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,
all religions are nothing more than instructions on how to reach enlightenment by living together with everyone else and being able to recognize reality.
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,
if what they had to say was interesting enough to others it would be spread and passed on to others, each of these various prophets has had an enlightenment in each of their various religions,
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.