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Religion-2

"If religion is to bring light to our broken world, we need, as Mencius suggested, to go in search of the lost heart, the spirit of compassion that lies at the core of all our traditions."    - Armstrong, Karen ; The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions


"The test is simple: if people’s beliefs—secular or religious—make them belligerent, intolerant, and unkind about other people’s faith, they are not “skillful.” If, however, their convictions impel them to act compassionately and to honor the stranger, then they are good, helpful, and sound. This is the test of true religiosity in every single one of the major traditions."      - Armstrong, Karen ; The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions


"Their objective was to create an entirely different kind of human being. All the sages preached a spirituality of empathy and compassion; they insisted that people must abandon their egotism and greed, their violence and unkindness. Not only was it wrong to kill another human being; you must not even speak a hostile word or make an irritable gesture. Further, nearly all the Axial sages realized that you could not confine your benevolence to your own people: your concern must somehow extend to the entire world."      - Karen Armstrong ; The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions


"The Axial sages changed this; they still valued ritual, but gave it a new ethical significance and put morality at the heart of the spiritual life. The only way you could encounter what they called 'God,' 'Nirvana,' 'Brahman,' or the 'Way' was to live a compassionate life. Indeed, religion was compassion."    - Karen Armstrong ; The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions


"First you must commit yourself to the ethical life; then disciplined and habitual benevolence, not metaphysical conviction, would give you intimations of the transcendence you sought."    - Karen Armstrong ; The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions


"What mattered was not what you believed but how you behaved. Religion was about doing things that changed you at a profound level."    - Karen Armstrong ; The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions


Maybe dividing ourselves into righteous pockets of spiritual belief is not the best way to bring about love.    - Steven Greenebaum ; The Interfaith Alternative: Embracing Spiritual Diversity


Genuine religion is not about speculating about God or the soul or about what happened in the past or will happen in the future; it cares only about one thing—finding out exactly what should or should not be done in this lifetime.    - Leo Tolstoy ; Path of Life


"Centuries of institutional, political, and intellectual development have tended to obscure the importance of compassion in religion. All too often the religion that dominates the public discourse seems to express an institutional egotism: my faith is better than yours! As Zhuangzi noted, once people interject themselves into their beliefs, they can become quarrelsome, officious, or even unkind. Compassion is not a popular virtue, because it demands the laying aside of the ego that we identify with our deepest self; so people often prefer being right to being compassionate. Fundamentalist religion has absorbed the violence of our time and developed a polarized vision, so that, like the early Zoroastrians, fundamentalists sometimes divide humanity into two hostile camps, with the embattled faithful engaged in a deadly war against 'evildoers.' As we have seen to our cost, this attitude can easily segue into atrocity. It is also counterproductive. As the Daodejing pointed out, violence usually recoils upon the perpetrator, no matter how well intentioned he might be. You cannot force people to behave as you want; in fact, coercive measures are more likely to drive them in the opposite direction."    - Armstrong, Karen ; The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions


"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."    - Thomas Paine ; Ways and means of improving the condition of Europe, interspersed with miscellaneous observations


I would far rather that Hinduism died than untouchability lived.    - Gandhi ; Unsourced Quote


"A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion."    - Mahatma Gandhi ; Unsourced Quotations


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