According to Pew Research and Statista, over 75% of the entire world population believes in one of the four major religions.
This page includes spiritual growth...
Spiritual growth is to gain knowledge that helps strengthen our spirit and overcome our selfishness and physical desires or temptations, along with other key beliefs of specific religions.
All four major religions believe humans are naturally selfish and prideful, and in need of personal growth, which is why they have sacred documents with lots of knowledge. All four major religions teach us that we can improve our lives through courage, wisdom, and caring for others, especially love and forgiveness.
Spiritual growth doesn’t have to focus on a specific religion, though that could help, because there are many people who have studied religions and can help others learn, instead of hoping to figure it out on your own. Religion has proven principles that have helped people live better lives for centuries. The challenge with religion is human pride can influence people to use those religious principles as a way to manipulate and control others through religious rules or laws. The fear of such religious does not need to keep people from their spiritual growth.
Our main challenges of spiritual growth are pride, selfishness, and short term desires or desires of the flesh. Some good ways to help overcome pride and selfishness include increasing our humility, and our love of others. A good way to help overcome our short term desires and focus more on our long term desires is to increase our sense of purpose.
The spirit world manifests to our mind and physical body primarily through our emotions, and tries to get us to focus on selfish short term desires, or desires of our flesh. Of course, not all emotions are a result of a spiritual manifestation, however, it is a safe bet to say when we experience extreme thoughts and emotions, that it was spiritually influenced. Many of our best and worst decisions are rooted in extreme negative emotions, or extreme positive emotions.
We are not responsible for every thought or emotion that we have, but, we are responsible for what we do with them.
The Opportunity System for Spiritual Growth (based on my book Opportunity Truth)
Foundation of strength: To better know and understand the truth of our situation and the spiritual world. Many people claim time is our most valuable resource, but I believe it is truth, because truth allows us to make the best use our time.
Our heart holds our spirit, our energy, and our deepest feelings of meaning in life. However, our mind holds the keys to the door of our heart. All spiritual battles (including emotional) are waged in our mind. Our primary battles are with our human nature, the path of least resistance, our desire for pleasure, and our emotions.
Art of purpose: Besides specific purposes of certain religions, this includes spiritual growth relationships and overcoming our physical desires or selfishness, often referred to as sanctification or enlightenment.
Science of momentum: To build on the personal growth momentum principles of goal setting, productivity, commitment, and investments. The investing includes continuously learning about the spiritual world and building relationships. To learn how to strengthen our inner ability to focus on the moment and be calm, clear, courageous, and caring.
The science of quantum physics has some very interesting theories that could be considered as providing evidence there is a spirit realm. Consider the theories of...
Unpredictability - Particles in motion should have a predictable path, but they can actually divert from their present direction for no known reason.
Tunneling - Particles can travel through solid barriers.
Entanglement - Particles can have an unseen connection with other particles despite a long physical distance of separation.
Decoherence - Physical elements in the earth have active particles that lose their live vibrating state (coherence) when the elements are put through a manufacturing process.
The Unified Field - Every living object with an energy field is connected to the universe by a larger 'Unified' energy field.
Belief in one God who is experienced as a Holy Triune or Trinity. The Christian's sacred document is the Bible, which is a collection of many books. Christian key beliefs include Jesus is the Son of God, The Great Commandment, which is to love God, and a second like it is to love your neighbor as yourself, on these two commandments depend all the Law and Prophets (Jesus, the book of Matthew 22:37-40). Another key belief of Christianity is to share the Gospel message of Jesus with the world (Jesus, the book of Mark 16:15).
Belief in one God. Islam's sacred document is the Quran. Islam key beliefs include The Five Pillars of Islam. 1. Shahaadah - The profession of faith in one God and Mohammad as His messenger. 2. Salaat - Prayer five times a day. 3. Zakat - Almsgiving, or charity for the poor. 4. Sawm - Fasting, especially during the month of Ramadan. 5. Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca. People who practice Islam are referred to as Muslims, and have two core categories, Shia and Sunni, which differ in their beliefs of the line of succession from the Prophet Mohammad.
Hindu's believe in many gods. The Hindu's sacred documents include the Vedas. Hindu key beliefs include human souls are reincarnated in other bodies at death, and four key goals for life are 1. Dharma - Ethics and duties. 2. Artha - Work and prosperity. 3. Kama - Passion and desire. 4. Moksha - Liberation from reincarnation. Hinduism is the main religion of India, and has many other sacred documents along with the Vedas. India is about to become the most populated country.
Buddhism does not believe in a God as a higher power. Buddhist sacred documents include the Tripitaka. Key beliefs of Buddhism includes the Five Powers of Buddhism which are 1. Faith - Trust the Buddhist practices improve life. 2. Energy - Both physical and mental. 3. Mindfulness - The awareness of the situation in the moment. 4. Concentration - Associated to meditation. 5. Wisdom - True knowledge that penetrates dharmas and disperses darkness and delusion.
The book references for Islam and Hinduism are from the Learn Religions website, and Buddhism book references are from Amazon. A book for the general belief in God is The Case for a Creator.
Christianity - The Bible, The Case for Christ, Mere Christianity, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, and the free short book download (pdf) The Best Bible Verses, at https://TheBestBibleVerses.com.
Islam - The Quran, What Everyone Should Know About Islam and Muslims, Islam: The Straight Path, Islam: A Short History, and Islam Today.
Hinduism - The Vedas, Hinduism: Beliefs & Practices, The Hindu Mind, Dancing with Siva, Hindu Religious Tradition, and An Introduction to Hinduism.
Buddhism - The Tripitaka, The Heart of Buddha's Teaching, The Art of Happiness, No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners, Buddhism, and No Self, No Problem.
Similarities in the major religions include the beliefs that we all have a selfish nature, but we still desire to be in relationship with others, which means we must work to overcome our selfish nature. They all share some common natural laws that govern human nature, like the importance of love, respect, ethics, and morals.
While the major religions have some similarities, I would not say they all worship the same God. They also have some significant differences in core principles about personal salvation.
There are also the philosophies of Confucius, and Taoism, which are primarily practiced in China. It's my understanding that most of them do not consider these traditions as religions. Those philosophies also believe our human nature is selfish and needs some work, so we can live in harmony with others. They also believe in the importance of love, respect, ethics, and morals.
Confucianism believes there is a Higher Power in the universe, or a Tao. They also believe in ancestor worship, as spirits, not gods. https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/confucianism
Taoism has the classic Yin-Yang symbol that represents the masculine and feminine energy that manifests the five elements on the earth, which are, earth, water, wood, fire, and metal. These elements also correspond with all things on earth.
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