There’s a new season of The Story of God out at National Geographic Channel! This is a really cool show exploring common themes in religions around the world.
I’ve seen the first episode of the second season and I think this particular theme is a bit of a stretch. They are speaking about the concept of a “chosen one” in a religion. Though Morgan Freeman says, “Most religions have a chosen one” he then names the three religions that all come from the same source: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
However they do try to expand the topic beyond the religions of the book. They meet with a reincarnated Tibetan Buddhist monk and a Sikh guru among a few others.
It still seems a stretch to me to compare these “modern chosen ones” to a figure like Jesus or Krishna.
I think some religions have more of a concept of prophets that God chooses to spread a certain message. In Hinduism there isn’t so much of that. We all have that potential. It is up to us to open our minds and clear our individual biases so that we can connect with the Gods and their messages. Even that is just a part of the illusion of maya, because in reality there is no division between our souls and the souls of the Gods. In reality it is all the same divinity.
The part about the Sikh guru talks about how there are lots of corrupt people who call themselves gurus. I am still highly skeptical of most gurus and I encourage others to take great care in devoting themselves to a guru. There are real gurus out there, but it is very easy for a not holy person to take advantage of people’s faith. How do the Sikhs get around this? Apparently the guru is a book? I’ve never heard of anything like that (unless you look at it more like a Bible than a guru).
It was very interesting to hear about North Korea where Christianity is forbidden. Now that’s real persecution, where you can be arrested for praying. People who feel like they are being persecuted in places of religious freedom like the U.S. are really insulting those people who actually suffer and risk themselves to practice their faith.
I look forward to seeing more episodes in this fascinating show! I appreciate that they are looking to show the common threads that run through all search for meaning but I do think sometimes they stretch too far trying to make something “universal.”
The conclusion made a lot of sense to me. That many of us are too busy to do the spiritual work. And it is valuable to have people who take on that role and help elevate us all. I still think, though, that every one of us has a duty to raise our souls to a higher place. Without that the rest of life is meaningless.