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  • Writer's pictureAkiko Murakami

We should have broader perspectives.

(image from internet)

I have noticed, these days, there are people who grew up among the Christian families and environment, but currently searching for different teachings or ways of understand the “reality” of life. They had similar opinions that they were not happy with the explanations in the Bible, and pointed out Christianity have created so much miseries, destructions, and hatred among people, under the name of God.

(I am not saying the Jesus's teachings about LOVE is not worthy, of course. History is telling us that usually, people in power use "religious teachings" and "name of God" with wrong intentions to drive the majority of people for their sakes)

So far, I have met many Western tourists to Japan who are studying Buddhism and practicing Zen meditation. Many of them seemed more or less influenced by Dali Lama’s messages full of “love”, “forgiveness”, and “compassion”, “inner peace”. Indeed, his life as a religious leader of Tibet is very tragic and difficult to bear. He has all the reasons to have attack thoughts, anger toward China’s injustice invasion. He lost his country, people and religious authority in this modern day. But he never does..

However, to see a positive side, due to that tragedy, many books by him were written in English and spread all over the world. He also makes speeches in English in many international cities, and Tibetan Buddhist temples are constructed in America.

Now, Dalai Lama is not a Tibet’s religious leader, but one of the world’s top spiritual leaders! I think we should not judge things by a single way of thinking, but rather try to see and understand what is going on with broader perspectives.

Yes, there are many spiritual teachers who came to this world to teach the “truth” in different times and locations in different styles. However, Ultimately, they were telling the very similar ideas.

such as;

“Law of cause and effect”

“Love each other”, (do to others what you want others to do for you.)

“As above, so below”,

law of attraction,

how to live righteously

Way to self development

Existence of higher spiritual beings (deities, angels, saints, etc.)

etc. )

But almost all the time, the very essence of such teachings had been lost in the process of making the power structures of religions.

No teachers left an order to convert others nor kill others to prove their devotions.

If we all believe in the soul’s reincarnation (it is a widely accepted concept in Japan with strong ancestor worship, shintoism and Buddhism) , then, it is very likely we were following different religious teachings in our past lives in different bodies in different nations. It is really non-sense to attack or disrespect someone with different believes in this life time.

Greatly due to Shintoism, believing that there are many different kinds, characters of Kami (deities), Japanese are open to many different god and goddesses from all over the world, including Buddha, Jesus Christ, Confucius, etc... Although, Islamic influence did not reach Japan, we can regard Islamic prophet and allah as holy beings without rejecting them as foreign.

We are sharing the same planet Earth, I really think it is time to learn to respect each other over the differences, and have more self disciplines not to feed our self-centered ego.

yaoyorozun no kami

< Images of some Kami (deities) of Shintoism from Japanese mythology>


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