Evil intent differs from evil essence, and it is even addressed in the Bible. There is a poorly understood scripture, but it speaks against “fighting” evil people. If you fight them, it confines you to reacting to them.
Are each of the worlds religions unique in their practices? No, not unique. They are distinct, but not unique. A bit different, but all fall within a set of entirely human behaviours.
All are a bit different in their ways, Islam, Christianity. Different forms. Oh, yes. They make a big fuss about forms, but are all ultimately doing the same things. They pray, they chant, they keep ritual observances, they meditate and contemplate the truths that their faith supports. Why so much in common between these practices that reject the validity of each other?
How much people like the subtle differences is evident in the large number of branches in Christianity. Oh yes, lots of tiny little splinter groups. In fact, it’s not commonly known in the west, but there are very pacifistic sects of Islam, and the militants are as they are not for lack of reason. There has been some measure of provocation.
Sufi. Oh yes, Sufi are very peace loving.
Are these subtle differences important in your spiritual strategy? Consideration of the differences is, yes.
The idea of separateness is strong and emphasizes differences in different groups. They create the tendency of humanity to adopt baseless prejudice. They represent strategic error. The degree of error varies.
The great strategists throughout history have all agreed on one thing, and the religious factions for all their motivation to empire have failed to realize this. From Sun-Tzu to Machiavelli, they acknowledge that the greater power is in peace. It is better to be loved than feared. What this means to anyone’s spiritual life is actually simple. There is a reality that is enduring beneath the veneer of any sectarian loyalties anyone holds. There is real power behind the practices despite the “color” given them by cultural bias.
We are living in an increasingly more global world. Territorialism will kill us all if it’s allowed. Even animals don’t go as far as humans territorially, and their concerns are entirely pragmatic. Human territorialism is not.
The unifying principle is what holds the pie together. Is this a hard wired phenom or can it be untaught? It can be untaught, yes. It isn’t natural. An Arab child can be Christian as easily as Muslim, or the child can be human.
The religious scene has to adapt to this reality, but it’s failing so far. It is succeeding in doing what it has always done to humanity, but what it has done has ceased to have any real value. We are interfering with our own gain now. It’s no longer sufficient to just take resources from someone else. This was a short term gain strategy that is now failing miserably.
Play on survival instinct? Yes. That is what it did, play on survival instinct, and spirituality does have to address instinct. Our instincts will not go away.
This reminds me of what the Dalai Lama said when asked about war. He said it served a purpose once, but no longer. He’s right, but strategy always has and always will serve a purpose. Now we can use it to heal, but not until we have seen how its old applications are failing us.
Modifying and updating strategy is one of the biggest challenges a business faces to survive. So imagine a business/religion that has been around thousands of years trying to do it. They survived base on the fear of others. The fear of anyone not of the faith, not of the chosen people. We are beginning to see that this fear rhetoric is not only a lie, but is an active evil.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.