Is there a true religion that is better than the rest? Most of us have pondered this question at some point in time. We've usually been told about God when growing up, and many keep that idea alive in their adult years, regardless of what version they were told. God is usually described as being all-knowing, all-present, and all-powerful. God is usually portrayed as being eternal and non-material. Various religions give God various names, based upon their writings. A common thread exists where God is the creator of all things, and the giver of all good things. Many religions use 'prayer' as a means of talking to God, often to make some request.
A common thread exists between most religions. The Cherokee tale talks of two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The Bible has a passage where Jesus gave a sermon where he says, "The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The acts of the flesh are sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies."
Most beliefs tell us that we were created with free will, but if we choose evil, we will be punished. Choosing good will result in reward. But just as in the Cherokee explanation, there appears to be some spark of spirit in us that knows we ought to choose good. The Quran describes humans as a mix of animal and spirit. The Bible says 'know ye not that ye are gods?', describing our spirit as well. The good and evil wolf also illustrates that we are temporary, evil creatures, but also eternal, divine spirits. My own belief is that we (humans) make up a divine energy the way drops of water make up the oceans. Our temporary nature, subject to wrong choices and death, is temporary, while our true authentic nature is eternal, as though we are each a piece of god, yet all of god at the same time. So rather than pray to some unknown god 'out there' somewhere, we can simply use our own minds, our intentions and actions to create what we want. In this manner, some have created wealth, success and fame for themselves, while others have created much less, or even negative situations. Two impoverished people may be born in the same village, where one is filled with misery and hopelessness, while the other is filled with love and happiness. Each person has created their own reality. In similar ways, we each can also create our own realities, simply by thinking, expecting, and acting on our desires. This is very different than feeling incapable and asking an eternal spirit to do it for us, which is how most of us were taught to pray. I will get more into the workings of this in the next installment.