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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       The condition of fallen humanity has been likened to an infirmity
and a disease of the soul.  Our ignorance of Reality renders us blind to
the truth and deaf to God's voice.  Our hearts are heavy with pain and
suffering. Hence, salvation may be regarded as healing the soul of its
infirmity and restoring it to health where it can realize its true
potential.  Religious teaching may be regarded as a sovereign remedy, and
the founder who bears the truth may be likened to a master physician.

       But there is also a causal, psychosomatic relationship between
healing of the soul and health of the body.  Physical health is thus a
welcome by-product of spiritual health.  Jesus performed miraculous
healings and exorcisms; today healings are performed in every part of the
world by spiritual healers of all religions.

O Mankind!  There has come to you an exhortation from your Lord, a balm
for that which is in the breasts, a guidance and mercy for believers.

                           Islam.  Qur'an 10.57

Whatever defect I have of eye, of heart, of mind,
       or whatever excess there is,
may Brishaspati remedy it.
       Gracious to us be the Lord of the world.

                        Hinduism.  Yajur Veda 36.2

The Buddha, the Truly Enlightened One, the unexcelled master physician...
having developed and perfected the medicines of the Teaching over
countless eons, having cultivated and learned all skills in application of
means, and fully consummated the power of illuminating spells, is able to
quell all sentient beings' afflictions.

                       Buddhism.  Garland Sutra 37

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Qur'an 10.57: Cf. Qur'an 26.77-80, p. 137.  Garland Sutra 37: Cf. the
Parable of the Good Physician, Lotus Sutra 16, pp. 1023f.; Guide to the
Bodhisattva's Way of Life 7.22-24, p. 572.
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Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
  and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a hart,
  and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
  and streams in the desert.

             Judaism and Christianity.  Bible, Isaiah 35.5-6

The Way is like an empty vessel
That yet may be drawn from
Without ever needing to be filled.
It is bottomless; the very progenitor of all things in the world.
In it all sharpness is blunted,
All tangles untied,
All glare tempered,
All dust smoothed.
It is like a deep pool that never dries.

                         Taoism.  Tao Te Ching 4

Under the shelter of the Supreme Being, not a whiff of hot air touches us--
All around us is drawn the mystic circle of divine protection,
Keeping away suffering.
We have met the holy Preceptor, perfection incarnate,
Who has established this state.
He has administered medicine of the divine Name,
And attached our devotion to the Sole Lord.
The divine Preserver has preserved us, and all maladies removed.
Says Nanak, In His grace has the Lord come to succor us.

                Sikhism.  Adi Granth, Bilaval, M.5, p. 819

Come, let us return to the Lord;
       for he has torn, that he may heal us;
       he has stricken, and he will bind us up.
After two days he will revive us;
       on the third day he will raise us up,
       that we may live before him.

              Judaism and Christianity.  Bible, Hosea 6.1-2

The antidote, assuredly, for the elemental soul [bound to samsara] is
this: study of the knowledge of the Veda and pursuit of one's own duty.

                     Hinduism.  Maitri Upanishad 4.3

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Isaiah 35.5-6: Cf. Luke 4.16-21, p. 530.  Tao Te Ching 4: Cf. Dhammapada
82, p. 553; Elegant Sayings 173, p. 558.  Bilaval, M.5: Cf. Sri Raga, M.5,
p. 553. Hosea 6.1-2: Cf. Qur'an 26.77-80, p. 137; 2 Chronicles 7.14, p.
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The words of the Torah are like a perfect remedy.  This may be compared to
a man who inflicted a big wound upon his son, and then put a plaster on
his wound, saying, "My son!  As long as this plaster is on your wound you
can eat and drink what you like, and bathe in cold or warm water, and you
will suffer no harm.  But if you remove it, it will break out into sores."
Even so did God say to the Israelites, "My children!  I created within you
the Evil Inclination, but I created the Law as its antidote.  As long as
you occupy yourselves with the Torah, the Evil Inclination will not rule
over you.  But if you do not occupy yourselves with the Torah, then you
will be delivered into its power, and all its activity will be against

                     Judaism.  Talmud, Kiddushin 30b

The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus' time,
from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose
their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as
necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation.  Now,
as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural.
They are the sign of Immanuel, or "God with us,"--a divine influence ever
present in human consciousness.

               Christian Science.  Science and Health, xi.

A great crowd followed [Jesus] and thronged about him.  And there was a
woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered
much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no
better but rather grew worse.  She had heard the reports about Jesus, and
came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment.  For she said,
"If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well."  And immediately the
hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her
disease.  And Jesus, perceiv- ing in himself that power had gone forth
from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, "Who touched my
garments?"  And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing
around you, and yet you say, 'Who touched me?'"  And he looked around to
see who had done it.  But the woman, knowing what had been done to her,
came in fear and trembling and fell down before him, and told him the
whole truth.  And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well;
go in peace, and be healed of your disease."

                    Christianity.  Bible, Mark 5.24-34

Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the
ninth hour.  And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid
daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful to ask alms of
those who entered the temple.  Seeing Peter and John about to go into the
temple, he asked for alms.  And Peter directed his gaze at him, with John,
and said, "Look at us."  And he fixed his attention upon them, expecting
to receive something from them.  But Peter said, "I have no silver and
gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,
walk."  And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and
immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.  And leaping up he stood
and walked and entered the temple with them, walking, and leaping, and
praising God.

                     Christianity.  Bible, Acts 3.1-8

- - - - - - - - - - - -
Kiddushin 30b: Cf. Kiddushin 30b, p. 390; Genesis Rabbah 10.4, p. 1113;
Tanhuma, p. 1115.  Mark 5.24-34: Cf. Mark 9.17-24, p. 759; Matthew
12.22-24, p. 379; John 9.1-7, p. 701; Isaiah 53.4, 639f.
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The World-honored One, the All-compassion and Guide, for the sake of King
Ajatasatru, entered into the moonlight-samadhi.  Having entered the
samadhi, a great light issued.  The light was pure and cool, and it went
to the king and shone in the king's body.  The boils on his body got cured
and the choking pains died out.  Relieved of the pains of the boils and
feeling cool in body, the king said to the Buddha, "Where does this light
come from?  It shines on me and touches me; it cures all boils, and the
body feels peace."  The Buddha answered, "O great king! This is the light
of the heaven of heavens.  This light has no root; it is boundless.... It
is seen only where there is a desire to save....  O King, you said before
that there was no good doctor in the world who could cure the body and
mind.  Because of this, this light is first sent out.  It first cures your
body, and then, your mind."

                 Buddhism.  Mahaparinirvana Sutra 575-76

Sickness arises from total involvement in the process of misunderstanding
from beginningless time.  It arises from the passions that result from
unreal mental constructions, and hence ultimately nothing is perceived
which can be said to be sick.

What is the elimination of this sickness?  It is the elimination of egoism
and possessiveness.  What is the elimination of egoism and possessiveness?
It is the freedom from dualism.  What is freedom from dualism?  It is the
absence of involvement with either the external or the internal.  What is
absence of involvement with either external or internal?  It is
nondeviation, nonfluctua- tion, and nondistraction from equanimity.  What
is equanimity?  It is the equality of everything from self to liberation.
Why?  Because both self and liberation are void.

                Buddhism.  Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti 5

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Mahaparinirvana Sutra 575-76: Healing King Ajatasatru shows the Buddha's
great benevolence to even the most undeserving of grace.  For King
Ajatasatru (Pali Ajatasattu) was no friend of the Buddha, being a patron
of the heretic Devadatta (cf. Vinaya Pitaka ii.184-98, pp. 448ff.), and
having killed his father the pious King Bimbisara and imprisoned his
mother Queen Vaidehi (according to Meditation on Buddha Amitayus).  It is
said that the king at last repented and learned the Teaching.  Holy
Teaching of Vimalakirti 5: Vimalakirti rises from his sick bed and teaches
that his sickness was ultimately unreal (sunya); by not being attached to
or involved with an illusory reality he is no longer sick.  From that
demonstration Vimalakirti gives a deeper lesson.  Both 'self' and
'liberation' are void because these are mere names, and because such
opposing concepts do not possess reality. Even attachment to the idea of
void is nothing but void.  Compare Christian Science healing, above, which
is realized only with faith--a faith that overcomes attachment to self and
to the self's perception of illness, and places complete trust in the
power of God.
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       I [God] feel extreme pity for the present world which indulges in
excessive use of medicine....  Medicine should be used only in unavoidable
instances and with full understanding of its true character.  I reveal to
you that the true nature of what modern science calls medicine is poison.
Although you have been enjoying this poison, even naming it "medicine,"
you should know that its true nature... has the function of hardening and
contaminating your spiritual and physical body.  This results in your
suffering and in shortening your life span.  Nevertheless, humans have
made light of this... and moreover have rejected the divine art of deep
spiritual cleansing.  In addition, you have utilized medicine as a means
for making money and have been polluting the earth and atmosphere.  You
have thus committed a heavy sin towards the Creator of heaven and earth
and humans.  As a result of the sin and negative karma, you humans are
bringing God's judgment upon yourselves.  It is truly a pitiful condition.

       Therefore, God is finally going to intensely cleanse the poison of
your triple self--the spiritual, astral, and physical bodies
collectively--and develop your positive spiritual power.  Otherwise, the
true children of God would lose their original vitality, which would make
fruitless the purpose for which God created His children, the earth, and
food prepared for them.  For this reason, God must finally carry out deep
spiritual cleansing....

       Those who become obedient to God, come to a realization, come
closer to God, and repent, shall receive the Baptism for deep spiritual
cleansing by the holy spiritual essence of fire.  They shall spiritually
receive directly, the True Positive Light through your triple body, which
is the way to lessen their compensation.  This world shall be saved from
the immense number of disturbances working against people's souls by

                           Mahikari.  Goseigen

The hekura... help you bring back stolen souls; thanks to them you don't
lose your way.  You can repel the demons of disease; they enable you to
recognize them by their smell.  Each one has its particular odor, and
their hammocks are impregnated with it; it comes from the watota, which
they all possess.  A high-quality hallucinogen enables you to see and name
the demon who has just stolen a soul.  You think, "It is so-and-so who is
guilty!"  And it is your turn to hurl your familiar hekura after him.

        Native American Religions.  Yanomami Shaman's Instruction

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Goseigen: Mahikari-no-Waza, also called okiyome, is a form of spiritual
healing by divine Light.  Its purpose is not only to heal individual
illnesses, but further to purify the earth of pollution, greed, violence,
and all spiritual evils.  In this revelation, Yoshikazu Okada (1901-1974)
is promised that he himself will be the channel for this 'True Positive
Light.' This addresses a problem faced by all spiritual healers, which is
the inevitable weakening of the healer's power as he or she begins to
absorb into his or her own person 'compensation' for the patient's
illness.  In Mahikari, each practitioner is given a pendant called the
omitama through which the Light can be connected to the founder's channel,
and thus each can transmit the healing power without absorbing any ill
effects.  We note that Oriental medicine has, since the time of the
Classic of the Yellow Emperor, regarded drugs as heavy poisons to be used
only in certain types of illnesses or in conjunction with other forms of
treatment such as acupuncture, herbs and changes in diet or environment. -
Yanomami Shaman's Instruction:  Disease of the body is understood to be
the symptom of a stolen soul.  Evil spirits steal the soul, which robs the
person of his vitality; hence he falls ill.  By recovering the soul and
restoring it to the body, the shaman effects a cure.  For help in this
recovery, the shaman calls upon his familiar spirits, called hekura.  For
more concerning the hekura, see p. 370. Other texts on healing in
traditional religions are found scattered throughout this anthology.  A
comparable passage on the Iglulik Eskimo Shaman Initiation, p. 537,
describes how one can recover stolen souls and souls that have been taken
to the Land of the Dead.  In a Sioux Tradition, p. 370, sacred stones are
used to call forth the natural powers of healing.  The Dinka might
sacrifice an ox (p. 437), to appease the malevolent spiritual powers which
are understood to be causing disease.  African prayers contain
supplications to God to heal disease, for example the Anuak Prayer, p. 83.
A Yoruba Hymn, pp. 671f., ascribes to Ifa the power to heal the earth.
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