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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Religion & Personal Development

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There probably should be a disclaimer for this entire series of books.  However, I just realized that a disclaimer may be particularly important for this chapter.  Obviously there are going to be generalizations made that may not be accurate for everyone.  There is only so much detail that we can dive into for a 2-3 page chapter.  So, I do not intend to offend anyone for whatever beliefs or values that they may have which this chapter may inadvertently attack.

I’m not an extremely religious person, but I do understand and acknowledge people who are.  I do have a certain amount of faith but I draw the line at being righteous about it.

There are many forms of personal development.  They all try to improve the quality of our lives, and for the most part, are very successful to those who participate with a positive attitude.  There are many different kinds of religions.  They all try to improve the quality of our lives, and for the most part, are very successful for those who participate with a strong sense of faith and belief.

In any personal development program I have participated in, I have never heard them talk negatively about any other program, even when the values and foundation are in complete contradiction.  They respect each other.  Their attitude is, “do what works for you.”  If this program works, great.  If not, try a different one.  If this book is helping you, great.  If not, go read “Conversations With God.”  That’s a great series of books, too.  We’re all interested in the betterment of everyone whichever way possible.

Religions seldom are this open-minded.  In fact, they condemn each other.  Even when ninety percent of the Torah, Bible, and Koran are the same, religious extremist say that we will go to hell if we have faith in either of the other two.  It’s not about whatever works for us.  It’s about one system being the right system.

Some religions, like Hinduism or Buddhism, may be a little more lenient in their righteousness.  However, they too have a centric view of what life is and what is to be done.  They seldom reference other sources of wisdom in their pool of knowledge and practices.  Personal development systems make references all the time.  I hope I’ve been making some good references for you in this book.

The other distinction that may justify the extremists is that personal development tends to focus on our lifetime.  Religions speculate on what happens after our life on Earth, and how we will be judged on our lifetime.  If we know that we’re going to be dead a lot longer then we’re going to be alive and want to do ultimate goal setting, then we must subscribe to a rationale that will guarantee our sanity after death.

My personal question is, why do these two distinctions (righteousness and post-death goals) have to be either both or none?  Why can’t there be a religion that helps us to understand our place in the universe, before and after death, without being so righteous about it?

There are lots of people who would love to be religious or have been religious, but gave it up for the reasons I mentioned.  Personal development can be their answer.  Jim Rohn says, “The greatest gift you can give to somebody is your own personal development.  I used to say ‘If you will take care of me, I will take care of you.’  Now I say, ‘I will take care of me for you, if you take care of you for me.’”

Personal development is evolving on the right path.  When religion and personal development merge into a unified one, that is when our society will truly elevate to the next level of consciousness.

Let's love the world together...

Danish Ahmed, blind visionary

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