There will always be mistakes, misunderstandings and misinterpretations in our actions and in the way that we relate to each other. This is a consequence of being individuals with egoic attachments and apparently separate interests. The prime function of religion is to take us beyond the veneer of separateness to recognition of our fundamental unity with each other and with all that is. To attain this unity the Buddha taught Detachment, the Christ taught Forgiveness and the Prophet taught Submission; these are represented in the characteristic postures and practices of Meditation, Prayer and Prostration. Religions are essentially One as are we; and to go beyond mistakes, misunderstandings and misinterpretations we need to return to essence in our religions and in ourselves.

I tend to perceive the three universal religions as having a particular symmetry. This is not to say that I dismiss other religions such as Taoism and Hinduism or any other; I believe that there are remarkable insights contained in all religions but there is an archetypal aspect to the triad of Buddhism, Christianity and Islam that I find fascinating. I think that the archetypes of Buddha, Christ and Prophet reside within us. The realisation of these archetypes in our own consciousness is vastly more important that the particular doctrines of these religions.

To the three figures of the Buddha, the Christ and the Prophet, I should add a fourth, the Philosopher/Scientist whose key truth is [epistemic] Humbleness, and whose posture and practice is that of Study. Socrates said that “The only thing I know is that I know nothing” while Newton said “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”