AN AWESOME TRUTH

AN AWESOME TRUTH 

A summary of a speech delivered by Garth Read at the Queensland Police Annual Faith Leaders Dinner

September 1st 2014

INTRODUCTION

Have you ever sat on a Queensland beach and watched turtle hatchlings emerge from the sand and make their way to the sea?  On arrival as living creatures on this planet they immediately know how and where to live as turtles.

This is not the case with human babies.  There is no one fixed, automatic and clearly defined way of living an authentic human way of life that comes with our arrival as living creatures on this planet earth.  Homo sapiens have to acquire an understanding of and the ability to live as HUMANS.

 THE HUMANISATION PROCESS

In 1972, the social anthropologist, Axil Gehring penned the rather provocative statement:

Man is made Man by Man

My understanding of this statement is that because Homo sapiens are born without any instinctively programed understanding of and capacity for living a HUMAN way of life, it follows that:

  • ·         we have to learn what is an acceptable and authentic way of living a HUMAN life;
  • ·         this learning progresses through an ever changing interrelationship with significant other people in our lives;
  • ·         the significant others in our lives usually participate with us in particular historical, racial and cultural contexts;
  • ·         our personal participation in the process allows us to accept, reject, adapt or reformulate particular understandings of how to live a HUMAN life.

AS A CONSEQUENCE HUMAN NATURE IS BY DESIGN PLURALISTIC IN EXPRESSION.

 THE HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF RELIGIONS

The different religions of the world reflect these human realities.

  • ·         There is no one fixed, automatic and clearly defined way of being religious that comes with our birth.
  • ·         We have to learn the belief systems by which we live and evaluate our own and other people’s behaviour.
  • ·         Our understanding of these belief systems progresses through an ever changing interrelationship with significant other people in our lives;
  • ·         Our personal participation in the process allows us to accept, reject, adapt or reformulate particular religious or non-religious belief systems.

AS A CONSEQUENCE RELIGIOUS FAITH AND PRACTICE IS BY DESIGN PLURALISTIC IN EXPRESSION.

 THE INTERNATIONAL INTERFAITH MOVEMENT

The International Interfaith Movement focuses on bringing members of different religions together in a spirit of respect, goodwill and mutual concern for the wellbeing of local, national and international communities.

  • ·         It reflects and celebrates the plurality of human nature and the diversity of religious faith and practice.
  • ·         It does this through Multifaith events where members of different Faiths stand side by side to present their different perspectives on common themes and concerns.
  • ·         Interfaith occasions provide opportunities for members of different Faiths to meet face to face for sustained conversation about commonalities and differences.
  • ·         The Interfaith Movement demonstrates that humans can and perhaps ought to live together in peace and harmony.

AS A CONSEQUENCE THE INTERNATIONAL INTERFAITH MOVEMENT MAKES ONE POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION TO THE PROCESS BY WHICH HUMANITY DEFINES ITSELF IN THE 21ST CENTURY.

 

 ALL PEOPLE WHO SHARE LIFE ON EARTH

All people who share life on earth

gaze on the universe with awe.

Tread lightly on the earth beneath

and see what wonders are in store.

 

See a planet so rare in hue;

different colours, shapes and sizes

give an unforgettable view;

renewed each day, with surprises.

 

All life on earth, both yours and mine;

telling us we are of a kind.

Beginning and end are divine;

seeking acceptance by the mind.

  

Behold the human family;

diverse in colour, race and creed.

Each one created uniquely;

to satisfy each other’s  need.

 

Claims of superior faith and creed

can make us demonise and hate.

Suspicion of others’ words and deeds,

wounds our need to communicate.

 

Acknowledge our shared human life.

Seek the wisdom we all can share.

Celebrate our own faith and life.

Respect others’, with love and care.

 

Garth Read, Coordinator

North Brisbane Interfaith Group

 

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Tags: Humanity, Religious Pluralism, Garth Read, Interfaith

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