Those who do not admit that the religions were adapted to particular conditions, but maintain that all religious systems have emanated from one undifferentiated source, can never acquire real knowledge.
To speak only of unity amounts to saying that salt, pepper, paprika and sugar are on the table, but we are not concerned with each of them individually. What we are looking for is the unity that is expressed in these different substances. Of course, one can speak like this, but when it is a question of passing on to practical reality, of using each substance appropriately, the differences between them will certainly be apparent. Nobody who uses these substances will claim that there is no different, then just put salt or pepper instead of sugar into your coffee or tea, and you will soon find out the truth! Those who make no real distinction between the several religions, but say that they all come from the same source, are making the same kind of blunder.
If we wish to know how a living thread runs through the different religions towards a great goal, we must seek to understand this thread, and study and value of each religion for its particular sphere.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth – III – Hanover, 18th November 1912
Previously posted on March 2, 2014