Many Faiths, One Truth

Many Faiths, One Truth

Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

May 25th, 2010, 2:09 pm #1

May 24, 2010
Many Faiths, One Truth

By TENZIN GYATSO
Published: May 24, 2010



WHEN I was a boy in Tibet, I felt that my own Buddhist religion must be the best and that other faiths were somehow inferior. Now I see how naïve I was, and how dangerous the extremes of religious intolerance can be today.

Though intolerance may be as old as religion itself, we still see vigorous signs of its virulence. In Europe, there are intense debates about newcomers wearing veils or wanting to erect minarets and episodes of violence against Muslim immigrants. Radical atheists issue blanket condemnations of those who hold to religious beliefs. In the Middle East, the flames of war are fanned by hatred of those who adhere to a different faith.

Such tensions are likely to increase as the world becomes more interconnected and cultures, peoples and religions become ever more entwined. The pressure this creates tests more than our tolerance it demands that we promote peaceful coexistence and understanding across boundaries.

Granted, every religion has a sense of exclusivity as part of its core identity. Even so, I believe there is genuine potential for mutual understanding. While preserving faith toward ones own tradition, one can respect, admire and appreciate other traditions.

An early eye-opener for me was my meeting with the Trappist monk Thomas Merton in India shortly before his untimely death in 1968. Merton told me he could be perfectly faithful to Christianity, yet learn in depth from other religions like Buddhism. The same is true for me as an ardent Buddhist learning from the worlds other great religions.

A main point in my discussion with Merton was how central compassion was to the message of both Christianity and Buddhism. In my readings of the New Testament, I find myself inspired by Jesus acts of compassion. His miracle of the loaves and fishes, his healing and his teaching are all motivated by the desire to relieve suffering.

Im a firm believer in the power of personal contact to bridge differences, so Ive long been drawn to dialogues with people of other religious outlooks. The focus on compassion that Merton and I observed in our two religions strikes me as a strong unifying thread among all the major faiths. And these days we need to highlight what unifies us.

Take Judaism, for instance. I first visited a synagogue in Cochin, India, in 1965, and have met with many rabbis over the years. I remember vividly the rabbi in the Netherlands who told me about the Holocaust with such intensity that we were both in tears. And Ive learned how the Talmud and the Bible repeat the theme of compassion, as in the passage in Leviticus that admonishes, Love your neighbor as yourself.

In my many encounters with Hindu scholars in India, Ive come to see the centrality of selfless compassion in Hinduism too as expressed, for instance, in the Bhagavad Gita, which praises those who delight in the welfare of all beings. Im moved by the ways this value has been expressed in the life of great beings like Mahatma Gandhi, or the lesser-known Baba Amte, who founded a leper colony not far from a Tibetan settlement in Maharashtra State in India. There he fed and sheltered lepers who were otherwise shunned. When I received my Nobel Peace Prize, I made a donation to his colony.

Compassion is equally important in Islam and recognizing that has become crucial in the years since Sept. 11, especially in answering those who paint Islam as a militant faith. On the first anniversary of 9/11, I spoke at the National Cathedral in Washington, pleading that we not blindly follow the lead of some in the news media and let the violent acts of a few individuals define an entire religion.

Let me tell you about the Islam I know. Tibet has had an Islamic community for around 400 years, although my richest contacts with Islam have been in India, which has the worlds second-largest Muslim population. An imam in Ladakh once told me that a true Muslim should love and respect all of Allahs creatures. And in my understanding, Islam enshrines compassion as a core spiritual principle, reflected in the very name of God, the Compassionate and Merciful, that appears at the beginning of virtually each chapter of the Koran.

Finding common ground among faiths can help us bridge needless divides at a time when unified action is more crucial than ever. As a species, we must embrace the oneness of humanity as we face global issues like pandemics, economic crises and ecological disaster. At that scale, our response must be as one.

Harmony among the major faiths has become an essential ingredient of peaceful coexistence in our world. From this perspective, mutual understanding among these traditions is not merely the business of religious believers it matters for the welfare of humanity as a whole.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, is the author, most recently, of Toward a True Kinship of Faiths: How the Worlds Religions Can Come Together.
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Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

May 25th, 2010, 2:35 pm #2

Seems to be the key note from the above article. Where compassion is, there is the Christ mind. Arguments about doctrine are rarely if ever about compassion.

Ego is rarely concerned with compassion. If ever.

Just sharing some thoughts, no pointed sticks here.


<i>The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
~Bertrand Russell


</i>



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Joined: November 4th, 2006, 5:18 pm

May 25th, 2010, 2:44 pm #3

MATTHEW 9:35-36

"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd."







"Error does not become Truth because it is widely accepted; Truth does not become error, even when it stands alone!"
(Thanks Kristy)
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Joined: July 13th, 2009, 1:50 pm

May 25th, 2010, 4:16 pm #4

It's the same Jesus Bob.


John 2:14-17
14 And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers seated.
15 And He made a scourge of cords, and drove {them} all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the moneychangers, and overturned their tables;
16 and to those who were selling the doves He said, "Take these things away; stop making My Father's house a house of merchandise."
17 His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for Thy house will consume me." (NAS)

********


Josh 24:15
15 "And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (NAS)

Whom will YOU serve Bob? The Jesus of Mondo, or the Jesus of the Bible?

Mondo rejects one of them. Will you follow him in his rejection?



"If I must choose between righteousness and peace, I choose RIGHTEOUSNESS"." ~ Theodore Roosevelt
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Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

May 25th, 2010, 6:50 pm #5

May 24, 2010
Many Faiths, One Truth

By TENZIN GYATSO
Published: May 24, 2010



WHEN I was a boy in Tibet, I felt that my own Buddhist religion must be the best and that other faiths were somehow inferior. Now I see how naïve I was, and how dangerous the extremes of religious intolerance can be today.

Though intolerance may be as old as religion itself, we still see vigorous signs of its virulence. In Europe, there are intense debates about newcomers wearing veils or wanting to erect minarets and episodes of violence against Muslim immigrants. Radical atheists issue blanket condemnations of those who hold to religious beliefs. In the Middle East, the flames of war are fanned by hatred of those who adhere to a different faith.

Such tensions are likely to increase as the world becomes more interconnected and cultures, peoples and religions become ever more entwined. The pressure this creates tests more than our tolerance it demands that we promote peaceful coexistence and understanding across boundaries.

Granted, every religion has a sense of exclusivity as part of its core identity. Even so, I believe there is genuine potential for mutual understanding. While preserving faith toward ones own tradition, one can respect, admire and appreciate other traditions.

An early eye-opener for me was my meeting with the Trappist monk Thomas Merton in India shortly before his untimely death in 1968. Merton told me he could be perfectly faithful to Christianity, yet learn in depth from other religions like Buddhism. The same is true for me as an ardent Buddhist learning from the worlds other great religions.

A main point in my discussion with Merton was how central compassion was to the message of both Christianity and Buddhism. In my readings of the New Testament, I find myself inspired by Jesus acts of compassion. His miracle of the loaves and fishes, his healing and his teaching are all motivated by the desire to relieve suffering.

Im a firm believer in the power of personal contact to bridge differences, so Ive long been drawn to dialogues with people of other religious outlooks. The focus on compassion that Merton and I observed in our two religions strikes me as a strong unifying thread among all the major faiths. And these days we need to highlight what unifies us.

Take Judaism, for instance. I first visited a synagogue in Cochin, India, in 1965, and have met with many rabbis over the years. I remember vividly the rabbi in the Netherlands who told me about the Holocaust with such intensity that we were both in tears. And Ive learned how the Talmud and the Bible repeat the theme of compassion, as in the passage in Leviticus that admonishes, Love your neighbor as yourself.

In my many encounters with Hindu scholars in India, Ive come to see the centrality of selfless compassion in Hinduism too as expressed, for instance, in the Bhagavad Gita, which praises those who delight in the welfare of all beings. Im moved by the ways this value has been expressed in the life of great beings like Mahatma Gandhi, or the lesser-known Baba Amte, who founded a leper colony not far from a Tibetan settlement in Maharashtra State in India. There he fed and sheltered lepers who were otherwise shunned. When I received my Nobel Peace Prize, I made a donation to his colony.

Compassion is equally important in Islam and recognizing that has become crucial in the years since Sept. 11, especially in answering those who paint Islam as a militant faith. On the first anniversary of 9/11, I spoke at the National Cathedral in Washington, pleading that we not blindly follow the lead of some in the news media and let the violent acts of a few individuals define an entire religion.

Let me tell you about the Islam I know. Tibet has had an Islamic community for around 400 years, although my richest contacts with Islam have been in India, which has the worlds second-largest Muslim population. An imam in Ladakh once told me that a true Muslim should love and respect all of Allahs creatures. And in my understanding, Islam enshrines compassion as a core spiritual principle, reflected in the very name of God, the Compassionate and Merciful, that appears at the beginning of virtually each chapter of the Koran.

Finding common ground among faiths can help us bridge needless divides at a time when unified action is more crucial than ever. As a species, we must embrace the oneness of humanity as we face global issues like pandemics, economic crises and ecological disaster. At that scale, our response must be as one.

Harmony among the major faiths has become an essential ingredient of peaceful coexistence in our world. From this perspective, mutual understanding among these traditions is not merely the business of religious believers it matters for the welfare of humanity as a whole.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, is the author, most recently, of Toward a True Kinship of Faiths: How the Worlds Religions Can Come Together.
May 19, 2010
Sarah Palin and the Static God
For Conservatives there is no doubt that the Unum in E Pluribus Unum is the Biblical God.
By John Willingham

In a recent interview on Fox News, commentator Bill O'Reilly asked Sarah Palin what she would tell an America that "has, as they say in California, evolved" to become a "much more secular nation than we were back in 1776."

Palin responded that we "should kind of keep this clean, keep it simple, go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant. They're quite clear that we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the Ten Commandments. It's pretty simple."

Much has been written about the extent to which religion, especially Christianity, influenced the founding fathers and the documents they created. But the even larger debate on the relation of the Many and the One-the Pluribus and the Unum-of America is more in the province of philosophers. What do they tell us?

Palin cited the national motto-In God We Trust-as an indication of how strongly "we do base our lives, our values, on the God of the Bible." She would be perfectly comfortable on the Texas State Board of Education, where social conservatives have likewise emphasized the importance of In God We Trust and promoted a tilt toward the "One" in E Pluribus Unum: Latin for "Out of the Many, One." There is no doubt that their One is the biblical God.

One of the best-known American philosophers is William James, author of Pragmatism, Varieties of Religious Experience, and A Pluralistic Universe, among others. Because of his work (and that of Charles Sanders Peirce and John Dewey), pragmatism is the philosophy most often associated with America.

In Pragmatism, James wrote that to some people, ideas are true whenever they conform to "what God means we ought to think." As Palin made (more or less) clear, the God whose ideas "we ought to think"-the God in whom we should trust, to use the more familiar phrasing-is the God described in the Bible.

James wrote that for such people ".truth means essentially an inert static relation. When you've got your true idea of anything, there's an end of the matter."

But is the One, the Unum, the God set forth in the Bible and the Ten Commandments? Or is the One the aggregation of American experience-religious, political, good, bad, ambiguous-to which we as individuals (the Many) stand in relation?

Recall that James wrote of "an inert static relation." It was no accident that he did so, for the pragmatists, other pluralists, and process philosophers all tell us that the One is not literally monistic, but rather is all that has come before, all that is our past, and we are connected to it by dynamic relation.

For the pragmatists, what is "true" from that aggregation of experience is that which "works," and is useful when set against our present, helping us to make sense of our lives as we move into the future. It remains true so long as it works. There is arguably nothing more American-not religious impulse, not political principle-than our belief in what works in our actual lives.

This commitment to history or, more accurately, to experience, is not necessarily antithetical to theistic beliefs, Christian or otherwise. Influenced to some extent by William James, but more systematic and precise in his philosophy, Alfred North Whitehead (most notably in Process and Reality) conceived of a God who is part product-of-all-actual-experience and part repository-for-all-possible-experience. This God stands in relation to individuals, the Many, who in "drops of experience" (a term used by both James and Whitehead) interact with the One in the present.

The essential element in this relation is that God, the One, in its contingent sense, is a participant in these drops of experience, and, more profoundly, is changed by them in a continual process. Therefore, the One relies on a communion with the Many for its own definition, and ultimately, for its own completion.

In the case of Palin and the God of the social conservatives, this means that their attempts to promote a static One and expect that the Many will or should accede to it are not only contrary to reality but also in some ways un-American, given that most Americans embrace what actually works in the changing world of experience.

###
Last edited by Oscar50 on May 25th, 2010, 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 8th, 2003, 1:16 am

May 25th, 2010, 10:08 pm #6

What Christians miss is that when the Bible said "God" it meant a consortium of gods.

There was no "problem" with Romans and Greeks and Egyptians believing in God. God was "theos". They ALL believed in Theos.

Where Jews differed is that they believed in Jahveh -"Lord" and "Lord God".

Where Christians differed is that they believed in "the Father" as their own god.

So ... America believing in God, really means nothing. It means they believe in the consortium of which Allah is part.

There was nothing magical about believing in Theos. Everyone believed in Theos and they were -as Paul said in Acts 17:22- "in all things ... too superstitious"! (Superstitious was "deisidaimonesteros" which meant 'fearful/timid' and 'of the gods'. )

I think you could say the same thing about American sentiment today .... too fearful and timid of God and the devil.

-Vince
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Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

May 25th, 2010, 10:11 pm #7

May be a more accurate rendering, or "One nation under the Gods" ..

The word "God" has somehow been co-opted by a segment of Christians to mean the Bible God only. Which shows a very narrow focus, and a very monotone view of the world and history.
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Iceman
Iceman

May 25th, 2010, 10:27 pm #8

May 24, 2010
Many Faiths, One Truth

By TENZIN GYATSO
Published: May 24, 2010



WHEN I was a boy in Tibet, I felt that my own Buddhist religion must be the best and that other faiths were somehow inferior. Now I see how naïve I was, and how dangerous the extremes of religious intolerance can be today.

Though intolerance may be as old as religion itself, we still see vigorous signs of its virulence. In Europe, there are intense debates about newcomers wearing veils or wanting to erect minarets and episodes of violence against Muslim immigrants. Radical atheists issue blanket condemnations of those who hold to religious beliefs. In the Middle East, the flames of war are fanned by hatred of those who adhere to a different faith.

Such tensions are likely to increase as the world becomes more interconnected and cultures, peoples and religions become ever more entwined. The pressure this creates tests more than our tolerance it demands that we promote peaceful coexistence and understanding across boundaries.

Granted, every religion has a sense of exclusivity as part of its core identity. Even so, I believe there is genuine potential for mutual understanding. While preserving faith toward ones own tradition, one can respect, admire and appreciate other traditions.

An early eye-opener for me was my meeting with the Trappist monk Thomas Merton in India shortly before his untimely death in 1968. Merton told me he could be perfectly faithful to Christianity, yet learn in depth from other religions like Buddhism. The same is true for me as an ardent Buddhist learning from the worlds other great religions.

A main point in my discussion with Merton was how central compassion was to the message of both Christianity and Buddhism. In my readings of the New Testament, I find myself inspired by Jesus acts of compassion. His miracle of the loaves and fishes, his healing and his teaching are all motivated by the desire to relieve suffering.

Im a firm believer in the power of personal contact to bridge differences, so Ive long been drawn to dialogues with people of other religious outlooks. The focus on compassion that Merton and I observed in our two religions strikes me as a strong unifying thread among all the major faiths. And these days we need to highlight what unifies us.

Take Judaism, for instance. I first visited a synagogue in Cochin, India, in 1965, and have met with many rabbis over the years. I remember vividly the rabbi in the Netherlands who told me about the Holocaust with such intensity that we were both in tears. And Ive learned how the Talmud and the Bible repeat the theme of compassion, as in the passage in Leviticus that admonishes, Love your neighbor as yourself.

In my many encounters with Hindu scholars in India, Ive come to see the centrality of selfless compassion in Hinduism too as expressed, for instance, in the Bhagavad Gita, which praises those who delight in the welfare of all beings. Im moved by the ways this value has been expressed in the life of great beings like Mahatma Gandhi, or the lesser-known Baba Amte, who founded a leper colony not far from a Tibetan settlement in Maharashtra State in India. There he fed and sheltered lepers who were otherwise shunned. When I received my Nobel Peace Prize, I made a donation to his colony.

Compassion is equally important in Islam and recognizing that has become crucial in the years since Sept. 11, especially in answering those who paint Islam as a militant faith. On the first anniversary of 9/11, I spoke at the National Cathedral in Washington, pleading that we not blindly follow the lead of some in the news media and let the violent acts of a few individuals define an entire religion.

Let me tell you about the Islam I know. Tibet has had an Islamic community for around 400 years, although my richest contacts with Islam have been in India, which has the worlds second-largest Muslim population. An imam in Ladakh once told me that a true Muslim should love and respect all of Allahs creatures. And in my understanding, Islam enshrines compassion as a core spiritual principle, reflected in the very name of God, the Compassionate and Merciful, that appears at the beginning of virtually each chapter of the Koran.

Finding common ground among faiths can help us bridge needless divides at a time when unified action is more crucial than ever. As a species, we must embrace the oneness of humanity as we face global issues like pandemics, economic crises and ecological disaster. At that scale, our response must be as one.

Harmony among the major faiths has become an essential ingredient of peaceful coexistence in our world. From this perspective, mutual understanding among these traditions is not merely the business of religious believers it matters for the welfare of humanity as a whole.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, is the author, most recently, of Toward a True Kinship of Faiths: How the Worlds Religions Can Come Together.
But I think that the message is: The message.

Including a money grubbing opportunist like Palin really distracted form what was being intended but the drift of all of it is SOCIALISM. Care about someone other than your pocketbook.
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Joined: December 8th, 2003, 1:16 am

May 25th, 2010, 11:56 pm #9

May be a more accurate rendering, or "One nation under the Gods" ..

The word "God" has somehow been co-opted by a segment of Christians to mean the Bible God only. Which shows a very narrow focus, and a very monotone view of the world and history.
"One nation under the gods" .... now THAT'S a real grabber, isn't it!~~

-Vince
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Joined: December 8th, 2003, 1:16 am

May 26th, 2010, 12:01 am #10

But I think that the message is: The message.

Including a money grubbing opportunist like Palin really distracted form what was being intended but the drift of all of it is SOCIALISM. Care about someone other than your pocketbook.
That if it ever were possible for people to get their focus OFF of money and possessions and greed ... and focus instead, on quality of life ...

Most of those people we now label as "lazy" would eagerly join in to WORK for their living. Why DON'T so many people work? Because the workforce is generally a non-caring, cold, and greedy bitch of a place to be.

-Vince
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