The Unification of World Religion
The ultimate destiny of all the Worlds Religions is for them to be finally reconciled with one another and unified into a single whole. The necessary key for the realization of this difficult process is the propogation and wide spread acceptance of the original truth behind all Religion, namely the eternally recurring idea that Everyone is God.
This is a world of divisions, and nowhere else are these divisions more marked and conflict ridden than those of religion. Jew against Muslim, Muslim against Hindu, Christian against Jew and Muslim against Christian... this list can go on and on and doesn't even touch upon the sectarian divisions and conflicts that exists within the same religion. There is so much strife and contention generated from the world's religions today that it is something of a collective hope that somehow there may one day be some sort of reconciliation between all the various faiths of the world in all their shapes and forms. But the problem seems so intractable. How can the religions of the world be made to coexist with one another given the long history of mutual hostility and seemingly unresolvable doctrinal differences, which often form the basis for the divisions and conflicts in the first place?
The answer to the reconciliation and final unification of all world religion lies in the recognition of the fact that there exists a central truth that is common to all the World's faiths. It is a truth that is not just the well spring of religion but is also the purpose and ultimate destination of the spiritual journey. But it is a truth that is so enigmatic and mysterious that all through the human history it had to remain hidden. It is the truth that inspires religion in the first place and instigates their creation but then because of its elusive nature, this truth becomes a secret within those very same religions that this truth creates in the first place. Hence you find in all world religion a separation of the more accessible aspects of the spiritual life, i.e. the rules, the rituals and the regulations as opposed to those truths of religion which are more unintelligible and opaque, i.e. the mysteries. So for instance in Judaism you have popular Rabbi and Torah centred faith but then you also have the Kabbalah, also known as the hidden teachings of Moses. In Christianity you have the common liturgy or the outer mysteries but then you also have Gnosticism and the inner mysteries. In islam we have the outer meanings of the teachings of Muhammad the so called zahir but then we also find the hidden meanings known as the batin. In Buddhism we have the faith and practices of Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism, known as the Greater Vehicle and Lesser Vehicle respectively but then we have Vajrayana Buddhism, also called the Diamond Vehicle and the hidden teachings of the Buddha. And so on and so forth.
So what is this central truth that is to be found in the secret or hidden traditions that are to be found in all the World's religions? It is this.. the mysterious truth which lies at the mystical heart of all world religiosity is the idea that a person's real identity is ultimately God and that our normal view of the world and who we are is illusory. The comprehension of this truth, the seeing through the illusion, informs and inspires all moral and spiritual teaching. Further the realization of this truth is the attainment of the ultimate destination of the spiritual and mystical journey. That is the state of being one with God, the ground of all being and our true nature. This state being called various names in the different faith traditions of the World. It is Nirvana to the Buddhists, Moksha to Hindus, the Kingdom of Heaven of Christianity and the paradise of Muhammad etc.
This diagram is meant to show that the common truth behind all world religion is the idea that everyone is God. In the outer sections of the circle we have the outer mysteries of religion. That is the rules, the rituals and regulations. In the inner part of the circle is depicted the mystical heart of each religion, the mystical practices and disciplines designed to bring people into union with God. Towards the centre we find God. The ultimate truth and ground of all being. Though God is given different names, the assertion here is that all the different labels are really referring to the same thing.
This experience of becoming one with God despite being the central truth of religion, couldn't be spoken openly and had to be hidden because all through history it was impossible for common people to grasp. Also the open expression of this idea would have invited ridicule, persecution and even directly lead to a person's execution. So in the past this truth had to be spoken of only in allegory or alluded to in parables. However through the progression of history and humankind's accumulated understanding of science, philosophy and theology, we have arrived at an unprecedented stage in history. We are living in an age when the ultimate truth that a person's ultimate identity is really God, can finally be explained and communicated in ways that are comprehensible. The ultimate truth may finally be told in a way that can be understood, so that what historically has always been the unbelievable truth has finally become the inescapable truth.
And it is the communication and gradual adoption of this truth that everyone is God, which will provide the basis and framework for the final unification of religion. When it is recognized that this truth is at the mystical heart of all world religion then it is easy to see how this truth provides the key for bringing the different faiths of this planet together. But it has to be made clear here that what we are not talking about a new religion. It would be foolish to try to bring together all the different kinds of people of all the World's different religions and sects, by presenting them with a new faith and expecting them to adopt its beliefs. Instead what we are talking about is showing Christians the original truth of Jesus, showing Jews the truth behind their faith, showing Muslims the truth behind Muhammad's mission and so on for Hindus and Buddhists etc. Furthermore we are then showing the people of different faiths, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus etc. that this central truth is one and the same for all their respective religions.
It is the belief of the author that not only is the idea that everyone is God the central truth and common denominator behind all the World's spiritual traditions; but also that this assertion provides the key assumption which allows for the definitive resolution of the most fundamental theological problems and questions. This will in turn lead to the final settlement of the doctrinal differences which help to bring about and foster so much conflict between the different religions and also between sects grappling within the same religion. It is beyond the scope of this article to go into any detail regarding all the important questions of theology but it is sufficient to say here that some of the problems which the idea that every is God help to solve include; the nature of eternal life, the question of election or doing rightly in the eyes of God and the meaning of salvation or liberation - the ultimate reward of the spiritual journey. What we may look forward to is a unified metaphysics, a vision of God and the sacred which may revitalize world religion and reconcile the different faiths of this world to one another. It will be a necessary re-interpretation and revision of world religion that will be to the people of this planet, a doctrine of unity and a theology for a better, more harmonious one world order.
The final unification of world religion, for many of us on this planet, it is a dream and a hope. During these times when we are faced with so much religious conflict, it is a goal which would do so much to further the cause of peace in this world. Also a unified one World religion, by providing a common bond and a shared vision of the divine, would also much facilitate the integration and the making one of the human race. And this is especially true when the religions of the world today are themselves impediments to world peace and the process of the coming together of humankind. But we ask now, how then might this state of affairs realistically come about? What reasons do we have for entertaining the possibility that we may witness a process of convergence between the religions of this world, sometime in the not too distant future?
Firstly the conditions are ripe for just such a unifying revelation to emerge. We are living in such a critical period when the very survival of the world as we know it, depends on finding a way whereby we may tackle the planet threatening problems we are all facing, as a united humanity. And so many people are receptive to a message of integration and unity. It is during times of impending chaos and calamity that people are much more likely to be open to radical ideas. This is true especially in the case of the young. There exists a yearning in the hearts of many people in this Earth for a way that religion may become a facilitator of peace rather than the source of strife, which much of the religion in this World has degenerated into. Also as mentioned earlier there have been developments in the world of science, especially in the area of quantum physics, which has set the stage for the communication of the idea that is the central truth behind religion. It is the ancient but hidden idea that 'everyone is God', which will enable the coming together of world religion, thereby facilitating the coming together of the peoples of this world. And it is not just results from science that are helping to bring about this radical shift in perspective of how we view ourselves, God and our relationship to God. It is also lines of inquiry from philosophy and scriptural statements from religion itself, which combine with the relevant insights from science to form solid foundations for the revelation of the unifying truth that everyone is God.
Secondly there is a certain place on this planet of ours which is ideal for beginning the process of communicating a unifying philosophy that may spread the world over. That place is London, a city where all the races and nationalities of the world are represented. Certainly the most cosmopolitan population centre in the world, not only are all the different peoples of the world to be found living and working together here, but also every religion, cult and sect can also be encountered in London. All the various spiritual traditions and innovations can be found in London either through the people who practice these faiths or else through their centres of worship and propagation. London is a place where all the diverse and different types of church, temple or mosque can be found. Also practically every significant new religious movement that can be found on this planet has some sort of base or office in London. But for the purpose of spreading a unifying philosophical and religious message worldwide, what is most significant about London is some of the people to be found there. In London there are sons and daughters of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Taoist and so on to include all the religions and cults of this world. And though all these young people are of different races and nationalities, by virtue of the fact that they have all settled in London, as a natural result they all speak English. Furthermore many of these young people have a shared mind set, and it is one which desires peace, harmony, unity and love. Also these people of whom I am speaking are very often interesting in philosophical and spiritual matters. It is these people who will be the first to receive a message centred around the truth that everyone is God, a revelation that will catalyze the process by which all the religions of this world will become one. Therefore it is the spiritually inclined, multi-lingual, multi-cultural youth that will be the vanguard and missionary force; which initially will seed and spread the revelation around the World.
It is most probable that the process of spreading the unifying truth that everyone is God worldwide, will create a lot of conflicts. However instead of the conflicts that we already have today between different religions, between different countries and between different racial or ethnic groups; what we are talking about is a worldwide conflict that will be occurring between adherents within the same religion, between citizens of the same country and between people of the same ethnicity. Sibling will contend against sibling, Parent will contend against offspring and cousin will contend against cousin. The ultimate elucidation of the idea that everyone is God will inevitably stimulate not just academic debate but also bring about various social divisions that will sometimes escalate into serious dissension and perhaps even violence. There will be a war of ideas fought between those who champion the idea that everyone is God and those who will inevitably stand in opposition to it. It might at first seem perverse that in a world already riddled with conflict, why anybody would wish to generate more conflict on top of all the strife and contention that we already have. However when it is understood that this is a necessary process that humanity will need to go through in order that lasting foundations may be laid for a unified and harmonious world; then it can be seen that this conflict from within or intra-conflict that we're discussing is really just the concomitant birth pains of the emergence of a unified and harmonious one world order.
The task of propagating the idea that everyone is God world wide will not be an easy one and it is a certainty that the truth will be met with opposition and resistance. Historical people have been either executed, severely punished or else made outcast for making the claim that a person's real identity is God. Even though mankind's understanding has advanced to such a state that the truth can finally be spoken so as to be comprehensible, it is still the case that for most people the truth will seem so counter intuitive, as to seem impossible and therefore unbelievable. Useful historical analogies which help us to understand the problems ahead include the time when it was first proposed that the Earth revolved around the Sun. Another example would be the opposition that was encountered by Darwin's theory of evolution when the idea was first introduced and which also exists right up to the present time. I recall the sentiment expressed by the great physicist Max Planck, an idea further reinforced by the philosopher of science Thomas S. Khun, that new ideas don't become accepted by the establishment as a consequence of them being believed due to their correctness or intrinsic merits; but rather that new ideas become widely held as true once the previous generation which couldn't accept the innovation slowly die off to be replaced by a younger generation which became familiar with the new idea early on in their lives. And so it will be with the revelation of the truth that a person's real identity is God.
So the emergence of the truth that everyone is God and its eventual widespread acceptance follows a pattern that has been repeated throughout history. When we take a look at what has happened in the past then we may better understand the present and also the future. Human affairs over the ages may be seen as a process of technological evolution and cultural accumulation. A very important part of humankind's cultural progress has to do with the continuous refinement and expansion of our knowledge about ourselves, life, the universe and everything else. This process is characterized by the adoption of new truths and the replacement of previously held beliefs with these new insights. This happens once our level of understanding reaches a point where existing assumptions prove untenable and new explanations are found more satisfactory. Sometimes these changes in our beliefs are minor, perhaps the revision of some fact or a change of perspective in a certain area of human study. Then again sometimes these changes in our beliefs are very major and our whole world view is fundamentally altered. This is called a paradigm shift and examples would be the adoption of the ideas mentioned earlier, i.e. heliocentrism or the idea that the Earth revolves around the Sun, the round Earth idea as opposed to the flat Earth viewpoint and also Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. In a similar way the idea that a person's identity is really God likewise constitutes an as significant and probably even more profound a shift in our view of reality than the examples just cited. And in a manner similar to the way that the ideas of heliocentrism, the round Earth and evolution were accepted because of their power to explain the facts and remedy the inconsistencies and contradictions inherent in the ideas they replaced; so too will it be the case with the dissemination and eventual acceptance of the idea that everyone is God.
There is reason to hope than even if the ultimate truth that everyone is God doesn't become the dominant global philosophy and spiritual outlook, then certainly at least within the lifetimes of many people alive today, an inexorable process may be put into motion that will, over successive generations, lead to a World where the idea that everyone is God is the most widely held belief. It is worth remembering that it is not necessary for even most of the people to believe something in order that it may become the dominant philosophy. In reality a philosophy becomes dominant when its adherents hold the key dominant positions within a society, or the global society in relation to present discussion. This will happen through the gradual conversion of some of the various leaders in this world and also through a process whereby people who believe in the truth systematically seek to obtain positions of leadership. When a critical mass of people who believe in the eternal truth are more or less in control of the levers of power in this world, then the truth may be systematically propagated from the top down laying the philosophical groundwork for a truly enlightened World society.
So, the unification of world religion, a dream, a hope and the key to the unifying and bringing together of all humanity. At the moment this probably all seems a distant prospect and perhaps even an impossible fantasy. But conditions on this planet are ripe for the revelation that everyone is God to emerge, and it is this message that will bring about the reconciliation of world religion and help make the idea of a just and harmonious one world order a manifest reality.