At some point in life every human will ask themselves: “Do my actions, motivated by my beliefs, unite people or divide them?”
And it is an important question. Not necessarily for the sake of others, but first and foremost for ourselves.
It is a universal occurrence and a powerful one too because it points toward the true nature of life in this universe: Ultimately, if we are in touch with our own humanity, we always choose unity before division. If we are truly connected, we want to see that connection in humanity.
Likewise, it’s only possible to preach division if we are not in touch with our deepest innermost selves. If our own true needs are suppressed and if we are separated from who we really are, then, and only then, are we capable of choosing to separate ourselves from others, and others from one another.
And this is the birth of fundamentalism, of whatever kind. Whether political, ideological, religious, racial, cultural, sexual or whatever other form of thinking that follows the pattern: “My way of thinking is right. Your way of thinking is wrong.”
And, the simple fact is, it doesn’t work. It cannot last. Fundamentalist beliefs always collapse under their own weight. They are not based in reality and therefore unsupported. Like a building without foundations.
Fundamentalism represents a disconnect from life-as-it-is.
Fundamentalists belief is often a knee-jerk reaction to frightening events that easily overwhelm an individual. Fundamentalism is an escape from facing a frightening reality and fundamentalists live in a world where their beliefs have lost touch with the world around them.
The reaction is understandable. The world can be a frightening and lonely place. But the simple fact is that any belief that does not accurately represent life-as-it-is will inevitably fade away.
Fundamentalist belief only provide temporary relief. True peace is found in the understanding that unity comes before division.
Because life-as-it-is very clearly shows us that, whatever differences there are between different people, it pales into complete insignificance when compared to the essentials of life that unite us.
Regardless of culture, location, age, race, sexual identity, creed, religion, or lack of religion, every human being alive on this planet needs to breathe to live.
Every human being needs food, water and shelter. Every human being needs be loved and cared for by other human beings. Without these very basic requirements we cannot survive.
This is a simple fact.
Furthermore, every human has a beating heart and every human culture has found a way to express itself. Every human culture, regardless of time and place, developed its own form of language, art and music and have found creative ways to appreciate beauty. And every human culture, regardless of circumstances, tell its own stories.
It doesn’t matter whether a baby is born into a Muslim family in Mecca or a Christian family in Rome, the fact of the matter is simple. If that baby is not fed, clothed and cared for, it will not survive.
This understanding represents life-as-it-is.
And, until you incorporate that understanding of universal humanity as a foundation to whatever other more superficial belief structure you choose, until then your beliefs are disconnected from the world around you.