Orthodox – Christians are soon celebrating Easter and only one month later Muslims are celebrating Ramadan, both two very important religious celebrations for their followers and the countries they come from, although thinking better, the 3 days of Easter are more like the end of Ramadan (Eid), same as the long fasting period preceding Easter is similar to the month of Ramandan when Muslims fast from dawn until sunset.
These 2 approaching celebrations got me thinking. As you already know if you read my previous posts I am now part of an even bigger family that brings together two different religions (Orthodoxy and Islam),two different countries (Romania and Egypt), two different cultures, two different extended families and two different everything!, therefore I initially wanted to write about Easter and Ramadan, make a comparison but after putting more thought into it I reached the conclusion that this subject is very sensitive, I definitely don’t possess enough information to afford making such comparisons, nor am I entitled to touch sensitive, debatable subjects that may lead to many questions, frustrations,polemycs, misunderstandings. Itis not my intention to mislead or make false affirmations. When the time comes I plan on taking many photographs during both events so I can share with you a glimpse of everything and draw your own conclusions.
All these thoughts I have been having lately added to two quotes that stayed with me ever since I read “The Japanese Lover” by Rani Manicka and to the image of a mountain that I created in my mind helped me clear my mind, settle my spirit, make order in my thoughts and feelingsand I think I am now ready to share an opinion, some personal “revelations” if you wish.
The quotes I am referring to are the following: ‘It is not for you to judge. (…) Don’t look for differencies. Look for the similarities.’ and ‘God will manifest Himself to you in whatever form will fill your eyes with tenderness. What difference to God if it is a dying man on a cross or a serpent that is used to remind his devotee of Him? It is important only to love Him with all your heart. (…)’.
Sorry for my drawing :). I can’t draw 3D. Believe me, the image of the mountain that I have on my mind is quite different :), more like :
Personally, my most intimate belief is that there is God. I do believe with all my passion in God, I have faith, but at the same time faith and religion are two different things. I think that religion is manmade whereas faith is this personal intimate relation one has with divinity, with God. Faith knows no rules, no rituals, no fixed and harsh boundaries.
I believe God is love, kindness, mercy, forgiveness and good deeds. I also believe God is One,no matter what people call Him and that there are many ways, countless ways to reach Him, exactly as in the image I drew. In my drawing there are only a few paths that I heard of but can your mind even grasp the infinite possibilities of reaching God? If we hypothetically assume that God is atop of a mountain (remember to keep an open mind!) and no matter from what side you start heading to His direction (from left, right, back, front, from under the ground or even from above) all the paths lead to the same point. Why can’t we apply the same logical reasoning when it comes to God, religions, faith and so on? With the purpose of tolerance, accepting one another, better understanding and without the false feeling of superiority, arrogant, egoistical attitude that “our religion is the best/our religion is the absolute and only way to God/everyone else is doomed to burn in hell/we are the keepers of absolute truth”.
I don’t like forced things, imposed rules, rituals that you have to perform in a certain way, at a certain time, in a certain place in order to be heard by God or not upset Him. I refuse to believe that God will not accept my prayer unless performed under strict conditions like at sunrise, at sunset, or whether I make the sign of the cross or I bend, bow or crawl, one time, three times, seven times. It is admirable to pay attention and do these things if it feels right for you or if it tightens the connection you have with God, but I refuse to think that God will punish me if I do it any different. God is love! God is not evil or vindicative!
Some religions say God is One, others believe in multiple deities, objects, rules and so on. I do believe God is One, in Christianity where there is the concept of Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and even in Hinduism or any other religion in which its adepts worship different or multiple deities. Some of you are going to say this is insane, impossible or simple nonsense, ask yourselves and ask me “how”. I asked myself the same questions, I prayed and waited for a sign when I realized I have always known the answer.
The answer is simple: LOVE. God is One because God is Love. Love as an universal law connecting us all together and then connecting us with God. Through love – in its purest, truest and most altruisitic form – no matter what type of love (the love between parents and their children, the love for God, the love of a husband for his wife, the love between friends, the compassion for a needy person etc.) and irrespective ofthe number of those involved in this love equation (2 parents + 3 children, 1 husband + 1 or 4 wives; 5 friends) we all become One and connect to the same One God.
Most religions and faiths say that a husband and a wife become one body, one spirit, one flesh, one. So if love has the power to change even mathematics and defy all logic by making 1+1=1 (not 2) then only LOVE can change, transform, inspire, save, connect and make everyone and everything ONE.