1 " I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organised religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptised. "
" Anyone seeking to draw closer to God needs to curb the horizontal and ascend to God vertically,’ he said. ‘And this means giving oneself fully to God – with all one’s heart, body, mind and soul. There mustn’t be any dark corners.’
Skimming the surface wasn’t an option, he stressed. ‘People often tend to merely skate around the edges of religion, but what they really need is to plunge into its depths like deep-sea divers looking for treasures. Too many people nowadays make selective choices from various faiths – the New Age approach, but never embrace any one of them fully,’ said Nasr.
It was true, so many people didn’t believe in organised religion but liked to take the best from every religion or spiritual teaching. ‘The most direct means of communication with God,’ he concluded, ‘are prayer and dhikr. "
3 " One of the biggest issues I have against organised religion is its unregulated ability to separate people. I have never seen such a strongly rooted divisive tool in my entire time on earth as religion. With politics, sometimes better reasoning prevails and the boundaries are blurred, this is not the case with religion.Men go to war, murder, blackmail, condemn others wholly because of different religious beliefs. Something so abstract yet so strong. It is amazing. "
4 " I love the idea of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the beautiful stories about it, which I loved in Sunday school and I collected all the little stickers and put them in my book. But the reality is that organised religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into hateful lemmings and it's not really compassionate. "