My failed mission to find God -- and what I found instead | Anjali Kumar | Summary and Q&A

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February 22, 2018
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TED
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My failed mission to find God -- and what I found instead | Anjali Kumar

TL;DR

In this content, the author shares their personal journey to find God and the surprising commonalities they discovered among different people's wishes.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the significance of the speaker's background and upbringing?

The speaker was raised in America by Indian parents who practiced a relatively unknown religion called Jainism. This upbringing made the speaker a part of a very small minority within the US population.

Q: Why did the speaker feel spiritually homeless?

The speaker discovered that she was a "None," meaning she checked off the box for religious affiliation as "none" on surveys. While she considered herself highly spiritual, she did not identify with any specific religion or belief system.

Q: What did the speaker find when she ventured into the spiritual fringe?

The speaker explored mediums, faith healers, and various spiritual practices. She recounted experiences such as attending a witch's potluck dinner, participating in laughing yoga, and visiting a Brazilian faith healer. However, she found these experiences to be inconclusive and left her feeling even more confused.

Q: What common desires did the speaker discover through the emails she received?

After offering to carry three wishes for others during her trip to see a Brazilian faith healer, the speaker received numerous emails from friends, colleagues, and strangers. The common desires expressed in these emails were good health for themselves and their families, happiness, and romantic love.

Q: What is the main takeaway from the speaker's experiences and the emails she received?

Despite the many differences in backgrounds, beliefs, and religions, the speaker found that most people share common desires for good health, happiness, and love. This commonality highlights our shared humanity and suggests that focusing on what unites us is crucial, especially in a world divided by differences.

Summary

In this video, the speaker shares her journey to find God and the enlightening experiences she had along the way. She discusses her upbringing in a minority religion, her identity as a spiritual but unaffiliated person, and her exploration of various spiritual practices and mediums. She also reveals the surprising commonality she discovered among people from different backgrounds and religions.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the speaker's religious background?

The speaker was raised in America by Indian parents, who were culturally Hindu but practiced a relatively unknown religion called Jainism.

Q: How did the speaker's religious upbringing differ from her Catholic school education?

At home, the speaker was taught that God manifests as the perfection of each individual, and they strive to remove bad karma. However, Catholic school taught her the belief in a single Supreme Being responsible for everything.

Q: What is the speaker's religious affiliation as an adult?

The speaker identifies as a "None," which means she does not affiliate with a specific religion, even though she considers herself highly spiritual.

Q: How many religiously unaffiliated "Nones" are there in the United States?

In 2014, there were over 56 million religiously unaffiliated Nones in the United States, comprising over one-third of adults between 18 to 33 years old.

Q: How did the speaker's spiritual journey differ from traditional religious practices?

The speaker decided to venture into the spiritual fringe, exploring mediums, faith healers, and unconventional practices instead of traditional religions.

Q: What were some of the experiences the speaker had on her spiritual journey?

The speaker attended a witch's potluck dinner, drank volcanic water with a shaman in Peru, chanted in a sweat lodge in Mexico, and worked with a tequila-drinking medium to communicate with the dead, among other experiences.

Q: Who is John of God?

John of God is a Brazilian faith healer considered a full-trance medium. He claims to channel specific dead saints and doctors to heal people, even performing surgeries without anesthesia.

Q: What commonalities did the speaker find among the people she encountered on her spiritual journey?

Regardless of their background, race, or religion, almost everyone the speaker encountered asked for good health, happiness, and love, showing a shared desire for these basic human needs.

Q: Why did the people who shared their wishes with the speaker ask her not to tell anyone?

Despite sharing their deepest wishes with the speaker, people asked her not to tell anyone because they wanted to keep their vulnerability and desires private.

Q: What is the speaker's reflection on her journey and the commonalities among humans?

The speaker reflects on the unity she found in people's desires for health, happiness, and love, regardless of their differences in religion, race, or background. She emphasizes the importance of focusing on what binds us together rather than what divides us.

Takeaways

The speaker's journey to find God led her to realize that, despite our differences, humans share a common desire for health, happiness, and love. The humbling commonalities of humanity should be emphasized and considered, especially in a world where divisions often overshadow our shared desires. This unity can bridge the gap between religions, ethnicities, and other divides, reminding us that, at our core, we are all the same.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker embarked on a spiritual journey to find God but ultimately failed, discovering a diverse range of beliefs and religions along the way.

  • The speaker identifies as a "None," a term used to describe those who do not affiliate with a specific religious group, despite having spiritual beliefs.

  • Despite our differences, the speaker found that most people, regardless of background or religion, desire good health, happiness, and love. This shared human experience can bring people together.

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