I will speak of only a few religions and beliefs, mostly the ones with the most followers and with the beliefs that will explain what I am trying to present to you, so do not be offended if your particular religion or belief is not presented here,
I am just trying to paint a picture for you, not a mural, eventually, there will be additions to include other beliefs that I have not included initially. I have not studied all of these religions into great detail,
I have studied what I would call the highlights or the core beliefs, I am attempting to take what I feel is the most significant parts of these religions and patch them together if you will, to create something which is a complete system of beliefs,
there will be, of course, details and rituals of that sort that I will fail to mention, the specific procedures of chants and times and means of specific prayers will be omitted, I feel that having true faith in what you believe to be fact does not need to be constantly repeated,
but the core beliefs and the moral ideas of "what is right" should be adhered to, this is in no way stopping someone to further explore a specific religion or belief and delve deeper into its specific customs.
I have created this patchwork of religions because I thought that any one religion or belief was lacking in my view of what I perceived to be the whole picture of what reality might be.
I will totally avoid specific times and beings as I feel that they are less important than the moral ideals presented here, as in Scientology, I am not going to specify the length of our existence as over 76 trillion years or that we are from the Thetans,
but I have no doubt if the Thetan's do exist, they were created by the one true God along with all that is at the beginning of time, the actual amount of years is less important than what God is trying to teach all of us,
this belief system is simple because there is no reason for meetings or procedures and cleansings except for the sake of some that feel it necessary to help them in their quest for the truth, the extreme complexity of certain religions have their place for certain people,
but I believe that God has given all of us the ability to tackle these problems on our own and just following the rules of a civilized race of people is enough of a challenge on its own.
I will start this exploration with beliefs from a book called the Quran or Koran as some would call it, this is a scripture that Muslims follow as their faith, this will be the most difficult for me as there are thousands of quotes that are violent in intention and meaning,
yet there are some beautiful, loving and hopeful ideas as well, the greatest difficulty is that there are so many inconsistencies in beliefs, but I am in no position to judge how over 1.6 billion people believe,
these are examples taken from web sites that I have visited and I include links to them, so they are not in my words, but they are significant.
Peace is the cornerstone
The word “Islam” is derived from the word meaning “peace” in Arabic. Islam is a religion revealed to mankind with the intention of presenting a peaceful life where the infinite compassion and mercy of God manifest on earth.
God calls all people to live by the moral values He sets so that compassion, mercy, peace, and love can be experienced all over the world.
“O You who believe! Enter absolutely into peace (Islam). Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan. He is an outright enemy to you.” (Holy Quran: 2, 208)
In the verse above, Islam intrinsically calls for peace and requires life in absolute sincerity and honesty before God. Therefore it is crucially important for an individual to believe in God with his own will and aspiration,
and observe God’s commands and advice through personal conscientious contentment, where following in the footsteps of Satan would be succumbing to false personality.
No one should be forced to believe in Islam
“There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned.” (Holy Quran: 2/ 256)
As stated in the verse, no one can be compelled to live by Islamic morals. Conveying the existence of God and the morals of the Qur’an to other people is a duty for believers,
but they call people to the path of God with kindness and love and they never force them.
It is only God Who guides people to the right way. This is related in the following verse:
“You cannot guide those you would like to but God guides those He wills. He has the best knowledge of the guided.” (Holy Quran/28: 56)
I would like to salute the majority of Muslims that are truly peaceful, as this can not be an easy task, the Muslims that cherish love and peace and tolerance and dismiss the killing, rape, and torture have made a difficult decision that may be condemned by others who live by specific parts of the Quran and other unapproved scriptures,
especially if you have lived in the Mideast and North Africa all of your life, they have dismissed the bad and have embraced the good in the Quran, these are true religious pioneers, as some of them have very little choice of their religion and have chosen the best parts of the Quran to live by,
if they were to try to learn about any other faith and were found out, it would surely be the death of some of them. This is what I wish to present for people to ponder, except I am going a step further by taking the wisdom and insights from other beliefs and adding them to my own.
As in the Quran, the Bible also has inconsistencies, but they are less important in intent and do not deviate from the core beliefs like I couldn't care less if Noah led 2 each of each animal onto the Ark or 6 each, I got the Idea of what he was trying to do,
just as other inconsistencies in wording would be consistent with the number of writers and that they are men with dual personalities like all of us, as no one is perfect, yet the true meaning trying to be conveyed is still there,
you have to see the whole picture that is being shown to you and not concentrate on the piece of litter on the ground. This book or collection of books is supposed to be from the word of God as written in 66 separate pieces which would include the old and new testament,
the inconsistencies are considered insignificant in the view of what is being presented.
The Holy Bible, a wonderful piece of literature that has the ability to guide someone through
life with its rules and examples of life so that someone may be closer to God,
some people have stated that it is the most boring thing that they have ever read, yet it has some good common sense ideas that are essential to a civilized society.
To overly simplify this great book, it is only necessary to realize a few things of importance, the 10 commandments are the rules that need to be followed in order for you to be the average "good person" in gods eyes, and it is really basic stuff, but still some people are unable to stick to these rules,
for example, I have lied before (do not bear false witness) I have not committed adultery, but I have caused others to do so, ( I still consider this bad), I have stolen before,
as for keeping the Sabbath day holy, I have worked on the Sabbath for money before, but in my defense, I was in the Navy and had no choice, (unless I was willing to go to the stockade for this particular belief),
also, I believe mostly this commandment was for the benefit for the slaves at the time, so their Masters would allow them one day to worship, also I will work at home doing chores which are not for money and I will have God in my thoughts as I do them,
besides, Jesus says, if your Ox or calf falls into a hole on the Sabbath, it is not a sin to get him out, also I believe a Sabbath day does not have to be a Sunday, it can be any day that you worship,
after all, Sunday probably didn't fall on the same day 2000 years ago, and finally, I do believe that I have taken the lords name in vain at least once in my life, as for the other commandments, I have done well.
Now I would like to share with you that I have been lied to, stolen from and hear the Lord's name taken in vain, the first two could very well be the result of me lying and stealing, and this is the result of instant Karma equalizing the upset I made in the Universe,
besides the Ten Commandments, there are other principles that can be adhered to like "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", which is another way of keeping the balance in the Universe.
In addition, there has to be a belief that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, that is a big game changer because the ultimate perfect entity that has been without sin, giving his life so that we will all be forgiven for our sins, now that is some large scale Karma equalizing there.
Another standard to adhere to, to avoid collecting bad Karma would be to steer clear of the seven deadly sins, these vary somewhat depending on where you look, but they still pertain to acquiring bad Karma,
they can affect you physically, mentally and spiritually. I will give examples of how these will harm you later, in the meantime, it is a good idea to stick to their opposites like the 7 virtues, as these will be much more valuable for your development.
There seems to be an inherent misconception of the Bible in that there is a reasoning to believe that the earth is only about 6ooo to 10000 years old, I cannot believe that this is an issue of contention even today,
if you have ever read the Bible at all, and I mean only the first page, it is quite evident that the God almighty is undoubtedly omnipotent and has no use for "time", after all, he is the first and the last, the beginning and the end,
that being said, it is stated in Genesis 1-14, that in effect, time or the ability to measure time was not created until the fourth day of creation for the benefit of man to keep track of the days and years, before that day, in the eyes of God, TIME DID NOT EXIST,
so even if the days of creation are taken literally, an infinite amount of time, as us three dimensional humans measure it could have passed in the first three days of creation, man was not created until the 6th day, and it would be an insulting show of arrogance to put us at Gods level at that point in time,
also, the creatures of the earth and seas and birds and the like were created on the fifth day, these are fairly important concepts that many have overlooked and it will prove to close the gap between science and religion.
Is Religion a Culture?
Many Religions are followed as cultures and lives are based on these cultures, this can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing,
by basing your entire life and existence on something that was written as an instruction for man to be able to function in a civilized manner does not have to be bad as long as it is realized that these instructions were written by man,
even though these prophets and enlightened individuals had divine inspiration, they also were given free will and are normally driven by their materialistic senses and conformed to the ideas of their times by involving fear, superstition and other dogma that was common in their era,
this realization is imperative for worshippers to use some discrimination and intuition to decipher their scriptures and update priorities to conform to the sensibilities of today and not thousands of years ago,
religion is not bad and the practicing of religion is not bad, but when it impedes someone else's pursuit of their beliefs it is being distorted and its original intention is not being perceived properly and its practice may actually be detrimental to others and especially the one practicing it.
Religion is a test, it tests us as to what we have learned as a member of humanity, most religious people think too much about what is in their scriptures,
they are much too critical of others that are not in their religion and more than this they are much too critical to those that are in their own religion, they have dissected their religions and determined exactly what they mean and how they should be practiced,
There are many examples in scriptures that only pertain to things from hundreds if not thousands of years ago, at the time they were the most logical ways to handle specific situations,
the quarantine procedures were logical then and probably saved many lives by preventing the spread of disease, but they have been refined over the centuries and many of the diseases have been eradicated from back then or have modern cures,
the quarantining of women in their menstrual cycle obviously is not being done anymore, so just a couple of simple examples to show that scriptures are to be evaluated discriminatively in order to get the most out of them,
adhering to outdated practices that depend on specific actions in order for a positive outcome to happen is just asking for trouble, it is true that certain practices like circumcision have proven to be a benefit towards hygiene,
but preparations for war and outcasting non-believers are just two of many examples of things that are not or should not be done anymore the fear, hate, and prejudice is no longer necessary,
live and let live is a much more popular view to take and a view towards learning what is said in these other scriptures will be what leads us towards wisdom.
Religion during the Enlightenment
There have been many individuals of different religions that have reached some sort of enlightenment, they have been inspired to create scriptures and make their enlightenment known to the local populations of their areas,
these prophets and enlightened ones have been given divine inspirations where it has become imperative that they share this information in one way or another,
for an example in Jainism, there are the 24 prophets that have covered a time span of millions of years ago to as recently as 2500 years ago, they would not worship God, but would worship the saints that were able to perfect themselves during their lives,
this is just one aspect of one religion that has a chief belief in non-violence and that Jain dharma teaches that every living thing is an individual and eternal soul, which is responsible for its own actions.
Every religion has its own prophets, self-proclaimed or otherwise and they all have held pieces of the puzzle of life to share with whoever would listen to them,
this is not to say that every word written by these prophets should be taken as gospel since they are of material existence and have to contend with their duality just as everyone else on our planet,
they also had to contend with the beliefs of their times and modify the information given to them to conform with the majority of ideas that were held by the people of those periods and locations.
The New Age Religion
As many of the world's beliefs are being presented here, it is time to lay them out to be evaluated and gather them together to present a New Age Religion that can be considered by all that wish to leave the superstition, dogma, Maya and fear-based beliefs behind and embrace all of the love, compassion, tolerance, and brotherhood of humanity.
This is not intended to replace anyone's beloved religion but it is meant to distill the spiritual aspects and separate them from the material aspects of our 3-dimensional lives, finding a place to start this exploration will have to be with reincarnation as reincarnation is not excluded specifically in most of the major religions and is a large part of most all new age practices,
it has been stated by channeled entities that until recognition of reincarnation is realized in any belief system there will be an incomplete understanding of reality and whether you believe in reincarnation or not, you will continue to come back to this plane of existence until you finally make this realization,
the reason for this reincarnation is from at least two sources, one is karma and the other is the acts of making certain realizations, in essence our lives are lived to collect information in the most diverse fashion as possible,
this is why we will be men and women of all of the races in very diverse environments and situations in order for our fragments of God or "All That Is" to collect data in our own unique ways that eventually will be added to the collective knowledge of the cosmic intelligence,
the name given to this intelligence is not really important as it is a part of everything we perceive and we are all a part of it, the lessons that will be needed to be learnedare in parts of all of the worlds scriptures,
for example, the 10 commandments outline what should be done so as to not acquire karma and also for lessons to be learned where killing, stealing and lying will cause an imbalance in the universe that will need to be rectified in either this life or the next,
it has also been explained that there is an average of about 200 lives that is lived on this planet before all of the requirements are met in order to graduate from humanity, it has also been explained that there is a minimum of about 35 lives that must be lived to acquire the minimum knowledge required,
this is also considering that no or very little karma is acquired in all of these lives and if there is any it must be reconciled first, it has also been expressed that an average of 200 years would pass between incarnations in order for the fragment to prepare for the next incarnation,
I would suspect that this could vary depending on age at death and circumstances along with other varied reasons of diverse sorts, there will be a great number of realizations that need to be made from life to life,
our dualistic natures will eventually need to be controlled, there will need to be sacrifices made and leaps of faith to be able to proceed to different levels of reality,
Islam teaches to be charitable, Jainism teaches to respect all forms of life, Hinduism teaches self-realization in order to take control from our material selves and look within, Taoism teaches to maintain a balance in all of your actions, intentions, and speech, Buddhism teaches kindness and respect and humility,
the 7 virtues should be followed and lived by as the 7 deadly sins should be avoided in order to learn the lessons required and as to not accumulate any bad karma,
there will be absolutely no reason for any superstitious beliefs or fear as it will be plain that as you live your life you will answer for any indiscretions by the law of karma and good lives lived will give abundant joy in future lives lived,
this is not to say that there may not be tests presented to ensure that all lessons have been properly learned, your composure and attitude as you live these lives will be tests in themselves.
There will be no exclusions, all will be welcome, rituals are not necessary but may help reinforce the memory and actions performed which should all be out of love and compassion and everyone's deepest heartfelt desires.
Tolerance of all others and their beliefs will be a major basic lesson to be learned as all religions have some truth and wisdom in them,
another basic hurdle will have to be gaining complete control of our dualistic nature or in the very least a recognition of this nature,
there does not need to be any particular day of the week to have gatherings or hold any sort of mass but sorts of rituals are valuable to the acts of remembering significant events,
as an example, baptism is an event that many people do not remember as it may have happened when they were very young but being told that it had happened gives power to the intent that was intended to cleanse the soul and spirit,
such positively oriented events are good towards giving power to things that can help individuals through life, communing with nature, gathering around a fire, or even doing group charitable events bring the true spirit of love to all that are involved,
there is true importance to exercising thoughts of love and compassion, bringing a semblance of order is a basic goal of any religion, just remembering not to put limitations on others in their belief pursuits is of paramount importance,
everyone has their own creative energy that cannot be discounted over others, as long as there is no interference of anyone's free will, everything will flow easily,
if someone has an opinion of how a group ritual should be performed, it should be heard out and considered, and if that individual does not agree with the consensus, then they are free to do it their way as not to interfere with others,
there are never any set rules and a co-creation of rituals will always be the norm, complete freedom of beliefs is always encouraged, you should always do "what feels right" for you with no exceptions,
obviously, there must not be the perseverance of detrimental beliefs that involve fear and superstition as they are counterproductive as you have seen throughout our history,
such negative beliefs do nothing but hinder any progress that can be made in your life or in any society.
There would be no need to create any holidays as this is mostly a material aspect stemming from our dualistic nature, a good holiday to create would be one of giving,
and I do not mean like in Christmas where gifts are given to those that you know, rather the giving to those truly in need so as to exercise the value of charity,
as for taking portions of other religions is always welcome, Scientology steers away from taking drugs and medicines which can give more power to your will where you would have more practice to heal yourself,
and fasting which is a practice of quite a few religions enables a weakening of your dualistic nature in order to exercise more spiritual control,
mostly the removal of fear and contradictions that are found in many scriptures should be accomplished,
some scriptures have indicated that war as a means of population control and inciting hate against so-called "non-believers" has just done the same thing by creating reasons for war,
when actually, if we were to control our population more effectively by just not creating offspring as much, especially when there is not an abundance of food would be a civilized answer,
but these assumptions were ignored because our dual personalities refuse to use the will power required to abstain from so much procreation, although it is difficult to abstain from sexual activities especially in young adults,
it does not prevent us from teaching and presenting the repercussions that may come from these actions to give more exercise to individual free will,
just the persecution of the "fornicators" is very vague and does not appeal to the logic of modern man, rather an explanation of the karmic repercussions would be much more beneficial and effective.
The beauty of the new age religion is that if you previously had a particular religious preference or upbringing, some of these teachings are valid and will be helpful to you,
the outdated superstitious beliefs and dogma can be left behind, the smiting of un-believers and persecution of those that do not believe as you do will be a thing of the past where unconditional love and tolerance will be the norm,
there will be similarities between religions like the Muslims and the Jehova's witnesses do not believe in the Holy Trinity and Scientologists and Jehovas witnesses agree on certain aspects of medicine taking,
these are just two simple examples out of many that can be embraced if it is felt necessary, this is also the perfect opportunity to learn from other beliefs, keeping an open mind will deliver what is most important in the way of religion,
when you have accepted that all religion has some worth you will enjoy finding the divinely good as you explore, remember to exclude the fear, dogma, and superstition is all that is required to be one with God and "all that is",
and best of all, when God and or your soul take notice of your interests in these matters, divine inspirations shall come upon you in order for you to personally be able to add to the divine knowledge that mankind has been giving us for thousands of years.
Can Religions Coexist?
I love that bumper sticker, the person that created it definitely had some spiritual guidance, the coexistence of religions is necessary for all of us to get along, religious tolerance must exist in order for there to be peace on our planet,
there may be some passionate conversations about the finer points of your particular religion but this is where we will learn about each other's views, there is no doubt that there will be huge differences in opinion but they can be discussed as civilized human beings,
opinions do not have to change, they only need to be added to other's opinions to be considered, just because your beliefs are different than other's does not mean that war should ensue,
OK, so God said that your family has been given this land, this doesn't mean that the intruders must be exiled or killed, remember that neighborly love, and live and let live, and you can be the bigger person by coexisting,
even if you are an atheist with a material existence that has embraced their senses, this is just another type of belief that has every bit of respect due to it,
just as any religion has a basic sense of right and wrong and living by a good moral code does not need to be the exclusive property of any religion,
it is a basic human right to practice our Free Will whether we believe it has been given to us by God or if it was each our own individual ideas, either way, that free will is available for everyone to use as long as it doesn't prevent anyone from using theirs.
Will Religion Go Away?
This is very unlikely unless enough people make the realizations of why religion is here to begin with, religion will always be valuable to those that need some sort of guidance in their lives,
religion attempts to present to people some answers to the mystery of life even though it has been known to be taken the wrong way at times,
religion contains some basic rules for societies to follow, it give stories by example of situations that many people may encounter, it also has a sense of mystery in the way of the unknown,
larger than life characters and deities color scriptures to allow stories to be retained, faith is also a factor that is required for religion to provide a better purpose,
religion holds many truths that are needed to be realized before it can be done with, when a true realization of reality is finally made, religion will become less important because the lessons that it has held will become everyday facts,
until mankind has evolved enough to not need religion any further it shall continue to endure, what can go away is the dogma, superstition and fear that has been derived from religion,
the prophets and divinely inspired individuals that have written the scriptures have felt it was necessary to add the frightening stuff because they believe that fear is a good motivator,
this may have been somewhat true 2000 years ago but now intelligence has increased and many unexplained phenomena have been explained,
the strict rules as interpreted and the fiery hell that is feared only take away from the wisdom being presented in the scriptures, these writers are only using their God given free will to present these views as they see fit,
this is what seems to make religion illogical and ignored by many, others will go to the other extreme and interpret the scriptures as a purpose for them to smite the unbelievers,
by embracing the virtues and ignoring the sin, more worth can be extracted from religion, there is great wisdom to be found if you leave your emotions out of what you believe,
the variety of religions out there all have something to add that can improve your life, all of the virtues are there to be found, there is a good reason why there is more than one religion,
because of the size of our planet and because there is much too much to put into just one book and because of the variety of people that have been given the divine inspiration to start a religion,
all religions should be considered and the wisdom should be extracted from each to be a basis for life to follow, in the very least, a tolerance should be practiced in order to preserve what others may believe,
live and let live will allow others to practice their free will while following what you believe to be best, it would be a miracle if religion were to go away because that would mean that enlightenment would be common place and there would be no further uses for religion.
Religion During Enlightenment
So, you have had an enlightening experience and in addition, you are religious, this does not need to be a problem but it can very well be, upon some enlightening experiences you gain a knowledge that may not always correspond with your religious beliefs,
you may for instance realize that there is no Heaven after an enlightening experience, this too is a minor occurrence where your basic religious beliefs stay intact with a small omission,
the same can be said about reincarnation, this would not be a basic Christian or Islamic belief but can change or add some differences to previous beliefs, so you may have been bad and now you realize that you will not have an endless torment of hell, instead you will have to return to earth and live another life to learn why what you did previously was wrong,
all of the sins are still sins and all of the virtues are still virtues, you now just realize that your mistakes must be answered for in a more practical way, you are still able to pray and you no longer need to condemn others about their own differing beliefs,
because enlightenment comes, so does understanding and tolerance, you now have the realization that everyone has their own unique paths to follow and none are any better than anyone else's,
all of the wisdom and common sense that was contained in your religion will still be there and following them will remain no problem, actually you may see deeper meanings in your religion that were not noticed before,
you may also have an urge to explore other religions as your new enlightenment may make you more inquisitive, you are not a traitor to your religion just because something such as God or the Tao or some universal consciousness has shown you another path and has answered some difficult questions,
your original religion still has some great merit and should not be abandoned, of course, expressing your new views to others of your congregation may not fair as well as your new beliefs,
remember, you are the one that has received the enlightenment and not any of your friends, so beware and not be surprised if you try to press these new ideas upon them as they may not take it as you might expect.
Does Religion Need a God?
Since there are presently beliefs that do not include a God concept and are accepted by many individuals as a valid way of life, this answer would have to be no, Buddhism is a prime example of a worthwhile set of beliefs that have nothing to do with God and if we are going to get somewhat technical, Atheism also has a set of beliefs or non beliefs that do not include any sort of deity,
Atheism can be considered a religion of sorts if it were to be more organized past the non-belief in any sort of God, it seems to be grounded in science using the senses as the controlling factors as to what is believed or not,
it is actually quite practical and non assuming, Atheism seems to not recognize anything that cannot be proven which is also far more logical than embracing superstitions, and some spiritual concept that includes something that cannot be perceived by any of the senses,
Taoism, is another example of a religion without a God, it is based more on balance and the eventuality of cause and effect as the actions of our lives determine its eventual outcome,
there is a simple spiritual component that embraces humility of not knowing how everything works or will really work out, that keeps this religion more down to earth, the main factor here is that reason and logic along with some common sense is not a bad choice for some of the beliefs in a religion,
just the knowing that if extremes are embraced, complex problems may ensue is a wise notion to have, the introduction of God into a religion is the spiritual leap required that is supposed to explain the unexplained,
unfortunately, with the addition of God comes the addition of fear and superstition, this is just the byproduct of having scriptures that are written by men that have free will and choose to include the dogmas of their eras,
a lot of this seems to give God a bad name, possibly, the introduction of the universal consciousness would be a better idea, where everything is connected and depends upon one another,
mostly religion is supposed to be a guideline for a civilized society to follow and there is no real good reason to have a God in order to make fair, moral decisions regarding your life,
religions present some amount of wisdom that can be followed whether there is a God involved or not as long as the fear and superstition is left to exist only in the colorful stories told.
Is Religion Important?
What you expect to gain from any religion depends upon what you intend to put into it, the importance of religion is a purely subjective experience that differs with each individual,
depending on who you speak to will determine what particular view is acknowledged, religion to some people are their lives and to others it is just a way of fitting in, and still to others it is nonsense,
all religion was originally created as sort of social network to bring people together with similar moral values, it allowed people to have some sort of expectations as to how we are supposed to treat each other,
the creation of a God and or Gods was an expanded spiritual component to explain some of the unexplained things in life, it was when fear and superstition was added to the belief systems that religions became tainted,
religion is still important if you take the wisdom that is shared and dismiss the strictly followed dogma that tends to hinder more than enlighten, if you happen to be an atheist with good moral fiber, religion may not be for you, you may not buy into the deities and supernatural stuff which is all well and fine,
anyone can be a good person without having to believe in God, to some, science seems to be the new go to religion that deals strictly with what can be proven to the senses even though some of the theories are far reaching which are ironically in line with some beliefs of some religions,
there will always be those that need some sort of guidance, they will observe those that practice their religions and possibly take notice of how they have a specific direction in their lives,
I believe that all religion should be studied to some extent, there is some worth in all religions which is probably why they are so diversified, there is much wisdom and much for people to learn in religions even if you are not religious,
I have personally found many good things in each and every religion that I have studied, I have not allowed the fear and superstition to sway me in the least and actually, most every person that is happy with their religion and with other people and their religions have consciously rejected the dogmas that seemingly tear some religions apart,
they may not admit to it but the are still willing to coexist with others from other religions.