You may have a designated religion or you may be like me and have no named religion at all. I have happily taken techniques from many practices around the world and I have used them in my own work to enhance what I do and to support my own growth – emotionally and spiritually. It’s all part of the fun when you allow yourself to follow an eclectic path.
One major ideal it also allows me is a greater sense of tolerance to those who follow a different path to mine. This is because I follow no actual rule book. I am constantly learning new techniques and finding things which interest me so I have nothing in individual form to hold up and insist this is – The Only Way.
This is quite a healthy stance for me because it allows a spiritual growth in a way which suits me and my lifestyle.
Humans are notorious for wanting to follow the crowd. There is a lot to be said for it, after all. We can feel accepted, supported, valued, heard and completely right if we surround ourselves with people who agree with us. If we find someone we don’t agree with we can get our chums together and see who can shout the loudest. It is difficult for some to turn away from such acceptance.
Wouldn’t it be unstimulating if we all agreed, all of the time? What if we all wore the same clothes, day in and day out? Grey, dull, uninspiring. We have to start seeing our differences as a fresh influx of interest which stimulates and nourishes, not as direct attack on ourselves.
Are we so unsure of our beliefs that one person disagreeing with us can shake or move our stance and make a difference to us as individuals?
And if not then what does it matter if they don’t do as we do?
Is our foundation that unsteady?
If it is then we need to start questioning whether those beliefs are our own or someone else’s we have just picked up. When our own country’s highest governing body (by its policies or representatives) implies certain behaviour is suddenly acceptable it will bring many people out of the woodwork who may, for social standing reasons, have hidden their true feelings on the matter beforehand. I am in the UK and our biggest problem has been issues regarding immigration. Ever since we voted to exit the European Union we seem to have brought some very odd folks to attention and given them a platform which they aren’t hesitating to use. Many countries are having similar problems with social regression. Radical political parties which would not have been acceptable before are finding themselves with more ears turned to their words.
Take racism. This is a difficult topic and will usually get hackles raised quite quickly. What makes one skin tone think they are better than another skin tone? The same formula that makes people who follow one religion feel they are superior to those who follow another, I suppose. The human need for superiority, conquest and control of the subservient. The fire-in-the-blood excitement when the prey has been cornered. Since humans began taking land from each other and trading human lives, there has been this need to be superior to another at any and all opportunity. How small we can be.
If we are to grow as a species we need to realise that working together makes society grow and ideas flourish. Progress can be made in areas which will benefit all. If we can’t get past separation and greed than any progress will only be in the world of corporate money, great if you have the right shares, I suppose…
The question we all have to ask ourselves is simply this:-
What does it matter if your neighbour chooses to walk a different path to you as long as they are not hurting anyone?
Diversity is actually a good thing. It brings fresh ideas, big questions and gets things done more quickly and efficently. We need access to a multitude of ideas where one team can learn from the other instead of holding back progress to try and be more powerful than other countries. This slows progress up for decades. Take the space race between the USA and the then USSR. Competition got things moving towards a common goal much faster than if there was no deadline. Think how quickly things would have been done if ideas, experiments and results had been shared between both countries? The International Space Station is a good example of what teamwork between nations can achieve in cooperation with each other.
Which way is better for mankind?
Which way is better for Earth itself?
Sharing is what will make us all strong and we will all need to be strong if we are to survive as a species. We must let go of greed and stop stockpiling food for so long it goes off. Australia and Norway are two countries I can think of offhand who have produced a surplus of free power through clean energy means. There is enough of everything we need to survive – everything except tolerance and acceptance and they are our failings, not the failings of Mother Earth.
This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.