A Sense a Wonder ~ Religious Exploration & Planet Earth

Over the course of my lifetime I’ve been exposed to and experimented with different belief systems. Even in school, I had trouble digesting everything the teachers were teaching us, because in reality, anything we teach is coming from a human made conscious place, derivative of every experience the person teaching us has experienced. Many things we’re taught have been taught and taught again – to the point where when we’re learning things it has been recycled and interpreted (and censored) so many times it may not even be close to the original teaching, which may not even have been a correct interpretation to begin with. I liken this to when a music fan attributes greater meaning to a song and its lyrics. For them, that song BECOMES the message they hear – even though the artist didn’t actually put that meaning into the work. It is not wrong, it just is.

So what is the truth? I believe the truth represents our personally defined truth at any given moment – because we are what we think, therefore, we are our beliefs. As long as we understand these as our personal beliefs that we’ve landed upon after a series of personal experiences – and not expect everyone on the planet to share those same beliefs, I see no harm in people exploring their beliefs for an entire lifetime. Let’s face it; life is a pretty incredible thing, full of lessons, magic, retribution and discovery. It should be explored; we should not just take it for granted.

Imagine if part of human existence was to celebrate this exploration? Image if you could walk up to anyone at anytime, regardless of race, religion or demographic – and ask with the utmost fascination where they are on their process of discovery? And imagine if it didn’t matter that they find themselves somewhere completely different from you on this spiritual quest.

As the world becomes more of a mosaic melting pot of cultures and religions, especially notable in North America, we start to experience more of a blended religious culture, a proud sharing of the best of our individual cultures and religious traditions.

Take a look at the current spread of religions around the world 

And a bit about religious wars

We’ve taken this sense of wonder about life on earth, and turned it into such a chronic downward spiral that the wonder is almost completely gone. Just mention religion in a online forum and see what happens – the fight begins, and it’s not pretty. It is childish; it is lacking insight, and it is lacking a love for fellow human beings who are on a process of discovery.

When I was writing Great Floating World – this was the subject matter I had in mind:
1) Verse 1 is about a friend going through a brutal divorce – a time when all of the more important things in life get pushed aside in a marriage, lost in the shuffle of daily responsibility and the noise of life, then one day we wake up and what we had is completely gone – because we were not paying attention.
2) In the 1920s, around the time of the setting for my favorite film The Great Gatsby – we started to believe that wealth was the answer. What a bad turn this was. This did not lend itself to our culture becoming one of forgiveness and respect. Again, we became lost in the shuffle and wars continued, the pursuit of wealth sucked the life out of many a generation. It sucked a lot of life out of the Earth too.
3) If we continue along this path, we won’t have an Earth to explore life on. Earth is being lost in the shuffle right now. How surprising, given we can’t exist without it.

Is religion going to be the death of our planet? Only time will tell.

I feel encouraged by the stories I hear, the sharing of culture and of beliefs. I believe we can get this together as the human race becomes more connected and therefore more tolerant of differing beliefs. Will it be soon enough? I wonder.


Photo Credit ~ Sylvia Armstrong

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