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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       Anger is one expression of extreme, unrestrained emotion that must
be brought under control if one is to make spiritual progress.  Anger is
a natural feeling that arises upon seeing unrighteousness, yet
uncontrolled it can cause much damage.  Of the great founders of religion,
we see that Moses had anger as a weakness.  He displayed it, to his own
loss, at the incident of striking the rock at Meribah.  For a related
theme, see Turn the Other Cheek, pp. 1003-07.

Conquer anger by love.

                   Buddhism.  Dhammapada 223

Anger dissolves affection....  Therefore man should subvert anger by

                   Jainism.  Samanasuttam 135-36

The fly cannot be driven away by getting angry at it.

                   African Traditional Religions.  Idoma Proverb (Nigeria)

The anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.

                   Christianity.  James 1.20

Anger deprives a sage of his wisdom, a prophet of his vision.

                   Judaism.  Talmud, Pesahim 66b

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

                   Judaism and Christianity.  Proverbs 16.32

Abu Huraira reported God's Messenger as saying, "The strong man is not the
good wrestler; the strong man is only he who controls himself when he is

                   Islam.  Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim

Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and
give no opportunity for the devil.

                   Christianity.  Ephesians 4.26-27

When a man goes to sacrifice he must remain peaceful, without a hot heart.
He must stay thus for at least a day.  If he quarrels on that day or is
hot in his heart he becomes sick and destroys the words of the lineage and
of the sacrifice.

                   African Traditional Religions.  Luhya Saying (Kenya)

If an evil man, on hearing of what is good, comes and creates a disturb-
ance, you should hold your peace.  You must not angrily upbraid him; then
he who has come to curse you will merely harm himself.

                   Buddhism.  Sutra of Forty-two Sections 7

Brethren, if outsiders should speak against me, or against the Doctrine,
or against the Order, you should not on that account either bear malice,
or suffer resentment, or feel ill will.  If you, on that account, should
feel angry and hurt, that would stand in the way of your own self-

                   Buddhism.  Digha Nikaya i.3, Brahmajala Sutta

You have heard that it was said to the men of old, "You shall not kill;
and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment."  But I say to you that
everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; who-
ever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says
"You fool!" shall be liable to the hell of fire.

                   Christianity.  Matthew 5.21-22

Why, sir, do you get angry at someone
Who is angry with you?
What are you going to gain by it?
How is he going to lose by it?
Your physical anger brings dishonor on yourself;
Your mental anger disturbs your thinking.
How can the fire in your house burn the neighbor's house
Without engulfing your own?

                   Hinduism.  Basavanna, Vachana 248

       Now there was no water for the congregation; and the people con-
tended with Moses, and said... "Why have you made us come out of Egypt, to
bring us to this evil place?  It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines,
or pomegranates; and there is no water to drink."  Then the Lord said to
Moses, "Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your
brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water; so you
shall bring water out of the rock for them; so you shall give drink to the
congregation and their cattle."

       Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the
rock, and he said to them, "Hear now, you rebels; shall we bring forth
water for you out of this rock?"  And Moses lifted up his hand and struck
the rock with his rod twice; and water came forth abundantly, and the con-
gregation drank, and their cattle.  And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron,
"Because you did not believe in me, to sanctify me before the eyes of the
people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the
land which I have given them."

                   Judaism and Christianity.  Numbers 20.2-13

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Dhammapada 223: Cf. Dhammapada 3-5, p. 999.  James 1.19-20: Cf. Analects
16.7, p. 928.  Idoma Proverb: Anger solves nothing.  Ephesians 4.26-27:
To practice this teaching, by resolving each day's quarrels and meditating
to digest each day's resentments before going to bed each night, is a
valuable spiritual exercise.  For when anger is stored up day after day,
it becomes much harder to eradicate.  Sutra of Forty-two Sections 7: Cf.
Romans 12.19-20, p. 1007.  Digha Nikaya i.3: Cf. Chuang Tzu 2, p. 67;
Lotus Sutra 20, p. 1006; Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life 5.48, p.
920; Itivuttaka 110, p. 740; Anguttara Nikaya v.66, pp. 724f.  Matthew
5.21-22: Cf. Matthew 5.27-28, p. 931.  Basavanna, Vachana 248: Cf.
Jerusalem Talmud, Nedarin 9.4, p. 993.  Numbers 20.2-13: As punishment for
this mistake at the waters of Meribah, Moses would die in the wilderness
and never set foot in the promised land (Deuteronomy 32.48-52).  Instead
of sanctifying God and showing forth God's blessings, Moses angrily rebuk-
ed the congregation; in his anger he struck the rock twice, when one
strike, done with dignity, would have been appropriate (Exodus 17.6-7).
Another example of Moses' anger was his act of killing the Egyptian
(Exodus 2.11-14), for which he was forced to flee Egypt and live as an
exile in Midian.
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