July 21, 2012

Peace Without Renouncing Religion? ~ Joshua Barzell

A Revolution of Thought.

We are a simple people.

We take what we can, what evidence we can find, from the outside world.

We build and build on these ideas, collaborate with others and create new things.

We hope that these things will help us to live better, more productive, and even happier lives.

Throughout history, there have been people who have woken us up to a better understanding of ourselves. These prophets, whether Jesus, Buddha or Mohammed, have helped to create a better world for humanity.

There have been a great many wars between the camps of people that were followers of these religions and we still see it happening today.

People, because of this and other factors, have looked at organized religion as causing so much harm to the world at large.

But is it the religions themselves, or their supposed followers?

Even still, plenty of modern, talented people have renounced religion and hope others—many others—will do the same.

Their hope is that if this happens, a greater number of atheists will be the root cause for a more peaceful world.

How can we fault that thinking?

It is true that religion, at least on the surface, has been responsible for a lot of resentment among religions—and this has been caused again either by the religious leaders themselves, or the followers of these religions.

What about this new spirituality of seeing a divine manifestation within? As experiencing enlightenment within? Could this be considered atheism?

Some people would consider this the idea of spirituality today; thus,  if it’s spirituality, it’s not atheism.

How would wars be waged if the majority of people saw themselves and others, regardless of religious preference, as basically good?

Wouldn’t that be very difficult? I’m not saying that this idea is the goal of our modern civilization. I still think a great many people—maybe even the majority—want to prove that their religion is the best, whether it be Chrisitianity over Islam, or Judaism over Christianity, Buddhism over Judaism, and vice versa.

I think when one finds peace within, he or she is less likely to see others as being different, wholly different from himself or herself.

After all, we are all human beings. And because of that, we are better off not fighting if we can help it. We have to find a way to make this a reality.

We need to move the idea forward that we are all inherently blissful beings.

If we can do that, we certainly will be able to wash away the resentment people have towards people of other faiths. That will, in turn, create a more peaceful, stable society at large.

It’s not so much just telling people this; one must find it within first.

Then it’s easy to tell people what you have found within yourself.

I found peace—the most wonderful bliss—inside.

It was during a trip, a summer in Europe during college. It was the most beautiful romance. It ended with the most amazing experience of my life—of finding total tranquility within, total peace and complete bliss.

This led me to learn more about myself.

For the next 12 years, I persevered through the most trying times.

Photo: Wingchi

It was an experience that I will never forget, and it was a complete experience of love.

For those of you that have found love within, or have found someone to love, try to love everyone.

Try to expand that love you might have for your signifgicant other, or pet, to encompass the entire world, to encompass people of all kinds.

This will be a revolution of thought and it will change the world.

Each one of us is responsible for our own enlightenment.

If we can enlighten ourselves, we can help to enlighten others. In this way, we will help the world and its children—not only for this generation, but for generations to come.


Josh Barzell has been following an enlightened path for nearly 12 years, first under western methods of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, and later under eastern methods of meditation and contemplation.  He has written on the subject of Enlightenment, with his essay “Enlightenment in the Modern World,” which can be found in book form on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, online.  His websitewww.modernworldzen.com is currently undergoing a renovation.  Modern World ZEN website has other short writings that are offered for free.  Josh currently lives in Boulder and graduated With Distinction from CU-Boulder with a B.A. in Biochemistry and has been writing on spirituality since 2009.


Editor:  April Dawn Ricchuito

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