There is a fundamental spiritual quality to gratitude that transcends religious traditions. Gratitude is a universal human experience that can seem to be either a random occurrence of grace or a chosen attitude to create a better experience of life; in many ways it contains elements of both. Grateful people sense that they are not separated from others or from God; this recognition of unity with all things brings a deep sense of gratefulness, whether we are religious or not.
My belief is that the various religious traditions have great potential to increase compassion, the sense of caring for one another, and the spirit of reconciliation. However, I believe that a human being, without religious faith, can be a very good person - sincere, a good heart, having a sense of concern for others - without belief in a particular religious faith.
A religion made up solely of heightened religious experiences would not be a religion at all. ...The major religious traditions address the mysteries (with or without entheogens), but they have other business to do: widen understanding, give meaning, provide solace, promote loving-kindness, and connect human being to human being.
It is this mythical, or rather symbolic, content of the religious traditions which is likely to come into conflict with science. This occurs whenever this religious stock of ideas contains dogmatically fixed statements on subjects which belong in the domain of science.
We are beset by problems and if we look for their source, we find they arise because of our selfishness, because we tend to pursue our own interests at the expense of others. Our various religious traditions exist to help us reduce these problems. They all teach ways to overcome suffering through cultivating love and compassion, tolerance, patience and contentment.
I still noticed that little streak of rebelliousness coming up in me again - the same sense of dissatisfaction I had felt earlier with the empty rituals and institutionalized values of all religious traditions.
Religious traditions hold enormous value, extraordinary wisdom, breathtaking insights into the human experience, but they are limited to the degree that there has not been a new theological idea expressed by any of the major religions for thousands of years.
Every time that a man has, with a pure heart, called upon Osiris, Dionysus, Buddha, the Tao, etc., the Son of God has answered him by sending the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit has acted upon his soul, not by inciting him to abandon his religious tradition, but by bestowing upon him light [-] It is, therefore, useless to send out missions to prevail upon the peoples of Asia, Africa or Oceania to enter the Church.