11/07/2010

The Path to Peace is Not a Straight Line

Tolerance is not enough.

Tolerance implies that my view is central and superior, while yours, though suspect, is permitted at the fringe of reality. We need to go beyond tolerance, to celebration.

Celebrating our differences means rejoicing in a world where people and cultures are delightfully and divinely “we,” instead of the God-forsaken world where everyone mirrors “me.”

Gandhi loved his Hindu heritage. He also devoted his life to enacting the teachings of Jesus, whom he loved as well. When asked if he was Hindu or Christian, Gandhi replied, “I am a Hindu, I am Christian, I am a Muslim, I am a Jew.” Gandhi was not confused: He saw truth shining laser-like through many faces, many traditions. Gandhi was a patriotic citizen of the whole earth.

When we enter the ecstatic heart of our own religion, we transcend our religion, and discover the ecstatic heart of all religions.

The way to peace is not a straight line. It opens in all directions, like a flower.
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This short editorial letter which I published in The Olympian, Olympia WA, on October 3 was chosen by the editorial staff as their 'Letter of the Month.' It was a response to the bigotry faced by Muslim Americans.

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