Reason 3: We are all called to be more open, curious and generous.

curious-childRegardless of our specific beliefs, spiritual people really ought to at the very least be cultivating the virtues of curiosity and generosity, becoming more selfless, compassionate, and childlike.

Religious scholar and “freelance monotheist” Karen Armstrong has shown us that every major religious tradition teaches at its heart, the “Golden Rule”. For example, Leviticus 19.18, the Hebrew book of law, and Matthew 22.36-40, the Christian gospel, say

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.

Is Islam, the Hadith of an-Nawawi states

“Not one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself”.

Of course, let us remember that Confucius was a very early teacher of this truth – Analects 15:23 states

“Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.”

There is always something to learn, but our dogmas can blind us to this. We are called to be open, but are often closed. We are called to be generous, but sadly the most religious can become the most mean hearted, closed minded, and judgmental, of all.

The Open Mosque Inaugural Interfaith Retreat will take place between the 16th and 18th September 2016, in Greyton, Western Cape. Still places open, especially to Christians. To take part, see the website of The Open Mosque.

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