Both examples show a problem: how accepting a religion blindly can put one's mind in a box, a box that does not question the underlying principles. And to maintain one's "box" just any sort of self criticism is unacceptable. For most accept the truth on the basis of authority. One becomes mature when one learns to question religious teachings with one's own research, and determine if what one believes is true or not. I remember one time looking on the shelf, seeing a closed Bible. I thought, "I better open that book and find out if what the church is teaching is true or not." What I found is a core of truth, mixed in with many falsehoods. But it took a lot of searching.
The principle I took: most people who grow up in a religion never question it, and assume that the religion they grew up is the one source of truth. So when I thought about it, I thought, "And how do I know if the religion I have been told is true or not?" Honestly I did not. That Jesus was Divine, I knew to be true, but there were many other problems with the Christian Church. It had split into many factions. Most church goers go out of ritual. There were many unanswered questions.
And the more I asked questions, the more I got, why are you asking questions? Asking questions are certainly discouraged. And then I discovered something very hard: there were a certain number of essential false assumptions in the teachings. It is at this moment, I began to get an uncomfortable feeling. Something was not quite right. I could not put my finger on it. Sort of like this:
And so, that led to a period of searching. It is said, Seek and ye shall find. It is certainly true. For seeking, questioning one's assumptions, begins to open one's mind. But Jesus warned against false christs pointing here and there for the kingdom of God, for the kingdom of God is within us:
And when one begins to search, one realizes one must keep an open mind. This means always questioning one's assumptions. When you do so, it leaves the mind open for discovery.
There is always, of course, the danger of emptying one's mind a bit too much:
God is not an abstract nothingness. And religion is not just one of meditation. There is of course an invisible God, a universal energy, beyond our conception. God is good itself, and truth itself. While most religions believe in an invisible God, fewer reach the conclusion of a personal God - one that has a human form, that can dwell in our heart.
And this is where all paths of truth lead - towards the center of the heart. For how true a religious truth is is dependent on how applicable it is to use, service, life, and ultimately love itself. But in order to reach love, one must first remove the roadblocks that we have created in our own self. When the roadblocks are removed, we are then ready to receive the Divine, and become His instrument.
Truth is universal. There are many ways to reach the end of the path, which is love:
Emanuel Swedenborg said something similar, concerning life and religion:ReplyDelete
"He who believes that serving the Lord consists solely in going to church, in hearing preaching there, and in praying, and that this is sufficient, is much deceived. The real worship of the Lord consists in performing uses; and uses consist during man's life in the world, in every one's discharging aright his duty in his station, thus in serving his country, society, and his neighbor from the heart, in dealing sincerely with his fellow, and in performing duties prudently according to the quality of every one. These uses are especially the works of charity, and those whereby the Lord is mainly worshipped. Attending church, hearing sermons, and saying prayers are also necessary; but without the above uses they avail nothing, for they are not of the life, but teach what the life should be. Angels in heaven have all happiness from uses, and according to uses, so that uses are to them heaven." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 7038)