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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       To leave the condition of worldly existence and enter the realm of
God's grace is often understood as a second, spiritual birth.  Jesus said,
"You must be born anew."  The Christian who is born again in Christ
becomes a child of God, experiences an intimacy with God, and has the
spirit of Christ dwelling in him.  The old self dies away, with its
worldly desires and false views.  To be born again, the Christian must
undergo the rite of baptism by which he becomes open to receive Christ and
the Holy Spirit.  Among the passages from the Christian scriptures, we
offer the account of the first Pentecost.  The gifts of the Spirit,
especially the gift of speaking in tongues, are essential signs confirming
the veracity of a person's rebirth in Pentecostal Christian churches.

        In Hinduism and Buddhism, the twice-born are those who have
received religious instruction and have realized its truths.  Their life
is now ground- ed in Dharma and they have rejected a life of sense
gratification.  The Hindu's second birth is the student's initiation into
the mysteries of Vedic knowledge; it must be mediated by an able teacher.
In Buddhism rebirth means to become a 'son of the Buddha' after education
and training, through which the old ways of looking at life are replaced
by the new eyes of the Dharma. Buddha's sons and daughters make vows to
follow the path that will lead them to eventual Arahantship or Buddhahood.
Initiations in the primal religions may similarly bring about a new
birth.1  The mystic transformation of rebirth is integral to salvation as
offered through several new religions, most notably the Change of Blood
Lineage in the Unification Church.

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1See Sioux Vision Quest, pp. 847ff.
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Today I indeed know that I am really a son of Buddha, born from the mouth
of Buddha, evolved from the Law, and have obtained a place in the

                         Buddhism.  Lotus Sutra 3

To all who received him [Jesus], who believed in his name, he gave power
to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of
the flesh nor the will of man, but of God.

                    Christianity.  Bible, John 1.12-13

Monks, I am a brahmin, one to ask a favor of, ever clean-handed, wearing
my last body, incomparable physician and surgeon.  You are my own true
sons, born of my mouth, born into the doctrine, created in the doctrine,
heirs to the doctrine, not carnal heirs.

                        Buddhism.  Itivuttaka 101

Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew,
he cannot see the kingdom of God."  Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man
be born when he is old?  Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb
and be born?"  Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is
born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That
which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit
is spirit.  Do not marvel that I say to you, 'You must be born anew.'"

                     Christianity.  Bible, John 3.3-7

Repentance makes man a new creature; hitherto dead through sin, he is
fashioned afresh.

                       Judaism.  Midrash, Psalms 18

He from whom the pupil gathers the knowledge of his religious duties is
called the teacher.  Him he should never offend.  For he causes the pupil
to be born a second time by imparting to him sacred learning.  The second
birth is the best; the father and the mother produce the body only.

                  Hinduism.  Apastamba Dharma Sutra 1.1

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Lotus Sutra 3: The Mahayana goal was that each person himself become a
Buddha. Cf. Parable of the Prodigal Son, Lotus Sutra 4, pp. 510ff.  John
1.12-13: Cf. Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3.19, p. 912.  Itivuttaka 101: In
traditional Hinduism, the term 'twice-born' applied only to those who
undertook instruction from a brahmin.  Sakyamuni Buddha was not a brahmin
in the conventional meaning; his caste was kshatriya.  But as the
Enlightened One, he declares himself to be a brahmin in the true sense of
one who has attained Brahman.  Thus he is qualified to initiate his
followers into the Buddha doctrine and give them a second birth.  The
words 'born of my mouth' is an allusion to the Vedic myth of the creation
of the castes--see Rig Veda 10.90.11-12, p. 275, in which the brahmins
were born out of the mouth of the Supreme Being.  Buddha is abolishing the
caste system by declaring that all his followers are, as it were,
brahmins, born out of the mouth of the Buddha by virtue of receiving his
instruction.  Compare Vacana 589, p. 280.  John 3.3-7: To be 'born of
water and the Spirit' refers to baptism with water, through which one
receives the gift of the Holy Spirit: cf. Acts 2.38, p. 854; Romans
6.3-11, p. 754.
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In the eighth year after conception, one should perfom the initiation
(upanayana) of a brahmin, in the eleventh year after conception of a
kshatriya, and in the twelfth that of a vaishya.

Thus has been described the rule for the initiation of the twice-born,
which indicates a new birth, and sanctified.

Of him who gives natural birth and him who gives the knowledge of the
Veda, the giver of the Veda is the more venerable father; for the birth
for the sake of the Veda ensures eternal rewards both in this life and
after death.

                  Hinduism.  Laws of Manu 2.36, 68, 146

       But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the
Spirit of God dwells in you.  Any one who does not have the Spirit of
Christ does not belong to him.  But if Christ is in you, although your
bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of
righteousness.  If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells
in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your
mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you.

       So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live
according to the flesh--for if you live according to the flesh you will
die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will
live.  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you
did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have
received the spirit of son- ship.  When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is the
Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of
God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with
Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified
with him.

                   Christianity.  Bible, Romans 8.9-17

        These same people, though wrapt in all these veils of limitation,
and despite the restraint of such observances, as soon as they drank the
immortal draught of faith, from the cup of certitude, at the hand of the
Manifestation of the All-glorious, were so transformed that they would
renounce for his sake their kindred, their substance, their lives, their
beliefs, yea, all else save God! So overpowering was their yearning for
God, so uplifting their transports of ecstatic delight, that the world and
all that is therein faded before their eyes into nothingness.  Have not
this people exemplified the mysteries of "rebirth"... ?

        ... Nothing short of this mystic transformation could cause such
spirit and behavior, so utterly unlike their previous habits and manners,
to be manifest in the world of being.  For their agitation was turned into
peace, their doubt into certitude, their timidity into courage.  Such is
the potency of the Divine Elixir, which, swift as the twinkling of an eye,
transmutes the souls of men!

                Baha'i Faith.  Book of Certitude, 155, 157

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Apastamba Dharma Sutra 1.1: Cf. Atharva Veda 6.121.4, p. 531.  Romans
8.9-17: Cf. Mark 8.34-36, p. 897; Galatians 2.20, p. 898.
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     Do you have true love?  True Parents have absolute and eternal love.
But we inherited the wrong root of love through the fall.  Here in the
Western world, many deny that the fall occurred:  "Who has fallen?  What
has anyone in my lineage done wrong?"  But love, in the beginning of
mankind, started in the wrong direction.  Without recognizing this, then
salvation and a religious life become meaningless.  What is the final
purpose of salvation?  Mankind, represented by a tree, has multiplied
fallen nature throughout the world. Restoration of love, life, and blood
lineage must occur....  For the original "me" to emerge, I must originate
in God's love, God's life, and God's lineage. It did not happen [at the
time of Adam and Eve], therefore we are still trying to connect to these
three things....

     In restoring all of these three elements it is necessary to have the
parent/child relationship.  Fallen man exists only as a shell.  Inside he
is nothing; it's just like a scarecrow with a form but nothing else.  He
must receive love and become one with the parents.  Before finding new
life, there has to be love.  In our case, we have life, but since there
was no true love, our originating point was not God....

     Most Christianity emphasizes Jesus' blood.  Why is the blood so
meaningful?  Jesus' blood means the parents' blood before the fall: true

     Can [True] Father alone, by himself, bequeath these three things?
Not without [True] Mother!  That is why the goal in the Old Testament was
to have the Marriage of the Lamb.

     Where do fallen people belong?  They are born and become mature
physically, but in essence they have not been truly born.  It is written
in the Bible, "Unless you are born again, you cannot be saved," which
means exactly that.  They have to go back into the mother's womb and even
before that--back into the father's bone marrow.  That means his blood
lineage is mine, his love is mine, his life is my life....  Basically all
that we have to know is that True Parents embody the new love, life, and
blood lineage. Unless you connect with all three, you cannot connect with

               Unification Church.  Sun Myung Moon, 8-20-89

       When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one
place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty
wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there
appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one
of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak
in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

       Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every
nation under heaven.  And at this sound the multitude came together, and
they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own
language.  And they were amazed and wondered, saying, "Are not all these
who are speaking Galileans?  And how is it that we hear, each of us in his
own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of
Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the parts of Lybia belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome,
both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in
our own tongues the mighty works of God."  But others mocking said, "They
are filled with new wine."

       But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and
addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be
known to you, and give ear to my words.  For these men are not drunk, as
you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what
was spoken by the prophet Joel,

             And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
             that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
             and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
             and your young men shall see visions,
             and your old men shall dream dreams;
             yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days
             I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

                    Christianity.  Bible, Acts 2.1-18

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Sun Myung Moon, 8-20-89: Rebirth means to leave the lineage of Adam and
Eve--fallen humanity stained by the original sin (cf. Divine Principle
I.2.2.2, p. 429)--and be engrafted onto the lineage of the True Parents,
who embody God's true love--as God purposed for Adam and Eve had they not
fallen (cf. Divine Principle I., p. 253).  This Change of Blood
Lineage occurs spiritually at the holy wedding; it is substantiated
through a God-centered way of life which embodies the True Parents'
standard of godly love.  Book of Certitude, 155, 157: See Hidden Words of
Baha'u'llah, Arabic 7, p. 897.  Acts 2.1-18: This is the Bible's account
of the first Christian Pentecost.  In Judaism, the Pentecost is the day
commemorating the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai.  The gift of
tongues to the disciples, on the very day commemorating the giving of the
Law ages before, marks the beginning of a new dispensation of God's grace,
a 'dispensation of the Spirit'--see 2 Corinthians 3.7-16, p. 634.  By
quoting the prophet Joel, Peter declared that these phenomena of tongues
and prophesy are signs of the Last Days and testimony to the Messiahship
of Jesus Christ, who had been crucified.  Jews and Christians alike, who
even today look to a future new age, often describe it as an age of the
Spirit, when the Spirit of God will become manifest in the hearts of all
people; see Jeremiah 31.31-34, p. 1115 and Tanhuma, p. 1115. Note also
that testimony to the Lord in every tongue is a characteristic of the Last
Days according to the Jewish prayer Alenu, p. 1112, and in the Jesus'
Great Commission to preach the gospel to all nations--see Matthew
28.18-20, p. 1027.  Hence the Christian Pentecost is regarded both as the
beginning of a new dispensation of the spirit and as the momentary sign of
an even greater outpouring of the Spirit which is yet to come.  The gift
of tongues is a living reality for Pentecostal Christians, manifesting the
power of the Spirit to transform their lives and make them new creatures
in Christ.  Cf. John 3.8, p. 531; Ephesians 5.18, p. 498.
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