In my vignettes on the great faiths of the world, and their teachings on Creation, we now come to Sikhism.
Guru Nanak, who laid the foundation of Sikhism in the late fifteenth century, declared that matter is only a form of spirit and spirit is the only reality.
Sikhs believe that "The current instability of the natural system of the earth, the external environment of human beings, is only a reflection of the instability and pain within humans.
The increasing barrenness of the earth’s terrain is a reflection of the emptiness within humans."
Now that is something I can really relate to.
On creation the Sikh believes:
"a concern for the environment is part of an integrated approach to life and nature. As all creation has the same origin and end, humans must have consciousness of their place in creation and their relationship with the rest of creation. Humans should conduct themselves through life with love, compassion, and justice. Becoming one and being in harmony with God implies that humans endeavor to live in harmony with all of God’s creation."
Whether or not one believes in God or any other gods, and whatever our beliefs about the origins of this world and all its creatures, surely few can argue with the need for us to be aware of the part we play within the complex network of life on this earth. This after all is basic ecology. And if we all conducted ourselves in this life with total love, compassion and justice, wouldn't the world be a much better place for us all?
(Sikh quotes taken from the Sikh faith statement compiled by Sri Akhal Takhat Sahib under the guidance of Sri Singh Sahib Manjit Singh, the Jathedar of Anandapur, for Faith in Conservation: 2003, pp. 132 and 134).
My book Why Religions Work explores religious tolerance issues. It could not be more relevant at the moment with the world in its present state.
This blog has concentrated recently on the wonderful pilgrimages I have been on - to the Holy Land and to Turkey and more recently to Holy Georgia , Greece "In the Steps of St Paul" , Ethiopia and most recently my experiences in Iran.
"If I was allowed another life I would go to all the places of God's Earth. What better way to worship God than to look on all his works?" from The Chains of Heaven: an Ethiopian Romance Philip Marsden