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Friday, January 11, 2008

Common Threads

Question: Derek, I have a question concerning the fundamental unity of all religions. For many years, I have studied both Christianity and Buddhism, and now I am reading your books and studying the Tao. The more I learn about the different spiritual traditions, the more it seems to me that despite their superficial differences, deep down they are very much alike. Do you notice the same thing? If you do, what would you say are the common threads that unite all traditions?

Answer: Yes, I agree. There really does seem to be something deep in the core of humanity that is the same regardless of your background of origin. It's something that resonates with the divine. For the lack of a better description, it seems to be a sense of awe, a sense of overwhelming wonder. Everyone has it, even those who do not consider themselves religious. Even atheist scientists, when they bear witness to the marvelous workings of the universe, can also resonate powerfully with this profound feeling.

I also find common threads in the beauty of music, art, and nature - indeed in every aspect of life. Manifestations of beauty have the power to reach deeply into the heart to touch this common core. Virtuoso performances, lines of poetry, panoramic vistas... these glimpses of sacred beauty move us and inspire us, transcending our differences and bringing us closer.

Among all the common threads that unite all spiritual traditions, the most central is the thread of love. This common thread surpasses all the rest, and unites not only all spiritual traditions, but all human beings. Love is the ultimate golden thread, weaving all of us together in an unbreakable, indestructible bond.

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