Breathe in Wisdoms of World’s Religions

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Subjectively, people who have faith must believe their religion to be true. It is about faith so it cannot be argued about. On the other hand, if someone considers all religions are right, they will not be so different from clothes which he can change as he likes. He believed everything was right, so he would just choose which one he liked for the morning, noon or afternoon. At this point, there is no sacredness of religions. There is no more intimacy between the people and the God through rituals they perform as the greatest submission.
On the other hand, we must admit that religions bring peace as their mission. If there is gap in its teachings: like prioritizing superiority, it is different thing entirely. The point is, every religion has its wisdom or universal wisdoms.
All religions teach human to do good deeds. Not only to other people, but also to other God’s creations including animals, plants, and other things. All must be used to improve civilization, not merely for greediness and temporary enjoyment. Religions teach us how to look after, not to destroy. Even they, who had different views.
At least, those expressions previously are one point of the book titled The World’s Religions written by Huston Smith. The Chinese born man summarized values of all religions in the world. There are at least eight religions he discussed, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Confucianism, Jew, Christian, and other Primal Religions. They want to bring good changes, it is the red thread connecting them.
Nevertheless, there are many similarities found from one religion to another. For example, when Jesus Christ was believed as God, he said, “Treat others as you want others to treat you.” While The Prophet Muhammad SAW has said that someone belief is not perfect until he loves others as he loves himself.
In the other part, there is also similarity of character from the role models. Bodhisatva, for example, pictured as good shepherd similar to Jesus Christ. From this point, we can say that Christianity and Buddhism are actually more complex than what they are seen (page 351).
Learning History
What is also interesting from the book was the elaboration of histories of world’s religions including Confucianism which was started from idolizing a man named Kung fu-Tzu or Kung the Teacher. Chinese people deemed him holy and called him as the First Teacher. Not based it on time in chronology, because there were other teachers before but from the quality.
He was only a mere human who possess vast knowledge especially on wisdoms. Current Chinese government has been greatly influenced by his teachings. There are no other figures in the governance perspective of the country in which the man was from (page 172). No wonder, there are many philosophers which named him as one of the world’s important intellects.
The book also discusses about the Jews who idolized Moses. Beside the history, uniqueness of this religion is also elaborated. Such as quoted in their holy book, it was described how beneficent is their God. They believe their God really love the creations, therefore humans are considered as God’s favorite “children” (page 317).
It is I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them in my arms; I led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love (Hosea, 11:3)
Moreover, variations of a certain religion also elaborated. Not only Chistianity which has: Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant. But there are also variations and methods of moslems worshipping God. One of them is Sufism.
Sufism which refers to the perspective of sufis was from the root word of “Suf”. It means wool, the modest and humble clothes material. Sufis are believed to wear wool as a protest for the public officials which wear silk or satin, symbols of luxury.
The sufis live in a modest way: do not live luxuriously as world’s greatness is often deceitful and makes the addict drown in it. In many cases, success makes people defiant. (*)
Book
Title: The World’s Religions
Author: Huston Smith
Translator: FX Dono Sunardi and Satrio Wahono
Publisher: Serambi Ilmu Semesta
Year: Desember 2015
Pages: 433 pages

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