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The Difference Between Religions

December 19, 2010

Often I have had conversations with people about revelation and the diversity of religious paths.  The question arises, “Why is there so much confusion and tension between people of different faiths?”  Good question.  And one that raises doubts within the skeptical mind.  To address this question, I cite Lex Hixon, a leading religious scholar who practiced several different religions deeply throughout the course of his life.

In Heart of the Koran, Hixon writes:

Far from being in some fundamental, atavistic competition with one another, the various prophetic revelations confirm, expand upon, and safeguard each other. Once again, this deep perception of harmony is based on revealed truth. It is not just a rational or empirical theory put forward by well-meaning scholars or reformers. As revelation, this universal harmony of religions must be deeply contemplated and prayerfully assimilated rather than debated in the intellectual or political dimensions of our surface awareness.  “Through the Prophet Jesus, the Source of Wisdom transmitted the Radiant Gospel, full of the same light of Truth that streams through the Living Torah…the Eternal Source now reveals through you, My beloved Muhammad, this sublime Book of Truth, which confirms and safeguards the essential teaching of the Torah, the Gospel, and all the other authentic scriptures that existed before them.” (Koran, 5:49-52)  We may wonder why God permits religious diversity and even outright doctrinal contradiction to develop around the essential message of conscious participation in the oneness of Reality.  This is similar to another root question: Why did God generate such a diversity of created beings, even in deadly conflict, within the perfect peace of the Divine Unity? The answer is the same: for the spiritual education and strengthening of souls.  “The Source of Power could have united all peoples into a single nation, but God has chosen to manifest His Truth through various holy traditions as teaching and testing for human beings.  If each spiritual nation practices faithfully the path revealed through its own Prophets, then all humanity will return together to the Source of Love.” (Koran, 5:49-52)  These words of truth are spoken to all peoples through the person of the Prophet Muhammad. “I affirm the truth of every Revelation which has come down as a Holy Book from the Source of Truth, and I am instructed by this very Source to be impartial among the Peoples of Revelation.  The Ever-Present Source Who calls Itself by countless Divine Names is the Source of our spiritual nation and your spiritual nations.  We have our integral practice of the holy way of life as you have yours.  There need be no fundamental disagreement among us.  Allah Most High will draw us together as we return home to the Source of Love.” (Koran, 42:13-18)

Hixon continues to expound upon this topic in wonderful detail.  I have gone back to the Koran to verify and better understand the context of the quoted statements, as well as meditating on them deeply within my own heart.  To me, this all makes perfect sense, and corresponds with my beliefs on the purpose of life and reason for the world’s struggles.  Religious differences need not divide us, and in fact at the core, are just a figment of our own limitations.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 22, 2010 6:14 am

    One pertinent verse of the Holy Quran is in Chapter 49 (Al Hujurat), Verse 13 which says : “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted”.

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