Do not count the souls as lost who do not share your beliefs.
The lost souls are those who have no belief at all.
I'm certain I've heard some variation of the above quote before. In fact it's really a play on the whole concept of the Believer in Serenity sent to hunt River and Simon Tam. We'll come back to that. I just put it there so I wouldn't forget about it.
Do you believe in God, Todd?
I have been asked this question many different ways in my life. My answer has remained basically the same. At first it was 'Yes.' But to be honest, that never really sat well with me. I later changed it to 'Yes, but not in the same way you do.' And that one never really sat well with the people asking the question, if I'm being honest. I found it easier for a time to answer the question with a non-committal 'Sorta.' A half-smile, head cocked to the side like an attentive dog always helped to sell this answer. Those that wanted to talk about it did. Those that just wanted some sort of positive sounding answer were pleased with themselves and usually walked away.
I'm approaching a point in my life where my answer is shifting yet again.
Do you believe in God, Todd?
Yes. But not in the way in which you're asking me.
The God you're asking me about, the Judeo-Christian construct of the heavenly father is only a small encapsulation of what I believe.
In the simplest of terms, I believe in Creator and Creation.
And I believe that they are one in the same. I feel that all things that exist are the Creator experiencing its creation.
I believe we are all part of that creator/creation. All are connected. Matter and Void. One entity with many names. Much like our bodies.
We have but one body. Yet there are 10 fingers. 10 toes. These are seen in a context of being both separate and connected to the body. Our entire bodies are this way. Down to the smallest molecule.
Does it not make sense then that the phrase 'created in God's image' bears this out? We think we are separate, but are actually cells...molecules...part of the larger body. Self aware in the same way said finger would be, had it sentience. without any sense but touch, would the finger know there was more to the body? Because of their proximity and similarity to other fingers, they might recognize they they were not alone. What then would discover? Parts of the body foreign to them.
The eyes are like lifeforms that have evolved and gained a sense of self-awareness. Jesus...Gandhi...the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They saw themselves for what they were. The eyes...the sight. The windows for information passing to the body.
But they were more. The visionaries....masters...teachers through the ages. They recognize their role as bringers of sight. But more than any other part of the body, they can see and recognize that there IS a body. Something larger than the sum of its parts.
They saw the great beauty in the metaphor. Such as most of the parts of our body would be unaware of anything but themselves or those immediately of their ilk. The masters realized that most people are unaware they are part of the larger body.
If you have any doubt of this, seek out the elements we paltry humans are made of. You will find the same elements in the stars we worship on a clear night sky.
There's more I have to say on this, but I left my notes over in my desk drawer in Dreamland.
As for the lost souls comment earlier....there is no such thing as a 'lost' soul..
Only a soul that has yet to open its eyes. Awakened to the truth.