Instead of looking more to see what others believe and why, I started to really examine what I have learned and what I have come to believe. At the same time, I do have St. Augustine’s caution ringing in my head – “whomever endeavors to teach himself about God has a fool for a teacher”. But am I looking to believe what someone else has determined to be true – dare I say – for themselves? Is there a one size fits all ultimate truth that everyone should believe? Somehow I don’t think so and the argument that one religion, one set of beliefs, is the only one true faith limits God. We all see things from a different vantage point and, at the same time, we are all coming from the same God root so no, I don’t think there is one right way.
How do I know I am not deceiving myself though? We all know people who spout frankly ridiculous claims that are not well thought through and where do they fit in? Just as where that person’s level of consciousness is today? Maybe I guess.
I must have learned something in my search. I must have come to at least some of my own conclusions and I actually think I have. I am also thinking about discernment, “you will know them by their fruits”, or I will know what is true by the good it produces or produces in me. Another tool for discernment that I remember learning is, “what brings you peace?”
Peace. I think that is a key belief. Looking back to the Bible peace is mentioned 429 times in the New Testament and love is mentioned 215 times, so peace is mentioned twice as many times as love. Peace is a key tenet in Buddhism and Hinduism as well.
Peace, what brings me peace, what peace can I give to others? That’s my contemplation for now.
Sending you peace.