Strangely, perhaps this is a question which can
not be answered completely, but the purpose of this website is to provide as many partial solutions as possible. Basically
the Ancient Wisdom is that which supports and seeks to explain the primordial urging towards spiritual betterment that seems
to have been a basic part of human nature for as long as we can trace its story.
Its outer form has varied enormously and even
its inner concepts are often expressed in very different ways. Basically, however, just as the human race is a single biological
species despite its many racial and ethnic differences, so its spiritual goal is the same despite the fact that different
societies approach that goal by many different routes. It is for this reason that many common elements of belief are shared
between different faiths and whilst some of them have only narrow support others are almost universally held.
Because of these such concepts are sometimes called
the Universal Wisdom, but just because a belief is widely held is not an absolute proof that it is valid, nor does the reverse
prove the contrary, and the true Seeker must endeavour to separate the gold from the dross.
There are many ways of doing this, but all of
them require knowledge. Some require book-learning and involve comparing many different sets of beliefs, extracting something
from each and then seeking to create therefrom a new coherent system of thought. Others are based on mysticism and some of
the world’s most successful movements have originated in this way.
But perhaps because all humans are imperfect and
fallible, at least on occasions, all religions are incomplete and many fail that most basic of spiritual tests – self-compatibility.
This means that among its various teachings at least one doctrine contradicts the implications of another. A well-known example
may serve to illustrate the point – the now largely discredited concept of predestinationism.
Almost all religions see their Creator God as
beneficent, merciful and even loving, yet there have been teachers who have claimed that this same loving God would arbitrarily
predestine certain souls to perpetual torment. Clearly if God is so capricious as to punish without reason, He is not the
merciful and loving Creator that He is said to be. Thus in order to be self-consistent either this belief or the idea of predestination
must be abandoned.
There are a number of similar self-contradictions which regularly
provide “Crises of faith” to the loyal adherents of various religions, and which demonstrate to the earnest Seeker
that such beliefs are either wrong or incomplete. Perhaps in fact, it is one such inconsistency that has led you, dear reader,
to read this far. If so, then this website is for you.