How to Respect Different Belief Systems
Countries are dividing. It feels as if everyone has taken a side amidst the confusion and fear-mongering brought on by the media and our current leadership. It’s as if we have forgotten all the commonalities we have as humans and are only seeing our differences. Something former U.S. President Barack Obama is very adamant about right now is that we must end divisive rhetoric and find our common ground so we can work together and reestablish respect for our fellow citizens.
This begins with each of us in how we think of other people, how we speak of them and how we stop categorizing groups of people in our mind. It starts with a willingness to look at things differently and rise above the separation caused by the illusion that there is only one right way of ‘doing the right thing.’
There Is Room For More Than One Belief System
Whether someone is Jewish, Catholic, atheist, or religious/spiritual in any other way, we are all living in the same reality and coping with the world in the ways make sense to us at the time. If we look at the nature of reality according to quantum physics, we observe that thoughts are the most powerful force in the Universe; they can transcend the time-space continuum. Think about that for a moment. We have all heard the saying ‘mind over matter,’ but when thoughts become things, then there are really infinite possibilities.
This means that there is room for multiple realities where two or three or ten truths can be accurate at the same time. One person may receive guidance from a deity, while another may find more satisfaction by finding meaning in life without religion.
Each person acts according to a set of beliefs that feels right to them, whether or not outsiders agree. Their actions are the result of how they see the way to their happiness. To some, that means practicing solitary stillness and meditation, and to others, it means preaching from a pulpit to inspire others to care about themselves and the world. Is one more right than another? Perhaps not. Will we ever know for sure? Definitely not.
Focus on the Point of the Belief System
Start to learn the morals and values of different belief systems. When you really boil them down, even though they use different terms and names, most cultures and religions are simply trying to teach people that happiness is achieved through love, kindness, and acting selflessly. Most religions rely on the belief that practicing compassion and doing the right thing bestows blessings. These systems are all trying to show that the nature of reality is mind over matter.
Religions and cultures, which are all created by humans, are that group of people’s best attempt at explaining the meaning and purposes of life to reach a more empowered state of consciousness. Whether that’s through a ritualistic dance, a prayer in the morning, or a gathering in a holy space, can we really say for sure that there’s only one road that leads to enlightenment?
A system that encourages its members to seek within or ask a higher consciousness for guidance ultimately teaches people to care, doesn’t it? If someone chooses to dedicate their life to loving one person as best as they can or their family, are they wrong? If someone chooses to love openly without feeling the need to dedicate to one person, are they hurting anyone? There is room for multiple truths because people find different ways to do what they feel is right. Often we just need to understand why someone has chosen a belief system to find respect for it.
We Often Make Assumptions With Very Little Knowledge
If someone chooses to dress differently, eat differently, use their time and money differently, it doesn’t mean they are brainwashed, it means they are using their resources to cultivate an energy that feeds their soul and helps them in some way. Even with our differences, we will still always have a lot in common with other people - no one wants to see people suffer, we all seek happiness and love laughter, we often waver in our belief systems, and we generally avoid pain. There are certain experiences of being human that we can use to connect to and understand each other.
Before we assume there is no value in religion or one of the ways a person views their own reality, we should at least spend time studying and educating ourselves. Religions and cultures cannot be understood in a few minutes - they were developed over thousands of years, it’s just not possible! The prophets and sages that have performed or experienced miracles had a deeper metaphysical experience of reality that either spawned a system or was the result of one, right? So how do we know that different belief systems are all heading towards the same expansion of consciousness? We don’t. Don’t assume you know everything, or that you don’t have to know everything. Always know that you can learn more.
Insecurities Make Us Think There’s Only One Way
The human mind loves simplicity and categorization, so we tend to think that there must be only one way to fix something that is broken. When we realize that our thoughts have a more powerful effect on reality than we initially realized, it becomes evident that most of us have only had a glimpse at how the laws that govern the Universe work.
We tend to think with blinders on, using only the knowledge of the world that we have gained from our own experience of reality. We think that it’s necessary to achieve something no one has ever achieved before or prove that we are smarter. This need to prove ourselves is a deeply ingrained competitive nature that stems from the insecurity of not being connected to our spiritual self, our soul.
Make an Effort to Understand Other Viewpoints
We need to start listening to why people believe what they do before seeking to refute it. There is, in fact, room for multiple truths in our ever-expanding Universe. People can believe in demigods or one all-powerful guiding force. People can choose to live without ever experiencing anything beyond their own emotions and the world around them who will learn how they can affect their happiness in relation to their actions. All of these belief systems are valid and hold water.
If we seek to listen and seek to understand, we will find that we all seek similar comfort, peace, and freedom. Start with an intention to find common ground instead of differences, and your compassion will start to strengthen, allowing you to see that we each have our own valid, truthful version of reality.
We don’t need to pit ourselves against each other any longer. We need to take responsibility for how we use our time, how kind our words are, and what our own intention is on a daily basis. If we rise above the limited “us-versus-them” viewpoint, we can start to get along again. When we stop thinking in terms of differences, we see the interconnectedness of human consciousness and we see our potential as a species to evolve to a place where love, health, and happiness for all are possible.
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