How is it that some cultures and religions have such a message of healing and inherent goodness while others have a message of destruction and separation? How is it that even within the same religion, we see such a difference in what is most important? It comes down to the story that is told.
Every people, every culture, every religion has their stories of trespassers, of those who have fallen from the path. These stories offer correction and instruction of what not to do, what “sin” looks like, how humans can go wrong. Each culture also has stories of goodness, of wholeness, of being loved by the Creator. These are the stories that illicit gratitude for our place in the world, inspiring humans to do good in the world and live for healing. It seems that within a culture, the stories that get emphasized direct the focus and attention of the people.
Some religions, the teachers say, are in their infancy. Birthed in the last 2000-4000 years, their message has largely become one of separation, of fallen-ness, of dominion, and of necessary belief for salvation. A divine figure set apart (and “holy”), he has made one people to be higher than the others, masters of creation. Other older belief systems, largely silenced throughout the last 2000 years, have proclaimed unity and relation and kinship of all things. Creator rejoices in Creation and humans are part of a larger circle of life. These voices are growing and rising up as truth works its way to the surface.
I feel a deep urgency of the need to come together as all people. The opportunity is to begin living in love, acting out of our gratitude for the life force that flows throughout the entire universe and especially through our Mother, the Earth. We are so intricately connected and each action we take branches out to give life or take life of all others. Humans can live in awareness of this relationship to each other and all things, and participate in the healing… or we can deny this relationship and bring about destruction. Either way, the relationship exists and the effects of our choices are immense.
May there be a time when when people will join together in the Spirit (or whatever word they will use) that unites. Religions and cultures cooperating and telling their stories of wholeness and healing. Being one religion, following one path does not have to mean all the others are cast out, inferior, or invalid. A Spirit that enlivens all necessitates that others are welcome at the table. It is good for each person and each community to practice their religion, their faith, their culture… but we must pursue the thread of unity, of healing, of restoration in each of our paths. Otherwise, we are not following the truth. We need each other. We need different lenses to see the world, different facets of the same diamond. We need each other to understand the truth that runs deeper than all of our separate ways, nearer than our divisions, and wider than the narrow nets we have cast so far. This is the story that I will tell.