Message number 191 in "New Age Echo"
Date: 09-02-90 23:46
From: G. Adam Stanislav
To: Jami Morgan
Subj: Re: Messages
JM > the 'truth'. At best we can believe in it. Anyone
JM > who
JM > really seeks the truth cannot and ought not seek it
JM > under
JM > the confines of one's own religion.
True (or should I say good?) religion can be found by using several criteria:
1. It does not claim exclusivity any more than
an art school does. Is Picasso rights and
2. It sees itself as a school and means of growth.
This again is opposed to exclusivity. If Harvard
is a good school, does that mean UCLA is not?
3. It learns from other religions, as well as offers
insights to them.
4. It does not consider its members any better than
others. It does not offer automatic salvation by
the virtue of joining, nor does it condemn anyone
who does not join.
There are probably many more criteria, but these have come to mind right now.
Historically, mankind has always been separatist: My country is better than
your country, my city is better than your city, my race is better than your
race, my compiler is better than your compiler, my computer is better than
your computer, etc. Of course, my religion is better than your religion.
But it is not necessary for a religion to consider itself better than others,
or exclusive to others. Even if religions disagree, they do not need to view
each other negatively. Do not scientists disagree? When they do, do they deny
the other scientists are "true" scientists? Of course not.
The my xyz is better than your xyz attitude originated in the need of
survival, the need of security. Human mind wants to know the truth so badly,
it is willing to pretend it has found it. This is really more a function of
the ego than of the mind. And the ego will make everything possible to
preserve the illusion of having the truth, including declaring all other
The solution is not in denying one's religion, or religion per se, but rather
accepting the fact there is nothing wrong about not knowing everything.
Religion is good inasmuch it has helped millions to follow a path toward pure
spirituality. One may get stuck on one's path and refuse to grow and outgrow
one's religion. But this is not necessarily the fault of religion (although
granted, there are religions that want to tie one to themselves permanently).
If one gets stuck, it is usually one's own fault.
Let me show an analogy. Let us assume someone goes to college. In college he
learns many things. But what if he does not want to graduate? What if he
wants to stay in college forever. What if he does not want to outgrow
college. Is that his college's fault? The purpose of going to college is not
to need to go there anymore after some time. No college in its sane mind
would want its students to stay on the same level for the rest of their
lives. On the contrary, colleges are proud of their students who have become
pioneers in any field.
There is an important thing about colleges: College graduates, once they have
outgrown their college, do not usually say that college is no good.
But many people who have outgrown their religion look at religion as
something negative, something bad. They are usually missing the point: They
usually forget that there was a time when they learned from their religion.
Look at some true mystics in our Western history, perhaps St. Theresa of
Avilla, St. Catherine of Siena, St. John of the Cross, and others. Each and
every one of them truly outgrew their religion. Indeed, many were
misunderstood, even persecuted by others in the same religion. Yet they did
not turn against their religion, they saw a value in it.
I think if people viewed religion as a school, they would look at many things
from a different angle: They would not think about other religions as bad,
they would be able to graduate from one religion to another if needed, and if
the time came for them to graduate and stand on their own feet altogether,
they would not become negative about their religion, they might even assume
the role of teachers in their school.
--- FD 1.99c
* Origin: Children of the Light, unite! (1:129/39)