There once was a young archer, a champion of bows and arrows, with great technical skill. He could shoot an arrow directly hitting a bullseye, then shot another arrow that split the first one in half.
The young man was quite boastful about it as well. He demonstrated this bullseye after asking an old zen master, who was known for his archery skills, to challenge him. He thought he could win no problem.
The old master simply waved his hand, beckoning for the young man to follow him. Curious about the master's intent, the young man followed him. The master led him high up into the mountains.
He took him to a spot where two cliffs met and were connected by a very old and unstable log in between them. This log was surely unfit to stand on, yet the master carefully walked along with it.
He stood in the middle of it and drew out his bow. He aimed for a tree, far away on the other side of the cliff and hit it straight in the middle.
As he gracefully stepped off the log, he told the young...
This beautiful parable is an old Taoist story, told by Chuang Tzu.
The great Taoist master Chuang Tzu once had a vivid dream that he was a butterfly. He fluttered through the bushes and the trees, having a simple consciousness. He no longer had any awareness of his individuality as a human. All he knew was the life of a butterfly.
He flew around the gardens, experiencing fully the existence of a mere insect. Suddenly, he awoke and was taken out of his dream. He sat up and looked around. He thought to himself, “Was I a man who dreamt about being a butterfly, or am I now a butterfly, dreaming that I am a man?”
Which one is it? Could it be both? This amazing parable explores the nature of reality itself. Are we merely dreaming of this reality together? Is our experience on earth one huge collective dream that we are all engaging with? Who’s to truly know?
This also relates to the process of death, something that may seem very scary when it’s not truly...
The Parable of the 2 dragons was a collaborative effort from several young animators who wished to try their hand at making a parable. This story takes on the classic tale of a Cherokee chief telling his grandson about life and has changed the representation of wolves into dragons for this story.
As the chief and his grandson sat around the fire, he told his grandson that there was a war going on inside him. There are 2 dragons that were in a constant battle. One of the dragons is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, and regret. He is greed, pity, guilt, resentment, and lies.
The other dragon is good. He is joy, peace, and love. He is humility, empathy, and compassion. He is the truth.
The chief told his grandson that this same battle is going on within him and every single person on earth as well. The young boy looked up to his grandfather curiously. He asked, “Which one will win?”
The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”
This is a classic parable that...
There once was an ancient Taoist master who was a great philosopher and strategist. He had a wide array of different skills, which made him sought after by a few rulers. They wanted to use him for his abilities to advance their own personal goals.
One of the rulers, King Wei sent his courtiers to find the Taoist master at his home and invite him to be the leader's chief counselor. Many people would find this job to be a blessing or an honor.
When they went to his home, they found him fishing by the river bank. The courtiers saw his living situation and thought he would surely jump at the opportunity for high status and many riches.
As they approached him and showed him the invitation he told them a story. Once upon a time, there was a sacred turtle that happily lived its life in the mud. It would roll around all day, enjoying its freedom in nature. But because it was considered a sacred turtle, it was captured by the king’s men and taken to the palace. There, they killed the...
There was once a poor man who led a donkey from one kingdom to another. Every day he needed to cross a river that was guarded by men from the kingdom he wished to enter.
The border guards suspected he was smuggling something, so they would always inspect him and his donkey thoroughly. They’d search through his pockets, the saddlebags on the donkey, but never found anything.
As time went on, they saw the man had much nicer clothing and had bought a larger house. They knew something must be up, and inspected him even more thoroughly. In the end, they didn’t find anything on him.
After 30 years of this, one of the border guards finally retired. One day as he was walking through the village, he saw the old man who would pass with his donkeys. He ran up to him and told him he was no longer a border guard and could not arrest the man. He pleaded to know, for his own peace of mind, what the man was smuggling all those years ago.
The man acquiesced and agreed to tell him now...
Although the mainstream scientific world would have us believe that people are losing their belief in God and religion is downswing, the truth is that presently, the percentage of the world’s population that is actually Atheist is actually very small, with almost half of the world’s population following either Islam or Christianity, and smaller denominations Eastern Spiritualities from there, and then indigenous faiths continuing from there.
Spiritual diversity has become of great interest to us, and for the longest time have asked the question, why do people believe what they believe… So, we set out on a research and creation quest to try and understand them, with a video series called Minute Faith. Each clip from this movie is taken from individual Minute Faith episodes, which are currently being posted regularly on the Spirit Studios Youtube channel!
The more that we research, study, and learn, and the more that...
Baptist Christianity is one of the largest and most diverse groups of Christians. Baptists take their name from the practice of adult baptism and unlike most Christians, who baptize infants or young children, baptists insist that individual believers freely and publicly commit themselves to their Christian faith. This is done in a ceremony of adult baptism, often known as “believers baptism” or credo-baptism.
Often these baptisms are full immersions, in which the believer is lowered completely beneath the surface of the water, emerging in the eyes of the Church as “born again” in Christ. This is both an outwardly and inwardly sign of repentance of sin and confession of faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.
Baptist churches emerged in the early 17th century within various protestant denominations. While today there is still no central Baptist authority, two prominent confederations are the Baptist World Alliance and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Calvinism is a large branch of Protestantism. Roughly 500 years after the great schism that divided the East and Western European Christianities, another schism took place within Roman Catholicism. The Protestant Reformation of 1517 divided the Roman Church into several new branches. The Lutheran Church began the reformation at the hand of Martin Luthor, but it was John Calvin who took the reformation to an entirely new level.
John Calvin was a French protestant thinker who developed ‘Reform’ Christianity with a radical take away from the old doctrines and formed a new church that looked nothing like the Catholic Church of his day. Today, over 75 million ‘Reformed” Christians share the principles of his theological system, called Calvinism.
At its core, Calvinism teaches the absolute sovereignty of God and the total depravity, original sin, of humanity. According to John Calvin and the supporters of his movement, humans do not have free will, simply because...
Based on Love, the effort of Cao Dai is to unite all of humanity through a common vision of the Supreme Being. Whatever our minor differences may be, its aim is to promote peace and understanding throughout the world.
Cao Dai does not seek to create a gray world, where all religions are exactly the same, but only to create a more tolerant world. A world where all can see each other as sisters and brothers from a common divine source reaching out to a common divine destiny realizing peace within and without.
Cao Dai was established in southern Vietnam in 1926. It teaches that the religious founders and other great figures of the past represent two earlier eras of divine communication with the world. Today we are living within the 3rd Era. In this, the Third Era of Salvation, world religions are united in the worship of the Supreme Being, and there is communication with the spirit world once again.
The awareness of the Third Era was revealed to a Vietnamese civil servant, when he was...
The word Copt is an English word taken from the Arabic word Gypt, which literally means Egyptian. However, in contemporary usage, Coptic refers to Egyptian Christians. Today, Copts form almost 13 to 15% of Egypt’s population. Even though they are not ethnically distinct from other Egyptians, they are fully integrated into the body of the Modern Egyptian Nation.
In 451 CE, Anatolius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, convened the council of Chalcedon in an attempt to settle the theological controversy about the nature of Jesus Christ.
The council affirmed that Jesus was “fully human and fully divine”, two natures united in one person. Not all agreed, with the “oriental orthodox” bishops believing instead that Jesus is of one nature; one nature consisting of humanity and divinity. The difference may seem slight, but it was enough to trigger the first major schism within Christianity. The result was the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the largest...