Sunday, October 24, 2010

49,000 paths to enlightenment

By the time I had reached my early to mid 20s I knew there was not just one path to enlightenment or heaven. I realized by this time that there were at least 5 or 10 or more basic paths. So, when Tibetan Lamas told me that within Buddhism there were 49,000 correct paths to enlightenment I thought, "Wow! You guys have really done some research. I've just scratched the surface of what is actually possible!"

I had had the misfortune that many of you have also had worldwide where I was told within my parents religion that only the people within my specific religion (in which there were only about 10,000 worldwdide at that time) were the only ones going to heaven. As I was growing up it sort of made me nauseous to think about what was going to happen to the other billions of humans on earth?

When I parted ways with my parents Sect or Cult when I was 21 I had already realized that there was something really wrong. Though as an intuitive many of the things I was taught rang true for me and so I continued to believe in the things that actually worked, I started to look more at all religion in a completely pragmatic way. In other words, "What actually worked down through the generations of time and what didn't?" In other words what happened to me after growing up in this sect or cult was completely insane when I was asked to leave. So I knew something was screwy. So, as I approached not only my own religion but all religions on earth with the scientific method founded by Sir Francis Bacon I found through studying comparative religions that they all basically were cultural ways (in the area of the earth where they arose) to basically keep people alive with basic health codes. So, for example in the desert where pig meat won't keep long, Arabic Muslims and traditional Jewish people were forbidden to eat pork, simply because if you didn't kill the pork and eat it right then it would kill most of your tribe that  tried to eat it later. So, this kind of thing I found was what most religions were about. So, mostly it was about keeping the adherents of their religions alive in ancient times. In the end in regard to spiritual stuff there was very little real difference between all religions on earth. In fact, the differences were so slight that I found it sort of ridiculous that religions made such a big deal about all these little differences. I'm not alone having discovered this, by the way. There are millions who have seen this worldwide by studying comparative religion.

So then, I studied cultural anthropology because after comparative religion this made the best step after studying philosophy, comparative religion and then cultural anthropology. So this then led me to cultural relativism and religious relativism. But what I found interesting was that through all these studies I came to feel all beings on earth were my family. I may have Loyalties to a mystical Christian Culture and the secular Christian Culture of the U.S. and Europe but I found myself thinking of myself at core as a citizen of Earth and that my loyalty was to the souls of all mankind. And then I thought, "This is how Jesus and Buddha must have thought too!"

So, when Tibetan Lamas told me that there were 49,000 correct paths to enlightenment I thought to myself after having studied all that I had, "Yes. That's about right!"

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