All the other great religions have offered me little understanding of the place of mankind in the Cosmos; and that may be my fault. (I refer to the Cosmos as possibly encompassing more than the universe we live in.) However, all religions stress, most usefully, the ethics of human life. I say this as a freethinker in matters religious. Indeed, I suspect intuitively that I may have been an adherent in my past lives of each of the major religions. Isn’t religion a guide for living, and for relating with others? I also credit the mutual religious tolerance of the diverse ethnic communities which I experienced during my formative years.
As I have written in my book ‘Hidden Footprints of Unity,’ the main religions are equal in their potential. In saying this, I have obviously ignored the dogma devised to differentiate one sect from another within a religion, and between the major religions; while some of the dogma may have evolved to reflect local values.
Indeed, do not their teachings offer the same 2 core lessons? These lessons are that there is a Creator of all that is; and that, as co-created, we humans are bonded to, if not responsible for, one another. James Murray, SC, Religious Affairs Editor of The Australian endorsed chapter 5 (Which way to the Cosmos?) in the above book. Paul Sheehan, essayist and columnist, Sydney Morning Herald, endorsed chapter 6 (Peering into the Void). See ‘Publications’ and ‘Accolades’ in this website.
Moving from the spiritual to the material, we normally live without much emphasis on what life is all about, and how we human beings fit into the universe. After all, life is for living – without much concern for ego gratification. Yet … … as an inquisitive 8-year old, I did ask my parents how the universe came about. Their answer was: It has always existed; it has neither beginning nor end. What a surprise! How could that be, I wondered.
When I began to read about religion at 24, the only explanation I found came from Hinduism. The Hindu cosmology is complex. See Chapter 9 ‘On Religion’ in my book Musings at Death’s Door: an ancient bicultural Asian-Australian ponders about Australian society about my tentative understanding of it. Combined with Hinduism’s metaphysics, the cosmology is awesome and inspiring. (NOTE: Musings at Death’s Door has been recommended by the US Review of Books.)
I remain curious. Why do we exist? Is there some reason for the kingdom of fauna to have thrown up the human species? To what end? Of what use are we? Do we not pollute our environment and destroy that which sustains us? Then we die. Many people I know resist death, seemingly because of the alternative (as one woman said to me recently). As a metaphysical Hindu, I am not afraid to die; indeed, I am looking forward to death – but only in my Earthly form. I look forward to continuing my search in another dimension to understand the place of humankind in the universe.