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Allies in the Sky

"The greatest gains need no tally. To glimpse what belonging means to a Chinese; to sense with a Burmese grandmother what passes in life and what endures; to understand how a Hindu can regard his personality as only a mask overlaying and obscuring the infinite beneath…to swing such things into view…is to have another world to live in."

- Houston Smith, The Religions of Man

The major religions of the world promote different types of hope. Some spiritual systems emphasize a hope rooted in mastery and attachment whereas others have evolved primarily from salvation concerns. Our research indicates that at least seven varieties of hope have sprung from these alternative worldviews. In this chapter we also explain how cults and fanatical groups exploit feelings of hopelessness by promising empowerment, connection and liberation. Finally, we discuss the different types of hope available to atheists.

Related issues covered in our book

    From Buddhism to "the Dreamtime": The seven types of hope found in world religions

    The prayer of Jabez: The real (and more hopeful) interpretation of this famous prayer.

    Fanaticism: Why hopelessness is the key to understanding cults and terrorist groups.

    Atheism and hope: Answering the question of whether atheists can sustain hope


Hope Tip # 8:

1. Do you feel comfortable with your present religious or spiritual beliefs? If not, are you feeling drawn to an alternative faith system? What makes a particular belief system worthwhile to you?

2. In our book we describe our research, which shows the differences among the major religions of the world in terms of mastery, attachment and survival (i.e., some are primarily mastery or attachment based, while others are combinations of one or more hope motives, e.g., attachment and survival or mastery and attachment).

Can you match the list from column A with the list from column B?

Column A (Religions)
African Ifa
Australian Aborigine
Buddhism
Christianity
Hindu
Judaic
Muslim
Native American
Column B (Motive and Hope Focus)
Mastery
Attachment
Survival
Mastery and Attachment
Mastery and Survival
Attachment and Survival
Mastery, Attachment and Survival























































































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