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Religion, Spirituality and Supreme Being - Essay Example

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The topics on religion, spirituality and Supreme Being are often confused and during discussions they overlap each other. Supreme Being is such a vast concept, it is impossible to explain its significance within the limitations of words only…
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Religion, Spirituality and Supreme Being
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Download file to see previous pages Suffice it is to say that Chinese believe in a Supreme Being, the greatest and the only force that takes care of the functioning and evolution of the Cosmos. Turn the pages of Chinese history; one sees the interplay of different religions and their lasting impact on the Chinese psyche, under one spiritual umbrella. A truly spiritual man reposes faith on a tree, a mountain, a river or any facet of nature. Viewed from this angle the Chinese are spiritual. Religion comes next. Religion though basically faith-related, is to comply with a set of rules and regulations and rituals that have evolved as customs and traditions over a long period. So much so, that the individual loses sight of the intrinsic spiritual worth of that custom and follows them blindly. When one is member of a single organization and views all other faiths/organization with suspicion to start with, and contempt to follow, one develops fanaticism. A man without an abiding faith is not a truly religious individual. Without such an affirmation one will not be able to confine to ethical levels, which sustain the healthy growth of the society. Without faith, downward spiral of the society commences that will ultimately lead to uncontrollable social ills. Western vs. Chinese Religions To the Chinese, religion is not mere the view of life, but the way of life. Confucianism has been the eternal bridge that connects the peoples of a vast country like China. One may hail it as a philosophy and/or a religion. According to Confucianism heaven is the ultimate authority. That transcendental power engulfs everything, physical, secular, spiritual, nature and destiny. Shao Yong, Confucian scholar of the eleventh century CE, argues, “Error in human knowledge is due to the fact that we observe things from our own experience….we must view things, not with our physical eyes, but with our mind, and not even with our mind, but with the principle inherent in things. When the boundary between subject and object disappears, we will be able to see things as they are.”( xi, xii) Some of the western books on philosophy and religion are kindergarten stuffs as compared to the profundity of the Chinese spiritual lore. It is not necessary that the entire populace of the country needs to practice one faith; what is important is what type of people that faith molds! Religion and faith make it easier for the human being to reach the level of spirituality. Religions of China lay more importance on the inner development of an individual. Each individual contributes to the health of the Nation, just like each brick contributes to the strength of a magnificent mansion! Did religion exist in China prior to engagement with the West? This question is rather an affront to the people of China. China is the homeland of some of the greatest philosophies and religions in the world like, Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism and Folk Religion. Even when Religion is associated with faith in a Supreme Being and membership in a single organization variable belief systems exist within that faith. Some intellectuals argue that Chinese people are not very religious. But the ground reality is, religious culture has, at all times, a profound effect in molding the psyche of the Chinese people. Not China, but the West has learned many finer aspects of religion and spirituality with interaction with the Chinese scholars and people. Shao Yong argues, “Christian missionaries and those influenced by Christian images of the eastern tradition have continuously played an important ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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