The population of the world is approximately 7 billion, and nearly 60% of all men, women and children on this planet claim to practice one of these three religions:
- Christianity 2.1 billion
- Islam 1.5 billion
- Buddhism 376 million
Common among these three religions is the fact that the founder of each went on a Vision Quest.
Jesus Christ was born the son of a simple carpenter and toiled the laborer’s life for 30 years. As he began his ministry, Jesus embarked on his Vision Quest and walked into the Judean desert where he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. He returned with his life’s purpose firmly set and did not waver from it … EVER.
Six hundred years before Jesus walked the earth, Siddhartha Gautama was born a prince into earthly royalty. After fathering a royal heir, Siddhartha left the palace in rags to become a wandering monk. His Vision Quest lasted six years to the point where he was reduced to skin and bones. He regained his strength after accepting a bowl of rice and milk from a young maiden. Then, sitting under the shade of a Bodhi tree, he achieved his vision. He returned to society as the Buddha, ‘the enlightened one’ and began to teach the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment.
Six hundred years after Christ and twelve hundred years after Buddha, the 40-year old Muhammad ibn Abdullah began pondering his faith and the purpose of his life. He began his Vision Quest by retreating to a cave on Mount Hira outside of Mecca. He would remain there for days, and sometimes even weeks. The angel Gabriel appeared to him in his visions with a scroll, and the angel instructed him to read the revelations the scrolls contained. Muhammad’s visions continued for 23 years and the revelations became the Qur’an.
If well over half the world is inspired by these enlightened men, the question remains to be asked over and over until it is answered, “Why can’t we get along?” Every person in search of Kalos Kagathos needs to seek for the answer and then the solution. From the ancient Hindu scripture Rigveda:
- May we be united in heart.
- May we be united in speech.
- May we be united in mind.
- May we perform our duties
- As did the wise of old.
- May we be united in our prayer.
- May we be united in our goal.
- May we be united in our resolve.
- May we be united in our understanding.
- May we be united in our offering.
- May we be united in our feeling.
- May we be united in our hearts.
- May we be united in our thoughts.
- May there be perfect unity amongst us.
I was in a New Testament college level class a few years ago, and our dear professor once asked the question to the effect “Do you wonder about the intention of God and the connection between us concerning the other religious founders?” (Or however he phrased it) This has been rattling around in my head all of this time, and I am just delighted when I observe that God and a part of His truth and ways are within the beliefs of other religions or cultures.
KINDA wonder about this Quest idea ! Wonder what’s next!