I’m reading The Complete Idiot’s Guide to World Religions (Brandon Toporov and Father Luke Buckles) in an effort to arrive at a better understanding of religious traditions outside of Christianity.
In Chapter 2, Toporov and Buckles outline the common traits that are held by virtually all faiths. They are:
- A belief in ancient truths.
- A belief that there is something more than the apparent, physical world.
- A belief that humans and Creation are interconnected.
- A belief that the universe cannot be understood solely through rationality and logic.
In short, most faiths maintain that there is something more to our world than its appearance on the surface. Religious belief and practice are efforts to grasp at something that is mystical and divine, which goes beyond the surface.
The fact that so many people, in so many different cultures, are not only convinced that there is Something More, but that they are willing to devote their lives to getting in touch with Something More, is – I think – in and of itself very telling.
Why is the desire to be in touch with something beyond the immediate, physical world so strong?