part two - religion

Faith is the belief in the unseen.  it is a contradiction to science, which is proof and facts before believing.    Most of the world’s religions require some belief in the unseen in a reality that  appears to be heading to a more rational, materialistic and secular way of life.  Society is pushing politically correctness and an  all inclusive space where no one gets hurt,  and everyone has the freedom to do whatever they want.  The reality is that somehow everyone seems to get offended because they can’t have everything their way 

religion gives hope in this type of world.

Travel and working inside many countries allowed me a gift to see the various way man believes in a higher being.  It appears we are all brought up into a religion as a child more on where we are born on the planet.   We are taught the rules of the religion and/or the denomination/sect to build a foundation and ethic of right and wrong.

I had a real problem as a kid asking, “what is this?  Where is this? Why is this? It says in the bible that this is real, where is it?” 

I digress.  There are three major Abraham religions in the world.  And for whatever reason, each one says they are the path and right way.   It makes me sad, because I ask, “well? If everyone in these three religions believes in the same god/creator, why is it so screwed up?  Why do people hate  each other like we do?” 

i ask a question in prayer all the time, if one could have a cup of coffee with god and  ask him why he created the world the way he did.   he might respond, “its not that I didn’t give enough for everything on the planet.  man  took it all and created a really bad distribution system.

You look at the other major religions of the world, Buddhism, Hinduism, shintoism and others, they appear foreign to the abrahamic religions.  The Dali lama has written the most books that do the best to generalize and take the elements of all the worlds religions to preach a larger message of peace and hope to the world.   I wonder how many are actually listening, much less hearing?

Inside my own religion,  travel  forced me to go outside my one denomination and look at all of the various denominations.   What did I learn?  That the church world wasn’t that much different than the secular world.    There were places I walked in as a stranger and was welcomed,  there were other churches I went in and felt like I walked into a sub-zero freezer.   Same religion, what was different? The people. 

I also remember what it is like to get carded and labeled as an infidel in another religions country, how to not get a passport stamp in a country because you can’t get into others if you have it.   god, it is a bit depressing when you think about it.

The good news is that  I have witnessed places on the planet where it doesn’t matter if someone is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or Aetheist in normal day-to-day life.   I have seen people all living together with the freedom of belief and the ability to pray and worship god/no god openly.  Yet,  it is more common picture that we  see fear fueling the hatred, racism, intolerance and plain ignorance of men treating each other terribly. Sometimes in the name of god.

Other parts of the world have no tolerance or ability to practice the choice of freedom.  some areas have nationalized religions, others - the religion and state are the same.    In the west, where freedom is a right - I watch the media declare the need for freedom in such places and I shake my head and ask, “has the news director and politicians actually been to these places?  lived there?”

Forgive my ramble, but the part that is confusing to me with all the religions is that over time, man has made so many rules, traditions and regulations of what is or is not allowed inside any religion and denomination that it seems there is so many rules, that one can’t find the time to get beyond what you need to do to even find god through all the clutter.

Perhaps this message sounds familiar to anyone.   There are priorities and obligations in life.   The west is getting sucked into the world of “more” and “busy” with obligation and not making the time for what is the priority of life.  In other parts of the world, some sects inside religions are going so far backwards that a controlled or repressive life is required, or you loose your life.

The rules behind each religion seem simple.  Yet, walking it out on the planet is amazingly hard.  The reason is that you can’t do what man is so great at – looking externally and pointing the finger at what everyone else is doing, instead of simply figuring out how to love god with all your heart, mind and soul and to love your neighbor as you wish to be loved.

That last part is hard. 

We all want to be loved; yet, it is hard for us to give up something so that another is loved too.  Giving up self is not a popular message in a world where the issues of pride, greed, lust and a myriad of other passions work on each of us every day.

Religion is good, in that it does give a path with some rules to follow, but there is the opportunity to go deeper inside yourself and change that you are.  I don’t know if religion itself does that, or the spirit of god. 

Tomorrow is the last part of the stars and grains of sands blog  - spirituality.    Is it where the scientists are running from one direction looking for proof the god particle, while the religious people who believed something was there converge?

If anyone is offended by what I wrote, I am sorry.  I am like everyone else. Walking on a path to get better each day, yet, I am human, flawed, just like everyone else. But I keep getting up, dusting myself off and trying.  I know there is more, I am trying to seek it out the best I know how.

that was a long ramble - care to join me for a cup of coffee?