Syntheology is the result of my attempt to find some continuity in a world of seeming chaos. Today we are exposed to many different ways of thinking, acting, dressing, or in general, being. I have observed that a lot of people feel threatened by these differences. As a result of this fear they have tried to make these differences seem inferior to their own, repress them, or have even tried to eradicate them completely. As if their own way of life was under seige by the existence of another. It is my belief that people, in clinging so tightly to their dogmas and criticizing those of others, have lost touch with the state of mind the dogmas are supposed to help them achieve. I believe that if one looks hard enough, past the muck of bigotry and dogmas, one can see the principle element in all religions; harmony, peace, communion, and brotherhood of man.
My goal is to create a synthesis of the many theologies and philosophies that I have encountered in my life. The ideas are based on scientific theory, works by Emerson, and beliefs held by Eastern and Western religions.
I have written three works which embody the ideas behind this Syntheology, these include: “Creation Story,” “Paths,” and “The Self.” I have written all of these under the inspiration of my survey of religion class, Religious Studies 1.
The first work is a creation story that combines the theories of modern science and the creation story from the Rig Veda. One word make use of is the Hindu word tapas which means (to the Hindu) heat. I take the definition of tapas one step further. I believe that heat is only one manifestation of tapas, that tapas is essentially energy, and has all the mysterious properties of energy. Such as the phenomenon of light, or the electron, which fluctuate between a particle and wave, have infinite ranges, and are impossible to pin point. From Einstein’s theory of relativity (E=mc2) one can see that all matter is simply slowed down energy, and that everything is formed of tapas. Electrons, atoms, cells, plants, the wind, people, the worlds and stars, all of these are made of tapas. Tapas flows through and interconnects them all to each other.
In the beginning the universe was a vast ocean of light-matterenergy, tapas. There was no surface, only waves upon waves, distorted. No shape could be found in the hot abyss. Here was not here; there was not there. Waves of light broke upon each other again and again, and as the ocean cooled, droplets of the tapas formed separating from the ocean. Droplet combined with droplet (bound and brought together by tapas) to form the worlds and stars.
Reading works by the transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson, instilled within me the great importance of selreliance and the tolerance of other beliefs. In a modern religion I feel that it is very important to have a section which deals with religious tolerance. I often wonder how it is possible to “love thy neighbor” when one can’t even respect the beliefs their neighbor holds so dearly. While reading about Islam I was appalled by the lack of respect (for other beliefs. I was so moved that I had to write. Hence “Paths” was born. The essential philosophy behind this work is; find peace within and you will always be at peace without. It makes no difference to me how people arrive at peace, be it; meditation, prayer, sacrifice, or by reading holy texts, but rather that they do. It is so easy to discredit beliefs that are not your own and to laugh at or harbor hatred for those believers. So easy, I find myself doing it at times. I wrote “Paths” to keep myself in line and guide me along my path.
Do not travel the world in search of agreement, forcing others to believe as you do. This is childish. It shows how insecure you are in your convictions. Instead, be secure in your faith. Do what you believe is right, not what others will have you think is right. Follow your heart to bliss, for it knows the true path. Let others follow their own path if they choose, because for them it is also the true path.
If one should choose to walk with you, finding their path leading to yours, accept them warmly. Walk together but don’t insist they walk in your footsteps.
Receive warmly also others along an intersecting path. Some of these travelers may try to convince you that you going the wrong way, that their way is better and the only true path. Assure them that you know where you are going and know also that if they stick to their path, and follow their hearts, they too will arrive at peace.
Some travelers you meet will be unsure of their path, but tell you otherwise. You may hear their lips speak of conviction, but their eyes show uncertainty. They have been listening to others, not their hearts. They are lost. They have silenced their heart to listen to another’s “better” way. They need reassurance, to get this, they will tell you what others have told them. Your conversion is the reassurance they think they need. This is not so. The true path does not become truer by the number of its travelers; the path becomes truer by the depth to which you follow your heart. The living heart is your goal. It is the connection to everything that is within, around, and beyond you. It beats within you, and within all things seen and unseen. Through the heart flows tapas.
For four years I struggled with the concept of who I was. This was a very difficult time for me, all questions and no answers, the harder I searched for the “real” me the more I felt lost. I finally came to the conclusion that the only way to find myself was to simply stop looking. When I stopped trying to pinpoint who “I” was, was able to take delight in all the things “I” can be (and am). I combined this realization with my understanding of the Buddhist view of self in the section that follows.
The search for the self is a difficult and futile journey. It is a journey of endless questions. One asks who am I really? When am I the real me? Am I really me when I am at school? Am I really me with my family, or with my friends? With which friend am I really me?
The attempt to pinpoint the self is like looking into a body of water. On the surface is your physical appearance; this is easy to see, but not to touch. What is behind the reflection? Try to touch it and the picture becomes distorted, or lost all together. The deeper you try to look, the more the visablility decreases.
The idividual self is an illusion. A mask. The person you think you are, be it; white, black, yellow, king, peasant, female, male, liberal, or conservative is just an illusion of separateness.
I am told that there are sea slugs that live in the ocean that are able to take pieces of rock, shell, corral, and just about anything else in their environment and affix it to their body. These slugs go through life and accumulate items that help protect themselves or help them fit in to their environment. When slugs from one habitat are compared with slugs from a different habitat they understandably look very different from one another. But if you take away all the superficial attachments that each has picked up from its environment, they look very much alike.
The same is true with the self. Essentially we are all the same, but as we go through life we find things in our environment and attach them to ourselves. We pick up things from our family, friends teachers, etc. that allow us to get along better in our environment and incorporate them into ourselves . We learn how to act in certain situations or react to them. It is this accumulation of traits that we call our individual identity. And just as none of the attachments on the back of the slug is really the slug. So too are none of the traits that make up the indvidual identity really the self.
Our persotyla, or idividual identity, then can be seen as a series of masks that the self uses to communicate through. The self is the underlying thread that provides the continuity, but has no real distinguishable identity of its own. It picks up new mannerisms, uses them in combination with old ones, and stops using others as need be.
Realizing that our individual identity is just a convention that we use, allows us to see through the masks of others and feel the connection that exists between all things. Communion with everything that is within and without yourself, and taking delight in the diversity of all of its manifestations is the key to a happy life.
This concludes the work I have done so far on Syntheology. These topics, however, are in no way inclusive. They are a beginning. There are many more subjects which I still have to address. I hope, however, that the reader was able to gather some idea of what Syntheology is and relate it to their life in one way or another.
Sytheology is essentially for me. It is my own solace in a world of seeming confusion and is based on my observances. It is up to the reader to decide if these ideas hold true in his or her life. In fact, I would greatly encourage anyone to figure out for his or herself what this reality we live in is, and formulate their own theories. To me, it is truly a blessing that we, as human beings, are able to do so, and that we are able experience, first hand, this thing called life.