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Religions in the World, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 577

Essay

Learning about world religions, whether it is a religion that the learner is actively practicing, or one which is completely foreign to his or her own world view and experience, can be highly valuable.   Learning about a diverse number of the world’s religions has influenced the way I think about world religions in a number of ways.  For one,  it has drawn attention to the fact that there is a common, underlying truth inherent in all religions.  It has made me more open-minded, in the common attributes of all religions, that the religion I was specifically brought up with is not just some bogus, superstitious doctrine, but something that is shared by many other doctrines that all basically have in common the same general truth.  For me, this truth is that the individual can come to a realization of a higher power that can be transforming and ultimately liberating.  In Christianity, this can be termed mystical awareness, in Buddhism it is enlightenment, and this idea of a certain type of realization is commonly found in all religious traditions whether it is a major religion or a lesser-known religion practiced by indigenous cultures, for example.

It is important to learn about other people’s religions that are different from your own because it gives you greater insight into the nature of religion and more appreciation for your own religion.  When, for example, you learn about the teachings of Mohammed in Islam or the Buddha in Buddhism, one sees that the teachings are very similar to those originally attributed to Jesus Christ in Christianity.  It makes one realize that the source of all religions, the metaphysical truth inherent to them all, comes from a source beyond humanity to something much deeper or more profound.  The source, from a secular point-of-view could be described as the well-spring of the collective unconscious, to others it could be of a super-human, cosmic origin.  Regardless of ones beliefs or background, the commonality shared by all religions makes one appreciate the core truth that is to be found at the basis of all religions.  To learn about a religion other that your own, teaches you to be more open-minded and tolerant of religions that are foreign to you or your place of residence.  It can enrich your own religious practice by adding insights or knowledge to your foundation that can assist you in reaching even higher stages of awareness and enlightenment.

I personally will utilize the information I have attained from learning about all the world’s religion to synthesize the knowledge into one collective, personal world-view that will enhance my sense of morality, understanding, compassion and tolerance.  The information and knowledge will also come in handy when relating to other people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds.  It will allow me to better understand and empathize with such individuals and know where they are coming from.  A collective embrace of all religions can facilitate a deeper understanding of life itself and make one more intelligent, wise and open-minded.  Instead of being ethnocentric and narrow-minded, one can, through the possession of knowledge of all religions, become more world-centric and globally aware.  In fact, I would venture to say that an understanding of all religions is of paramount importance in the future of our planet in a move towards a more tolerant, holistic and all-embracing world-view in which we are all brothers and sisters regardless of the religion we pledge allegiance to or the background from which we come.

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