Think, Question and Act.
I was born into a Christian family, had my parents been Muslims I would have read the Koran instead of the Bible. The omnipotent, supreme creator endowed me with a questioning mind. Therefore I questioned the patriarchal religions handed down from Abraham. I had no faith in miracles I wanted more factual evidence. Why would an all-knowing God put a tree of knowledge at Adam and Eves disposal, tell them not to eat the fruit, knowing they would? God does work in mysterious ways and it is probably good that he does or I would be, naked as Lady Godiva, living off nature’s garden, just like the indigenous people, before the white missionaries arrived.
Lao Tzu, is credited with the “Tao Te Chan,” a book the Taoist follow. Translated versions of Lao Tzu’s words have obscured some of the sage’s message. He writes about the Tao the inexplicable power that keeps the universe in equilibrium, He said “The Tao that can be described is not the real Tao.” Could this inexplicable power, be the unanswerable answer to mans search for God? “Wu–wie!” Is that the “Way”? Another Taoist idea is Yin Yang explaining the relationship and balance of all things.
The Hindus have one God but to accommodate everyone he can appear as any deity one desires. Consequently there is an incredible number of Hindu gods and Hinduism has a lot of other complex things that are hard to fathom but there is a wealth of wisdom and goodness to be found in Bhagavad Gita.
Buddha was a wise man his ethical ‘Eight Fold Path’ is worth following. He was only interested in finding a way out of life’s pain and suffering. After he died his teaching became a religion, to qualify as a religion a God is needed. It was then that Siddhartha was promoted by some of his followers. Buddhism spread and picked up other local myths and beliefs making finding useful wisdom difficult.
Major dogmas agree on the basic principles promoting good and not killing their fellow-man, some beliefs extend that to all sentient beings. To focus on what we agree on and not arguing would allow us to progress in harmony. Replacing fear with understanding, hate with kindness. Then the ordinary citizen would not be manipulated by the greedy that profit from war, they make the armaments that destroy and then prosper from rebuilding.
I will not accept any religion that condones war and intolerance. The Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama or the ‘Sage of the Shakyas”, was a pacifist. He never entered into the creation debate. The Buddha was like a doctor, interested in finding a cure for pain and suffering. He first found the cause of the suffering. Then he prescribes a cure. The causes he outlined in “The Four Noble Truths”. He prescribed a cure “The Eight Fold Path”, a logical self disciplined guide to reach the ultimate goal of enlightenment. If practiced diligently peace and contentment is attained. In Buddhist term Novena, described in English as perfect peace and understanding or total enlightenment.
Buddhism was borne out of Hinduism. The Buddha and his teaching are shrouded in myth, time has distorted and added to his words of wisdom. Buddha’s philosophy has become a religion. Buddhism spread to China and other lands. China added ideas of *Confucius, the Tao and ancestral worship. Buddhism has become much like other religions, a group of revered leaders arguing about technicalities irrelevant to ethics. They are more concerned with their authority and power than peace and contentment.
Sincerity and practice are more important than the dogma. The helpful, benevolent action the belief inspires is what matters most. We all need a guide to follow to find peace. Do not let your guiding belief be distorted by fear, greed or hate.