As long as we are divided in the name of religion, race, caste, gender, and nationality, there can be no true success for humanity
“What can spirituality do to bring peace to a planet ravaged by wildly contrary religious affiliations and political perspectives?” I am often asked. If we genuinely want to become part of the solution, not the problem, we have to start asking ourselves some simple but tough questions: who are we? What kind of a world do we want to create for ourselves? How did we start imparting teachings that have turned us utterly inhuman?
The evil on our planet has always been inflicted by one human being on another. No god or divine force has ever been responsible. When violence is perpetrated out of a need for wealth, property, prestige, it is one thing. But when people believe they are fighting for their gods, there is no compromise. The moment a person believes in something absolutely, he will inevitably be at war with someone who holds an opposing belief. The fight can be postponed with moderate talk. But it is only a matter of time before the two are at each other’s throats.
If you act in anger today, your intelligence will niggle at you tomorrow. But if your beliefs are scripture-endorsed, you can commit acts of extraordinary cruelty with utmost confidence. This is the crisis of religion today. While human intelligence is more vibrant than ever before, those who choose to outsource their intelligence to ‘God-endorsed’ belief systems are the greatest threat to human well-being.
When terrible events happen, everyone reacts in instant outrage, but they return to business as usual in a short while. We can no longer approach peace as a piecemeal geopolitical strategy. If we are really concerned about the planet’s future, our fundamental goal in the next twenty-five years should be to ensure that religion is a purely personal pursuit. People everywhere should be free to believe and practice whatever they want, but it should not be a national or global agenda.
The days of the sword are over. Someone looks up; someone looks down to worship the divine: it doesn’t matter. There is no reason to enforce our way on the rest of the world. These hierarchical attitudes will lead to a gigantic tragedy that will benefit nobody on the planet. It is time to relinquish ambitions of world conquest. It is time to celebrate our diversity rather than try to convert the entire world to our point of view. We emphatically do not need a global faith.
Peace is no longer a luxury in this world. It is our only hope of survival. There is only one way forward for humanity: to move from Religion to Responsibility. This is no longer a utopian dream. It is an urgent necessity. Let us make it happen.