Testaments of GOD contain the sacred stories of the world from different continents. The purpose is to enrich the world and to put an end to stories of exclusivity, chosen people, absolutism and fundamentalism. A secondary but equally important purpose is to increase the number of owners in the sacred text publishing industry. One of the problems of our economy is that only a few people control the means of production. We can change the lives of many people the moment we include more people in the distribution of goods and services.
I have suggested 7 Sacred texts, one from each continent and they include the African Testament of GOD (AFTOG), the Antarctican Testament of GOD (ANTOG), the Asian Testament of GOD (ASTOG), the European Testament of GOD (EUTOG), the Oceanian Testament of GOD (OCETOG), the North American Testament of GOD (NATOG) and the South American Testament of GOD (SATOG). Writers may never use any of these names but they provide a starting point to the testaments of GOD project!
I cannot over emphasize the importance of writing your sacred stories irrespective of your religious beliefs or unbelief. What is at stake is your freedom! The slavery of the mind is the greatest threat to our civilization. We were not created to believe; we were created to know and to shine! We were not created to expect saviors to save us; we were created to experience life in all its forms. We were not created to worship foreign Gods; we were created to enrich the world with our own experiences. We were not created to believe in foreign sacred texts; we were created to share our sacred experiences!
Have you ever thought about who benefits each time you buy a foreign sacred text? Have you considered whose ancestors are elevated each time you read from a foreign sacred text? Have you reflected on who is enriched each time you go on pilgrimage to a foreign land? These are the ideas that have continued to keep you in one place year in year out. They have kept you in one place because you believed in the way things are to be the truth. Nothing could be further from the truth because you live in a changing universe and you can change what people have put in place! This change begins by first writing your sacred story and sharing it with the world.
Give life a push and it will take you to places beyond your dreams! We are all loved without conditions and we are all blessed without requirements. No culture, organization, nation, group of people, Cultural God or religion has an exclusive right on GOD. Humans make it seem so but what humans have done you can also undo. Write your sacred story and upgrade your life; write your sacred story and make your ancestors proud; write your sacred story and enrich your children; write your sacred story and put an end to fundamentalism, exclusivity, and absolutism; write your sacred story and change the world!
Asia has many sacred texts including but not limited to the Tao Te Ching, the Analects of Confucius, the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, the Rig Veda, the Dhammapada and the Buddhist Sutras. You will notice that most of the texts are tribal texts in spite of the fact that some have gained universal significance. For instance the Tao Te Ching and the Analects of Confucius are mostly relevant to Chinese; the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads and the Rig Veda are relevant to Indians. The Dhammapada and the Buddhist Sutras have connected a number of Asian countries and even the world but there are still pockets of religious conflicts in some Asian countries.
In Sri Lanka for example we read about conflicts between the Buddhist Sinhala-speaking majority and the Hindu Tami-speaking minority. Further in India we also hear about conflicts between the Hindus and the Muslims. These conflicts complicate human lives in these areas and innocent and disadvantaged people are usually the victims. However the belief that religious differences dictate who we should marry, who we should assist, or who we should promote goes against the principles of Universal Love. But in most cases the believers who take their separatist religious teachings to heart have really not thought about life on their own. How could you hate anyone when the person that you hate most might be the only person to save you at the crossroads of life? How could you discriminate against a person from another religion when there is no salvation for anyone in the presence of the hurricane? How could you say that your religion is superior when it cannot even cure a cold?
Anekantavada or Non-Absolutism is a Jain doctrine that states that TRUTH has infinite expressions and no single TRUTH is absolute! This knowledge is a contribution of ASIA and I bow down to you for your wisdom!
Many people believe that if a statement is in the Bible, or the Qur’an, or the Bhagavad Gita, or the Upanishads it must be TRUE but the doctrine of Anekantavada is telling us that the statement might not be necessarily true because TRUTH has infinite expressions and things change. Thus in an absolute sense nothing is really true on this plane! However we do not need to open a Jain text in order to learn about non-absolutism in the Universe. We can all learn about it by simply looking at ourselves and the environment in which we live. When we do that we will find that everything changes! However it is also clear that a lot of our problems stem from believing in the absolute nature of things. Fundamentalism, Exclusivity and Chosen People stem from a belief in the absolute nature of things.
The evidence of non-exclusivity and non-absolutism are all around us but believers continue to behave as if they are the only people at the top of the world. How about the fact that you could be dead the next moment? Will that make a difference? Probably not because the seeds of division and hatred within us have reached a point of no return! But it is an irony that the very organizations that write and speak about loving your neighbor as yourself are among those who commit the greatest crimes on the planet.
This is not to imply that all religious people are guilty of exclusivity, hatred and fundamentalism. No, instead I am writing about those who have made religion a diabolical institution! The other day I was listening to Fluffy, the comedian and he was talking about his experiences in the Middles East. According to his confession he went to the Middle East with preconceived ideas about the people and was surprised that his experiences were different from his pre-conceived notions about the people. This is probably the same about religion in the sense that when you continuously hear about shootings by rival religious groups, religious suicide bombers, and the activities of fundamentalists one cannot help but begin to believe that religion is that bad.
Personally I do not think that religion in its purest sense is bad but what some people have made of it has given religion a bad name. I believe that religion should be a personal thing and no government or private organizations should get involved. One of the marketing points of religion is the idea that “we are better than the rest of them because we are assured of heaven or we are exclusively loved by our God”. You really must be naïve to believe that you are different from other creatures! Humans may make it seem so but the reality is that we are all the same and exclusive statements or pronouncements only complicate our plight!
When we call a sacred text the word of GOD we are essentially making the text an absolute document. But no text created by humans is absolute because it is subject to change. The Bhagavad Gita may be the word of Lord Krishna but it is not the word of GOD! The Qur’an may be the word of Lord Allah but it is not the word of GOD! Finally the New Testament may be the word of Lord Jesus but it is also not the word of GOD! The word of GOD cannot fit into any text created by humans and that is why it is often referred to as that which pervades the UNIVERESE. It cannot be written down because it is infinite! Only the finite can fit into a book. The Infinite can never fit into any text created by humans! Thus no sacred text contains the WORD OF GOD! However people who refer to their sacred text as the word of God could refer to the text as “word of our God” and not the WORD OF GOD!
I will certainly agree with you when you refer to your sacred text as “word of our God” because it is your truth and the phrase does not incite me to react or do anything to the contrary. “WORD OF GOD” on the other hand incites me to do something. I could bow down if I believe that what you have is actually the “WORD OF GOD”. If I disbelieve your statement I could simply walk away or try to show you all the words of God on the planet. If you are a fundamentalist anything I said will not make sense to you and you’ll probably want your God to descend from the heavens and show me that your God is the real GOD of the Universe. And of course this will never happen and I will tell you “I told you so” and you’ll say “it will happen when I die” And we can go back and forth if I do not realize that you are motivated by a belief!
Most if not all religions call the presiding God of the religion the GOD of the Universe but this is misleading. Your cultural God can never be the GOD of the Universe! Obviously Lord Krishna, Lord Allah and Lord Jesus are all cultural Gods but they do not represent the UNIVERSE. If we insist that any of these cultural Gods represents the UNIVERSE we must accept that all the other cultural Gods also represent the UNIVERSE. In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna appeared to Arjuna as the GOD of the Universe and Arjuna’s reaction is one of the breath taking reactions in spiritual literature. In the Tanakh, the Lord Yahweh also appeared to Moses as GOD of the Universe. Further in a typical Buddhist Mandela there are 4 Buddhas at each corner of the Mandela. The fifth Buddha at the center of the Mandela is regarded as Ultimate Reality or GOD of the Universe! In other words all the religious traditions claim to have access to the GOD of the Universe but none of the cultural Gods is the GOD of the Universe!
Asian Testament of GOD
While I recommend one Asian Sacred Text to promote unity in Asia I cannot rule out the possibility of writing regional sacred texts because of your unique experiences. Unlike African and South America where the experiences were essentially the same some Asian countries could actually write their own testaments of God. Countries like India, China and many of the countries that use foreign sacred texts exclusively could consider writing their own Testaments of GOD. However the writing of an Asian Testament of GOD should take priority over the regional testaments of GOD!
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