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Book details
  • Genre:RELIGION
  • SubGenre:Comparative Religion
  • Language:English
  • Series title:The Universal God
  • Series Number:1
  • Pages:320
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781098341091
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098341084

The Universal God

The Search for God in the Twenty-First Century

by R. William Davies View author's profile page

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Overview

Editorial Reviews:

"The Universal God is an ambitious work of comparative religion. Davies' intension is admirable, and he does a nice job of condensing his material in a way that is accessible and pleasing to read.  His enthusiasm is apparent, and his sections on the outward path and inward path are informative and thought provoking."  -Blue Ink Review-

"(Mr.) Davies endeavors to lead the spiritual seeker in a quest to find God...(He) successfully communicates his research (and) conclusion in a manner that...readers will find both refreshing and thought provoking.  (His) desire is to lead others in their own quests for God is apparent in this sincere and well-written book."  -Clarion Review-

"A comparative religion primer asserts that the quest to find God is within the great modern religions...A methodical, reasonable initiation for the student or spiritual seeker."   -Kirkus Review-

Description

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The full title of this book is: "The Universal God, The Search for God in the Twenty-First Century".  This book is written as a 'spiritual quest to find God. The emphasis within this search is on the 'spiritual' and not the 'traditional' vision of God. The objective of this book is to allow the reader to independently search, define and better understand God's 'potential' within their own individual lives. There probably are no two readers who will read this book and come away with the exact same set of conclusions at the book's end. The search begins within the major modern religions: Hinduism, Confucianism/Taoism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Each of these religions, in their own ways reveal God to us; sometimes in visions that are 'shared in common' with each other; and sometimes, in very startling and different visions. Within the context of this book, the author will discuss both those shared visions as well as those visions that are different and unique from each other.

This book differs from most of the other comparative religion books that are on the market. The 'dogmas, religious practices and rituals within each of these religions are not discussed in any in-depth detail. The book instead focuses its search on those 'divine sparks' and 'spiritual inspirations' that originally brought each of these religions into existence. The comparisons within this book are focused on the lives, direct spiritual teachings and theologies of those individuals and sources that gave birth and sparked the founding of each of these religions. If we are to find God's 'Spirituality', it must come from going directly back in time to each religions' inspirational origins. The book is written to make direct comparisons between what Jesus said, to what the Buddha said, to what Mohammed said, to what Krishna said, to what Confucius said, to what Moses (and the other Jewish prophets) said, and to what Lao-tzu said. When the founding teachings (which are the direct spiritual source of each of these religions) are compared, they are found to have many teachings that are 'shared in common' with each other.

The book is divided into three major sections. The first section introduces the premise for the book; establishes definitions that will allow the reader to understand the differing terminologies that each of the religions use; and then, provide guidelines for understanding the remainder of the book. The second section introduces and discusses each of the religions within their own individual and self-contained chapters. The third section is titled 'Commentary'. This section discusses the many teachings and beliefs that these religions do have in common with each other, as well as give explanations for those beliefs that are unique and individual to only one of the religions.

This book can equally function as a book for individual study or be used as a textbook for comparative religions study.

About the author

For most of my life, I have been on a spiritual quest. As a child, questions arose within me that I could not answer. I could not understand why; if Jesus loved all the children of the world, why would Christian children alone be the ones that he would save? If God is our Father, why is He Father to Christians only? He surely had to be everyone's Father. At that time, I had no answers, but my list of questions kept growing within me. By the time that I began my college years, I finally was able to formally begin my personal 'quest' and the search for those answers. This began a lifetime passion. My journey brought me to: Christian Mysticism: Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Meister Eckhart, St Anthony, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Merton, William Blake, Joseph Campbell, W. Summerset Maugham; Buddhism: The Four Noble Truths, The Eightfold Path, Zen Buddhism, J. T. Suzuki, meditation, walking meditation, Koan meditation, running meditation, Dalai Lama, Tibetan Book of the Dead, more meditation, Pursuit of Bodhisattva, Mind Science; Zoroaster; Kahlil Gibran; Houston Smith; Joseph Gaer; Vedanta Teachings: The Bhagavad Gita, The Upanishads, Eknath Easwaran, Mantra meditation, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raj Yoga, reading meditation; Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching ,I Ching ; more meditations; Sufism, Hafez of Shiraz, Maulana Rumi and still more meditation. On this 'mish-mash' of a 'spiritual journey', many things came together and made sense; but other things continued to be contradictive and confusing. Then Meher Baba entered my life. As I began to read, study and meditate upon his teachings; all my contradictions and confusions disappeared. His teachings fill in the missing blanks and made this journey become whole and fulfilled. He brought coherence and structure to my search.

The conundrum that a 'spiritual journey' requires is that the journey must be made internally, within the seeker's 'mind' and 'soul'. The truths and insights gained are often difficult to articulate outward. Spirituality drives the seeker to focus one's consciousness inward. Life itself, however, intervenes and requires that it is lived out in the opposite direction. We are of the world and life's journey must be lived 'out there' in that world. In the living of my life: I am married with two grown children and four grandchildren. I graduated from college with an undergraduate degree and a masters' degree in Economics. I spent most of my professional career working in a variety of jobs that required analytical, statistical and writing skills. I am now retired. I have found that my greatest joys in retirement have been found in spending time with my wife and playing with our grandchildren and our dog.

Retirement, however, has also allowed me to reflect upon my 'spiritual journey' and to begin deciphering and organizing the contents of that journey. This late life inspiration has given me the opportunity to bring out that which I had held privately within me for so long. Through the writing of this "Universal God" trilogy, I am hoping to share with you the reader what I have learned from this 'spiritual journey' that has consumed so much of my inner life.

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