" A fish-run is constructed to catch a fish ; we should keep the fish and forget the run.
A snare is constructed to catch a rabbit; we should keep the rabbit and forget the snare.
Words are created to transmit meaning; we should keep the meaning and forge the words."
Zen-Buddhists derive this principle called the Sengyo (or fish-run principle)
from the Chuang-tzu 31: it is found at the heart of every religion.
Recently, I wanted to have the Theosophical group to which I belong engage in a series of study into the world's five major modern religions. I began by looking at text, videos and other existing material that could be used to simply and easily make a basic comparison of the religions of the world. If such a thing exist, I could not find it. Most material on comparative religion were either too scholarly or too philosophical . Others were far too basic and simple. Most all were simply too lengthy.
There must be a solution I thought, and then I found one. If one does not exist then create it myself, was the solution. Accordingly, the following is my humble attempt to simply and understandably explain the basics of the world’s five major modern religions (and a few others). It is not intended to be perfect or exhaustive. One could write thousands of books explaining the intricacies of the some of the minor points of the religions of the world and at the end most readers would probably still be confused.
It is therefore with advance apologies to scholars within each religion that I write this. There is not much in the way of original material in the articles that follow. The intent of this section was not to create an original, unique work of art. Instead it is mostly a reorganization of existing work which was copied and pasted (and sometimes modified) and reorganized to form a short, easily understandable explanation of the nature of each religion represented here. This is the only section of this website where that was done. Once again it is my intent to convey the basics of each major religion in a simple, easy to read, understandable way to those who, like myself, may want to know more about the world's major religions without having to wade through volumes of lengthily scholarly text.
Finally , in studying all of these religions it became clear that the one thing they all had in common was a belief in the Golden Rule of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Other Major Religions of the world express the Golden Rule thusly:
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
What I do not wish men to do to me, I also wish not to do to me
In five ways should a clansman minister to his friends and familiars - by generosity, courtesy and benevolence, by treating them as he treats himself, and by being as good as his word.
Do not to others, which if done to thee, would cause thee pain.
No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
As theou deemest thyself, so dem others. Them shalt thou become a partner in heaven.
What is hurtful to yourself, do not to your fellow man.
In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self.
That nature only is good when it shall not do unto another whatever is not good for it's own self.
Regard your neighbour's gain as your own gain and regard your neighbour's loss as your own loss.
I hope that you may find it useful in some way. We will use these as study guides in our Theosophical group in New Orleans.
May 31, 2015
Note: The explanation of each religion will be added as completed , and will be done in stages. Revisions may be made from time to time as needed.
Note: It is my personal belief that God does not write books, only man writes books, but man can be inspired by God. Also, it is my personal belief that no religious book can be taken literally; that all religious books are written in the abstract to teach lessons.