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Paul Solomon
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“Religion -- Man’s Attempt to Create God in His Own Image”
(An Excerpt from “The Wisdom of Solomon
compiled by Grace de Rond)

. . . Consider the possibility that you can create a bond of love so strong that it can awaken the consciousness and anchor the knowledge of God in the heart of humanity. There are people wandering the streets who are hungry, afraid and unloved. They are not the homeless, but the average workers in the business place, the cashier and the next door neighbor, the medical technician and the restaurant worker, the lawyer and the construction worker, the politician and the minister. Unfortunately, it is also the children of the world. People want to defend themselves, though they are not sure precisely what they fear. They are willing to fight and lash out. They are willing to hurt another to protect themselves.

Underneath their fear and pain is an inherent sense of their source, an inherent longing and hunger to know that source personally. How appropriate is it to tell those people, “Here, this is your source. I know better than you. Here is the form you need to worship. You should be in my church worshiping the God that I have described to you.”?

It serves none of these people to teach them a form of God. Knowing their source personally has nothing to do with someone else’s form, religion, doctrine, dogma, tenets, rules, practices, proclamations, etc. How dare anyone hand religious doctrine to a person who is hungry for their source and proclaim it to be God, “This is who he is. This is where he is.  This is how you must relate to him.”

It is impossible to reveal God through doctrine, only through becoming his expression. It is not necessary to reveal God to another person. All one person can really do for another is to stimulate the search, awaken the unconscious desire to know. Those who seek will find. It is no one’s responsibility to make sure they find. It is not even possible.

People only need to be reassured that each of them can come to know God as a reality. They need to hear that God is alive and well within each of us. They need to hear that it is possible to know God themselves, without an intermediary.

Our religious leaders would do well to stop telling people what God is like and instead encourage people to discover his nature and presence for themselves. Then, they should ask those people to share what they discovered—not what God is like, just the fact that it is possible to know God. Instead of building boxes and fences around denominations and faiths, dictating what people should think, our leaders should be encouraging their congregations to search until they find. The search may require passing through many corridors, many paths, many doors, many religions, many faiths, many forms, many rituals. Our religious leaders should applaud that search, wherever the journey leads. Even if the journey leads in the direction of another faith. Even if a Christian encounters God face-to-face on a Buddhist path, or a Baptist discovers his source within a Muslim
mosque. Those who hunger and search for righteousness will be filled. What difference does it make under what roof that encounter occurs? The responsibility of our religious leaders is to create a vacuum in the hearts of individuals so that God can come in to fill it. . . .

© Paul Solomon Foundation 1994

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