Letters to Jesus (Church, Religion, and Sacraments)-9
What is religion? It is a framework for people to place themselves within in order to learn how to direct themselves toward what their spirit urges them. It is an inevitable outcome of our being human – we seek something more.
Geographically and culturally these frameworks have evolved into many forms. Religions often seem constructed to best serve the needs of those constructing them; hence the broad variance of practice and belief. If one was to search for some strand that runs through all religions it might be “compassion” and some form of the “Golden Rule.” Both of these concepts are based on “the other.” In this sense it might be said that all religions are fundamentally not about ourselves but about another. Extrapolating further from this concept we might say that basic to all religions is a “going out” of ourselves – an abandoning of the selfish for the altruistic. From this we might further derive that this “social” aspect of religion is fundamental. The framework of religion in which we place ourselves is always with others. All else stripped away, we are each seeking the meaning of our being in the context of a world of others.
Whatever framework we choose, we will eventually bump into impenetrable walls of division which will forever hem us in unless we individually transcend these walls and go outside the framework. This diminishes the social aspect of the framework but does not remove it. Rather it displays the deeper general characteristic that each of us is on our own journey. But to get to this point it would seem that initially some framework would have needed to have been in place.
The question that gnaws at me is, Why is that framework initially not the same for all? Has there ever been any one person who expounded more clearly the basic tenet of a “world religion” than You? That tenet of serving rather than being served has been pounded, shaped, and interpreted by hundreds of religions, but so seldom do we return to it and examine it as a common thread of our race. What is simplest is most profound, and it is what is simple that always eludes us.