The Interconnectedness of Religion and Philosophy

March 2007

I once wrote, “To say that all faiths are wrong, but your own, is to say that you truely do not understand the greatness of God.”

It wasn’t until much later on that I realized how profound that message really is. I suppose it could be said that it is how all life really is. One does not realize or see great things until after the fact. Unfortunately there are times in our lives where understanding moments like those takes place after the death of loved ones or after a relationship has ended. Sometimes moments like those occur in our darkest of hours and at times occur in the happiest moments in our lives and seem so fleeting. If only we could collect those profound moments and wonderful memories in a bottle and keep it on a shelf in case we ever need to be reminded of them. That my friends would truely be grand.

In daily life we create for ourselves a routine. Often is the case the this routine is created at a young age and perfected as we get older. For many of us this routine becomes bland and boring after time. We loose interest in the things we used to enjoy. There is a point in life where we stop and look around us and wonder what we are working towards. Could it be financial security, family, relationships, a life to be remembered? Perhaps in life we should worry less of what will come of us and more about what will come of humankind. Each of us plays an integrated role in the direction of the human race. We all can make a difference in the lives of others. Sometimes we are given those opportunities and at times we must seek them out. But more often we find ourselves ignoring those moments in our lives because they are often connected to extra effort or some type of sacrafice we are not willing to make. Therefore a life that extends our egoes, career, and financial setting is so much easier to attain and live.

What is there to be said of a man living in rags, helping those who at the time seem better off than he? What more is there to a woman who cares for children that are not her own? Who are these people, where do they come from and why do they seem to choose to live this way? These questions I will answer and so much more. As we reevaluate or own lives and compare them to those of such people as Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Marcus Aurelius, Siddartha Guatama, Christ and so many other seemingly great humans, we begin to wonder whether or not we are worthy of living such simple uninteruppted lives. Could it be that so much hate, anger, unhappiness and depression come from our worship of the self?

There are many religious leaders out there in the world and many philosophies on life and how we should live that in a sense it can become overwhelming and we end up not even wanting to consider there validity. Perhaps it is not the lesson that is wrong, but the way the lesson is being taught. Peace and happiness will never be met by those who do not practice it, that is simple to understand, but in daily life is something so simple easy to do?

There are many ways to find peace and harmony in life. The end factor may always be the same in these cases, but often the paths we choose cannot be more different. Each of us have our lives layed out before us. We can choose to live a family life, working a nine to five job, raising our children and finding a kind of comfort and completeness in that. But is there truely completeness in such a life? Can there be? Yes, there can be. But we must make an effort. Raising our families is a beauitiful thing, but we cannot forget the purpose of continuing life. Our children are the future of mankind. Our actions within there presence can very much so fortell the path Humanity travels.

Parents raising children in todays world are faced with the difficult task of teaching them the why’s and how’s of the world. So often it is easier to let the world teach them life lessons. But it’s important to remember that the world is not always a wise master. Infact, the world can be a dark, vengeful place always ready to throw you down and destroy your life as you know it. The world is full of vile evil people who wish nothing more than to eliminate you from it.

As adults we are responisble for giving our children a world better than the one we inherited. We must remember that as we age, we lose our inheritence and it is passed onto the generation behind us. Starting something today will continue on into tomorrow unless we do something about it. If this is a bad scenario then our children will be stuck with dealing with it and suffering from it. However, if we instill good values into the world today we are creating a better world for our children to grow up in.

Today’s world is alive with war among, not only nations, but also religions, regardless of whether we are willing to admit it. Being so this creates a negative description of religion. So many young Americans are seeing adult atheists opposing war and are allowed to believe that such a viewpoint is righteous. After all, they know that war is bad therefore whatever is opposed to war is good. But when children are involuntaroly forced to see religion as negative and it’s followers hateful, they are loosing a part of them that is as old as man himself.

Children are the life blood of all faiths. Poisening them is quite simply dooming the spirituality of the world to come. We must instill morals, values and love through religion. That is the very backbone of every valid religion, love and positive values. Religion is a good thing, those who preach it are not always so. Some do so with dark intentions, others force it on people with anger, and there are still others who secretly seduce others into it against there will. That is no way to spread faith. Religion should be explored and chosen, not forced on others.

That is the responsibility of parents worldwide. Teach your children to explore their faith, allow them to choose, do not prevent them from learning about a faith because it is not your own. Religion is personal.

Both Philosophy and Religion are age old ways to live life. In most cases they suggest living positive lives, aiding eachother and giving to the greater good of humanity whatever you can. Basically they are meant to better the lives of those who practice them and those who live among them. There is so much to learn from religions worldwide and philosophies stretching from the Stoics of Rome to the wise men of the Far East like Confucius and Buddha. A closed mind will never lead to an open heart.

The best advice that I could ever give in searching for a religion or philosophy to live by is this: Soul search within yourself, figure out what you believe in and if what you believe creates peace and harmony in your life and the world alike. Then look into the faiths and philosophies of the world, if you find one that matches your own thoughts and feelings great. However, if you don’t that’s ok, faith is personal and creating your own religion or philosophy is nothing new, it has been done for countless centuries.

What is the greatest part of any religion or philosophy is not what it can do for you, but how you can use it to help others. When we do that we are helping ourselves. And no, there is nothing selfish about that. One should find peace and joy in what they do. That includes helping others. That’s what is so great about living your life in such a mindset. I realize that not everyone can help others all the time like Mother Theresa, but that’s ok. If we help when we can and not when we choose then there is no shame in that.

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About Kephen

I am a writer who happens to be a pantheist living in the heartland of America. I write about everything that interests me, from Zen Buddhism to depression and mental illness, society and civil rights to the LGBT community and the personal meanderings of my life. To learn more about me just check out my blog.
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