Which is the one true religion?

Greg M. Schwartz

I aim to generate a little controversy this week to see if I can get any letters to the editor — it seems so far that my columns make so much sense, no one ever writes in to disagree with me.

Seriously folks, the false idea that there could be only one “true” religion is probably responsible for more conflict in planetary history than any other. I’m talking to YOU fundamentalist Christians — this idea that anyone who doesn’t “accept Jesus as their savior” will go to hell is bullshit.

I’m not knocking Jesus. Despite my view that the Bible has been greatly distorted, I do believe evidence exists to indicate Jesus was a great spiritual avatar. But he certainly wasn’t the first or only such figure to visit Earth. So why should Native Americans, for example, care about the white man’s God when the white man perpetrated genocide on their entire race? This alone shoots down the “Jesus as only savior” concept in my opinion.

My research indicates there have been many great spiritual figures throughout history — Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Mohammed, Lao-Tzu, Quetzalcoatl, Gandhi, the Dalai Lama and more — and they are all players on the same team. Closer examination of the major world religions reveals they are mostly based around a core of similar spiritual truths. This is not an accident.

If there’s a spiritual belief system that comes closest to an all-encompassing philosophy, I’d be inclined to go with the Native Americans. They have a real respect for the planet — they treat Mother Earth as a sacred benefactress. And really, where would humanity be without her good graces?

Then there’s Buddhism, which I got turned onto last year, and I recommend people check it out. It’s based on the simple idea of karma. This is the concept wherein your good deeds earn you spiritual credit that will come back to you, and your bad deeds will put you in spiritual debt and cause you trouble later.

Unlike the Christian hierarchy, which insists that people have an intermediary for contact with God, Buddhism tells us that we can all be living embodiments of the Buddha if we practice the dharma (spiritual teachings) conscientiously.

Skeptics might point to China’s brutal occupation and repression of the Tibet as evidence that all the Buddhist good karma hasn’t counted for much. But the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual and political leader, has often pointed out that our enemies come to help us grow spiritually.

The Chinese occupation of Tibet actually catalyzed the spread of Buddhism around the world, due to the flight of Tibetans who sought refuge in the West. The spiritual effect on the planet is still being felt and may eventually be seen as a blessing in disguise, in the larger context of history.

“Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in the cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogma and theology; it covers both the natural and the spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity,” said no less an intellectual luminary than Albert Einstein.

Me thinks Einstein was on to something, and I also find it intriguing that Tibet is exactly on the other side of the planet from the Hopi Indian lands in Arizona. The Tibetan word for sun is the Hopi word for moon and vice versa. This is not a coincidence.

“When the iron eagle flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered over the earth and the dharma will go to the land of the red man,” said legendary Tibetan lama Padmasambhava in the eighth century.

Likewise, ancient Hopi prophecy tells us, “When the iron bird flies, the red-robed people of the East who have lost their land will appear, and the two brothers from across the great ocean will be reunited.”

The Hopi prophecies are extra compelling since most of them have already come true, and because they are the longest-occupying peoples on the North American continent. These prophecies indicate that serious Earth changes will soon be upon us if we don’t stop our mistreatment of Mother Earth. The narrow vision of the status quo Judeo-Christian belief system has led society to a perilous moment in history. It’s time for America to wake up to the spiritual viewpoints of other cultures.

For more information, see: http://fusionanomaly.net/hopi.html; http://fusionanomaly.net/tibet.html; http://www.thehopiway.com/content/prophecies/; and http://dharma-haven.org/.

Greg M. Schwartz is a graduate student in journalism and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].