Since the dawn of human existence on this planet, we have virtually all wondered about some of the same things. Among the most persistent and pervasive of these are: “Where did I come from?”; “What am I doing here?”; “Am I more than just my body?”; “Where will I go when I die?” Since no concrete answers have thus far been found within the strict confines of our physical dimension, the only available answers must of necessity fall into the realm of the imaginative, or at least the intuitive. Regardless of the truth of these concepts, they are all we have to work with. Taken collectively they are usually seen to fall into the realm of either religion, spirituality, or both.
What these two approaches share in common is an apprehension that, as Shakespeare put it:
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
In more direct terms, we humans are not entirely contained within the confines of our physical beings. And what is not contained within the physical realm is loosely called spiritual. A religion simply adds sacred writings, their interpretations, and certain traditions to the basic concept of spirituality.
The chapters of this module will discuss:
Physics, metaphysics and religion
Science, philosophy and religion are finally coming together, and in the years to come they will become partners, rather than adversaries.
Meeting of minds
We can no longer afford to place barriers between groups of people based on religious or spiritual beliefs. This is a century of coming together, and this is one of the most important areas in which that is true.
The value of “primitive wisdom”
There are remote and relatively unknown religious and spiritual practices and traditions all over the world. Each of them has elements that are of value to all of us. If we do not honor and explore them, what will we miss out on?
There are many “hot” issues, such as evolution versus creationism, that separate us. We must find ways to remove those barriers that everyone can support. This will be as challenging as well as beneficial.
Tradition isn’t necessarily Truth
Humanity has long relied on traditions for stability, among other things. But when traditions that were our friends become our enemies, we must change if not the traditions, at lest our relationship with them.
Focus on sameness
We all have attributes and characteristics that are different as well as the same. We must move away from focusing on the differences and start focusing more on the samenesses, and now is the time to do it.
Follow love, not fear
Religious and spiritual views that are based on fear should be viewed with suspicion, and those that are based on love should be given preference. This is a signal characteristic of the third millennium.
Everyone’s partly right, no one is completely right
Very many people feel a deep need to be right. They also see everyone else as wrong. Now is the time to realize that no one totally right or wrong. Between us we have more truth than anyone does alone.
How can we know when it’s getting better?
It is good, even necessary, to haver a reliable sense that you are making progress toward your goals and ideals. But in the field of religious and spiritual growth, this is not easy to measure. Here are some suggestions.
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