Beware the man with only one book

I finally visted the blog site of one of my occasional commenters Tuesday. It’s an unusual site. He calls his site The Other Gardener but then writes as The Underground Lady. He is currently on page 40. I don’t have a clue as to how to get back to page 1. His thoughts are short paragraphs and eclectic. His background is black and his writing is white making it a little difficult for me to read. It is soon obvious that he is highly intellectual and well-eduated.

The reason I am mentioning this is that he has the following phrase at the top of his page. Cave ab homine unius libri. It is Latin meaning beware of the man with only one book. I had to google it to get the full meaning. My high school Latin failed me. I couldn’t put it all together. I got man one book.

My thoughts immediately turned to those of religious extremism who believe only one book has all the answers. As far back as I can remember, as a very young child, I was haunted with questions about why only Christians could get into heaven. I wondered about all those in the world who had never heard of Jesus the Christ. I wondered about all the babies who never had a chance to learn.

Instead of being comforted by the thought that as a Christian I didn’t have to worry about where I would end up for eternity, I was discomforted about the thoughts of the trillions of other souls who wouldn’t be up there. My religious upbringing caused me to have more questions than perceived answers.

My religious life was one of traveling from one Christian church to another and another during my 20s and 30s. None of them gave me satisfactory answers. For about twenty-four years I became unchurched. Since I live at ground zero within the Southern Baptist world, I’m certain many of my co-workers and neighbors considered me close to being a heathen. It was not that I was a non-believer, it’s just that I could not begin to find any answers among those who considered themselves religious.

I became exceptionally leery of those who deemed themselves ministers, who held the Holy Bible in one hand and thumped the air or the pulpit with the other proclaiming that this (referring to the book being held) was the ONLY answer. Believe in this [the book] or find yourself in hell. Now that was comforting.

Devout extremist Jews believe that of the Torah, Muslims, of the Qur`an. I am not familiar with extreme Buddhists or Hindus, but perhaps theirs is the same story.

I have come to a belief that has been forming most of my life, that there is more than one path to God. I have found a like-minded community in which to pursue that belief. My belief in God is stronger than it has ever been in my life. What has been so enlightening to me and  a puzzlement as to why it hasn’t been to others, is many of the great spiritual teachings have so many core thoughts that are exactly the same. In many ways, they mirror each other.

I cannot understand why those with extreme views cannot or will not sit down with those of other faiths and explore their commonalities and form bridges with those ideas rather than to exclaim their differences and build even wider moats to surround their own island worlds of the ONLY answer.

The lives of Jesus and Buddha who preceded Jesus by 500 years, are remarkably similiar. The things they  both said are almost identical.

These sites are only those on the first page when I googled Jesus and Buddha.

Many such comparisions can be made of the thoughts of the Holy Bible and the Qur’an. They both share, along with the Torah, the same stories of father Abraham, Adam and Eve, etc. The Qu’ran mentions Jesus in several places.

With so much being similiar, when or even will the human beings who populate this earth begin to realize we have so much in common? Are we doomed to use religion and our religious books to bang each over the head for eternity, each screaming louder than the other that “Our way is the ONLY way?”

One of the most difficult passages for me to understand as a teenager at Bible camp was 1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV. That was the only version we were supposed to read.

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” I couldn’t get my thoughts wrapped around seeing through a glass darkly. The minister conducting the Bible study was not much help when I questioned him. I soon got the idea I was just supposed to saw off the top of my head and let him pour the lesson in then close my mind again. In this verse,  Paul tries to express the imperfection of mortal understanding. Perhaps we don’t understand because we have only parts and not the whole. Isn’t it time to start putting everything together? To see into [not through] the mirror [glass] fully and completely our reflection in the way that we reflect God? To stop seeing dimly [darkly] but in the bright light of clear day?

Terrorists and extemists are the same regardless of which religion they proclaim. I firmly believe that you cannot “save” someone by beating him or her over the head. You take the child’s hand, and gently lead by example the way that should be gone, and you can take any or all paths to get there, wherever that path may lead. But beware of the man with only one book. Following in those footsteps is like watching a movie with one eye covered and only a slit in the cover of the other eye. It is impossible to see the whole grand picture. Perhaps each different religion has only one chapter. I believe it is time to combine all those chapters into one big book, editing it out so each story is only repeated one time. Perhaps then when we read it without blinders and eye patches, we will be able to at last see the big picture.

Namaste. Attic Annie



Filed under Casual conversation, diary, general topics, life, musings, relationships, spirituality

13 responses to “Beware the man with only one book

  1. Frank Womble

    “I cannot understand why those with extreme views cannot or will not sit down with those of other faiths and explore their commonalities and form bridges with those ideas rather than to exclaim their differences and build even wider moats to surround their own island worlds of the ONLY answer.”

    The answer is straightforward enough. Religious extremism has little to do with religion; however, it has much to do with power.

    • atticannie

      I totally agree with your comment about power. From the earliest times it has been all about those who control and usurp the power vs those whom they attempt to control who give up their power. Religion is just one of the tools. Someone who is truly spiritual seeks bridges rather than moats.

  2. Night_Wish

    “Don’t Bite My Finger, Look Where I’m Pointing”
    you guys just seen the word “One Book” and start yowling ,the One Book here means “one view point” it’s a limitation ,and ppl who follows the one book are the closed-minded ppl and ignorant ,therefore,don’t even bother your self listening to them ,because you will know what they’ll answer before they do ,End Of Story.

    sorry for the owner of this Blog .

    • atticannie

      I’m not certain what you are trying to say. I do totally agree that the “one book” equals one point of view. I also agree that many who only follow one point of view are often closed minded and it is not beneficial to try to get them to see other points of view. I don’t understand the reference to biting my finger unless it refers to trying to get others to understand what you are saying. Why would you feel sorry for me? Did I not make it clear I feel we should start trying to understand each other and open our minds to the viewpoints of others?

  3. tombug

    If u combine all the books into one book like you said… you still have one book.

    • atticannie

      I prefer to think you now have a complete set…like a set of encyclopedias or a set of books written in a series with characters and events in common rather than individual books where people see no connections.

  4. All religions or spiritual traditions are facets of a diamond into the same reality.
    The better you know the facets the easier it is to understand other facets and you get a better idea of what really are inside the diamond.

    Each of us have to find our own path to God, through our own facet in the diamond, we can’t reach him collectively, the different belief systems are crutches we can use until we are strong enough to walk the way ourselves.

    I have a blog where I try to show the common ground between the various belief systems:

    and this relates:

    By the way, I like your article.

    Kind Regards,

  5. atticannie

    Now you two boys stop it! Not on my blog you don’t! Christians have killed millions of people but they did it without finding the order to do it in the Bible. Both of you are frequent visitors here. If you want to squabble over semantics, I suggest you duke it out on your own blogs. (Said lovingly with a smile.) I’m still feeling the effects of PTSD from the attacks from the hacker so play nice, please. Momma has a headache!

  6. Only the Koran teaches its people to kill the unbeliever:

    Sura 002.191
    And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.

    Sura 002.216
    Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.

    Sura 004.089
    They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks;

    That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Muslims are also taught to follow the teachings of the hadith (a collection of the sayings and teachings of Mohammed).

    I’ll resist going further, in consideration of our gracious hostess.

    Try to find any place in the New Testament where we are enjoined to kill our enemies.

    • Of course Christians have killed millions upon millions of people. This is obviously a comment by an irate Christian, with little or no conscience. Exactly the sort of person who would kill for their faith at the drop of a hat.

  7. You can get to the other posts by clicking on the date icons in the calendar on the frontpage. The quote is a common saying, no particular source, and goes back to a Greek saying, meaning approximately the same thing: Beware he who has only one idea. In other words, the search after origins is not as impressive as it appears, and those who indulge in monadism are rather tiresome. I’ll stop here…of course. Always glad to be mentioned—please come back any time.

  8. What is Holy Quran

    The Quran is the most often-read book in the world. Revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the 7th century, and revered by Muslims as being God’s final Scripture and Testament, its words have been lovingly recited, memorized, and implemented by Muslims of every nationality ever since.
    “It is He Who sends down manifest Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) to His slave (Muhammad) that He may bring you out from darkness into light
    [Surah (Chapter of) al-Hadeed 57:9 – English interpretation of the Quranic Verse]
    Learn Quran, Read tajweed Quran online, learning Quran online Koran

    Allah has told us in the Quran (Quran / Koran) the stories of the earlier and later generations and the creation of the heavens and the earth. He has explained in detail what halaal is and what is haraam, the basics of good manners and morals, the rulings of worship and dealings with others, the lives of the Prophets and the righteous, and the reward and punishment of the believers and disbelievers. He has described Paradise, the abode of the believers, and He has described Hell, the abode of the disbelievers. He has made it (the Quran (Quran / Koran)) an explanation of all things:
    “And We have sent down to you the Book (the Quran (Quran / Koran)) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allah as Muslims)”
    The Quran (Quran / Koran) confirms the Books which came before it, the Tawraat (Torah) and Injeel (Gospel), and it is a witness over them, as Allah says (English interpretation of the Quranic Verse):
    “And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book (this Qur’aan (Quran / Koran)) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and Muhaymin (trustworthy in highness and a witness) over it (old Scriptures)”[Surah (Chapter of) al-Maa’idah 5:48]
    The faithful are inspired, consoled often moved to tears by its eloquence and poetic imagery, especially when recited aloud. And yet, the Qur’an is unique in being the only Scripture that is free of scientific inaccuracies, whose historical authenticity can be verified, and whose text has been so carefully preserved that just one authorized version (in Arabic) exists. Approximately the length of the New Testament, the Qur’an is also the only holy book that can be memorized in its entirety by people of all ages and intellectual abilities – including non-Arabic speakers – which Muslims consider to be one of its miracles.