Why so Many Religions?

January 2016

 

There is nothing more exciting to me than digging into the architecture of spirituality. Spiritual philosophy goes past the stories and past the symbols to the energies of inner transformation. I was not brought up in a religious home. So, when I was first exposed to religion as an adult, I had a lot of catching up to do. When the priest told everyone to open their Bibles to John 1:1-3, I asked, “What page is that on?” Like many who begin the mystical journey, my first question was “If there is only one God, then why are there so many religions?” I held this question in the back of my mind for many years. As I wandered through the belief systems of the world, this question remained unanswered.

Several years later, I was digging through the lock box. Amongst the birth certificates, passports and property deeds were the silver coins I had bought during the year each child was born. My first child was born in 1986, which was the 100th anniversary of The Statue of Liberty. Handling the coin gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling for the time when my son had just come into the world. The pressure of time made me reel my mind back to the subject at hand. So, I grabbed the document I needed and shut the lock box.

But, for some reason my mind became fixated on The Statue of Liberty. For the next few weeks, I kept seeing emblems, ads, and pictures of the statue itself in a synchronistic fashion. I knew that the universe was guiding me, but to what? By this time, I was deep into exploring mystical philosophy. The Statue of Liberty is not mystical, or was it? It was then that I realized that all mystical philosophy used symbolism to convey its message. The Statue of Liberty is an iconic symbol of the United States. So, I took out my books and started to analyze the statue just as I would analyze a spiritual symbol.

I was amazed to find that The Statue of Liberty is actually a convergence of many symbols. She incorporates a torch, a book, and a 13 point arrayed crown. She stands on a star and has an elevator that lifts you up to a windowed viewing deck in her forehead. The Statue of Liberty resonates with each person because she embodies a multiple number of ideologies instead of designating one exclusive truth.

She contains many ideals but is only one statue. She is a singularity and a multiplicity rolled together. We are able to appreciate the diversity she represents because we can see the whole. When we can view spirituality in its wholeness, then we will comprehend why there is such diversity in the ways of veneration and worship.

 

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