key characteristics of these appointed spiritual or religious leaders of these faith systems today. Surprisingly, these are the same characteristics of Satan under which he refused to obey God and bow to his creation – man. Under these very influences these leaders often abuse their power and try to manipulate their people to achieve their personal goals and egoistic aspirations. They often are very wise and recruit people who are accustomed to obeying commands blindly due to fear of persecution from the powerful. But the true shock is when educated people armed with some basic rational thinking also choose to blindly follow such leaders and actively participate or support in their egocentric and political aspirations under the pretext of religion. 

 

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. ~ Dalai Lama
 
 
History has proved time and over again, that each of these religions or faith systems had begun with peaceful intentions. Each of these religions were spread with humble intentions but each had a handful of leaders who used violent force unfortunately due to their individual choice, limited wisdom, ego, and the lack of any other system available to them but religion as a viable political system to manage people and install familiar culture that is easier to manage. Each of these “religions” went through a phase of power struggle soon after their inception and the demise of their  Prophet. In the immediate years to follow, each had their share of religious leaders trying to use and manipulate the then political leaders and kings to their advantage, each have good followers and bad ones, all of these religions had leaders who were good and bad as well, every religion has their share of positive social and scientific contribution by people from their faiths. Some had great builders and ambitious plans to expand their cultural richness, some were conquerors of different strategic lands and some tried to spread their culture, beliefs and religious practices by force. But regardless of the religions or practices, all have the same fundamentals of good values and morals and each have their own set of social rules and norms that drive and influence behaviours based on moral living, love, tolerance, peace, justice and faith in the creator.

 

A just laicism allows religious freedom. The state does not impose religion but rather gives space to religions with a responsibility toward civil society, and therefore it allows these religions to be factors in building up society. ~ Joseph Ratzinger
 
I oppose religion based charities. I believe if a religion preaches to serve humanity, then the charity work should be without the need to convert their faiths. Not in this age and time. The people of faith, especially who are seen or hold the position as leaders or experts should not speak words of hate, anger, rage and incite such concepts in people. If anything, these are the people who should be preaching tolerance, love, peace and instill hope, faith, and inspire morality. But all that we see is many such people doing exactly the opposite and tragically people following them like cattle. People of good faith should rather strive to inspire others by their character, demeanor, deeds, love, respect for others as opposed to their attire, communal strength, and rituals.  And above all, should evolve with time. The need for progressive evolution has become more essential now more than ever. Past mistakes of others and poor past leaderships should be left in the past and we need to see ourselves as the new builders of society.

 

That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.  ~ Albert Einstein
 
If we can primarily be human beings and begin to behave like one that could alone ignite a flame of enlightenment. Do not choose to be blinded by your faith systems, and live in the assumption that your faith is the only path to heaven. If this is true, the creator would not have sent several prophets. Followers of the wrong faiths could be wiped off this planet if the creator chooses, followers of other faiths will not be prosperous and happy, followers of other faiths will not have their prayers answered and people who follow wrong faith systems will not be able to procreate and give birth to pure innocent souls. Thank the creator for life, for making us human, giving us the ability to think, creating us and this world with all its endless resources, our ability to learn and appreciate, love, be loved, procreate, help others, and appreciate his or her divine powers being exercised on us and creation every day. Do not be blinded and instead choose to thank for a man-made religion, rituals, age-old beliefs and fables, or mundane stories of proof less miracles. Learn, read, explore and understand. Do not blindly follow like a cattle, and have the sensibility to differentiate between the man who speaks the true words of the creator or God in good faith about love, peace, serving his creation – humanity, tolerance, forgiveness, enlightenment and spirituality from the man who speaks of hate, violence, intolerance, rage, ego, pride and anger in the name of religion. If we can learn to love and live peacefully for ourselves and the others it could start a new beginning. If we refuse injustice towards one and all regardless of their cast, creed or color we can bring change. If we can lead by example of character rather than a display of costumes and rituals we can influence another. If we can be charitable to all humans regardless of their religion, color or culture we will bring peace. With such a balanced approach and the will to coexists by mutual respect and understanding and by removing ego and pride from the equation, mankind can and will eventually develop a much more peaceful and resourceful living. They can leave behind a life of love, and peace for their loved ones to enjoy, thrive in and sustain for the other following generations to come. But we must remember to eliminate the dreaded characteristic of the evil: “ego and pride” especially associated to our faiths and our belief systems as it has no place in there. We need to realize that if we feel the need to keep our faiths, then we need to keep the faith in God of mankind as opposed to the man-made religion, religious leaders, religious systems, rituals and beliefs. Learn and seek yourself for the truth and answers using your logic and intelligence and you shall find it. It is in your heart where God resides and in your conscience where truth resides.
 
 
I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit. ~ Khalil Gibran


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