Imagination empowers religion

What is the one virtue that connects all spiritualities? In my opinion, it’s Imagination. Upon visiting mosques, churches, temples and grottoes, and hearing the soulful rhythm and melodies of hymns, chants and musical instrumentals, I’ve come to the conclusion that art and music has elevated spirituality more than doctrine itself. The proof is everywhere. Sistine Chapel. Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Angkor Wat. Mogao Grottoes. Borobudur. Prambanan. Notre-Dame. And that’s not including the myriad of sacred masterpieces displayed at galleries and national museums. Imagination has delivered creative texts like David and Goliath, Ramayana, Golden Elephant and the Great Flood. Imagination has conceived religious fashion like the papal tiara, hijab and orange robes worn by monks. Imagination has inspired followers everywhere in so many ways and will continue to do so until the sun sets on humanity. So the question must be asked—Where does this boundless imagination come from?

Ugly is an ugly word…

One day I came across this mural while walking through an underground tunnel. “So true,” I thought to myself, for as intelligent sentient beings, we all have our preferences of what’s nice to look at and what’s not so nice. But to call someone ugly is not only rude, it’s selfish, for someone else might think otherwise. And that’s a good enough reason to accept someone as he/she is—a miracle of nature, not just another ugly face (this reasoning goes for plants and animals too).