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 The tree is the Tree of Life. It is the source of all knowledge. I feel that all religions stem from the same source. Just what the source is, I am not sure. Call it whatever you wish. We are all also a part of that source. We are one. One human family, one world, one universe. As the Dalai Lama says it: "All human beings come from a mother's womb. We are all the same part of one human family. We should have a clear realization of the oneness of all humanity." "All religions are essentially the same in their goal of developing a good human heart so that we may become better human beings." I have a deep respect for the Dalai Lama. He has his path to the Divine and also has a respect for all religions. If only we as the human family could also find that respect for each other. In finding that, we would also find a great respect for ourselves.  Show them through action. Actions still speak louder than words. I do not care if you are a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Christian, a Hindu, a Jew, a follower of the many Pagan paths; or any of the countless other faiths, traditions, paths, or religions that are spread throughout this World. We are all one. This is exemplified by the beliefs so many hold about Jesus. During the years of the historical Jesus' life, there are eight or nine years that his whereabouts are not accounted for. These are referred to as the 'lost' years. It was after returning that he truly began to teach his wisdom. Many scholars believe he was in India studying Buddhism during these 'lost' years. Who was Jesus? The Indians say He was a great yogi, the occultists and Theosophists say He was a great initiate of the arcane science, while Spiritualists regard Him as a great medium or a very high guide. I know who many say he was. Why can they not all be right? I do feel that if he was a real person, Jesus was a great man. His teachings are full of truth. It is some of the people that think they are following his teachings, that I sometimes have problems with. These people are not truly representative of the entire Christian path though. Just as there is good in everyone, there is also a tendency to - well, not so good. Jesus taught love, not hatred. Jesus taught tolerance, he treated all as equals. What I do with people is show them what I am. Let them see for themselves. Try to get them to learn for themselves. Let them know what I really am and what I really do. Show them that I am not what they have been told. Show them first hand. Let them see and learn instead of stating that which they have been told. With most of them, I have read The Bible more than they have. I also tell them to go read the rest of the Bible. Read it as a book. You can not take random quotes from a book and put them together and still have the same meaning that was originally intended. Some people tend to quote you this verse and that verse. They often do not know what the rest of the passage is about even. Read it as a whole as it was intended. As for The Bible, it is a good book. It was written by man, though, not God/dess. Many portions of it were written centuries after Jesus moved on. The Old Testament is not the only 'old' Christian book. How about The Dead Sea Scrolls? Have you read The Apocrypha? Maybe I should ask this first, have you ever heard of The Apocrypha? The Apocrypha where included in the Bible for some time, they were even a part of the original King James Version. How about the texts of the Nag Hammadi Library, have you ever seen them? They make for some interesting reading. The Gnostic Society Library shows these texts in a historical light. I recommend you read through them, if you want to see some writings from the early Christians. I feel Jesus was the son of God, just as we all are the sons and daughters of God. You ever notice how little Jesus actually talked about sin? He did say a lot about love. He lived his life as an example of what others could be and to show he was like us. I want to show you something I have come across myself while studying. This was put together to show the similarities of the many religions of the world. You might take a special notice as to where the wording of 'The Golden Rule' actually comes from. All religions have such 'rules'. There are religions that would not agree with that statement. You could use your essay to discuss Hinduism with its multitude of gods and goddesses that are different manifestations of the divine, among other polytheistic faiths. Alternatively, you could focus your essay on the "paths are different" part of your quote.  
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