- This page is part of an ERW course: Building a better world.
- By John Eagles, July 19, 2006.
When we agree that religions can be united and we desire for this, we are presupposing a few things. Religion literally means to reconnect. It is the very purpose of religion to reconnect, but with whom should adherers of religion rebind? Most religions of the world know the concept of God, or the Creator. For some religions, God has a personal identity, for others, God is more an impersonal originating energy or consciousness. Very often, smaller gods appear in religions, sometimes in the form of elevated saints who have passed away, sometimes in the form of spiritual entities to whom are attributed a certain degree of power and abilities.
Usually religion also means a movement and organization striving for the unity of people, between the present and future adherers of such a religion. The problem of today is that there exist many religions and that there is often misunderstanding or even war between those religions. How can unity of religion be achieved? What kind of difficulties can be expected in a process of reuniting religions?
When we strive for the unity of religions, we do actually strive for a united mankind, for a united spiritual world and for unity with the Creating Force. Somehow, we people got disconnected from God, we lost our understanding of and unity with the spiritual reality, and we got divided into different races and cultures and religions or even smaller denominations. To unite the religions we shall have to solve the historic problems that caused those divisions.
To want to unite religions is a huge task. How do we find back our unity with the originating Force whom is often called God? I can of course not give a simple answer to that question. I just want to point out that religions can only be united when individual believers find back in their hearts their original love for God and are also able to express this in daily life and in relations to other people.
The different religions of the world clearly sprouted from different spiritual sources. Most religions are based on revelations that came from the spiritual world. The Islam, for example, is based on revelations that were given by the archangel Gabriel. Most religious scriptures are inspired texts. They may have come from God directly or from angels or from other spiritual sources. I am quite sure that much of the strife between religions has been caused by disunities that already existed in the spiritual world. Many religious texts and sages of the world tell us about wars between gods in the spiritual realm. Such stories give us a little insight in problems of disunity that were put upon man, that we human beings got as an inheritance for that we may not always feel directly responsible.
The third cause of disunion of religions lies in human relations. I just give one example for this. The religion of Islam was given to the descendants of Ishmael, one of Abraham's sons. The religion of Judaism goes back to the line of Abraham - Isaac - Jacob. Isaac was also a son of Abraham and a half-brother of Abraham. Christianity became a new religion but its origins are in Judaism. The split that came about in Abraham's family has grown to a split between the tradition of Judeo-Christianity on the one side and Islam on the other side. It is my conviction that the problems of that particular disunity can only be solved when eventually the cause for the split in Abraham's family is taken away.
Many religions have a connection to people having a certain skin color. Though this relation is not always simple and straightforward, there is such a connection nevertheless. To mention just a few examples, Native Americans have their own form of religion; Hinduism is mostly practiced by people with a yellow skin color.
To unite religions we are obliged therefore to overcome such racial and cultural differences. This may not be possible on a grand scale, but i believe it is possible in a smaller circle of dedicated people who originated from different religions. It is a large task to do that, because the problems of the past will come back to people who try to restore that what went wrong in the past. The problems to be solved that i mentioned in this post are, first the disconnection with the Creator, second disunities in the spiritual realms and finally the problems of historical human splits.