“We do not want churches because they will teach us how to quarrel about god.”
Chief Joseph, the author of this quote, was a very famous and evolved Native American.
Churches, religions and their belief systems that are based on theologies of separation have become very exclusive. They simply say that their way is the only way. If you do not believe what they tell you to believe then you are condemned. Therefore, different religions, churches, temples and mosques create arguments and quarrels between people. They create conflict. We tend to think of churches, religions, temples and mosques as places of worship, as places of divine religious experience and yet they are actually places of division and dissension between human beings.
I recently saw a program that was exploring the belief in heaven. It was all about a belief in an afterlife in which heaven is a place where we go after the death of the physical body. They explored the concept of heaven within all the various religious traditions of humanity.
More than 80% of human beings currently believe in a heaven as a place where we will go when we die. They also believe that heaven is a place where God lives. Furthermore the God that lives in heaven is separate and different from them as human beings here on earth.
In interviews with various religious leaders, it became very clear that each religion believed in its own heaven and that its heaven was the only heaven and if we didn’t go through their gateway we couldn’t get there. You could easily see how such exclusive belief and teaching could lead to quarrels among human beings. You find this in all religious traditions, in all churches, mosques and temples. “Our way is the only way”! Why? “Because God has spoken directly to us and told us so, and if you don’t believe it you are excluded.”
Thus, the majority of quarrels, conflicts, and wars in today’s world are based in religious belief. This is the important point. The belief in heaven is causative to resultant fragmented behavior.
The same could be said of our belief in the statement, “I am … all is … one”. When we have a belief, we must consciously examine it to see if it is truthful … whether it points to the experience of true reality and can guide us into the actual experience of it. When we approach the experience of true reality with a truthful belief, ultimately the belief must be relinquished because the statement is, “You are what you believe.” The question is, “Who are you without your beliefs?”
A belief can bring us to a gateway. A truthful belief can bring us to a gateway to the truth. I am … all is … one. But then the belief is relinquished and in the transcendence of the mind, what remains? What is the reality beyond all the beliefs? No matter how we get to it, when the mind is relinquished the reality of the experience is the same. The experience is the is-ness of such-ness, the unity within all diversity, the wondrous oneness of life in each new now moment of its happening.