Milton H. Erickson did something once. He worked at a mental institution. There were two men who both thought they were Jesus. He put them next to each other to argue their point. After a few days or so, one of them told Erickson it wasn’t right – they couldn’t both be Jesus, because that would mean one of them was nuts. So he stopped believing he was Jesus.
This story made me chuckle a great deal. Only, then I was sitting thinking everyday life isn’t much better than a mental institution. Each day people condemn other people in the name of Jesus, Mohammed or one form of God or another. I would love to put a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim next to each other. Each of them has a text from long ago that they believe in. Each of them think the other is condemned if they don’t believe like they do. The question is: who is truly condemned? If there is a way of being condemned at least two of these three people would be, but no one wants to believe it’s them.
I am not arguing that there aren’t great truth in biblical texts. Nor am I arguing the point that they were written in a time when people believed that Paul (I think it was Paul…source: Jesus by A. N. Wilson…if you read that book you will never look at the bible the same way again), when he arrived in Greece, was a Greek God who had descended from the sky. I am very spiritual, but you have to bear in mind that the Gospel of Mary (found here, just scroll down) varies a lot from the Gospel of anyone else. Why is that? Who is right? Who is wrong? Who was seeking power? Who was telling the truth? Who rewrote the bible before it got published? It is rather interesting that every Christian holiday occurs at the same date as a similar pagan holiday used to take place. Easter used to be the celebration of fertility, of dawn and rebirth. It’s funny Jesus resurrected right about the same time.
I love spirituality, I am a seeker, I do read biblical texts, I was always fascinated by Jesus (and believe in some of what he taught), Buddha, witchcraft, etc…but from an early age I believed they were all talking about the same thing. They just have different ways of expressing it, much like we all talk different languages. Most religions say you should treat thy neighbor as thyself. That love is the highest power of all. I really hope that we can all embrace that philosophy one day – it would be nice with peace on Earth and a society where you did not fear your own neighbor.
N.B. I am not a professor – I am not well versed in every religion on the planet, so I do not have any kind of authority on the subject; I’m just voicing my thoughts here.