n. belief in, recognition of, or an awakened sense of a higher unseen controlling power or powers, with the emotion and morality connected therewith: rites of worship etc., etc.
So says the Big Red Book.
But strangely, you may consider, that is only part of the story as I see it:
Yes, I believe the power is there but beyond the conception of a mere human consciousness to conceive or understand.
Under whatever name many consider that hours spent, often many times a day in a certain ritual in which their needs, wants and desires will be answered by this almighty power, are your prayers answered?
Conversely if the ritual is not practiced and repeated in the prescribed manner the wrath of, if not the almighty power itself, then its representative on Earth will fall on your head. At the same time no power on Earth has the right to dictate which faith you must follow, nor what name to call your god.
In most religions it is almost as if every catastrophe, plague or war is the act of a vengeful god unhappy with the acts, rituals and ceremonies performed by the populace. Ancient superstitions still play such an important part in the daily rituals of all religions in the 21st Century it makes me wonder what happened to intelligence along the way.
Being human brings with it a link, a responsibility and a choice.
The link is undeniable and to assume that in order to remain close to your god you need to perform a certain ceremony several times a day or a week is pure fantasy since the god which you so revere, but also fear, is in fact within you in the form of your Soul, without which you could not be human, so how much closer could you be than to that part of God. This is the Link that is permanent for your lifetime.
The Link means that you are a child of God which has given you a supreme gift that can override your gift of responsibility, the gift of choice! This gift is so great that it can in fact allow you to deny the very God that placed the part of itself within you that made you human in the first place, since were it not for that you would not be human!
Your responsibility, as I see it, like any child demands that you follow your Father and His wishes, which are engraved on every heart whether you call yourself Moslem, Christian, Jew or any other denomination, and that is your Conscience.
You know instinctively right from wrong. You know that when you pick up a weapon, whether it be a knife, bomb or gun that what you contemplate is wrong.
One of the travesties of any justice system is to imagine that it can prove that the balance of a person’s mind could be disturbed and so allow her or him to commit murder and therefore avoid the proper penalty. The consciousness does not allow the responsibility to be removed for a second.
None of us can ever forget our conscience whether we believe in God or no god, religion has nothing to do with it!
The concept of right and wrong came with consciousness when man moved from the instinctive animal state of sub-human to human, but even in the instinctive state like any animal today there is no killing for the sake of killing only to kill enough food to live.
When we gained the ability to think, to be conscious of ourselves and to create, the instinct partially disappeared and with it, for some of us, the concept of right and wrong and the erroneous belief that we were empowered to kill anything that moved, including our brothers and sisters because God was on our side!
The thing is that our brothers and sisters thought the same thing even though they called God by another name, and consequently more have died in His name or names than for any other reason.
There are however many pathways to the Divine, but what troubles me is that no religion respects another and believes that theirs is the one and only pathway and any and all who practice another way deserve to be converted or if they refuse killed! No one has the right to determine the faith of another and in my book the point where man went wrong was to include faith in government.
Where corruption is concerned politics needs to be purged and religion needs to respect the many roads to the One. Until that happens peace will never reign on Earth and until all the wealth spent on war is paid to the poor will peace have the slightest chance of resurrection.
When you hear a row going on next door what do you think would happen if you tried to become the peacemaker? You would more than likely become the punch bag! Peace has to come from within everyone as an individual and no amount of prayer will do the trick to whatever god.
Peace is a human problem and it is a problem that only humans can sort out individually. When 6 billion of us have hearts at peace we may have a chance.
All you can do is to promote peace wherever you go, whether you believe in a religion or no!
Promote peace with Hanukah & the Angel.