Sunday, December 12, 2010


For me, the different religions are
beautiful flowers from the same garden,
or they are branches of the same majestic tree.
Therefore, they are equally true,
though being received and interpreted
through human instruments equally imperfect.
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

As an Interfaith minister, it is  difficult for me to understand  why mankind uses the Sacred as a means to justify war and killing...why it is that throughout the centuries, so many innocents have been slain just because they had different beliefs.  You would think that we, modern humans, would have learned our lessons by now, but, alas, the killing continues...and even more unfortunate is that religion has lost its much so that many have turned their backs on it.  We have forgotten that all  beliefs come from the same source.  At one time in our distant past, all were as one.  Sadly, what was once was a way for us to refuel our energy and heal our souls now fuels the fire of hatred, causing conflicts all over the planet.  No longer a  tool of spiritual enlightenment, religion has become a tool and war and power.

I live in a rather amazing neighborhood.  I am not always happy here, but I have been blessed to be a part of a future that could be.  My block is a 'melting pot' of many different faiths and beliefs all melding together into  one harmonious  whole.  Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and even Pagan, we all live here together in peace.  Just the other day as  I was decorating for the holidays, I was reminded of a year, not too long ago, that Hanukkah fell the same time as Christmas, and it was such an amazing sight to behold. One house would have the Hanukkah candles in the window and the next,  bright and colorful Christmas lights...and this carried on all the way down the block.  It was an extraordinary reminder  that different religions CAN co-exist and live together side-by-side. 

So, as this holiday season fast approaches, let us remember that we all are one. We all came from that same seed thousands of years ago...the original mother of us all.  I have to believe that there is more good in the world than  there is evil and  that one day the good will overcome evil.   The challenge is realizing that the world is made up of people, and we are not that far apart.  Peace is always within our grasp. When I look for the best in people and find it... I am at peace with myself.  Remember, peace begins with you.  

I think many of the troubles we run into are due to our treating the sacred
as something abstract. This attitude is part of what allows us to do great harm to nature and ourselves.  If our religion is completely ethereal, we may become numb to the consequences of, for example, building a chemical plant that could be toxic to children in the community.  Not only that, but restricting religion to a high-in-the-sky place tends to make people polemical about their own moral positions--to the degree that they can justify harming others who disagree with them.  We've seen this
phenomenon take place in country after country.  I think we would be able to live in this world more peaceably if our spirituality were to come from looking not just into infinity but very closely at the world around us--and appreciating its depth and divinity.--
Thomas Moore


  1. If only more people thought like you, Mary!

  2. There's a Joseph Campbell quote, which would fit here. But of course, I can't remember it correctly. To parapharase, "Behold the wonders about you, and then don't worry about any details."

    Oh good grief, that's not right!

    If I can't do better than that, I ought not to try to paraphrase him. -sigh-

  3. live and let live !
    first and foremost , do no harm...i try to live by this. Although i'm one of those people that turned my back on traditional religion.

  4. Yes, I agree it would be wonderful if we could co-exist. I am of a belief system that is open to that. Unfortunately no all are. Still, there's hope.

  5. I got this from a friend who has it on her wall, I have no idea where it came from or who wrote it.

    The most lovable quality any one can posses is tolerance. It is the vision that enables one to see things from another's viewpoint.

    It is generosity that concedes to others the right to their own peculiarities.

    It is the bigness that enables us to let people be happy in their own way instead of our way.