We are more alike than different

A brief update from seminary…

I have long thought that all the people and religions of the world have laughably little that separates them. Of course you could rightfully say there is nothing laughable about the shitty behavior we perpetrate in the name of our religions, but early in my theological studies at seminary, I am heartened by the similarities I find in all of the major faith traditions.

In preparing for an upcoming intensive on Hinduism I am reading the Bhagavad Gita. “Song of God” is what Bhagavad Gita means. How beautiful, no?

Here is a quote from the forward that Aldous Huxley wrote in 1944 (During World War Two) for the version I’m reading. Huxley was an English writer and pre-eminent intellectual of the early 20th century.

He says:

“There will never be enduring peace unless and until human beings come to accept a philosophy of life more adequate to the cosmic and psychological facts than the insane idolatries of nationalism and the advertising man’s apocalyptic faith in Progress towards a mechanized New Jerusalem….”

“….happily there is the Highest Common Factor of all religions, the Perennial Philosophy which has always and everywhere been the metaphysical system of the prophets, saints, and sages. It is perfectly possible for people to remain good Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, or Moslems [sic] and yet to be united in full agreement on the basic doctrines of the Perennial Philosophy.”

Huxley published a book titled The Perennial Philosophy as a comparative study of the mysticism from Eastern and Western religions about this same time. I presume he found them to all be speaking of the same thing. Hmm… I think that’s where I started this post?

Guess that’s one more book for the reading list.

Later, my friend.

Be well.

3 thoughts on “We are more alike than different”

  1. Andy, I’ve probably missed some posts, but you’re in a seminary?
    I might say that I have gone regularly to a Christian church during my winters in New Mexico, while also attending Unitarian at home. The basic emotions and beliefs really aren’t that different, it has seemed to me. I just want to be with well-intentioned people who want to create a rather better world for all people, and I find that in both, and in other churches which I have sometimes visited. Though they do sometimes go astray, all religions, as far as I know, want to help people find peace, fairness, and consolation for the rude shocks of life.

    1. Martha,
      Yes I’m in Berkeley, CA at seminary. Things are good, but lots of work… I haven’t exercised these particular (thinking) muscles for many years! I hope you’re well and stay tuned… I’m posting occasional updates from seminary. Enjoy New Mexico!

      -Andy

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