Mostly We Are All The Same

coexist-bumper-stickerWe’re all pieces of the same ever-changing puzzle;
some connected for mere seconds, some connected for life,
some connected through knowledge, some through belief,
some connected through wisdom, some through Love,
and some connected with no explanation at all.
Yet, as spiritual beings having a human experience,
we’re all here for the sensations this reality
or illusion has to offer. The best anyone can hope for
is the right to be able to Live, Learn, Love then Leave.
After that, reap the benefits of their own chosen existence
in the hereafter by virtue of simply believing
in what they believe. As for here, it took me a while
but this progression helped me with my life:
“I like myself. I Love myself. I am myself.”
Stanley Victor Paskavich

In childhood my family attended Christian churches. Depending on who I went with, I attended Baptist, Methodist and Church of Christ. There were differences, but on the whole all of them seemed to more or less represent the same general beliefs. As a teenager I went with friends to a Catholic church and a Jewish synagogue. Some dissimilarity was evident, but both seemed to have more in common that different.

As an adult I have spent time reading numerous Buddhist texts and a book or two on the Hindu religion. I have read the Koran from front to back and spent time learning about groups like the Sufi’s. Some more esoteric principles such as that of the Rosicrucians caught my interest for a time. Being part Native American brought a natural curiosity to learn about Cherokee views of  life, death and the hereafter.

A part of my study included examining the ancient beliefs of groups like Gnostics and Essenes along with learning about Egyptian gods like Amon-Ra and Osiris and Greek mythological gods Poseidon, Zeus and others.  I’ve read as best I could over half of the available codices translated from the Dead Sea scrolls and those found at Nag Hammadi. Assorted other groups such as Agnostics, Atheists, Pagans and Wiccans found their way onto my path of learning as well.

Huston Smith wrote, “Walnuts have a shell, and they have a kernel. Religions are the same. They have an essence, but then they have a protective coating. This is not the only way to put it. But it’s my way. So the kernels are the same. However, the shells are different.”

While I went looking for it, I did not find a grand revelation. However, a fair amount of what I assimilated has stayed with me. Boiled down together the essence of my general belief about religion, faith and beliefs is ALL people have more far more in common than differences. Just about everyone wants the freedom to believe as he or she chooses, desires peace and happiness and to be allowed to love, protect and provide for their family and loves ones.

I am grateful that about fifteen years of on again/off again focused study and learning led me down a long path that ultimately looped me back to simplicity. For every difference there are at least ten similarities for people from all walks of life, everywhere. Mostly we are all the same.

My religion consists of a humble admiration
of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself
in the slight details we are able to perceive
with our frail and feeble mind.
Albert Einstein