Youth Spirituality

a young deer with fluffy white spots


By Etienne Lizza

For young people starting out in the world, it’s natural to think about the spiritual nature of things. Observing the affection and loyalty our fellow living beings have for one another, noticing the striking and profound order often displayed in nature, feeling the great power of human love, wondering why evil and suffering exist, all these tend to lead us in the direction of spiritual exploration.

One of the first truths we learn is that our fellow human beings have been pondering spiritual questions for quite a long time. This brief summary will give an outline of the major spiritual and religious findings that have become part of our collective history and thinking.

About 5,200 hundred years ago the Hindu movement of thought, based on the ideas of Krishna, emerged in India. The main text of this thinking is called the Upanishads, followed by a shorter book of excerpts or favorite passages from it called the Bhagavad Gita. These teachings include many terms that have become frequently used in modern culture, such as karma, dharma, vedanta, and yoga.

Roughly a thousand years later the life and experience of Abraham in Palestine-Israel became the basis for the ideas of Judaism, which were written over time in a book called the Torah, or the Books of Moses, eventually to become the first five books of the Bible.

Fifteen-hundred years passing by, the life and thought of Buddha came forth in Tibet and spread throughout Asia and, eventually, the world, finding its written expression in the Tripitaka.

After a hundred years or so, the teachings of Confucius, in China, became very popular, finding their written form in what is called the Lunyu, also known as the Analects.

Jesus appeared in Palestine-Israel five hundred years after Confucius’ era, with his life and thought being encapsulated in what is know as the New Testament of the Bible.

Finally, the passing by of another five hundred years would find the establishment of new world religion called Islam, originating in Saudi Arabia and based on the life and thought of Muhammad. Its primary text is called the Quran.

You’re probably thinking, how can a young person possibly find the time to read all these books? And I agree with you, that seems almost impossible. But, I’d like to suggest a good way to approach this interesting study. It’s very simple, and fun, too.

Go to your public library and check out a copy of one or two of these books. Then, at different times during the day, when you have a few free moments, pick one up and open it at random, reading a few paragraphs wherever your eyes fall. When the due date comes for these books, return them to the library and get one or two more. In this way, within a period of perhaps a few months or half a year, you will have experienced a good taste of the thinking contained in all the major movements of spirituality in the world.

You’ll then be able to form opinions and make choices of your own, based upon what you have learned. It will feel good to have a sense that you have come to your own conclusions, and gained an understanding of the various spiritual issues through your own investigation. You’ll be able to speak from your own experience when discussing spiritual and religious topics with others, and will be less likely to be influenced by false statements made by individuals who may not have looked into the various teachings first-hand, or perhaps are being driven by dogma or ideological rigidity.

And your friends will think of you as a well-informed person with whom they can discuss their spiritual thoughts and questions.

The Core Truths of The Kindred of the Eternal

1. The Eternal is infinite, divine, supreme and entirely good.
2. Evil is not more powerful than good, and will eventually yield entirely to the power of the Eternal’s goodness.

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