People do a lot of arguing about what they believe and why. But I wonder how many people REALLY think about what they believe, and why.
To me, this is the most important question, when it comes to religion. What is the essence of your faith, and why do you believe it?
I'd like each person here who cares to answer, to do so- and answer in this manner:
1. What is the Essence of your Faith? By "Essence", I mean, What is the central point, the central theme of your faith? What does "faith" mean, and what do you have faith in? What is the basic point or teaching that your faith or religion makes to the world, about the world?
2. Why do you believe what you do?
Let me start by answering these questions for myself, then we can go from here:
The Essence of my Faith is that the world is a holy, mysterious place, sprung from a holy root, a holy source. This source is beyond our rational understanding. It is limitless and definitionless; It does not conform to observed laws of space or physics; it is a Mystery, and yet, it is not "supernatural". It is simply the highest reality, the source of all, a sort of "meta-law" which is an unseen and eternal part of observed Natural Laws; and it is intimately involved in what we call "this" reality. It's mysterious character makes it seem quite uncanny to us, when we have limited flashes of experiences or insight into it.
Certain beings in the world that we experience- humans- have the capacity to be freely aware of the holiness all around them, and in all things, including each other.
They have the choice to freely offer their effort, strength, passions, and love to the higher causes of Holiness, of preservation and peace, instead of selfish causes, and by doing this, they serve each other, and the world in general. By doing this, they also serve the will of what some call "God"- because I believe that, on some higher level, it is the will of the Essential Divine that we honor all things by submitting selflessly to the holiness of all things, and preserving what is good in balance, harmony, and peace.
What is "bad" or "sinful" is nothing more than the actions that spring from self-centeredness and selfishness, and the actions that spring from the minds that think in terms of isolation and seperation- when all that we do, think, and say, impacts everything and everyone else.
Real Love (and the key to Wisdom) is to see the intimacy that we all share in creation. Real service is to respect that and bear it in mind, and to help end suffering, preserve life, and make peace, not for yourself, but for everything and everyone else- for it is in all that we see and experience that the Word of the Divine is manifest. War, Evil, Greed, Corruption, all these things spring from minds that are isolated in self-interest. That is the only place they come from. There is no innate flaw in mankind that makes these things inevitable; only an avoidable tendency towards selfishness that can be overcome if a person realizes their intimacy with all beings, and all things.
The Essential Divine, aside from being manifest before and within us, may also
be, Ultimately, beyond all that we see and experience, but that means little to us here and now- we have to deal with what is before us, and HOW we deal with what is before us shows how well we Love and Serve what some have called "God"- not any philosophical ponderings about transcendent realities or beings. Philosophical pondering is fine, but we also have to live here and now, and the character of our lives
describes and expresses better than any words
how well we understand, on the deepest level, the Truth of Holiness.
This is the essence of my view. When a person allows Love to bring them beyond their "self", they attain real grace. When a person works to serve the causes of holiness, peace, and love, beyond the desires of the self, they attain a peace that is perfect in this life, and which continues after death.
I believe what I do because I have served and loved, and found that I was only perfectly happy when I thought more of others and the good of all, than myself. I felt grace, peace, or "divinity" in those times. I experienced "god" in this way- and I knew then, as I know now, and everyday, that God is truly here, around us in the details, and in the heart that loves and serves selflessly. There is nothing more that needs to be added to this. This path is a complete path of fulfillment, and a person who follows it perfectly is ultimately
blameless before God or Man.