Religious Intolerance and Sectarian Violence
- Published: Monday, 02 April 2018 15:46
Krista Umbjarv – France
A few years ago, I had occasion to meet a person who was representing one of the main world religions at an interreligious conference. By that time, he had been participating in these conferences for a few years. At a certain point, when he saw that participants were just repeating the same things all over again and that everything was discussed at a very superficial level, he suggested that maybe there were better ways to spend one’s time. Maybe it sounds a bit strong, he said, but each one was trying to tell others that his religion was the best one.
So if people with knowledge and some experience act this way when they are invited to represent their religion at such events, then it makes one think. At least it made me think. Why and how does such an attitude arise? Of course, it is very good and natural that we follow a path that suits us best and is in harmony with our tendencies. Yet, there is a difficulty that comes from the fact that if we follow a path that we believe to be the best for us, there is a tendency to think that it is not only the best for us, but that it is also better than all other paths.
Being different or seeing life from another angle is not a problem. The problem is identification. If we observe life closely, we can see that although the self has the capacity to identify itself with everything, there are nevertheless some aspects with which we are more identified. Interestingly, the most evident ones on the physical level are the distinctions mentioned in the first Object of the Theosophical Society (TS). Or maybe that is the reason why these distinctions are mentioned in the first Object.