Signposts on the Way to God - Page 3



We are different for a reason — we are diverse for a reason.  We were created with difference, each from the other: Sikh from Hindu, Muslim from Buddhist, Jew from Christian.  Our diversity is more than our difference — it is our strength.  It is the channel that opens-up the path of God's love to flow from one human being to another, regardless of religious tradition, ethnic culture, race or gender.


Difference does not diminish; it enlarges the sphere of human possibilities.  Our last best hope is to recall the classic statement of John Donne and the more ancient story of Noah after the Flood and hear, in the midst of our hypermodernity, an old-new call to a global covenant of human responsibility and hope.  Only when we realize the danger of wishing that everyone should be the same - the same faith on the one hand, the same McWorld on the other - will we prevent the clash of civilizations, born of the sense of threat and fear.  We will learn to live with diversity once we understand the God-given, world-enhancing dignity of difference."6


Diversity and Difference — Dialog and Understanding — Religion and Spirituality.  Together, these are the keys to moving the world forward ….. in hope and healing, and in love and reconciliation.


[If] understanding … can lead to love … [then] the reverse is equally true.  Love brings understanding; the two are reciprocal.  So we must listen in order to further the understanding the world so desperately needs, but we must also listen in order to practice the love which our own religion (whichever it be)  enjoins, for it is impossible to love another without listening to him.  If then, we are to be true to our own faith we must attend to others when they speak, as deeply and as alertly as we hope they will attend to us.  We must have the graciousness to receive as well as to give."7

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Fifty years ago, Huston Smith published his small pocketbook — a book as relevant, and meaningful, today as it was decades ago.  A book that reminds us, and challenges us, to look at the world through the eyes of another … and, there, see and discover that vast array of signposts … that reveal the journey of the heart to the God of love, and to the love of God.



  1. Smith, Huston.  The Religions of Man.  New York: Harper & Row, 1957.
  2. ibid.
  3. Sacks, Jonathan.  The Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations.  New York: Continuum, 2002.
  4. ibid.
  5. ibid.
  6. ibid.
  7. Smith, Huston.  The Religions of Man.  New York: Harper & Row, 1957.