Sunday, January 23, 2011

What’s the Difference Really? A Look at Brahman, the Tao, the Eternal Buddha, and God


Note – When I originally came up with the idea for this post, it was going to be longer and more in-depth (kind of like a research paper). During the writing though, that didn’t happen.

In Hinduism the universe and all divine energy comes from Brahman and all gods and goddesses are aspects of Brahman. In Taoism the universe and all living things are bound together by the Tao. In Mahayana Buddhism, Enlightenment is found when one is able to touch the part of the Eternal Buddha that is inside all living things. In Christianity the universe was created by God and people can by touched by God through the Holy Spirit—an aspect of God as part of the Trinity. Are these really different deities or just different interpretations of the same unknowable divinity that created the universe and binds us together in this world?

It is my belief that these are in fact different interpretations of the same thing. Think about it this way—if two individuals witness the same situation and you ask them later to separately describe it to you, you will most likely receive two different accounts of the event. Sure many of the basics will be the same but the feel of the event will be different. Would it not be a logical conclusion to say that this same thing could happen with how humanity has witnessed and experience divinity over the centuries?

It is my theory that the reason why there are so many religions throughout the world isn’t because people are praying to different divinities, it is because that they multitudes of different cultures have interpreted the divine in different ways. Now this is not to say that some haven’t lost their way and thus created harmful and dangerous religious beliefs and practices, because sadly they have. This is caused by the imperfect nature of humanity and our never-ending greed and lust for power, nothing more.

There is a reason why there are so many parallels and similarities in the myths and religions of the world. At their core they are expressions of the lessons that humanity needs to try to keep the world from falling into chaos.

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