Primacy of Intention: A Common Theme Across All Religions

Christianity

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Judaism

“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”

Islam

“He will not call you to account for oaths you have uttered unintentionally, but He will call you to account for what you mean in your hearts. God is most forgiving and forbearing.”

Baha’i

“One must see in every human being only that which is worthy of praise…Thus it is incumbent upon us, when we direct our gaze toward other people, to see where they excel, not where they fail.”

Hinduism

“Intention is clearly greater than the mind, for it is only after a man has formed an intention that he makes up his mind; after that, he vocalizes his speech — and he vocalizes it to articulate a name. The vedic formulas are contained in the name, and rites, in vedic formulas. Now, intention (samkalpa) is the point of convergence of all these things; intention is their essence (atman); and on intention they are based.”

Buddhism

“Karma dictates certain conditions over which we have no control — when and where we are born, for instance — but within that situation we are presented with choices.”

Daoism

“Your actions produce reactions that follow you like shadows. Just as a tall person’s shadow is tall and a short person’s shadow is short, ugly words will produce ugly echoes, and good intentions will produce good reactions. For every action there is a reaction, and for every cause there is an effect.”

Confucianism

“Just desire the good for yourself and the common people will be good. The virtue of the gentleman is like wind; the virtue of the small man is like grass. Let the wind blow over the grass and it is sure to bend.”

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Universal Enlightenment & Flourishing

Universal Enlightenment & Flourishing

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