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Understanding Scriptures

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 Blooming Stars

Higher Consciousness

            From many years of studies of world history, experience and observation I have come to the conclusion that religions have failed in bringing persons closer to God and to one another. Instead of their becoming signs of realities beyond this world that made life livable, fulfilling, and blessed, they have become anti-signs fostering self-righteous attitudes, intolerance, crass discrimination, gross persecution, and even cruel and incredible murders. They are capable of arousing passions of people to the point that people have been and still are killing one another in the name of the same one God. They neglect realities of this world for matters of faith and dogmas. They define matters of faith that in reality cannot be defined. They threaten with anathemas those who honestly and in good conscience disagree with them. They sincerely in their blindness believe that every good and intelligent person should believe what they believe. They feel they are the administrators of truth. They believe that those who do not see things the way they see are in reality misguided and are to be pitied.

            Let us, for instance, take the four major world religions. The Christians believe that they alone possess the truth revealed through Jesus Christ, and that there is no salvation without belief in Saviour Jesus Christ. Even though the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965)modified this deeply entrenched belief, many Christians believe that. Muslims believe that the Christians have corrupted the scriptures handed down to them and gone astray, and the Jews deserve Allah’s wrath, and Quran corrects the Christian Scriptures as the final word of Allah given to Mohammed, the greatest and the final prophet. The Hindus believe one’s actions determine the kind and number of incarnations until one attains liberation through dissolution into the Supreme Being. The Buddhists believe that one can attain nirvana (final bliss) through one’s own effort by following Buddha’s prescription. Such mutually exclusive, differing, and even contradictory view-points of religions saw seeds for strife, dissension, and quarrels. Where is then the place for love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and justice? We have known, for instance, nations believing in the same religion fighting each other and praying to God for victory of their side. Depending on needs some people have prayed for rain while others have prayed against rain. What can God do?

            Herein comes the need for spirituality beyond religions or for higher consciousness. At the outset I need to mention that I am not against religions, and I respect all religions whether I agree with them or not. Respect for others is imperative in any society. Religions need to purify themselves and find their original vision and mission. They need to work together so people can increase their ability to love all human beings who are made in the image of God, or who all are sparks of divine consciousness. Religions need to stop infantilizing human beings. They need to stop advocating for their vested interests. Instead of shrinking the inner freedom through their diktats, they need to help all enjoy the glorious freedom of God’s children. God gave human beings freedom even to reject Him. Just to take a few examples, Christ allowed Judas, one of his close disciples, to take part in his Last Supper considered to be the first Eucharistic celebration (Mass) knowing Judas would betray him. Will a catholic priest give Holy Communion to a person knowing that he would betray Christ? Can a Muslim change his religion without any fear of being harmed? Can a Hindu change his religion without being harassed? There are many other questions that deal with a person’s fundamental rights. The need for spirituality beyond religions or higher consciousness in a pluralistic society is essential and is really the need of the hour.


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