Does religion stand in the way of peace?
2016-12-01 15:52:59 -
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Amaechi Obi: Drastic Measures to Save Nations

How do you think the world would be if there were no longer any form of public religious worship? If all nations persuaded their citizens to worship solely in the comfort of their homes? If all the religious monuments in every global community were converted into museums, or sacred places for meditation? Do you think doing so would reduce or remove religious fanaticism and serve as a bridge to global unity, peace and harmony? Or do you think we are too irrational to contemplate such a move as a possible gateway to love, peace and unity?
To look to the unknown beyond ourselves is intrinsically human. The desire for humans to worship something is part of our inbuilt psychic mechanisms to stir up in us the processes of reasoning. It is from reasoning every other mental and emotional function is activated: faith, hope, adventure, discovery, knowledge. And with these, an appreciation and sensation of gratitude sets in deep within us, as the need to express that energy through worship will manifest.
The inability to balance such sensation stirring within us results in zealotry, and in turn extremism and intolerance for other forms of expressing the same natural need. Superstitions are other ways of expressing that need.
It all boils down to feelings and emotions. Is that all? Yes. However, these emotions are indispensable, because they are an integral part of what it is to be human. We cannot build any long-term goal bound in unity, peace and harmony without paying due attention to that insurmountable need and desire to believe in that which is beyond ourselves. Yet faith felt from deep down within you is not and can never be made a collective experience. Like mediation, it is best practiced in private.
I suggest a new uniform system of worship and belief for the entire human race, for peace’s sake. People can and should hold their respective beliefs in the unknown very sacred. Show gratitude everyday; appreciate all things around you. Commune direct with the unknown within you as in meditation; these are the best approaches to worshipping and can counter the present global religious bickering, that leads ultimately to such suffering.
In this way there is no defined or given system of worship; the true consciousness of God is embedded deep within every human. We only need to devise a way to get closer to this, without the distractions of false prophets.
In Nigeria and elsewhere, there are an increasing number of proclaimed people of God who are twisting the Gospels for economic and material advantage. We must seek ways to make it impossible for such false men and women of God to deliver their deceptive and unfounded messages to a vulnerable public innocently seeking redemption and deliverance from the unknown.
The ball is in our court. Let us do things from now for global love, peace and harmony.
I wait for your sincere reactions to this fundamental topic. Do not take yourselves and your lives too seriously. Life is good, and the art of living is the most challenging of all arts. Become the prudent architect of your own life from now on.

Amaechi Obi is a writer and peace advocate based in Spain’s Canary Islands.
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