Jesus is the truth and the light. The Buddha was the middle path through the light and darkness. Mohammed was the key to obtaining transportation into heaven. Vishnu was the avatar who would return some day to save us all? But wait a second? Which one is telling the truth? Are they all liars? Are they all right?…..hmm I wonder.
Common facts of religion.
Religion has been around for many years. And believe it or not, most religions have a lot more in common than you think. Horus the Egyptian sun god was reportedly born 30,000 years BC. He was killed and resurrected. The Buddha was born more than 500 years BC. He was born to royal blood. His birth was phrophsized. His people wanted him to become a great warrior, yet instead he chose the most peaceful of lives. The Buddha also renounced the dominant religion of “Hinduism” and abolished the caste system and created a new philosophy based off of Hinduism. (Christianity was based off Judaism)
If this story reminds you of Jesus you wouldn’t be the only one. Actually, the Christian Bible, and the cross symbol surround by a circle is a Pagan symbol. If you look at the cold hard facts, all religions contain remnants of some other older religion. There is no denying it. Everything that is created is inspired by something older. Its human nature. The Hindu god “Vishnu” is also rumored to one day come back as an “Avatar” in human form to save us all. Sounds a lot like Jesus? Or maybe Jesus sounds a lot like Vishnu? Vishnu was mentioned thousands of years earlier in history……
Or perhaps reincarnation does exist? I mean, with all of these similarities it does make sense right? But, then again there is no way of FULLY disproving or proving any religious claim. The Earth has been here for millions of years, yet Religion has only been around for thousands. At the end of the day, how can we TRULY know which religion is true, or if any of them are? There is no point in trying to argue over something so vague.
The evils of Religion…….
Money, sex, politics, and war. What do they all have in common? Religion! Especially between Muslims and Christians. The most flamboyant of all religions. Many Muslim tribes are actually so extreme that they will behead you for not being Muslim. While Christian pastors/priest make millions of dollars convincing people that they actually know what happens when you die. How do they know? Because it was written in the Bible. And how do we know what is written in the Bible is true? Because God says so. yeah……….real convincing. The Bible and any religious text sounds a lot more like human writing than Godly words. Or does god even speak words at all? What language? There are actually Christian organizations that raise millions of dollars to plan trips to other countries to convert them. Imagine being a Buddhist your entire life, and a Christian comes to your home and says, ” Your religion is completely bogus, even though it is much older than Christianity. The only way your soul wont burn in hell is to accept that Jesus is your savior…..even though we’re not sure he actually exists……..”.
Now lets reverse that. Imagine a Buddhist man going to a Christian house and trying to convert them to Buddhism. haha. Now that’s comedy! A Buddhist evangelical. How many wars have been fought in the name of Buddha anyway? Religion reminds me of George Bush. Its ego centric, over-funded, illiterate, lack education, and goes to war often. Even though I do not affiliate myself with any one religion, it really ticks me off when someone tells another person that their religion is completely bogus. I know I’m picking on Christian’s a bit right now, but they are the most notorious. Manifest Destiny, forced conversion of Native American’s and Filipinos, the millions of dollars invested in it, and the overall “business” of Christianity make it an easy target for this discussion. But, I am well aware that all religious types have good and bad within it.
The Fine points of religion………
Contrary to what you may think about me. I love all of the many religions of the world. The Book of Eclesiastes from the Bible is full of great wisdom. So are the parables that The Buddha taught to the world. Vishnu also taught us that God is not around us, but within us all. All of the worlds great religions taught us that we are very small in comparison to the universe. They also taught us basic morals such as avoiding immoral actions such as theft and rape. (Take note Catholics,…lol. Sorry that was a bad joke). Every religion gives us a glimpse into a culture of people. Early Christians came from the same land as Jews and Muslims. Hinduism started in India, which actually isn’t too far from Israel. Each religion is embedded with Culture. In my opinion, Religion is more about culture, and less about facts. Religions were made by a certain group of people who tried to understand God the best way they knew how. The Early Greeks could not understand what lightening was. So the Story of Zues came to be. Because these religions are so old, there is no way we can know what actually happened during the times they were written in. But, through research, you can see the obvious connections and influences in the various religions. Whether God inspired these religions or not, human “opinion” was definitely involved in all religions.
Native Americans, Universalism, and my personal opinions….
In my opinion, the Native Americans were probably some of the most open-minded people when it came to spirituality. They didn’t know if God was a man, or an Eagle, or the Sun itself. All they knew, is that humans were pretty weak when compared to mother nature. To them, God was everything. (Similar to Japanese Shinto). God was the rain, the sun, the Eagle that showed them where water was. Wisdom wasn’t something that spoke to them and told them to write a book. Wisdom was something that couldn’t be spoken, to them wisdom has to be shown and realized. In my opinion, God is something that cannot be understood. I do not believe we got here by ourselves. Yet, I do not believe God is some bearded man sitting in heaven listening to our complaints like a counselor. (Damn, he really needs to hire a secretary eh?)
To me, God is a collective consciousness. He has no name. A name that has been long forgotten. God slowly created man. And man slowly created religion. Religion is a reflection of the imperfections of man.
When a man does not understand something, he rationalizes it, and builds a system around it. I cannot say that any religion doesn’t have truth. All of them contain some truth/wisdom mixed with a lot of personal opinion. Yet, the older a book gets these days, the “Truer” people seem to think it is. To me, in my opinion, God is energy. He is mass, time, space, and energy. He does not speak a language. We communicate with God through intent, emotion, and will. Don’t believe me? You ever met someone, and even though they didn’t speak a word, you knew they were up to no good? Did you get bad “vibes”? To me “Vibes” are the communication words of the universe. Positive or negative intentions can ripple through the universe. One bad action is able to change the world. Just as one good action can influence the life of another for the rest of their lives. We are all one mind, in one reality. Or as the Buddha would say, ” Everything is inter-connected.”
Debunking the “end times”……….
Many people who try to “sell” a Bible to you will often claim the “Revelations” has all of the answers of the Future. It supposedly will tell of what the “end days” will be like. “Brother will turn against brother”, “Nations will fall……..”, “Great natural disasters will occur”…. Sounds scary huh? That alone would convert a lot of people. Some people even claim that Hitlers appearance was foretold in Revelations. But, anyone with an IQ can see quickly beyond this. While I cannot approve or disprove any religion, because I cannot see into the future or the past, I am healthfully skeptical. (skepticism is healthy). These “prophecies” are very vague. Almost like one of those palm readers in a crappy neighborhood. Natural disasters, nations falling, brothers turning against brothers, natural disasters of enormous proportions…….all of these things have been going on for ages and ages. And according to Priests and pastors, the world has been “ending” for quite some time. The men who wrote the Bible were genius. If you make something vague enough, one day (by mathematical probability) the event “could” come true. And the “event” could be interpreted into a thousand different meanings. It’s all so vague For example, “I predict that one day in the future, that one of our presidents will die of a heart attack”. That event may not happen for hundreds of years, but when/if it does happen, people will have thought that I was actually a fortune teller. I have said it many times before. All religions contain many gems of wisdom, but a good intention can quickly turn bad. Religion can give us something to believe in, but it is also a powerful political tool. If you can put a “filter” on your brain, studying the various religions has actually brought me very close to my own personal interpretation of god. My own personal one……..
God is a personal journey…………
People sometimes ask me, “what is your religion?”. I sometimes jokingly say, “Jeet Kune Do.” People are often confused. Jeet Kune Do was created by Bruce Lee. Lee believed that all martial art styles had good points, but none where perfect. They were too concrete, mechanical, and didn’t consider the individual. You have to take what is receptive to yourself. These philosophies are actually derived from “Taoism” (trusting in the “way”, god is a “force” that cannot be understood, only flowed with). To me, a religion (much like a style in martial arts) is great for the beginning of your journey. It gives you a “foundation”. A “general” scope of the universe. To this day I find myself going back and reading my childhood Bible even though I don’t consider myself Christian in the very least. I realized that all religions have some common truth, common lies, and new wisdom.
The same goes with my martial arts background. My background is in Chinese Kung Fu and Kickboxing/western boxing. Those are my “base” styles. Although, I now cross-train with many other stylists to get different perspectives, and now I feel like I have a style that works for “ME” and my journey. I think spirituality and God are much like that. You can call God whatever you want. Jehovah, Vishnu…….but at the end of the day none of us know without a doubt what “God” really is, or even if God wishes to be called “God”. But, I do think humans like to relate to the almighty, so they “personify” God, and give him a human form. Yet, I tend to lean more towards the “Taoist” mentality. God is simply………”The way”. And we must flow towards it. The way is everything that is positive mentally and spiritually. We must find the god that lives in our hearts. God is a collective consciousness. As the Buddha said, “Everything is connected. The animals, the air, our thoughts, all of it affects one another. We are one being on one land”.
Religion is something that will be debated for years and years to come. No matter what you believe, I think the most important is that what ever you do believe, it must have a positive impact on your life. Its much like arguing over which exercise gets you in shape better. As long as it gets you fit right? Or how many martial art teachers tell their students that their way(style) is the one and “only” way. People get stuck in this “cult” attitude. And I think this is where religions become harmful. Religions are thousands of years old. Yet the world has been here for millions. There is no way humans can decipher the facts and lies of religion. Whether Jesus comes for the “Rapture”, Vishnu comes back a human, or you are reincarnated in the ways of Buddha, its all meaningless to wait for these events that may or may not ever happen. We are so focused on the “end times”, that we forget about right now! The best thing we can do is live with positive intentions, and spread compassion, wisdom, and light among our fellow brothers and sisters. If you can do this, it wont matter what religion you practice,…….I’m sure God with be impressed. How do I know God exists? Well, it all depends on what you think God is? For some people, he is a man with a beard and testicles in the sky. He looks just like me or you. For others he is simply the rain. For others he is energy, time and space. For others, God is love. For someone else, God is just simply God……….something that cannot be described.
So, before you go trying to convert someone, or belittling someone else’s religion, please consider that your own religion or beliefs are also based on very little fact. Even my believes can be challenged. And I accept that I could be wrong. Yet I refuse to believe in “maybe”. I will not go to war, give up my hard earned money, or become a martyr over something that “could” be true.
Gandhi said it best………
“I am Hindu, I am Buddhist, I am Muslim, I am Christian……….All religions contain truth, but none are necessarily true”