World Religions

In the present day society as well as in history,
religion is and has been the main driver in
people’s thoughts, actions and intentions.

Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam,
all have books that are used as guide books for
them. The Bible, the Tao, the Bhagavad Gita, The
Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Torah, the Koran to
name a few. They have one statement or concept
that is the same for all. Different variations
but the same meaning. Do unto others as you
would have them do unto you”. Unfortunately that
tenet sometimes gets lost in the many
applications and interpretations of these books.

Religion has had such a huge role in human
history that to try to define it and source it is
a daunting task. Each culture has variations of
the answers to the how’s and why’s” of existence,
but really they all have a common thread. When
you stand back and observe the practices and
beliefs they all saying the same basic things, in
my view.

The main tenet is that there is a God or supreme
being outside ourselves that creates and controls
all things in our lives. This gives us the
comfort of not taking responsibility for anything
that happens and puts it outside of us where we
have no control. With a set of rules given to us
from the holy books we can live our lives with
the assurance that we will go to heaven” when we
die if we follow the rules.

New Age” belief looks at things from a different
perspective. Instead of following the leader the
choice is to follow ones self. A belief that we
are God also and have the power to create what we
desire. How we choose to experience life is up to
us, not set out in a rule book or determined by
any power outside of ourselves.

A controversial concept to say the least as it
goes against the ingrained norms of our society.
Is the next step in human evolution the shift
from the mentality of following the leader? Doing
things how they have been done in the past just
because that’s how they been done? Or is it a
totally new perspective of following yourself and
taking full responsibility for all events in your
life? Are we beginning to examine our actions and
questioning the reasons as to why we do things a
certain way?

If we are truly changing to the perspective of
personal responsibility, than the doctrine and
dogma of religions is in jeopardy of going the
way of the dinosaur. Is there signs of the waning
popularity of following the rigid rules of the
world’s religions? I see it. In Europe, where
religion has always been such a huge part of
daily life the attendance statistics are
plummeting. Rejected by a generation of people
who are questioning the validity and authority of
the church.

I believe the key to the survival of religion is
a complete overhaul of doctrine. The major change
coming from the amount of tolerance they
demonstrate for other religions. Understanding
that there are different flavors of the truth”
and all can be respected and acknowledged as
being valid. Not discounted or persecuted for
their differences as has been the case in history.

Also, a change of the use of fear that religions
have practiced as a control” mechanism for
people. The fear that if they don’t follow the
rule book there will be grave consequences for
them in their lives. Religion has and does use
this tactic to keep their flock” in the fold,
asking them to give their personal power over to
God and all will be well for them.

And lastly, a shift in how the religions describe
our relationship to God. That we are lowly
servants unable to think or create for ourselves.
I believe if you really listen to the teachings
of Jesus, he describes how are all like him and
have the same attributes that he has but that is
a topic for another time. There is room for all
these changes in religion without changing the
essence of the reason they were created in the
first place.

Can we all worship together? Can we learn to not
only tolerate but celebrate the differences that
each religion has? I believe so. And I also
believe that, if there is no change, then world
religions are destined to follow the path that
leads to extinction.