I belong to the Scientific and Medical Network (SMN), where there is a strong consensus amongst its members that alongside our scientific achievements we have lost sight of the sacred, the spiritual, and our purpose on the planet; that we are in a spiritual crisis as much as a political or ecological one, and that this needs urgently addressing. We are an organization that pushes the boundaries of understanding of all things spiritual, of consciousness, always with a scientific rigor. Amongst the stated aims of the Network, we are called to “encourage a respect for Earth and Community which emphasizes a holistic and spiritual approach,” but whilst we also stand for “critical and open minded discussion of ideas that go beyond reductionist science,” we are meant to be “sensitive to a plurality of viewpoints.” We therefore aim above all else for tolerance and understanding between our many and various ideas and viewpoints, “wacky” as some of them might seem to our colleagues. We stand for open dialogue to further understanding. And this is what is desperately needed in our world today, particularly where our religions and faiths are concerned.
Martin Luther King once said that nothing in the entire world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. We need neither.
Whether we like it or not, religion is here to stay, certainly for the duration of the time frame that we probably have left to steer our own evolution in a better direction than its present trajectory. And religions will be an essential part of that evolution. So let's talk, not fight, about our differences.
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