Origin The Challenge to the Global Community of Religions
"In this new ecological age of developing global community and interfaith dialogue, the world religions face what is perhaps the greatest challenge that they have ever encountered. Each is inspired by a unique vision of the divine and has a distinct cultural identity. At the same time, each perceives the divine as the source of unity and peace. The challenge is to preserve their religious and cultural uniqueness without letting it operate as a cause of narrow and divisive sectarianism that contradicts the vision of unity and peace. It is a question of whether the healing light of religious vision will overcome the social and ideological issues that underline much of the conflict between religions." ~ Dr. Steven C. Rockefeller, Middlebury College, Spirit and Nature, p. 169
CONTENTS | INVOCATION | INTRODUCTION | PROLOGUE | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21


Title Page
This Archive
Advisors and Contributors
Foreword by Ninian Smart
How to obtain a printed (hardbound/paperback) version


The Truth in Many Paths
Tolerance and Respect for All Believers

The Purpose of World Scripture
The Organization of World Scripture
The World's Religions and Their Scriptures

World Scripture and Education for Peace

Ultimate Reality and the Purpose of Human Existence

CHAPTER 1: Ultimate Reality
Traces of God's Existence
The One
Formless, Emptiness, Mystery
Transcendent, All-Pervasive Reality
Sovereign and Omnipotent
Immanent and Near at Hand
Eternal -- in a World of Transience
The Creator
Goodness and Love
Divine Father and Mother

CHAPTER 2: Divine Law, Truth, and Cosmic Principle
Eternal Truth
Moral Law
The Decalogue
The Golden Rule
Polarity, Relationality, and Interdependence
Cosmic Justice

CHAPTER 3: The Purpose of Life for the Individual
Joy and Happiness
For God's Good Pleasure
Image of God and Temple of God
Inborn Goodness and Conscience
Original Mind, No Mind
True Love

CHAPTER 4: The Purpose of Life in the Family and in Society
The Family
Parents and Children
Husband and Wife
Unity and Community
The People of God
The Ideal Society

CHAPTER 5: The Purpose of Life in the Natural World
The Sanctity of Nature
Reverence for Life
The Microcosm
The Lord of Spirits
Creation Rejoices

CHAPTER 6: Life Beyond Death and the Spiritual World
The Spiritual World: Mystery, Multiplicity, Analogy, Harmony
The Immortal Soul
Prepare Now for Eternity
Passage Beyond
Spiritual Benefactors
Spiritual Error and the Occult

Evil, Sin, and the Human Fall

CHAPTER 7: The Human Condition
The War Within
Pride and Egotism
Selfish Desire, Lust, and Greed

CHAPTER 8: Fall and Deviation
The Human Fall
Demonic Powers
Degraded Human Nature
God's Grief

CHAPTER 9: The Major Sins
Good and Evil
Lying and Deceit
Slander, Gossip and Foul Speech

Salvation and the Savior

CHAPTER 10: Salvation-Liberation-Enlightenment
Universal Salvation
Atonement and Forgiveness of Sins
Crossing the Waters
Reversal and Restoration
Help and Deliverance
The Refining Fire
Born Anew
Eternal Life
The Unitive State

CHAPTER 11: The Founder
Call and Awakening
Rejected by the World
The Victor
He Who Subjugates Satan
The Revealer of Truth
The Man for Others
The Living Presence
The Person and Character of the Founder: Divine Person
Human Person
The Succession of Founders and Messengers

The Religious Life

CHAPTER 12: Responsibility and Predestination
Individual Responsibility
Karma and Inherited Sin

CHAPTER 13: Self-cultivation and Spiritual Growth
Spiritual Growth
Cultivate the Good
Preparing the Start
Perseverance and Patience

CHAPTER 14: Faith
Devotion and Praise
Fear, Submission, and Obedience
Argument with God

CHAPTER 15: Wisdom
The Search for Knowledge
Scripture and Tradition
Poverty of Conceptual Learning
Scripture Teaches in Parables
Learning and Practice
Teacher and Disciple
New Wine and Old Wineskins

CHAPTER 16: Worship
The Name of God
Beyond Ritual

CHAPTER 17: Offering and Sacrifice
Persecution and Martyrdom

CHAPTER 18: Self-Denial and Renunciation
Self-denial and No-self
Repentance, Confession, and Restitution
Restraint and Moderation
Control Anger
Subdue Desires and Passions
Detachment from the Senses
Renunciation of Wealth
Asceticism and Monasticism
Separation from Family
Separation from the World

CHAPTER 19: Live for Others
Serving Others
Sacrificial Love
Giving and Receiving
Charity and Hospitality
Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Judge Not
Love Your Enemy
Turn the Other Cheek
Good Deeds
Labor and Industry
Honesty and Expediency

Providence, Society, and the Kingdom of Heaven

CHAPTER 20: Good Government and the Welfare of Society
The Pillars of Society
The Prophet and Reformer
War Against Evil
Respect for Legitimate Governments
Government by Divine Law
Consideration for the People
Leadership by Example and Honest Government
Judgments and Punishments
Providence and the Mandate of Heaven

CHAPTER 21: Eschatology and Messianic Hope
The Last Judgment
The Messiah
The Kingdom of Heaven

Interspirit Network for global illumination
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       Good deeds are the manifestation of a healthy spiritual life.  Good
deeds create merit, improve one's relationship with God, and are the best
way to annul the effects of past evil deeds.

Heaven is not attained without good deeds.

1.Sikhism. Adi Granth, Ramkali-ki-Var, M.1, p. 952

Many garlands can be made from a heap of flowers. Many good deeds should be done by one born a mortal.

2.Buddhism. Dhammapada 53

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

3.Christianity. Ephesians 2.10

No one who does good deeds will ever come to a bad end, either here or in the world to come. When such people die, they go to other realms where the righteous live.

4.Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 6.40-41

Be mindful of your duty [to God], and do good works; and again, be mindful of your duty, and believe; and once again: be mindful of your duty, and do right. God loves the doers of good.

5.Islam. Qur'an 5.93

Love covers a multitude of sins.

6.Christianity. 1 Peter 4.8

Good deeds annul evil deeds. This is a reminder for the mindful.

7.Islam. Qur'an 11.114

Whoever, by a good deed, covers the evil done, such a one illumines this world like the moon freed from clouds.

8.Buddhism. Dhammapada 173

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Ephesians 2.10: Cf. James 1.25, p. 147. 1 Peter 4.8: Cf. Luke 19.2-9, p. 780; Ezekiel 33.14-16, p. 780; Isaiah 1.16-20, p. 629. Qur'an 11.114: Cf. Qur'an 25:71, p. 780; Visparad 15.1, p. 844.
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I call heaven and earth to witness: whether Jew or Gentile, whether man or woman, whether servant or freeman, they are all equal in this: that the Holy Spirit rests upon them in accordance with their deeds!

9.Judaism. Midrash, Seder Eliyyahu Rabbah 10

Anything evil refrain from doing; all good deeds do! So will you be released forever from the influence of evil stars, and always be encompassed by good guardian angels.

10.Taoism. Tract of the Quiet Way

He who carries out one good deed acquires for himself one advocate in his own behalf, and he who commits one transgression acquires one accuser against himself. Repentance and good works are like a shield against calamity.

11.Judaism. Mishnah, Abot 4.13 When the earth is shaken with her earthquake
And the earth yields up her burdens,
And man says, "What ails her?"
That day she will relate her chronicles
Because your Lord inspires her.
That day mankind will issue forth in scattered groups to be shown their deeds.
And whoever has done good, an atom's weight will see it then,
And whoever has done ill, an atom's weight will see it then.

12.Islam. Qur'an 99

Realization of Truth is higher than all else; Higher still is truthful living.

13.Sikhism. Adi Granth, Sri Ashtpadi, M.1, p. 62

What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is ill- clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled" without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, without works, is dead.

But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.... For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead. 14Christianity. James 2.14-26

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Tract of the Quiet Way: Cf. Treatise on Response and Retribution 1-2, p. 173; 5, p. 781; Abot 4.13, pp. 293f. James 2.14-26: This argument for good deeds to demonstrate faith relies on the example of Abraham, for it comes as a counterpoint to Galatians 3.1-11, p. 656. Paul's argument in Galatians, that man is saved through faith and not by deeds according to the law, had been misinterpreted by some Christians as advocating antinomianism, the license to do most anything as long as it is not harmful, under the cover of faith. James corrects this misconception by asserting that faith, if it is true, will be substantiated and confirmed by good works.
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