A great read from off the web …. Please take the time.
“Wherever you turn, there is the face of God.” ~The Quran
Every religion, at its core, is based on the idea that our world is a sacred and mystical place, and that each of us is on a spiritual journey, that all life is sacred, and that our entire Universe is a mystical creation.
Below is some of the wisdom common to most of the world’s mystical schools and spiritual traditions. Mystical teachings are at the core of all the great religions. They provide an alternative to hate and fear, to our illusions of separateness, reminding us instead of the beauty, interdependence and sacredness of all life.
Core Ideas of the World’s Spiritual Traditions – 13 – 17
- THE DANGER OF PASSING JUDGMENTS~ Related to this idea of good and evil is the human tendency to judge people, to call some things right and others wrong. While it is essential to make judgments about human behavior, this process of judging people frequently puts others out of our hearts, and since everyone is a part of God, it separates us from a part of our spiritual selves. We then start to create mental judgments, expectations and opinions of others (and ourselves) in our minds that are illusions, which do not recognize each soul’s fundamental spiritual wholeness, innocence, interconnectedness, beauty and potential.
Jesus said, “… If one is [whole], one will be filled with light, but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness.” ~The Gospel of Thomas
- THE IMPORTANCE OF ATONEMENT~ As individuals and as nations, human beings often do things that hurt others, causing suffering or pain. All great spiritual traditions emphasize the need for atonement, for recognizing how we have hurt others and taking action to change our ways. Guilt plays a role in helping us to recognize the negative effects of our behavior. Healing occurs as we take responsibility for our “sins” and seek reconciliation with those whom have hurt us, and whom we have harmed. Cycles of pain are ended as we forgive others and recognize our own mistakes.
“Not to mend one’s ways when one has erred is to err indeed.” ~Confucius
- DESIRE AND FEAR ARE THE ROOTS OF SUFFERING~ Our human pride, negative emotions and desires are like hooks that keep us trapped in the webs of material reality. The world’s great spiritual paths provide techniques for transcending our desires, releasing anger and conquering our fears. Until we are able to do so, we can never be truly free.
“There is no fire like greed, no crime like hatred, no sorrow like separation, no sickness like hunger of the heart, and no joy like the joy of freedom. Health, contentment and trust are your greatest possessions, and freedom your greatest joy. Look within, be still. Free from fear and attachment, know the sweet joy of living in the way.” ~The Buddha
- THE HEALING POWER OF FAITH AND PRAYER~ There is a healing power that faith and prayer seem to have. Whether it works through unseen spiritual forces, an attitude shift or a boost to the immune system we are becoming aware that what we think, hope and believe has the power to influence the way surrounding events unfold in our lives, and how stress and fear impact upon our bodies and minds. Spiritual faith cultivates a serenity and joy that transforms our hearts, peacefully impacting on the varied spheres of our lives.
“If you do not know the difference between pleasure and spiritual joy, you have not yet begun to live.” ~Thomas Merton
- THE CULTIVATION OF MORAL ETHICS, SELF-DISCIPLINE AND INTEGRITY~ As spiritual beings there are certain codes of behavior and self discipline that help to keep harmony on the earth and in our relations with one another. In order to live in peace we must learn to treat other people with respect and caring, to be truthful and honest, reliable and self-disciplined. We take responsibility for our actions, forgive ourselves (and others) for our mistakes, and seek to develop our selves (both morally and spiritually) as we learn.
“To master ourselves is to arrive Home – at the Center of Being – the Universal Mandala. What we seek we already are.” ~Lama Surya Das
*Stay tuned for part Four, coming soon!