YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollections

Voice: Look for the good in all religions

April 01, 2002

It takes more than a little arrogance for anyone to believe that his ideology is the only path to spiritual enlightenment.

Most of us are brought up in the faith of our fathers, and either fall beside the path that leads to enlightenment or stays true to those beliefs we inherited until we die.

An unquestioning mind is a mind in shackles. A closed mind sees only what it, or its mentors, wants it to see.

Only an open, questioning mind can reach the goal of spiritual enlightenment. Secondhand beliefs are a dead end.

We learn, if we are open-minded, that many religions lead to the mountain top experience of cosmic consciousness — the pinnacle of spiritual truth.


We also learn that, in their basic concepts, most religions, and most denominations, are in agreement concerning the inalterable verities.

In my case, the faith of my fathers was mixed. The paternal beliefs were those of the Shakers (Shaking Quakers); the maternal, the religious concepts of the Cherokee.

Amazingly, the two were in almost perfect agreement in all concepts that really matter.

Instead of denouncing other religions, we should look for the good and true, the beautiful in them. The same goes for denominations.

I am not Catholic, but how much richer my spiritual life has been since I internalized the beautiful prayer of St. Francis in my heart and mind! What ineffable peace I've felt in worshipping in Catholic chapels — Arizona's "White Dove" is my favorite, and in synagogues. (I am also not Jewish, but have Jewish friends.)

My spiritual life is enriched when I read a Japanese haiku (hoku to some) or a Chinese prayer poem. Or when I hear a black choir on TV (since I am no longer able to hear our local black choirs in their churches.)

Some who profess to be Christians have used the Bible as a means of fighting "holy wars" of our own. No war is holy. Such wars are a detour on the road to spirituality.


El Centro

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles