Every person who’s spiritually active, despite the template they express their spirituality through, seeks to know God; Source; the Formless. It doesn’t matter if they’re religious or generally spiritual – we all want to reunite with our creator and the heavenly realms of consciousness we’ve come here from.
People from all walks of life have opened up to spirit, whether their belief systems have been controlled or not.
I know a few Christians who are more interested in heaven and the afterlife than persecuting people who don’t think the way they do, and even though religion has been used as an excuse for war and persecution, it doesn’t invalidate one’s spirituality.
I can remember having a conversation with one religious person in particular about life after death. The person wasn’t interested in selling her beliefs to me, and instead, she was happy to talk about an interesting subject that she’d studied a lot in her own right.
The point I want to make is that every path leads back to the same heaven we’re destined to reenter. Even though I don’t encourage persecution, I’m comfortable in saying that plenty of religious people are highly spiritual and live in service to humanity and the “Holy Spirit” because of their faith.
Every religion offers a slightly different interpretation of the same Source and the same heaven we’ll experience when we lighten our individual and collective vibration, and instead of killing each other over different spiritual interpretations, we should recognize that no path is “perfect”.
Every path is flawed in its own way, because it’ll be impossible to get a completely undistorted glimpse of the spiritual realms until we’re actually in them. This isn’t just true for religion – those of us who feel spiritually conscious still have a lot to learn before we really understand the truth of our existence.
The movement we’ve fashioned around the ideas we’ve discovered is intended to be a means to an end, just like religion. Religious and spiritual belief systems are intended to get us thinking in the right direction, and there’s no way they’d be able to offer a clear and perfect picture of God and heaven.
However, every belief system has the potential to help us soar into heaven on a cloud of our own hard work and effort. As we’re going to examine here, Source has offered a bounty of ways for us to start understanding the truth of our existence, and no one path has all of the answers.
The “truth” is individually defined, and our ability to come together lies in the extent to which we can accept each other’s unique interpretations of heaven and our creator.
There’s a lot of material out there about the different paths that lead to the same conclusion, and here, I’m going to present some of that material and reiterate the importance of loving and respecting each other for our differences in belief.
Ibn Arabi tells us that every path is a path to Source.
“[Whichever] way you turn your face, there you will find a road which leads to God.” (1)
Paramahansa Ramakrishna reinforces this idea and tells us about the different belief systems he practiced.
“As many faiths, so many paths.” (2)
“I had to practise each religion for a time — Hinduism, Islam, Christianity. Furthermore, I followed the paths of the Saktas, Vaishnavas, and Vedantists. I realized that there is only one God toward whom all are travelling; but the paths are different.” (3)
We can follow every religion in the book if we want to understand all of the different ways we can interpret God, but at the end of the day, one’s personal truth is always the best guide. The physical temple is the ultimate chapel, and our unique philosophy will guide us into the higher dimensions with relative ease if we put in the work to get there.
I think that studying different religions and belief systems is actually a good idea. Why not get a feel for how others interpret the Formless? As long as we remember that no truth supersedes what we know and feel within, studying other belief systems could prove lucrative.
A lot of seekers have studied different faiths and widened their grasp on all of the different religious and spiritual interpretations, and I imagine that doing so will bring us closer to our creator.
Ramakrishna tells us that Source has provided us different belief systems, and likens it to a mother offering a diverse array of food for her hungry children.
“God Himself has provided different forms of worship. He who is the Lord of the Universe has arranged all these forms to suit different men in different stages of knowledge.
The mother cooks different dishes to suit the stomachs of her different children. Suppose she has five children. If there is a fish to cook, she prepares different dishes from it — pilau, pickled fish, fried fish, and so on — to suit their different tastes and powers of digestion.” (3)
We’re all unique, and we’re all going to interpret Source differently. Because of this, we’ve been offered a wide array of belief systems so we could pick and choose what works best for us. The problem is that religious “leaders” who’ve wanted to squander free thinking have demanded their religion be law and killed people who didn’t agree.
Concluded in Part 2 tomorrow.
(1)- Muhyideen Ibn Arabi, Kernel of the Kernel. trans. Ismail Hakki Bursevi. Sherborne: Beshara, n.d.
(2)- Swami Chetananda, They Lived with God. Life Stories of Some Devotees of Sri Ramakrishna. St. Louis: Vedanta Society of St. Louis, 1989.
(3)- Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942.