How to Approach the World’s Religious Traditions

By Adam J. Pearson

My journey has taken me from Catholic churches to Muslim mosques, from meditating with Zen monks to dancing with Sufi mystics, from praying in Jewish synagogues to studying with Hindu gurus and invoking the Light with Golden Dawn magicians. Every religion I encountered has taught me a great deal and transformed my life for the better.  People of all faiths and those of you without religious inclinations, I consider you all my brothers and sisters and I meet you with great love and respect.

I invite you to take the time to study traditions outside of your own paradigm or belief system. Even if you hold fast to no religion, every tradition has a wealth of unique insights and ways of seeing the world to offer if you are open to it.

An open heart and an open mind offer the most fertile ground for the cultivation of wisdom and compassion. Prejudices and preconceived notions blind us and push away from things from which we could learn a great deal. I invite you to put aside aversions, attachments, and preformed ideas when you encounter the religions of the world and meet them on a plane of respect. If you try this approach, you will gain much.

After you have truly appreciated and explored the depths of a tradition, then you can subject it to critical scrutiny with a far more informed perspective than your original one. It is deep study and contemplation that make the difference between superficial ideas and profound ones, between meaninglessly general opinions and richly detailed knowledge.

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