God, please be here. We need help.
I am here.
We need help.
The world is on the brink of disaster. And I'm not talking about natural disaster; I'm talking about man-made calamity.
I know. And you're right.
I mean, humans have had disagreements before, and serious ones, but now our divisions and disagreements can lead not simply to wars -- which are bad enough -- but to the end of civilization as we know it.
That is correct. You have assessed the situation correctly.
You understand the severity of the problem; you simply do not understand the nature of the problem. You do not know what is causing it. So you keep trying to solve it at every level except the level at which it exists.
The level of belief.
The problem facing the world today is a spiritual problem.
Your ideas about spirituality are killing you.
You keep trying to solve the world's problem as if it were a political problem, or an economic problem, or even a military problem, and it is none of these. It is a spiritual problem. And that is the one problem human beings don't seem to know how to solve.
Then help us.
In many ways.
This book will help us?
What do we have to do?
And then what?
That's what they all say. "It's all in The Book," they say. "Read it and heed it. That's all you have to do." The problem is, they all hold up a different book.
And every book says something else.
So now we should "read and heed" this book?
It's not a question of what you should do. It's a question of what you may do if you choose to. It is an invitation, not a requirement.
Why would I want to read this book when I've already been told by True Believers that all the answers are in the other books -- the books that they are telling me to heed?
Because you have not heeded them.
Yes, we have. We believe that we have.
That's why you now need help. You believe that you have, but you have not.
You keep saying that your Holy Book (your cultures have many different ones) is what has given you the authority to treat each other the way you are treating each other, to do what you are doing.
You are able to say that only because you have not really listened to the deeper message of these books. You have read them, but you have not really listened to them.
But we have. We are doing what they say we should be doing!
No. You are doing what YOU say that they say you should be doing.
What does that mean?
It means that the basic message of all the sacred scriptures is the same. What is different is how human beings have been interpreting them.
There is nothing "wrong" with having different interpretations. What may not benefit you, however, is separating yourself over these differences, making each other wrong because of these differences, and killing each other as a result of these differences.
This is what you are now doing.
It is what you have been doing for quite some time.
You cannot agree even within a particular group of you, much less between groups, about what a particular book says and what it means, and you use these disagreements as justifications for slaughter.
You argue among yourselves about what the Qur'an says, and about what its words mean. You argue among yourselves about what the Bible says, and about what its words mean. You argue among yourselves about what the Veda says, what the Bhagavad-Gita says, what the Lun-yu says, what the Pali Canon says, what the Tao-te Ching says, what the Talmud says, what the Hadith says, what the Book of Mormon says...
And what of the Upanishad, the I Ching, the Adi Granth, the Mahabharata, the Yoga-sutras, the Mathnawi, the Kojiki?
Okay, we get the point.
No, actually, you don't. And that's the point. The point is, there are many holy writings and sacred scriptures, and you act as if there is only one.
It is your sacred scripture that is really sacred. All the rest are poor substitutes at best, and blasphemies at worst.
Not only is there only one Sacred Scripture, there is also only one way to interpret that Scripture: your way.
This spiritual arrogance is what has caused you your greatest sorrow as a species. You have suffered more -- and caused other people to suffer more -- over your ideas about God than over your ideas about anything else in the human experience.
You have turned the source of the greatest joy into the source of your greatest pain.
That's crazy. Why is that? Why have we done that?
Because there is one thing for which human beings seem willing to give up everything.
They will give up love, they will give up peace, they will give up health, harmony, and happiness, they will give up safety, security, and even their sanity, for this one thing.
You are willing to give up everything you've ever worked for, everything you've ever wanted, everything you've ever created, in order to be "right."
Indeed, for this you are willing to give up Life itself.
But isn't that how it should be? I mean, you have to stand up for something in life. And the Word of God IS what's right!
Yes, which God?
Adonai? Allah? Elohim? God? Hari? Jehovah? Krishna? Lord? Rama? Vishnu? Yahwey?
The God whose words were brought to us clearly by the Master and the Prophets.
Which Master and which Prophets?
Which Master? Which Prophets?
Adam? Noah? Abraham? Moses? Confucius? Siddhartha Gautama? Jesus? Patanjali? Muhammad? Baha'u'llah? Jalal al-Din Rumi? Martin Luther? Joseph Smith? Paramahansa Yogananda?
You're not equating all of those with each other, are you?
Why not? Is one greater than the other?
The one in whom I believe!
Exactly. Now you get the point.
So what do you want me to do, give up my beliefs?
I don't "want" you to do anything. The question is, what do you want to do?
I want to find a way to get past all of these mixed-up beliefs that humans have.
There is a way.
What does that mean?
Transcending means to go beyond, to move past. It does not mean to completely reject or totally destroy. You do not have to destroy a thing in order to move past it.
You would not want to destroy your old belief system in any event, because there is too much of it that you will wish to retain.
"Transcending" does not mean always being "other than," it means always being "larger than." Your new, larger belief system will no doubt retain some of the old -- that part of the old belief system that you experience as still serving you -- and so it will be a combination of the new and the old, not a rejection of the old from top to bottom.
Can you see the difference?
I think so.
Good. Then you can stop your resistance.
The reason humans have hung so tenaciously to their old beliefs is that they do not want to dishonor those beliefs by rejecting them completely, out of hand. They think that this is the choice they have: Reject the old or accept the old, totally. Yet that is not the only choice you have. You can review the old and see what parts of the old no longer work. You can expand the old to make some parts of the old work better. You can add to the old to make some parts of your belief system new.
Rejecting completely your present beliefs would be to discredit so much of what has been taught, so much of what has been understood, so much of what has been done -- and so much of what has been good.
It would make too much of the world feel "wrong." It would make ancestors "wrong," it would make entire scriptures "wrong," it would make present-day lives "wrong." People would have to admit that all of the spiritual aspects of the human experience have been a mistake, a misunderstanding.
This is more than most people can acknowledge. It is more than they should acknowledge, because it is not true.
In fact, you don't have to declare that you were "wrong" about anything, because you weren't. You simply didn't have a complete understanding. You needed more information.
Transcending current beliefs is not an outright rejection of them; it is an "adding to" them.
Now that you have more information that you can add to what you presently believe, you can enlarge your beliefs -- not completely reject them, enlarge them -- and move on with your lives in a new way.
A way that works.
But I don't have more information.
Yes, you do.
You have this book.
Copyright © 2002 by Millennium Legacies, Inc.