ophe's promise

something akin to a sketch pad

moon phases
Location: Hawaii, United States

one of my favorite quotes: Be Humble for you are made of earth; Be Noble for you are made of stars.

Friday, March 11, 2005

How can I embrace my religion, while at the same time acknowledging the truth in others?

There is a discussion going on at Mushtaq's blog (tracelesswarrior.blogspot.com)about religious tolerance. I'd like to share the words of a Hawaiian kupuna (elder) who lived on Moloka'i during the time when missionaries began spreading the word of Christ amongst the Hawaiian people. Her name is Kaili'ohe Kame'ekua:

"All people climb the same mountain. The mountain, however, has many pathways - each with a different view. A person knows and understands only what he sees from his own pathway, and as he moves, his view will change. Only when he reaches the top of the mountain will he see and understand all the views of mankind. But who among us has reached the top of the mountain? Tomorrow, we too will see a different view. We have not finished growing.......

.....I was able to teach a few of my great-grandchildren before I gave up teaching. I saw some of my children's families follow the Catholic religion, while some were pillars of the Kalua'aha Protestant Church. Some became Mormon, and some stood beside me in believing there was truth in all of them and in the light. We all went to church. To me it mattered not where. God is Love and He can be found anywhere.............

........Ku, God, Jehovah, Allah, Inner Light, Love - one eternal truth. What does so great a power care what we call Him? Little minds put tags on things and people; Love accepts and encompasses all matter and all beings. Humans have been given the right to make choices - to be good or evil - to be gods or stones.

We are all born with that perfect power to do and be all things. We have the right to do with it whatever we wish. If we keep our bowl free from rocks, we can go forward and backward in time, walk with the angels, climb the the heights and live in paradise.

It is everyone's own decision where and what he is.

We are all one, each a part of the eternal whole. There is no line that divides one from another or those in body from those in spirit. When men say they believe only this or that they put blinders on themselves. Blinders hide the beauty and majesty of what we are a part of - Children of the Most High! Inheritors of the Universe!"

("Tales from the Night Rainbow" by Koko Willis and Pali Jae Lee)

The above words ring true to me.

To Phil (http://www.philledgerwood.com/), I would say that differences are not trivial (there may be a mountain separating those on different paths) but an individual's understanding of the teachings of a particular religion may very well be imperfect; my faith sustains me on the path and I believe I will eventually be led to a better understanding.

I allow for my own misinterpretations, my own fallibility, and, in order not to hurt others with a mistaken judgement, I try to allow that there may be equal or even greater truth in other points of view.

When I look to the natural world, I see that different species require different conditions for their growth and sustenance. Is it possible that humans, too, are different in their needs for spiritual growth and sustenance? A plant naturally leans towards the sunlight, and I suspect that the human heart knows best the source of its light, too.

Okay.....end of sermon (smile)

apologies to any I might have offended.....

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