One Common Faith ~ The Story – Part Four

religious_fighting

The
Story
Continues…

Link to the beginning.


More on my spiritual war with religion.

In the last installment, I’d said, “I was known for my spirited discussions about religion, challenging anyone available to prove to me even a shred of evidence that religion was the correct way to worship God…”

Even though I’d had a huge turn-off toward religion, I continued to search for one I could call my own, devote myself to, claim as my Truth.

I should inject a bit of clarity concerning morality, spirituality, and religion.

Having a “moral code” may keep you from reprehensible actions but it won’t necessarily help you transform your consciousness or achieve the heights of spiritual awareness.

Being “spiritual” may bring some measure of heightened consciousness and may or may not have an influence on moral behavior.

Being “religious” can improve the morals, heighten spirituality, and  induce an attitude that aids an individual in working cooperatively to build better forms of social existence.

Our ancestors had a chance to try all three modes of behavior and understanding, over and over again. They, with the help of the Avatars and Prophets down through the ages, built moral codes, devised activities to heighten spirituality, and formed religious societies. Something they also did, that worked against all three forms of social betterment, was to weave highly materialistic and basely human rituals and institutions around the pure forms bequeathed to them by the Prophets. This is what led to the divisiveness of religion against religion—the fighting against the outer forms of worship and dogmatic theologies while ignoring the eternal spiritual truths.

I did the very same thing in my individual development. I’d receive a small bit of the Truth, immediately appropriate it to my personal whims and fancies, project it on anyone willing to listen, and defend it till I’d lose the other person’s respect…

I came from an American-Christian background. I’ve always honored and respected Jesus. I also explored other religions and found cause to honor and respect their Prophet-Founders. The predominant American religious game is to deal out a deck stacked against any religion but the one crafted by either very mortal popes or very mortal ministers. I’d grown up with two very mortal ministers (mom and dad), had them shape my early understandings of religion. How in the world to reconcile my religious birthright of the exclusivity of Jesus with the apparently equal exclusivity of the other Prophet-Founders?

The answer was found after an excruciatingly painful descent into my Dark Night of the Soul.

To be continued…

Spiritual Quote :

“What ‘oppression’ is more grievous than that a soul seeking the truth, and wishing to attain unto the knowledge of God, should know not where to go for it and from whom to seek it? For opinions have sorely differed, and the ways unto the attainment of God have multiplied. This ‘oppression’ is the essential feature of every Revelation. Unless it cometh to pass, the Sun of Truth will not be made manifest. For the break of the morn of divine guidance must needs follow the darkness of the night of error.”
Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 31

For an in-depth and rigorous discussion of the principles explored in this story, reference One Common Faith and Changeless Faith.

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One Common Faith ~ The Story – Part Three

religious_battle

The Story Continues…
{ Part One }
{ Part Two }


The battle begins; more accurately, the battles that make up my war with religion.

I’d accepted the Faith I was “born into” without question up to the point my questioning faculty shifted from the everyday level to the meta-level. I certainly had enough of the usual questions a seeking soul asks as it begins the process of working through the body—the “why is the sky blue” variety. At around seven years old, I began to question the Faith I’d been expected to embrace, silently of course…

Our early ancestors also accepted the various forms of Faith they’d acquired during their struggles with the challenging environment of our mother planet. They apparently didn’t just fashion these early forms of Faith from sheer imagination but were guided by beings more-than-human. From the best available evidence, there were very special personages from the earliest times; called Avatars, Prophets, Messengers, or Manifestations of God—Souls with Supreme fidelity to God’s Will, human-appearing yet endowed with Powers most usually never suspected.

My personal war with religion began not because I disbelieved in God but because of the polar opposition of what I understood of God’s Way and the ways my parents and fellow members of our church expressed their Faith. I must add that my mother was and still is my best example of a human living their Faith. Yet, the fact that she deferred to my father (far too much in my opinion and horribly confusing to my young mind) and that my father, very prone to vent his frustration with those not agreeing with his entrenched attitudes (always at home, not in the church), the fact that he was the religious leader of a community of wayward, struggling humans led to my first religious battles—fought, with much blood and gore, within my young personality.

Our ancestors had similar problems. An Avatar would appear in their midst and convey a morsel of spiritual Truth. The leaders of the tribes and cities would take that pure sustenance and clothe it in very human trappings, weaving rituals around it till it became nothing but a husk, lifeless and devoid of any healing power. I’m sure there were individuals who had internal religious wars similar to mine many thousands of years ago. One thing that’s certain is the religious wars our ancestors, distant and recent, have fought with other tribes, cities, and nations within our human family.

I was known for my spirited discussions about religion, challenging anyone available to prove to me even a shred of evidence that religion was the correct way to worship God…

To be continued…

Spiritual Quote :

“The foundation of all the divine religions is one. All are based upon reality. Reality does not admit plurality, yet amongst mankind there have arisen differences concerning the Manifestations of God. Some have been Zoroastrians, some are Buddhists, some Jews, Christians, Muslims and so on. This has become a source of divergence, whereas the teachings of the holy Souls Who founded the divine religions are one in essence and reality. All these have served the world of humanity. All have summoned souls to peace and accord. All have proclaimed the virtues of humanity. All have guided souls to the attainment of perfections, but among the nations certain imitations of ancestral forms of worship have arisen. These imitations are not the foundation and essence of the divine religions. Inasmuch as they differ from the reality and the essential teachings of the Manifestations of God, dissensions have arisen, and prejudice has developed. Religious prejudice thus becomes the cause of warfare and battle.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 344

For an in-depth and rigorous discussion of the principles explored in this story, reference One Common Faith and Changeless Faith.

Please leave your thoughts and feelings in the Comments.
Let’s have a conversation !

You can also explore and discuss the ideas of this post at
Our Evolution‘s Forums.

Make It Easy !
Get a Free RSS or Email Subscription
For FREE Subscriptions to our monthly newsletter just send us an email at amzolt{at}gmail{dot}com