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The InterFaith Settlement Foundation

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					                The InterFaith Settlement Foundation

                                    Introduction

When Mahatma Gandhi starts his ahimsa (non violence) movement in South Africa over
a century ago, one of the first tasks he endeavours is to build an ashram based on his
principles. This ashram serves as a foundation whereupon the principles of ahimsa are
actually lived. In his self titled autobiography, Gandhi states that the ashram and its
diversity are essential in advocating his principle of ahimsa to the larger population.
Later in India, Gandhi undertakes several experimentations with an interreligious, self
sustaining utopia.

In his book, Acts of Faith, Dr Eboo Patel communicates that the paramount global issue
of the twenty first century is the issue of the Faith Line. Much like the premonitions of
Dr W E B Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk) at the turn of the twentieth century, Dr Patel
suggests that in the twenty first century the concerns of environment, water, hunger,
poverty, and wealth have been fought and are settled along religious divides; and that
the key to resolving these conflicts is enhanced interreligious cooperation. With this in
consideration, there has been little doubt that any utopia must be predicated upon
interreligious cooperation and the prominence of the Golden Rule.

The notion of utopia is well established within the fabric of American history. From the
Puritans and Shakers to the Mormons, the ―City upon a Hill‖ is an ideal that is commonly
championed within the ethos of American urbania. Indeed, throughout the centuries
since 1492, countless Christian settlements are formed such as the Oneida Community
in New York, New Harmony in Indiana, and the Amana Colonies in Iowa. Since the
1960‘s, the idea of utopia has a more modern context through the emergence of both
religious and secular communes, intentional communities, ecovillages, and additional
initiatives.

The pioneering, utopian spirit continues today in the formation of more recent and
permanent settlements within the United States and throughout the international
community. Ave Maria is a Catholic city in Southern Florida built in 2002 around a
coinciding modern university and furnished with the amenities that can be found in a
typical modern suburb. In 2001 Vedic City is established as a Hindu community in Iowa
equipped with Maharishi University and a comprehensive community predicated upon
the Vedic tradition. Kibbutz Ma‘agan Michael is the largest intentional community in
Israel with a population over 1,400 and a history of cooperation and commercial
development dating to 1949. Auroville is an ―international township‖ in India,
established in 1968 with backing by the United Nations, that touts a population over
2,000 and a continuous practice and education of international citizenship.
The InterFaith Settlement is intended to be a city specifically predicated upon
interreligious cooperation. The objective is to establish an eco friendly, self sustaining,
postmodern, and pluralistic suburb that facilitates daily interaction and ordinary relations
between people from different religious traditions, including Judaism, Hinduism,
Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, the Baha‘i, and additionally.

                                      Background

The story of the InterFaith Settlement begins with the story of the InterFaith Movement.

Within the millennia history of interreligious interaction, there are few bright moments
contextualised within a larger framework of ignorance, misunderstanding, and conflict.
During the 19th century, this history begins to change as there is an increasing
interaction between nations, and particularly between Eastern and Western civilisations.
The 19th century sees the emergence of such figures as Ramakrishna and Swami
Vivekananda in the East, Baha‘u‘llah and the beginning of the new international,
interreligious Faith of the Baha‘is in Persia, as well as organisations such as the
Unitarians and the Universalists in the West. Later, in the West, Max Muller and Rhys
Davids achieve tremendous strides of interreligious understanding through translations
of Hindu and Buddhist Holy texts, respectively. This scholarship leads to the
establishment of comparative religious studies at universities throughout Western
civilisation.

Yet, it is only as the religions actually come together that the postmodern InterFaith
Movement begins to emerge. It is conventionally held that the InterFaith Movement
begins with the convening of the initial Parliament of World Religions held at the World‘s
Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois in 1893. It is appropriate and symbolic to note
that this Parliament of World‘s Religions is convened within the context of the historic
secular trade, industrialisation, and globalisation of the international community. This
Parliament provides a momentous opportunity for religious leaders and adherents of
different religions traditions, including Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam,
Jainism, and the Baha‘i, to maintain dialogue with, and learn from, each other.

In 1900, with the memory of the Parliament still bright, the organisation now known as
the International Association for Religious Freedom is formed in Boston, Massachusetts
and continues today as the oldest interFaith organisation in the World. During this time,
interFaith activism primarily assumes the form of interreligious dialogue and interaction
between more liberal religious leaders and adherents. This includes the convening of
meetings and the writing of papers. Proceeding the Religions of the Empire Conference
in 1924 and the World Fellowship of Faith First International Congress in 1933, Sir
Francis Younghusband finds the World Congress of Faiths in London, England. The WCF
is successful in broadening the scope of participation to include academia and the civic
community.
With the emergence of international institutions such as the United Nations, the
InterFaith Movement becomes more dynamic. Efforts are made to expand participation
to include more individuals and institutions from politics and civic society. In 1960,
Juliet Hollister forms the Temple of Understanding as a conduit of interreligious dialogue
and enhanced understanding. Based in New York, New York, the Temple of
Understanding gains initial support from such luminaries as Eleanor Roosevelt, Prime
Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Pope John XXIII, President Anwar el Sadat, the 14th Dalai
Lama, and Albert Schweitzer. The Temple of Understanding is an example of the
inclusion of civic and political leaders within the forefront of the InterFaith Movement.
Similarly, the World Conference of Religions for Peace emerges in 1970 in New York,
New York with the purpose of bringing together the many religions of the World for the
common goal of effectuating Peace in troubled areas. The largest interFaith organisation
in the World, WCRP makes the point of recognising and respecting the differences
between religious traditions whilst also emphasising the common teachings for Peace
and compassion.

A few decades later, at the close of the 1980‘s, a few Monks from the Vivekananda
Vedanta Society of Chicago, Illinois approach religious leaders of Chicago with the
proposal of organising a recognition event for the Parliament of World Religions held
nearly a century prior to that time. The result is the formation of the Council for a
Parliament of the World‘s Religions and the convening of the Parliament of World‘s
Religions in 1993. It is the largest interreligious conference in the World and generates
so much interest that the conveners agree to regularly hold such conferences
approximately every five years. A working product of the Parliament in 1993 is the
document, Declaration towards a Global Ethic, written by Dr Hans Kung of Welt Ethos.
This declaration and the 1993 Parliament exemplify the evolution of the InterFaith
Movement to include both liberal and fundamental ideologies within respective religious
traditions as well as advancing both the rights and responsibilities of respective religious
adherents.

Since the convening of the 1993 Parliament, numerous interFaith organisations emerge
to promote enhanced interreligious understanding and cooperation. This includes the
Foundation der Welt Ethos, the Peace Council, the World Council of Religious Leaders,
United Religions Initiative, and the InterFaith Youth Core. The IFYC, in particular,
demonstrates another advancement in the dynamism of the InterFaith Movement
through emphasising interreligious understanding and cooperation through the specific
context of community service. The IFYC recruits youths from different religious
traditions to come together with the common purpose of serving the larger community.
In addition to this, participants meet to discuss why community service is important to
each participant and the respective religions to which each participant adheres.
Additionally, the Council for a Parliament of the World‘s Religions convenes another
Parliament in 1999 in Cape Town, South Africa where another working document is
established, A Call to Our Guiding Institutions. The CPWR also convenes Parliaments in
Barcelona, Spain (2004) and Melbourne, Australia (2009). More recently, new academic
publications are formed including, Journal for Interreligious Dialogue (2009), and Journal
for Comparative Theology (2010), based out of Harvard Divinity School.

Today, the InterFaith Movement exists as a multidimensional phenomenon encouraging
greater interreligious understanding and cooperation. The InterFaith Movement includes
international, regional, national, and local organisations promoting dialogue and
common action. The nature of work includes traditional conferences, community service
projects, academic articles, online communications, shared celebrations, grassroots
organising, and other activities. The participants include religious leaders, religious
adherents, secularists, civic and political leaders, local volunteers, community activists,
grassroots organisers, and others. In a recent article, Beth Katz of Project InterFaith
writes that there are five seminal events that affect the InterFaith Movement within the
past fifty years. These include: the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, Nostra
Aetate (1965), the Internet and Social Media, September 11, and the revival of the
Parliament of the World‘s Religions.

Back in 2004, after the convening of the Parliament in Barcelona, the Council for a
Parliament of the World‘s Religions established an online forum to promote interreligious
dialogue amongst people throughout the World. As a result, participants respectively
from Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and other religions join together
and form a continuous online dialogue regarding various religious and Theological
subjects as well as contemporary issues and current events. There is so much
enthusiasm about the interreligious, internet conversation that some ponder the notion
of establishing an actual bricks and mortar community to facilitate much of the same
interreligious dialogue and enhanced understanding. The thought is to establish a living
community where there is daily, intentional interaction between people from different
religious traditions. This is distinct from a conventional city or suburb where people
from different religions may coincidentally live next to each other or interact with each
other casually. Instead, we thought of the possibility of people from different religious
traditions to actually rely upon each other: moving from polite interaction to pragmatic
interaction. Our idea is that the example of, and intrinsic lessons from, this intentional
interaction and mutual reliance can serve as interreligious lessons that can be shared
with the larger international community. This serves as the foundation of the InterFaith
Settlement.

With the seeds of this enthusiasm established at that time, Peter Frank Womack
assumes the responsibility for further researching the possibility of establishing such an
intentional community. He begins to formulate an outline of cooperation for the
intentional community including governance structure, infrastructure, economy, and
location. However, after a brief period of time, the online forum disbanded and
communication between participants became strained. At that time, Peter continues
with his efforts but does so without the input and cooperation of the other participants.
After an extended amount of effort, Peter finds that the result of his accomplishments
was a singular vision with an absence of cooperation or participation. To genuinely be
an interreligious community where participants respectively and authentically practise
one‘s own religious tradition, it is necessary for the progression of the InterFaith
Settlement to be the consequence of interreligious cooperation from the very
foundation. Thus, the notion of the InterFaith Settlement was effectively put on hiatus
until such interreligious cooperation can be genuinely maintained. In 2009, after
enhancing and augmenting his experience and interaction within the InterFaith
Movement and participation within the local interFaith community of Cleveland, Ohio,
Peter revisited the prospect of establishing the InterFaith Settlement with new resolve,
new participation, and with the benefit of the learned lessons of the previous attempt.

                                Religious Cooperation

The framework of the InterFaith Settlement is founded upon the practice of the Golden
Rule. The Golden Rule is a teaching of righteousness and compassion that seems to be
shared by the many religious traditions of the World:

Baha’i

Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not
for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself.

      --Baha‘ullah, Gleanings

Buddhism

Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

      --Udana Varga 5:18

Christianity

―But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless
those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To him who strikes you on the
cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold
even your shirt. Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away
from your goods do not ask them again. And as you wish that men would do to you, do
so to them.‖

      --Luke 6:27 - 31
Confucianism

Tse-kung asked, ―Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?‖
Confucius replied, ―It is the word ‗shu‘ – reciprocity. Do not impose on others what you
yourself do not desire.‖

      --Doctrine of the Mean 13:3

Ancient Egyptian

Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do.

      --The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant 109 – 110

Hinduism

One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one‘s own self.
This, in brief, is the rule of Dharma. Other behaviour is due to selfish desires.

      --Mahabharata (Anusasana Parva, Section CXIII, Verse 8)

Humanism

Don‘t do things you wouldn‘t want to have done to you.

      --British Humanist Society

Islam

None of you (Truly) believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.

      --Al Nawawi‘s Forty Hadith 13

Jainism

In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard
our own self.

      --Lord Mahavira, 24th Tirthankara

Judaism

When a foreigner comes to live in your land, do not insult or discriminate against him.
The foreigner who becomes a citizen must be treated exactly the same as a native-born
person. You must love him just as much as you love yourself. You must remember that
you were once foreigners in Egypt. I am Adonai.

      --Vayikra 19:33 - 34

Mohism

If people regarded other people‘s families in the same way that they regard their own,
who then would incite their own family to attack that of another? For one would do for
others as one would do for oneself.

      --Mozi, Mozi Chapter 16

Native American Spirituality

All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really
One.

      --Black Elk

Roman Pagan Religion

The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as
themselves.

Scientology

Try to treat others as you would want them to treat you.

      --The Way to Happiness

Shinto

The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form.

      --Munetada Kurozumi

Sikhism

Don‘t create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone.

      --Guru Arjan Devji 259
Taoism

The sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people as his own.
He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for Virtue is kind. He is faithful to
the faithful; he is also faithful to the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful.

      --Tao Te Ching, Chapter 49

Yoruba (Nigeria)

One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby should first try it on himself to feel
how it hurts.

Zoroastrianism

That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not
good for itself.

      --Dadistan I dinik 94:5

Philosophers

May I do to others as I would that they should do unto me.

      --Plato

Do not do to others that which would anger you if others did it to you.

      --Socrates


Act as if the maxim of thy action were to become by thy will a universal law of nature.

      --Kant

The InterFaith Settlement is effectively an interactive experiment in the Golden Rule.
Despite the wide and continuing differences between the respective religious traditions
of the World, there seems to be an overriding commonality to demonstrate
righteousness and compassion towards the ―other.‖ This is what Karen Armstrong
emphasises with her Charter for Compassion. Historically, emphasis has been placed
upon the differences, and callousness and ignorance towards the other have enabled
religious adherents to act in inhumane ways towards each other. Yet, the advancements
within the InterFaith Movement illustrate the possibilities of cooperation that can be
established between adherents respectively of different religious communities.
Countless religious leaders from the varied religious communities of the World teach that
we are to have compassion towards the stranger. This means having the will to
enhance one‘s understanding of, and cooperation with, adherents of a religious tradition
that differs with one‘s own religious tradition. The InterFaith Settlement enables
religious adherents to pursue this understanding and cooperation in an immediate,
constant, and practical manner whilst simultaneously adhering to one‘s own religious
tradition.

Within the InterFaith Settlement, there is a specific intention of including communities
that are respectively from Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism,
and the Baha‘i. One of the strategies is to 1.) identify specific religious organisations
that respectively promulgate a specific religious tradition, and often a specific sect within
a religious tradition, and 2.) solicit participation, support, and endorsement from those
religious organisations. These are religious organisations that are already involved, to
varying degrees, with the InterFaith Movement and are predisposed to the notion of
interreligious cooperation. The proceeding is an initial listing of organisations that are
already identified for solicitation.

Judaism

The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation is an established participant within the
InterFaith Movement whilst financially supporting, in part, the International Association
for Religious Freedom and pursuing interFaith cooperation for the specific purpose of
social justice.

At its biennial conference, the Union for Reform Judaism addresses the importance of
interreligious dialogue whilst local congregations pursue interFaith interaction with
neighbour congregations.

The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism writes a biennial resolution emphasising
the importance of interFaith dialogue whilst youth engage in dialogue to improve
interreligious understanding.

At the Democratic National Convention in 2008, a leader of the Orthodox Union teaches
the significance of interFaith cooperation for the betterment of society whilst another OU
publication communicates the benefits of interFaith dialogue for common social
progress.

Hinduism

The Ramakrishna Math and Mission has an extensive history of building interFaith
dialogue whilst conducting interreligious meetings and maintaining involvement in the
International Association for Religious Freedom.
The Vivekananda Vedanta Society is a leader in the InterFaith Movement whilst helping
to facilitate the reemergence of the Parliament of World‘s Religions and the formation of
the CPWR and also espousing the teachings of interreligious understanding and
cooperation of Swami Vivekananda.

Swami Maharaj of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha
touts interFaith participation whilst local congregations host interreligious dialogue.

Buddhism

Rissho Kosei Kai is a leading participant in the InterFaith Movement whilst being a
financial member of the International Association for Religious Freedom.

Soka Gakkai participates in interreligious community building in locations around the
World and maintains involvement with the Parliament of the World‘s Religions and the
World Conference of Religions for Peace.

The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order maintain an intellectual approach to
interFaith dialogue.

The mission of the International Network of Engaged Buddhism is, in part, to engage in
interFaith dialogue and youth are specifically involved in interreligious dialogue and
cooperation.

Christianity

With Nostra Aetate, the Vatican established an open door for interFaith dialogue and
cooperation whilst creating the Pontifical Council for Intereligious Dialogue and whilst lay
organisations such as Sant‘Egidio become interFaith leaders.

Holding the importance of interreligious cooperation as a core belief and principle, the
Unitarian Universalist Association is an established leader in the InterFaith Movement as
a founding institution of the International Association for Religious Freedom as well as a
participant in World Conference of Religions for Peace and whilst organising interFaith
conferences for youth.

The Friends World Committee for Consultation maintains a World office involved in
interFaith work and holds an interest in interFaith cooperation for the purpose of
achieving social justice.
Islam

The Council on American Islamic Relations is an enthusiastic participant in the InterFaith
Movement with an interest in enhanced understanding whilst local chapters are involved
in interFaith dialogue and local youth are involved in interFaith work.

The Organisation of the Islamic Conference has youth participants in international and
regional interFaith conferences and a youth forum with a purpose, in part, of interFaith
dialogue.

The Muslim World League begins interFaith dialogue with the purpose of enhancing
Peace and understanding.

Sikhism

The World Sikh Council is an active member of the North American InterFaith Network
and is also involved in the World Conference of Religions for Peace.

Baha’i

With interreligious cooperation as part of a core belief, the Baha‘i International
Community is a leader in the InterFaith Movement with involvement with the United
Nations to promote interreligious understanding.

There is also an interest in establishing respective monasteries and abbeys from
Buddhism and Christianity. The Order of Saint Benedict is a participant in the Monastic
Interreligious Dialogue. Thich Nhat Hanh also establishes monastic communities around
the World and teaches and writes about interreligious understanding.

The intention is for residents of the InterFaith Settlement to respectively maintain an
authentic practice of one‘s own respective religious tradition. We engage in
interreligious dialogue and cooperation whilst respecting our differences and
emphasising our respective teachings of righteousness and compassion. With this, we
take the lessons of interreligious cooperation and understanding learned at the
InterFaith Settlement and share these lessons with other communities throughout the
World.

                                   Infrastructure

The intention is for the InterFaith Settlement to aesthetically resemble any typical
suburb of any typical, postmodern city in the United States. We emphasise
sustainability and renewable energy with a concentration on new technologies, systems,
and methodologies for suburban ecology. In that respect, we take much of our
infrastructural guidance from the Global EcoVillage Network.
Governance

The formal structure of governance for the InterFaith Settlement is in the process of
formation and there is substantial opportunity for further consideration. The intention is
to facilitate a form of governance that respects, and ideally adheres to, the opinion of all
participating religious communities.

One option is for decisions to be made in a democratic process whereby each resident is
a fully fledged citizen and has the responsibility and privilege of forming the governance
of the InterFaith Settlement. This can take the form of a direct democracy where town
fora are held, issues are debated, and the residents vote on the issue with the majority
of votes effectively making the decision; or it can take the form of representational
democracy where residents select representatives and the representatives vote on the
issues affecting the InterFaith Settlement. In this form of representational democracy,
representatives can either maintain 1.) a one person, one vote power (as is the case of
local representation in the House of Representatives of the United States) or 2.) a one
community, one vote power (resembling the case of the state representation of the
Senate of the United States). A one person, one vote rewards a religious community
with a high population of residents in the InterFaith Settlement, where a one
community, one vote acknowledges the significance of each religious community
participating within the InterFaith Settlement.

Establishing a democratic structure of governance coincides with the conventional
practice of both Western and Eastern civilisation. This enhances the credibility of the
InterFaith Settlement and facilitates more regular interaction with outside communities.
Yet, the dilemma of the democratic process and the notion of majority rule has been the
existence of the minority population and the minority communities. In an interreligious
environment where mutuality is emphasised, it has been difficult to accept the effective
ignoring of the opinion and will of a certain religious community or a religious adherent.
There is a reluctance for having a majority of religious communities rule over other
religious communities. The implication of such disparity has posed a detrimental
undermining of the founding intentions of the InterFaith Settlement.

Instead, another option is for decisions to be made by general consensus. It is our
experience in the InterFaith Movement that much of the decision making is effectively
accomplished through general consensus, allowing for the voice of dissent to be heard in
the compromised decision. The process of general consensus necessitates a greater will
for cooperation amidst different opinions. Although there is a propensity for debate, the
process more often assumes the form of a conversation because each participant
understands that each participant will need the cooperation of the other in actualising
the decision of the entire community. The process of general consensus can also
measure the intensity of will within each participant, and particularly amongst a minority
opinion, to account for the aggregate general will of the entire community. The process
of general consensus can be more time consuming and less pragmatic, but it better
ensures that the decisions of the government of the InterFaith Settlement better
facilitate the integrity of the respective religious adherence of the various religious
communities and participants within the InterFaith Settlement.

Public Services

It is intended that the InterFaith Settlement provides the same public services to
residents that are provided by any typical, postmodern suburb in the United States, with
a few augmentations. One of the primary provisions of the InterFaith Settlement is
education to residential children. This includes education from kindergarten (age 3)
through high school. The InterFaith Settlement also provides higher education to
residents through the auspices of Asona University. The primary objective of this
education is to prepare students into becoming international citizens in a postmodern
and pluralistic World and Universe.

Within the formation of the InterFaith Settlement, there is the establishment of a full
functioning hospital and the extensive provision of health care services. It is intended
that these health care services include the provision of conventional medicine as well as
integrative medicine and alternative healing methodologies that are derived from around
the World. Within the InterFaith Settlement, emphasis is placed upon preventive
medicine and the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle.

The InterFaith Settlement also provides the services of a police force and civil servants.
This police force is maintained without the utilisation of guns and whilst minimising a
utilisation of force. It is intended that police officers and civil servants be extensively
trained in conflict resolution to quell domestic disputes.

The InterFaith Settlement also provides a basic supply of food and shelter to individuals
and families who have the need. The intention is for this provision to maintain an
effective safety net that ensures a minimum socioeconomic lifestyle that is enjoyed by
all residents of the InterFaith Settlement.

Physical Infrastructure

The exact size and location of the InterFaith Settlement has yet to be specifically
determined. At this time, it is intended that the InterFaith Settlement be located
immediately East of Mentor, Ohio and assume the size of Cleveland Heights, Ohio
(approximately 8 square miles). It is intended that the InterFaith Settlement be located
immediately off of Lake Erie or include a major water source such as a river or lake. The
InterFaith Settlement is intended to have an eventual population of 10,000 to 20,000
residents (including the population of students of Asona University). It is also intended
that the respective houses of worship for respective religious communities be built in
proximity of each other.
There is a principle of humility that governs all the construction of all edifices within the
InterFaith Settlement. This includes the construction of all private houses within the
InterFaith Settlement. There is an intention of constructing a variety of dwellings,
including multi bedroom family houses; studio, single, and double person apartments;
condominiums; and townhouses. It is intended that these dwellings be equipped with
environmental friendly technologies, including solar paneling.

Additional edifices include commercial offices, retail stores, factories/workshops, and
other buildings. The primary concentration is placed upon the location and construction
of the houses of worship and residential dwellings. The next consideration is the
location and construction of commercial offices and retail stores with attention placed
upon convenience. Amidst this, there is the intention to maintain and establish parks
and green spaces throughout the InterFaith Settlement. It is intended that parks and
green spaces predominate the existence of edifices within the InterFaith Settlement. In
this respect, it can be very usual to observe parks, green spaces, and even residential
dwellings, immediately surrounding modest clusters of towering, multilevel commercial
office buildings.

It is intended that the primary modes of transportation within the InterFaith Settlement
be pedestrian, bicycle, and rail. There is the intention of establishing a tram system for
residents to commute throughout the InterFaith Settlement. The primary function of
this tram system is to transport individuals from residential dwellings in one
neighbourhood to commercial offices and retail stores in other neighbourhoods, as well
as to service the Asona University. Although motorised vehicles may enter the
InterFaith Settlement, the infrastructure of the InterFaith Settlement is designed with a
postmodern emphasis on pedestrian and rail transportation. There is the intention of
establishing depots of rental car services on the outskirts of the InterFaith Settlement to
enable residents to travel to locations outside of the InterFaith Settlement.

Environmental Care and Sustainability

It is intended that the InterFaith Settlement establish independent, self sustaining
methodologies of facilitating necessary utilities and an emphasis on maintaining
environmental protocols within these methodologies. One of the primary considerations
is establishing an autonomous sourcing of electricity so that the InterFaith Settlement
can exist ―off the grid.‖ This includes the cultivation of wind, water, solar, and
potentially geothermal and other sources of power for the provision of electricity.

There is the intention for the InterFaith Settlement to establish an independent sourcing
of potable water for residents. This involves the construction of a water tower and
cultivation from a local water source such as Lake Erie or another lake or river within the
territory of the InterFaith Settlement. The InterFaith Settlement is also interested in
determining innovative methodologies for plumbing and particularly waste disposal; the
intention is to determine methodologies of saving fecal matter with the purpose of
composting.

It is intended that the InterFaith Settlement establish an independent internet service
provider service on grounds and provide and independent source of internet service.

Recycling is another significant practice that is within the objectives of the InterFaith
Settlement. We plan to regularly recycle paper, plastic, glass, and other materials.
There is also the potential of establishing recycling facilities within the InterFaith
Settlement.

Agriculture

There is the intention of maintaining the practice of agriculture within the InterFaith
Settlement. This exists within the objective of reintroducing agriculture to the
postmodern urban sensibility and the interest in maintaining a proximity to nature. This
practice of agriculture primarily includes the cultivation of organic produce including
corn, rice, wheat, oats, potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, carrots, and/or
additional produce. There is also an interest in establishing an organic dairy farm as
well as raising chickens (specifically for eggs), goats (for milk), and sheep (for wool).
The intention is for this practice of agriculture to be interspersed throughout the
InterFaith Settlement.

Industry

There is an interest in establish a diverse and dynamic economy within the InterFaith
Settlement. A primary consideration with this is to build an assortment of commercial
office buildings throughout the InterFaith Settlement. It is intended that these
commercial offices be occupied by professionals involved in industries that are
maintained from a remote location from consumers. A primary example is the
Information Technology industry. There is also an interest in establishing a wealth of
nonprofit enterprises within the InterFaith Settlement.

There is also an interest in establishing factories, workshops, and studios within the
InterFaith Settlement. The nature of the factories may vary, yet regardless of what
product is manufactured, there is stringent oversight to ensure that such manufacturing
complies with the most stringent environmental protocols. The interest in establishing
workshops is to facilitate a reemergence of handcrafted products and to facilitate
creative artisanship. This is similar to the interest in establishing studios that support
the various arts.

With the establishment of a residential community, there is the coinciding establishment
of the necessary retail stores and services that cater to the residents of that community.
As such, there is an interest in building the various, necessary retail stores throughout
the InterFaith Settlement. This includes grocery stores, clothing shops, hardware
stores, general merchandise stores, and additionally. Although there may be an
absence of necessity, there may be competition between retail stores and service
providers from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and even within the same
neighbourhood.

                                   Asona University

Objective

A coinciding objective in establishing the InterFaith Settlement is establishing Asona
University. Asona University is intended to resemble, and fulfill the effective function of,
a conventional institution of higher education whilst providing an innovative, culturally
and religiously pluralistic, traditionally and disciplinarily integrative, postmodern
curriculum and education. Asona University intends to reconnect students with the
nature and technology of the entire World and Universe whilst integrating the World‘s
traditions. The fundamental objective of Asona University is to train students to become
international citizens in a postmodern and pluralistic World and Universe.

The framework of the Charter of Asona University is derived from the Charter of the
United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan. One of the first accomplishments of the
charter is to establish an innovative pluralistic, postmodern paradigm for perceiving the
World and Universe. This includes the establishment of new concepts: five areas of
civilisation, three political collectives, and three religious collectives.

Five Areas of Civilisation

      Article 2.

      Each of the five respective areas of the civilisations of Africa, Asia, Europe,
      Mediterranea, and Tainoterranea are defined as follows,

            Section 1

            Mediterranea is defined as the collective territory of land contemporarily
            occupied by the nations of Portugal, Spain, Italy, Vatican City, San Marino,
            Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait,
            Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Jordan,
            Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco,
            and Western Sahara.
            Section 2

            Africa is defined as the collective territory of land contemporarily occupied
            by the nations situated immediately South of Mediterranea appropriately
            through the confluence of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

            Section 3

            Asia is defined as the collective territory of land contemporarily occupied by
            the nations situated immediately East of Mediterranea from the Caspian Sea
            appropriately through the Pacific Ocean.

            Section 4

            Europe is defined as the collective territory of land contemporarily occupied
            by the nations situated immediately North of Mediterranea appropriately
            through the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Norwegian Sea.

            Section 5

            Tainoterranea is defined as the collective territory of land contemporarily
            occupied by the nations situated West of Mediterranea appropriately
            between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

            Section 6

            The Arctic and Antarctica are defined as autonomous areas, respectively.

The purpose of establishing these five areas of civilisation is to establish a comparatively
unbiased context with which to perceive World history and the respective civilisations
therein.

Three Political Collectives

      Article 3.

      Asona (University) provides the concept of agricultural, industrial, and
      interplanetarial collectives through consideration of the extending generational
      progression of humanity as a global civilisation of Earth; Asona defines
      agricultural, industrial, and interplanetarial collectives as follows,
            Section 1

            Agricultural collectives are defined as those societies of people who maintain
            an immediate association with and dependence upon the natural
            environment that respectively surrounds such collectives; this classification
            includes indigenous tribal people, traditionally nomadic people, and rural
            agriculturalists.

            Section 2

            Industrial collectives are defined as those societies of people who maintain
            an immediate association with and dependence upon the technological
            developments and the subsequential physical infrastructure that have
            emerged within the global civilisation of Earth; this classification of
            collective includes urbanites, suburbanites, and rural industrialists.

            Section 3

            Interplanetarial collectives are defined as those societies of people who
            maintain an immediate association with and dependence upon advanced
            technological developments beyond the conventional mainstream of
            industrial collectives yet within the global civilisation of Earth; this
            classification of collective includes individuals contemporarily trained within
            the space and technology industry and are located within the conventional
            industrial collectives of urbanites, suburbanites, and rural industrialists, as
            well as autonomous locations of concentrated interplanetarialists.

The purpose of perceiving these three political collectives is to perceive, understand, and
acknowledge the respective, long term intentions within each collective. One primary
consideration is progressing beyond the tendency of conventional society (industrial
collectives) to try to modernise indigenous collectives. There is also an interest for
many people (interplanetarial collectives) to travel beyond the Earthly domain of
industrial collectives. This concept enables the perception of these intentions and
incorporates these intentions within a postmodern and pluralistic World and Universe.

Three Religious Collectives

      Article 3.5

      Asona provides the concept of indigenous people, chosen people, and Monks and
      Nuns for the purpose of identifying religious affiliation and allegiance and
      encouraging enhanced mutual understanding between the respective religious
      traditions of Earth; Asona defines indigenous people, chosen people, and Monks
      and Nuns as follows,
            Section 1

            Indigenous people are defined as groups of people that respectively maintain
            autonomous systems of belief predicated upon a direct connexion with an
            immediate location and environment and the experience therein.
            Indigenous people are substantially excluded from international interaction
            and international trade and the establishment of international citizenship.
            Indigenous people maintain the interest of remaining within the respective
            land of such people, abstaining from migrating elsewhere, and abstaining
            from deriving direct benefit from international interaction and international
            trade. These societies exclusively exist as agricultural collectives.

            Section 2

            Chosen people are defined as groups of people that respectively perceive
            and proclaim the maintenance of a comparatively exclusive understanding
            and proximity to the Truth. This describes the aggregate of respective World
            religious traditions, including Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity,
            Islam, Sikhism, and the Baha’i as well as many of the respective religious
            traditions throughout the World that directly and intentionally maintain
            international citizenship and international interaction and international trade.
            The individuals within these groups predominantly live within industrial
            collectives. Some of the individuals within these groups also live within
            interplanetarial collectives, yet interplanetarial collectives predominantly
            consist of Secularists, and specifically of Scientists and the hierarchy therein.

            Section 3

            Monks and Nuns are respectively defined as men and women who formally
            renounce Worldly pursuits and maintain a lifestyle of celibacy. Monks and
            Nuns directly and intentionally maintain international citizenship and
            international interaction and international trade, although Monks and Nuns
            provide insight from beyond such temporal pursuits. Individuals within
            these groups predominantly live within industrial collectives, yet some
            individuals within these societies also live within interplanetarial collectives.

The purpose of discerning the distinctions within this concept of three religious
collectives is to identify and appreciate the different Worldly pursuits and daily behaviour
of the many respective religious communities of the World. Although there may be
differences in creed and ceremony, the actual daily behaviour of chosen people is very
similar. Indigenous people maintain a distance from the pursuits of industrial collectives
and, instead, maintain an interest in keeping a direct and profound connexion with the
immediate environment that respectively surrounds such indigenous people. Monks and
Nuns are also distinct from industrial collectives in that Monks and Nuns abstain from
Worldly pursuits. By recognising these differences, the World community can better
ensure the integrity of the practice of each of these religious communities.

Purpose of Asona University

      Article 4.

      Asona prepares students to practise a defined Discipline or Programme as an
      international citizen with the appreciation of the traditions of African, Asian,
      European, Mediterranean, and Tainoterranean civilisations and within the context
      of the emergence of a global civilisation with agricultural, industrial, and
      interplanetarial collectives and coinciding indigenous people, chosen people, and
      Monks and Nuns.

Through the perspective of these concepts, Asona University establishes an innovative,
postmodern, pluralistic curriculum in each field of academic endeavour. The pluralistic,
postmodern unconventionality of Asona University resembles the United Nations
University and Gaia University; and the coincidental establishment of a city with a
university resembles Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida and Maharishi University
in Vedic City, Iowa. Yet, at this time, Asona University is unique in its mission to train
international citizens that maintain a comprehensive, traditionally and disciplinarily
integrated knowledge with a culturally and religiously pluralistic understanding of this
postmodern World and Universe.

Education from Kindergarten to Level 12

Although resembling Asona University‘s mission to train students to become
international citizens in a pluralistic and postmodern World and Universe, the education
that the InterFaith Settlement provides in its schools is less radical and more
conservative. The primary objective of the educational system of the InterFaith
Settlement is to prepare each student for matriculation into any conventional university
within the United States or throughout the World.

To facilitate acceptance into conventional universities, the educational system of the
InterFaith Settlement is established in accordance with several conventional educational
institutions and methodologies. One of the primary educational guidelines that the
InterFaith Settlement aspires to is that established by the International Baccalaureate
Organisation. The InterFaith Settlement educational system instills the IB learner profile
within the methodology of teaching. InterFaith Settlement schools also employ the
Montessori Method to encourage students to become intellectually independent and
inquisitive. The InterFaith Settlement is also interested in establishing a continuing
connexion with the United Nations International School. The InterFaith Settlement
educational system also intends to adhere to the best practices guidelines provided by
the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation as well as liaison with
the Oslo Coalition for insight into the best practices for implementing comparative
religion within the educational curriculum.

The InterFaith Settlement schools are divided into the proceeding manner: kindergarten
(ages 2 – 5), elementary (levels 1 -3), higher elementary (levels 4 – 5), middle school
(levels 6 – 8), and preparatory school (levels 9 – 12). The core curriculum subjects are
Civilisations, Mathematics, Language, Nature, and Technology, with additional
instruction in physical education and the arts. There are also religiously specific classes
made available for respective adherents to pursue.

The emphasis of teaching at the kindergarten and elementary levels is on storytelling
from the diverse traditions of the five areas of civilisation as well as the prominent
religions of the World. At the higher elementary levels, emphasis is placed upon class
lectures and discussions, individual research and projects, as well as group projects and
cooperative learning. The primary concentration of instruction at the middle school
levels is preparation for preparatory school (whether within the InterFaith Settlement or
elsewhere) and entry into the International Baccalaureate Programme; this includes an
introduction to structured courses with evaluations, the provision of free periods for
individual and group work, and the establishment of a mentorship programme with
elementary level students. At the preparatory school levels, there is the implementation
of the International Baccalaureate Programme and preparation for university
scholarship.

The yearly and daily academic calendar of the InterFaith Settlement educational system
is predicated upon the diverse religious observances within the InterFaith Settlement.
Classes are regularly held Monday through Thursday whilst Friday is designated as a day
of community service. The yearly academic calendar resembles a conventional yearly
academic calendar with both an Autumn and a Spring semester. In the academic
calendar of the InterFaith Settlement educational system, the Autumn semester begins
on the Monday following Simchat Torah and concludes on the Thursday before Christmas
with recesses for Diwali as well as Eid Ul Fitr and Eid Ul Adha when applicable. The
Spring semester begins on the Monday after January 1st and concludes on the Thursday
before Pesach with recesses for Magha Puja, Ash Wednesday, Holi as well as Eid Ul Fitr
and Eid Ul Adha when applicable. In addition to the two academic semesters, there are
two service programmes. One service programme begins at the conclusion of the Spring
semester on the Full Moon of Vaishakha until the Full Moon of Jyaistha. The second
service programme precedes the Autumn semester and begins and concludes with the
month of Ellul. Between these two service programmes, there is a Summer recess.

                                      Resourcing

Coinciding with an idealistic endeavour such as the InterFaith Settlement, there are the
pragmatic necessities to consider. In this respect, it is appropriate to consider where,
when, who, what, and why the resources for the InterFaith Settlement are provided.
The proceeding is a brief consideration of how the InterFaith Settlement is resourced.

Primary Philanthropic Organisations

In the short term, resources may be secured from philanthropic organisations. The
Foundation Center provides a primary listing philanthropic organisations supporting
interreligious and Peace efforts, and it includes:

Carnegie Corporation of New York
Castagnolia Family Foundation
Draper Richards Foundation
Funding Exchange
International Crisis Group
Lifebridge Foundation
John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation
Mott Charitable Trust
Muste Memorial Institute
National Philanthropic Trust
Peace Development Trust
Ploughshares Fund
Prospect Hill Foundation
Rubin Foundation
Sparkplug Foundation
Walter Foundation
Working Assets Funding Service

Additional Philanthropic Organisations

The Foundation Center also provides a listing of additional philanthropic organisations
that generally support World Peace initiatives:

Alive
Barrow Family Foundation
Beacon Light Foundation
Eleanore Bennett Charitable Trust
Sarah Bennett Charitable Trust
Russell Berrie Foundation
Grant and Donna Berry Foundation
California Council for the Humanities
Center Street Foundation
Clodfelter Family Foundation
Clovefields Foundation
Cobalt Foundation
Connemara Fund
Herbert and Jeanine Coyne Foundation
Crescentera
Duncan Fredericks Family Foundation
El Hibri Charitable Foundation
Ferron Family Foundation
Harvey S Firestone, Jr No 2 Fund C
Foldcraft Foundation
Fuller Family Foundation
Alvin L Glick Foundation
Goldsmith Family Foundation
Goss Foundation
Veryl E Grahl Foundation
David and Barbara B Hirschhorn Foundation
Hunter Charitable Trust
India Foundation
International Fellowship of Christians and Jews
John Herrick Jackson Memorial Foundation
Kanaan Family Foundation
King Family Foundation
King Family Fund
Robert and Rita Krauss Foundation
Kunkel Family Foundation
Jon and Karen Larsen Family Foundation
Lauring Charitable Foundation
D C Lee Memorial Foundation
Quail Roost Foundation
E Bowen and Frances Hyde Quillin Foundation
Regas Institute
Donald D Rogers Foundation
Root and the Branch
Savastano Family Foundation
Schulman Foundation
Jane and Martin Schwartz Family Foundation
Sea Stone Foundation
Seiler Family Foundation
Alan B Slifka Foundation
Roger B Smith Family Charitable Trust
Suess Family Foundation
Thadikonda Research Foundation
Turan Family Foundation
Jeremy Wiesen Foundation
Zauqi Charitable and Educational Trust
Primary Religious Organisations

We are also soliciting resource contribution from the previously described religious
organisations:

Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
Union for Reform Judaism
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Orthodox Union
Ramakrishna Math and Mission
Vivekananda Vedanta Society
Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha
Rissho Kosei Kai
Soka Gakkai
Friends of the Western Buddhist Order
International Network of Engaged Buddhism
Vatican
Unitarian Universalist Association
Friends World Committee for Consultation
Council on American Islamic Relations
Organisation of the Islamic Conference
Muslim World League
World Sikh Council
Baha‘i International Community
Order of Saint Benedict
Thich Nhat Hanh

Additional Religious Organisations

There are additional religious organisations from which we intend to solicit provision of
resources. This listing includes:

African Hebrew Israelites
International Council of Jewish Women
World Jewish Congress
World Union for Progressive Judaism

Hindu Global Electronics Network
Hindu Student Council
International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Sri Aurobindo Society
Vishva Hindu Parishad

Buddha Dharma Education Association
Buddhist Peace Fellowship
World Fellowship of Buddhists

Global Fellowship of Christian Youth
Pax Romana
United States Jesuit Conference
World Council of Churches
Young Men‘s Christian Association
Young Women‘s Christian Association

Islamic Cultural Centre and London Central Mosque
Islamic Development Bank
Islamic Society of North America
Motamar Al Alam Al Islami
Muslim Student Association
Wasat Alnaseej

Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organisation
World Subud Association

InterFaith Organisations

There are also numerous interFaith organisations with which we intend to solicit insight,
guidance, and support:

Council for a Parliament of the World‘s Religions
Elijah InterFaith Institute
InterFaith Alliance and the InterFaith Foundation
InterFaith Center of New York
InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington
InterFaith Youth Core
International Association for Religious Freedom
International InterFaith Centre
International InterFaith Organisations Network
International Movement for a Just World
Interreligious Federation for World Peace
Journal of Comparative Theology at Harvard Divinity School
Journal of Interreligious Dialogue
MultiFaith Centre of the University of Derby
North American InterFaith Network
Peace Council
Pluralism Project at Harvard Divinity School
Temple of Understanding
United Religions Initiative
Welt Ethos Foundation
World Conference of Religions for Peace
World Congress of Faiths
World Council of Religious Leaders

Long Term Resourcing

With short term resourcing secured, it is appropriate to consider the means through
which the InterFaith Settlement is resourced in a long term, self sustaining manner. It
is intended that the InterFaith Settlement be primarily resourced through the
implementation of taxation based upon the respective incomes of residents and
commercial entities. There is also the intention of securing resources through the
respective contributions of religious organisations both to the InterFaith Settlement, in
general, and directly to respectively coinciding religious communities within the
InterFaith Settlement. There is also the potential of establishing the InterFaith
Settlement as a perennial nonprofit entity with 501c3 status, qualifying for the
continuous provision of contributions from philanthropic organisations. There is also the
prospect of augmenting resources through tourism. There is the potential of securing
resources from the government including, specifically, the Faith Based Initiative. We
also intend to solicit general support from outside communities in Ohio, the United
States, and the World.

                                        Formation

Within the past history of the development of the InterFaith Settlement, the learned
lesson is that there is a necessity for initial cooperation with religious leaders, adherents,
and interFaith activists at the ground level in the building of the InterFaith Settlement.
With this lesson in mind, the question then becomes: how do we establish such
interreligious cooperation and participation. To answer this question, we establish the
formation of the InterFaith Settlement Foundation.

The fundamental purpose of the InterFaith Settlement Foundation is to establish the
initial Town Council of the InterFaith Settlement and the permanent Charter for the
InterFaith Settlement. It is intended that the initial Town Council of the InterFaith
Settlement consist of at least two representatives from Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism,
Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and Baha‘i, as well as any other religious community
interested in participating within the InterFaith Settlement. It is the responsibility of the
initial Town Council to construct the permanent Charter for the InterFaith Settlement;
this includes the principles of governance and all the guidelines pertaining to the
operation, existence, and prosperity of the InterFaith Settlement and Asona University.

The primary functions of the InterFaith Settlement Foundation are 1.) to disseminate
information about the InterFaith Settlement within the InterFaith Movement and to
respective religious communities, and 2.) to solicit participation from religious leaders,
adherents, and interFaith activists with the establishment of the InterFaith Settlement.
Given our experience with the InterFaith Movement and interacting with religious
communities, we anticipate this being a slow and intentional process that may occupy
years. It is expected that the prominent activities of the individuals affiliated with the
InterFaith Settlement Foundation are maintaining dialogue through the internet and
social media as well as attending interFaith and religious conferences to promote the
cause of the InterFaith Settlement. With the initial Town Council and permanent Charter
established, the initial Town Council decides how, and if, the InterFaith Settlement
Foundation continues its function.

The InterFaith Settlement Foundation is currently in the process of establishing its Board
of Directors and Board of Advisors. With these entities established, the InterFaith
Settlement Foundation intends to qualify for 501c3 status as a nonprofit organisation
and to secure resourcing from grantmaking institutions and other philanthropies.




       "There will be no peace among nations without peace among religions,
       
 no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions.
        
 There will be peace on earth when there is peace among the world
                                     religions."

                                     Hans Küng
                         Additional Teachings on
                      Compassion towards the Stranger

Baha’i

Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not
for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself.

      --Baha‘ullah, Gleanings

Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not
that which thou doest not.

      --Baha‘ullah, Gleanings; Hidden Words

Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself.

      --Baha‘ullah, Gleanings LXVI:8

And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which
thou choosest for thyself.

      --Epistle to the Son of the Wolf; Hidden Words

Beware lest ye harm any soul, or make any heart to sorrow; lest ye wound any man
with your words, be he known to you or a stranger, be he friend or foe.

      --Abdu‘l Baha, Writings of Abdu‘l Baha

One amongst His Teachings is this, that love and good faith must so dominate the
human heart that men will regard the stranger as a familiar friend, the malefactor as
one of their own, the alien even as a loved one, the enemy as a companion dear and
close.

      --Abdu‘l Baha, Writings of Abdu‘l Baha

Buddhism

Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

      --Udana Varga 5:18
A state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?

      --Samyutta Nikaya v 353

He who for the sake of happiness hurts others who also want happiness, shall not
hereafter find happiness.

He who for the sake of happiness does not hurt others who also want happiness, shall
hereafter find happiness.

      --Dhammapada 10:131 – 132

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts
build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.

If a man speaks or acts with an impure mind, suffering follows him as the wheel of the
cart follows the beast that draws the cart.

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts
build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.

If a man speaks or acts with a pure mind, joy follows him as his own shadow.

―He insulted me, he hurt me, he defeated me, he robbed me.‖ Those who think such
thoughts will not be free from hate.

―He insulted me, he hurt me, he defeated me, he robbed me.‖ Those who think not
such thoughts will be free from hate.

For hate is not conquered by hate; hate is conquered by love. This is a law eternal.

Many do not know that we are here in this World to live in harmony. Those who know
this do not fight against each other.

      --Dhammapada 1:1 – 6

If beings knew, as I know, the fruit of sharing gifts, they would not enjoy their use
without sharing them, nor would the taint of stinginess obsess the heart and stay there.
Even if it were their last bit, their last morsel of food, they would not enjoy its use
without sharing it, if there were anyone to receive it.

      --Itivuttaka 18
Christianity

―But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless
those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To him who strikes you on the
cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold
even your shirt. Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away
from your goods do not ask them again. And as you wish that men would do to you, do
so to them.‖

     --Luke 6:27 - 31

So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and
the prophets.

     --Matthew 7:12

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, ―Teacher, what shall I do
to inherit eternal life?‖ He said to him, ―What is written in the law? How do you read?‖
And he answered, ―You shall love the Lord your God with al your heart, and with all your
soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as
yourself.‖ And he said to him, ―You have answered right; do this, and you will live.‖

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, ―And who is my neighbour?‖ Jesus
replied, ―A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers,
who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a
priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.
So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other
side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him,
he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine;
then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And
the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‗Take care
of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back. Which of
these three, do you think, proved neighbour to the man who fell among the robbers?‖
He said, ―The one who showed mercy on him.‖ And Jesus said to him, ―Go and do
likewise.‖

     --Luke 10:25 – 37

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on Earth, where moth and rust consume and
where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where
neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where
your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

     --Matthew 6.19-21
 ―Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be
judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the
speck that is in your brother‘s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or
how can you say to your brother, ‗Let me take the speck out of your eye,‘ when there is
the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then
you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother‘s eye.‖

      --Matthew 7:1 - 5

―You have heard that it was said, ‗An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.‘ But I say
to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn
to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have
your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.

―You have heard that it was said, ‗You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.‘
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you
may be sons of your Father who is in Heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and
on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who
love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if
you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the
Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is
perfect.‖

      --Matthew 5:38 – 48

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing
that he answered them well, asked him, ―Which commandment is the first of all?‖ Jesus
answered, ―The first is, ‗Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you
shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your
mind, and with all your strength.‘ The second is this, ‗You shall love your neighbour as
yourself.‘ There is no other commandment greater than these.‖ And the scribe said to
him, ―You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other
but he; and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all
the strength, and to love one‘s neighbour as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt
offerings and sacrifices.‖ And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him,
―You are not far from the kingdom of God.‖ And after that no one dared to ask him any
question.

      --Mark 12:28 - 34
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

      --John 4:16

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to
drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I
was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.‖ Then the
righteous will answer him, ―Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you
food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a
stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we
saw you sick or in prison and visited you?‖ And the king will answer them, ―Truly I tell
you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you
did it to me.

      --Matthew 25:35

Confucianism

Tse-kung asked, ―Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?‖
Confucius replied, ―It is the word ‗shu‘ – reciprocity. Do not impose on others what you
yourself do not desire.‖

      --Doctrine of the Mean 13:3

Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not do to others what you would not have
them do to you.

      --Analects 15:23; similarly with Analects V:12 and Analects VI:30

Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find
that this is the shortest way to benevolence.

      --Mencius VII:A:4

Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment
against you, either in the family or in the state.

      --Analects 12:2

Ancient Egyptian

Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do.

      --The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant 109 – 110
That which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another.

Hinduism

One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one‘s own self.
This, in brief, is the rule of Dharma. Other behaviour is due to selfish desires.

     --Mahabharata (Anusasana Parva, Section CXIII, Verse 8)

This is the sum of Dharma (duty): Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if
done to you.

     --Mahabharata 5:1517

Those who set their hearts on me and worship me with unfailing devotion and faith are
more established in yoga.

As for those who seek the transcendental Reality, without name, without form,
contemplating the Unmanifested, beyond the reach of thought and of feeling,

with their senses subdued and mind serene and striving for the good of all beings, they
too will verily come unto me.

     --Bhagavad Gita 12:2 - 4

Those who possess this wisdom have equal regard for all. They see the same Self in a
spiritual aspirant and an outcaste, in an elephant, a cow, and a dog.

Such people have mastered life. With even mind they rest in Brahman, who is perfect
and is everywhere the same.

They are not elated by good fortune nor depressed by bad. With mind established in
Brahman, they are free from delusion.

Not dependent on any external support, they realise the joy of spiritual awareness. With
consciousness unified through meditation, they live in abiding joy.

Pleasures conceived in the World of the senses have a beginning and an end and give
birth to misery, Arjuna. The wise do not look for happiness in them.

But those who overcome the impulses of lust and anger which arise in the body are
made whole and live in joy.
They find their joy, their rest, and their light completely within themselves. United with
the Lord, they attain Nirvana in Brahman.

Healed of their sins and conflicts, working for the good of all beings, the Holy sages
attain Nirvana in Brahman.

Free from anger and selfish desire, unified in mind, those who follow the path of yoga
and realise the Self are established forever in that supreme state.

Closing their eyes, steadying their breathing, and focusing their attention on the centre
of spiritual consciousness,

the wise master their senses, mind, and intellect through meditation. Self-realisation is
their only goal. Freed from selfish desire, fear, and anger, they live in freedom always.

Knowing me as the friend of all creatures, the Lord of the Universe, the end of all
offerings and all spiritual disciplines, they attain eternal Peace.

      --Bhagavad Gita 5:18 – 29

He alone sees Truly who sees the Lord the same in every creature, who sees the
Deathless in the hearts of all that die.

Seeing the same Lord everywhere, he does not harm himself or others. Thus he attains
the supreme goal.

      --Bhagavad Gita 13:27 - 28

The infinite joy of touching Brahman is easily attained by those who are free from the
burden of evil and established within themselves.

They see the Self in every creature and all creation in the Self. With consciousness
unified through meditation, they see everything with an equal eye.

I am ever present to those who have realised me in every creature. Seeing all life as
my manifestation, they are never separated from me.

They worship me in the hearts of all, and all their actions proceed from me. Wherever
they may live, they abide in me.

When a person responds to the joys and sorrows of others as if they were his own, he
has attained the highest state of spiritual union.

      --Bhagavad Gita 6:28 - 32
They live in wisdom who see themselves in all and all in them, who have renounced
every selfish desire and sense craving tormenting the heart.

Neither agitated by grief nor hankering after pleasure, they live free from lust and fear
and anger. Established in meditation, they are Truly Wise.

Fettered no more by selfish attachments, they are neither elated by good fortune nor
depressed by bad. Such are the seers.

      --Bhagavad Gita 2:55 - 57

Let a person never turn away a stranger from his house, that is the rule. Therefore a
man should, by all means, acquire much food, for good people say to the stranger:
‗There is enough food for you.‘‖

      --Taitriya Upanishad 1:11:2

Humanism

Don‘t do things you wouldn‘t want to have done to you.

      --British Humanist Society

Humanists acknowledge human interdependence, the need for mutual respect and the
kinship of all humanity.

      --Principles of Humanism

Humanists affirm that individual and social problems can only be resolved by means of
human reason, intelligent effort, critical thinking joined with compassion and a spirit of
empathy for all living beings.

      --Principles of Humanism

Trying to live according to the Golden Rule means trying to empathise with other people,
including those who may be very different from us. Empathy is at the root of kindness,
compassion, understanding, and respect—qualities that we all appreciate being shown,
whoever we are, whatever we think and wherever we come from. And although it isn‘t
possible to know what it really feels like to be a different person or live in different
circumstances and have different life experiences, it isn‘t difficult for most of us to
imagine what would cause us suffering and to try to avoid causing suffering to others.
For this reason many people find the Golden Rule‘s corollary—―do not treat people in a
way you would not wish to be treated yourself‖ –more pragmatic.

      --The UBC Humanists‘ Society

To feel the intimacy of brothers is a marvelous thing in life. To feel the love of people
whom we love is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel the affection that comes from those
whom we do not know, from those unknown to us, who are watching over our sleep and
solitude, over our dangers and our weaknesses -- that is something still greater and
more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being, and unites all living
things.

      --Writings of Pablo Neruda

Islam

None of you (Truly) believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.

      --Al Nawawi‘s Forty Hadith 13

Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.

      --Muhammad, The Farewell Sermon

Woe to the cheaters!

Who, when they take the measure (of their dues) from men, take it fully,

And when they measure out to others or weigh out for them, they give less than is due.

      --Sura 83:1 – 3

And those who made their abode in the City and in faith before them love those who
have fled to them, and find in their hearts no need of what they are given, and prefer
(them) before themselves, though poverty may afflict them. And whoever is saved from
the niggardliness of his soul, these it is that are the successful.

      --Sura 59:9

Seek for mankind that of which you are desirous for yourself, that you may be a
believer; treat well as a neighbour the one who lives near you, that you may be a
Muslim (one who submits to God).

      --Sukhanan i Muhammad, Conversations of Muhammad
That which you want for yourself, seek for mankind.

      --Sukhanan i Muhammad, Conversations of Muhammad

The most righteous of men is the one who is glad that men should have what is pleasing
to himself, and who dislikes for them what is for him disagreeable.

      --Sukhanan i Muhammad, Conversations of Muhammad

(Zakat) charity is only for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer it,
and those whose hearts are made to incline (to truth), and (to free) the captives, and
those in debt, and in the way of Allah and for the wayfarer—and ordinance from Allah.
And Allah is Knowing, Wise.

      --Sura 9:60

O you who believe, spend of the good things that you earn and of that which We bring
forth for you out of the earth, and aim not at the bad to spend thereof, while you would
not take it yourselves unless you connive at it. And know that Allah is Self-sufficient,
Praiseworthy.

      --Sura 2:267

If you manifest charity, how excellent it is! And if you hide it and give it to the poor, it
is good for you. And it will do away with some of your evil deeds; and Allah is Aware of
what you do.

      --Sura 2.271

O mankind, surely We have created you from a male and a female, and made you tribes
and families that you may know each other. Surely the noblest of you with Allah is the
most dutiful of you. Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.

      --Sura 49:13

And the servants of the Beneficent are they who walk on the earth in humility, and when
the ignorant address them, they say, Peace!

      --Sura 25:63
Tell those who believe to forgive those who fear not the days of Allah that He may
reward a people for what they earn.

      --Sura 45:14

O you who believe, when you go forth (to fight) in Allah‘s way, make investigation, and
say not to any one who offers you salutation, Thou art not a believer, seeking the good
of this World‘s life. But with Allah there are abundant gains. You too were such before,
then Allah conferred a benefit on you; so make investigation. Surely Allah is ever
Aware of what you do.

      --Sura 4:94

And We created not the Heavens and the Earth and what is between them but with
Truth. And the Hour is surely coming, so turn away with kindly forgiveness.

      --Sura 15:85

Do good unto your parents, and near of kin, and unto orphans, and the needy, and the
neighbor from among your own people, and the neighbor who is a stranger, and the
friend by your side, the wayfarer, and your servants.

      --Sura 4:36

Jainism

In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard
our own self.

      --Lord Mahavira, 24th Tirthankara

Therefore, neither does he (a sage) cause violence to others nor does he make others
do so.

      --Acarangasutra 5:101:2

A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated.

      --Sutrakritanga 1:11:33

One should treat all creatures in the World as one would like to be treated.

      --Mahavira, Sutrakritamga
Nothing which breathes, which exists, which lives, or which has essence or potential of
life, should be destroyed or ruled over, or subjugated, or harmed, or denied of its
essence or potential.

In support of this Truth, I ask you a question—―Is sorrow or pain desirable to you?‖ If
you say, ―Yes it is,‖ it would be a lie. If you say, ―No, It is not,‖ you will be expressing
the truth. Just as sorrow or pain is not desirable to you, so it is to all which breathe,
exist, live, or have any essence of life. To you and all, it is undesirable, and painful, and
repugnant.

      --Acaranga Sutra, Jain Sutras Part I, Sacred Books of the East, Vol 22, Sutra 155
      – 156

All the living beings wish to live and not to die; that is why unattached saints prohibit
the killing of living beings.

      --Suman Suttam of Jinendra Varni, verse 148,

Just as pain is not agreeable to you, it is so with others. Knowing this principle of
equality, treat others with respect and compassion.

      --Suman Suttam of Jinendra Varni, verse 150

Killing a living being is killing one‘s own self; showing compassion to a living being is
showing compassion to oneself. He who desires his own good, should avoid causing any
harm to a living being.

      --Suman Suttam of Jinendra Varni verse 151

Judaism

When a foreigner comes to live in your land, do not insult or discriminate against him.
The foreigner who becomes a citizen must be treated exactly the same as a native-born
person. You must love him just as much as you love yourself. You must remember that
you were once foreigners in Egypt. I am Adonai.

      --Vayikra 19:33 - 34

What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the entire Law: all the rest is
commentary.

      --Talmud 31a
And what you hate, do not do to any one.

      --Tobit 4:15

But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born amongst you, and
thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the
LORD your God.

      --Sirach 31:15

So, too, in matters affecting a person‘s relations with his fellow, as soon as there rises
from his heart to his mind any animosity or hatred, God forbid, or jealousy, anger, or a
grudge and the like, he allows them no entrance into his mind and will. On the contrary,
his mind exercises its authority and power over the feelings in his heart to do the very
opposite, namely, to conduct himself towards his fellow with the quality of kindness and
a display of abundant love to the extreme limits, without becoming provoked into anger,
God forbid, or to revenge in kind, God forbid, but rather to repay the offenders with
favours, as taught in the Zohar, that one should learn from the example of Yosef
(Joseph) towards his brothers.

      --Rabbi Shneur Zalman, Tanya, Chapter 12

Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed
go free, and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your
house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own
flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up
speedily; your righteousness shall go before you, the Glory of God shall be your rear
guard.
Then you shall call, and God will answer;
you shall cry, and God will say, ‗Here I am.‘

      --Isaiah 58.6-9

On this mountain God of hosts will make for all peoples a feast.
And God will destroy on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil
that is spread over all nations. God will swallow up death for ever, and God will wipe
away tears from all faces, and the reproach of the people of God God will take away
from all the Earth; for God has spoken.
It will be said on that day, ‗Lo, this is our God; we have waited for God, that God might
save us. This is God, we have waited for God; let us be glad and rejoice in the
salvation of God.

      --Isaiah 25.6,7-9

You shall not oppress a foreigner. You know how it feels to be a foreigner, for you were
foreigners in the land of Egypt.

      --Shmot 23:9

Do not abuse a foreigner of oppress him, for you must remember that you were
foreigners in Egypt.

      --Shmot 22:20

You must not hold a grudge against people.

You must love your neighbours as much as you love yourself.

I am Adonai. I demand it.

      --Vayikra 19:18

Adonai is the Supreme Being. Adonai is powerful, great, mighty, and awesome.
Adonai‘s decisions are fair and He cannot be bribed. He provides justice to orphans and
widows, and takes care of foreigners, and give them food and clothing. You too must
show respect toward foreigners, because you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.

      --Devarim 10:17 – 19

Mohism

If people regarded other people‘s families in the same way that they regard their own,
who then would incite their own family to attack that of another? For one would do for
others as one would do for oneself.

      --Mozi, Mozi Chapter 16
Native American Spirituality

All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really
One.

      --Black Elk

Respect for all life is the foundation.

      --The Great Law of Peace

Do not wrong or hate your neighbour. For it is not he who you wrong, but yourself.

      --Pima Proverb

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever
we do to the web, we do to ourselves.

      --Chief Seattle

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting a passing friend, even a stranger,
when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

      --Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Nation

Roman Pagan Religion

The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as
themselves.

Scientology

Try to treat others as you would want them to treat you.

      --The Way to Happiness

Shinto

The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form.

      --Munetada Kurozumi
Be charitable to all beings, love is the representative of God.

      --Ko ji ki Hachiman Kasuga

Sikhism

Don‘t create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone.

      --Guru Arjan Devji 259

Compassion-- mercy and religion are the support of the entire World.

      --Guru Jaji Sahib

No one is my enemy, none a stranger and everyone is my friend.

      --Guru Arjan Dev: AG 1299

None is our enemy, none is stranger to us, we are in accord with one and all.

      --Guru Granth Sahib

Sufism

The basis of Sufism is consideration of the hearts and feelings of others. If you haven‘t
the will to gladden someone‘s heart, then at least beware lest you hurt someone‘s heart,
for on our path, no sin exists but this.

      --Dr Javad Nurbakhsh

Taoism

The sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people as his own.
He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for Virtue is kind. He is faithful to
the faithful; he is also faithful to the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful.

      --Tao Te Ching, Chapter 49

Regard your neighbour‘s gain as your own gain, and your neighbour‘s loss as your own
loss.

      --T‘ai Shang Kan Ying P‘ien, 213 - 218
Unitarian Universalism

We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we
are a part.

      --Unitarian Principle

Wicca

An it harm no one, do what thou wilt.

      --Wiccan Rede

Yoruba (Nigeria)

One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby should first try it on himself to feel
how it hurts.

Zoroastrianism

That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not
good for itself.

      --Dadistan I dinik 94:5

Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others.

      --Shayast na Shayast 13:29


Philosophers

May I do to others as I would that they should do unto me.

      --Plato

Do not do to others that which would anger you if others did it to you.

      --Socrates

Act as if the maxim of thy action were to become by thy will a universal law of nature.

      --Kant
What you would avoid suffering yourself, seek not to impose on others.

     --Epictetus

Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your superiors

     --Seneca, Epistle 47:11

Do not to your neighbour what you would take ill from him.

     --Pittacus

Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing.

     --Thales

What you do not want to happen to you, do not do it yourself either.

     --Sextus the Pythagorean


                                       Sources

All images provided by Google Images

The Five Books of Moses: an Easy-to-Read Torah Translation, Sol Scharfstein. KTAV
Publishing House, Inc. 2005

Bhagavad Gita, translated by Eknath Easwaran. Shambhala Publications, Inc. 2004

The Dhammapada: the Path of Perfection, translated by Juan Mascaro, Penguin Books
Ltd. 1987

The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, American Bible Society. 1980

The Holy Qur‘an: with English Translation and Commentary, Maulana Muhammad Ali,
Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore Inc. 2002

Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

TeachingValues.com

Edmonton InterFaith Centre for Education and Action
Not About Religion

Journal of Interreligious Dialogue

Wikipedia

InterFaith Youth Core

Additional teachings regarding compassion towards the stranger can be found at the
Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University.

				
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