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Religion

Whether you practice a belief in a particular religion, invest in certain practices and ideologies, or are searching for a spiritual meaning to human existence, can it be denied that all faiths ultimately reflect the human quest for a way of communicating?

Transcending through the perceived incompatibility of trying to explain the varying forms of worship and the coexistence of differing beliefs for some produces an equivocal definition of the past - present - future (even after death), whilst for others the path to enlightenment allows for the exchange to indicate a powerful conviction in something other than the self but as yet has not led to a definition that stands the test of modern questioning and excruciating analyses. Whatever the perceived inner and outer needs seem to be for the individual, the congregation, parish or brotherhood, the richness of multicultural diversity both historical and contemporary is seen to be reflected in the rituals, prayers, preaching or offerings and ethics of the denomination, and it is here that perhaps we have the clearest opportunity to distinguish, parallel and learn about one another and the many dimensions of each faith and the new forms emerging from the exchange of beliefs.

Trying to understand and communicate is fundamental in Western or Eastern philosophies. The individual solace, the union with a higher consciousness and the continual search for and acknowledgement of Man's significance can produce passionate emotions. The varied and common experiences teach us that mysterious powers can transfix and leave Man awe inspired, or trembling with fear. What is it then, how do we define that which could be said to be within us, the moment of awareness when one is empowered, sensing the conscious state and fulfilment, but at the same time also realising that the coexistence of Man with all things is perhaps temporary and shall ultimately lead to a change of physical or mental state? To understand is surely to know the implications of how important communication is for each and everyone for salvation, and what may occur without inner psychological reflection.

The quest for what lies within has throughout time been created according to this cultural identity, and has shaped society in religious and political terms. Without it many have been left with what has been called 'an emptiness'. The inner mystical experience may be led by seminal stories, scriptures, brought to us through oral traditions, reflected in images and artefacts, and perhaps felt to be communally shared. 'Religion, faith, spirituality, enlightenment'... is surely fundamentally a summary of individual knowledge and experience which cannot be equivocally intellectually defined.

Our world is intrinsically linked by an economy where modern communication systems allow for philosophical exchange and dialogue to take place on a global scale. The Internet itself is only a service to enable such exchanges but for the first time perhaps Man can avoid isolation. Trying to understand how spiritual outlooks vary, not with gritted tolerance but with sensitivity and sincerity, may produce a larger global consciousness where all religions may begin to share equally.

The way we enter into the twenty-first-century with this technology is perhaps the means to this dialogue and understanding. In itself technology cannot produce solutions. Users and guardians of free speech have responsibilities which extend beyond private reflection. Indoctrination restricts personal freedom we know, and if faith of any kind is to be discussed openly it is hoped that the technology may provide an open forum and a neutral meeting place for us all to learn.

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