Monday, 20 July 2015

Rituals

During a walk on the beach at dawn,
I was thinking about life and some thoughts entered my mind.

I was thinking about my life as a child
I was raised in strictly Catholic environment
The rituals were almost a purpose in itself and perhaps the main purpose
As a child I used to condemn those not following the same rituals as I
I was convinced God was on my side and was condemning these people too

Through long term prayerful reflection,
I could see that the rituals practiced in religion
are part of the culture.
Through long term prayerful reflection,
I could see that the essentials of a religion include three main components:

1. The vertical component, which means the belief in God and the devotion
The devotion is mainly a way to get a little bit closer to that incomprehensible
supreme divinity
2. The horizontal component, which means the love to our family and neighbours
the love for our colleagues, the purposeful positive difference we want to make
for our fellow human beings in this world.
3. The inward component, which mans the reflection, the introspection, when we manage to think about ourselves, look at how we did during that day, the connection to our own soul, getting to know our selves a bit better.

The rituals of the religion are meant to be tools to achieve the essentials.
But for far too many people, the rituals become a purpose in itself
For far too many people the rituals become not mere tools to achieve the essentials
but rituals tend to become everything, they become the religion.

Rituals are tools to achieve the essentials.
Rituals can also bring communities together in practicing their own cultural values
It makes me sometimes a bit sad to see people practicing rituals becoming arrogant,
getting a false feeling of superiority out of the rituals they practice
glorifying themselves and those who practice exactly as they do
condemning to hell people who practice even slightly differently
and carrying the false certainty that people who practice
very differently from them will meet with hell fire for sure.
I have met people like this in Christianity
I have met people like this in Islam
I have seen people like this in the community of Jehovah witnesses

I think it is high time for the big religions to leave behind this sect-like behaviour
It is high time to get our focus right.
To get our focus on the essentials and not merely on the rituals.
If we all manage to do that, we will suddenly realise how similar we are
not only as humans but also in our beliefs, in our shortcomings, in our strengths
in our devotion, in our charity in our introspection.

I am dreaming of a world where peace and unity will be!
I am dreaming of a world where we respect each other!
I am dreaming of a world where religions will recognize their common essentials
and accept, tolerate and respect and even enjoy the differences between them!
I am dreaming of a unity of the different people.
I can see God is preparing the world for that
All tools have gradually become available
Wisdom literature is now becoming available in simple language in many translations
All of us are getting better and slowly more kind

Soon there will be a huge wisdom revolution
Soon there will be a huge kindness revolution
this is more than a dream of me
It has become a knowing.

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