As a boy, growing up in London, I once asked this question of one of my teachers at that time.
Emerson – a scientist who said mysticism was the only complete science – told me this: “Like all things the answer is absurdly simple: the secret of religion is to always behave as if the other person is the living embodiment of your religion.”
He explained, “This means that if you are – or choose to be – a Christian simply then every one you work with, meet, interact with is Christ. If you are Muslim, everyone – regardless of race, age or position in life – is the Prophet. If you are a Hindu, you have a variety of choices from Krishna, Rama right through to your own chosen Guru.”
I clearly remember being thrilled with this answer. I said that this means the world would be different overnight?
“Yes, it should have been different each time a bringer of religion stepped away from this world. Everyone is a failure at religion and has no right to give any religious opinion or take the name of religion unless he or she has fulfilled this first step It is a deep and serious law as one will find out very soon after death.
“As I said – the deepest things are absurdly simple. By seeing everyone in this way, you will see yourself in the same light.”
Emerson then withdrew for the day. There was nothing else for him to say.