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Do you believe in God or not? Is there a self? Is there a soul? Is there a heaven or hell, an afterlife or nothingness? Not sure what you believe? It’s all good, because the underlying concept of all religion is to re-tie and unite, not necessarily to advance particular views, values or beliefs as is commonly assumed. Divisive prejudices, arguments and wars over religion, by definition, defy religion’s objective, so it helps us to appreciate that all religious models and/or mythologies point to the truth but are not in themselves the truth. Different traditions of faith are simply necessary tools that allow diverse cultures with diverse languages, histories and beliefs to pursue the underlying truth that binds us.

Here again, the similarities of different traditions far, far outweigh the apparent differences, so arguments about which religion is the “true” religion are misguided and miss the mark entirely. Not incidentally, there is an archery term for “missing the mark:” it’s called “sin!” So explore confidently in the knowledge that even very different philosophies and theologies must ultimately point to the truth and reinforce each other in order to be considered valid. It really is heartening and liberating to realize that the differences that appear to separate us from our siblings around the world are really very small indeed, and can actually be used to unite us!