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The Message That Comes From Everywhere:

Exploring the Common Core of the World's Religions and Modern Science

by Gary L. Beckwith

ISBN 0-9701125-6-4
Library of Congress #2001086010
168 pages
The Harmony Institute. September 1, 2001

Brief Description

An objective study finds that all the religions share the same basic core teachings. They all tell us that there is a God, and they all describe God in similar ways. They all tell us we have a soul, and they all offer similar teachings of compassion, honesty, and peace.

This book is a simple but powerful presentation of these common core teachings, quoting specific examples in scriptures of each of the world's religions.

Focusing on the common teachings offers a new sense of hope for peace in the world. When we realize how similar the religions really are, and that we all worship the same God, there is an opportunity to break down the walls between the religions, which have created an unstable world situation.

And while we have been led to believe that science and religion are at odds, a look at recent scientific discoveries shows that not to be the case. In fact, modern science validates the message of the religions. Knowing that science is on board, there is even more hope for peace, and reason for even the skeptical individual to be more open minded to the spiritual message of the religions.

Objective Format

The goal of the book is to be as objective as possible. Rather than list opinions and theories, the actual scriptures of the religions are used as evidence. The common core teachings are investigated one at a time, and quotations from the scriptures are shown to back up the teaching.

For example, one of the common teachings of the religions is that there is one God. Below are just a few examples of how all the religions support this idea:

“Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.”
Hebrew prayer

“Allah is One.”
The Koran, 112:1 (Islam)

“God is the One Alone.”
Ancient Egyptian epitaph

“The One is Lord of all that moves.”
The Vedas (Hinduism)

“Mazda, the One Alone.”
Zarathusthra, founder of Zoroastrianism

“And Allah has said: Take not two gods. He is only one God.”
The Koran, 16:51

“The origin of everything is Brahman.”
The Bhagavad-Gita (Hinduism)

“One thing we know. There is only one God.”
Chief Seattle (Native American)

“The Kikuyu believe in one God, Ngai, creator of all things.”
East African Tribe

“A study of ancient Egyptian religious texts will convince the reader that the Egyptians believed in One God, who was self existent, immortal, invisible, eternal”
Sir Wallis Budge, historian

“All Lenape (Indians) questioned so far unite in saying their people have always believed in a ‘Mani-to,’ in short, a Great Spirit.”

“Then Vidgdha Sakalya asked him: ‘How many gods are there Yajnavalkya?’ He answered, ‘as many as are mentioned in the hymn of praise to the Vishve-devas, namely, three hundred and three, and three thousand and three.’ ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘but how many gods are there?’ ‘Thirty-three.’ ‘Yes, but how many gods are there?’ ‘Six.’ ‘Yes, but how many gods are there?’ ‘Three.’ ‘Yes, but how many gods are there?’ ‘Two.’ ‘Yes, but how many gods are there?’ ‘One and a half.’ ‘Yes, but how many gods are there?’ ‘One.’"
Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad, III.9,1

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While each religion has a different name for God, it is clear that they all speak of one God. It is not surprising that they have a different name for God, since they were formed in different languages, at different times in history, and by different cultures. But if we look at how God is described, rather than what God is called, we see the stong similarities. This is just one example of a teaching that all the religions share. Many other teachings are discussed in the book, in a similar way. The teaching is discussed briefly, and then examples of quotations from religious scriptures are shown.

Outline

The first half of the book focuses primarily on the world's ancient religions, revealing their common teachings, and the underlying message of it all.

The second half of the book shows how the message of the ancient religions is coming to us today in modern times as well. Discoveries in modern Quantum Physics, Psychology, and Archaeology all are supporting the teachings of the ancient religions. It is also shown that people such as poets and musicians have been echoing these teachings for many years.

Current World Situation

Since the September 11th tragedies, it is painfully clear that there is disharmony between the world's religions. Now, it is more important than ever that the world shifts the focus from the differences to the similarities. Rabbis, priests, and scholars everywhere are saying that the religions share many teachings.

This book was eerily published on 9/1/01, just ten days before the September 11th tragedies. Although it was researched and written before 9/11, it is more relevant now than ever before. If we are ever going to get past the problems created by religious tension in the world, it will only be by realizing what we have in common. This book is an invaluable resource to help make it happen.