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Religion and Spirituality: Acknowledging Interdependence

By Matthieu Ricard on November 29, 2013

"Religion" comes from the Latin word religare which means to link, connect, or relate to. Thus, the view in each religion depends on what one is connecting with.

In the case of theistic religions, one establishes a link with God, who is regarded as a creator or as infinite love. Therefore one should relate to all the beings he created with the same love.

In the case of non-theistic spiritualties such as Buddhism and Jainism, one relates to the nature of the enlightenment mind, the ‟buddha-nature” that is present in every being even if it remains hidden by the veils of ignorance just as gold is embedded in its ore. It is also understood that all things and all beings are naturally interconnected and interdependent.

In the case of secular spirituality, one connects to all sentient beings through understanding our fundamental interdependence and linking to a worldview that transcends the limitations and fragmentations of stubborn individualism.

In any case, it seems that altruistic love, compassion, cooperation, and care are the common denominators of all these views. We must place them at the heart of our lives in order to transform ourselves to better serve others.