Every religion believes they are the right one, but what is the criteria for right or wrong? What about religions being partly right and partly wrong? We need filters to sort out the good from the bad and to help us narrow our search.
In volume 1, Zero to Infinity, we observed that we are physical-spiritual beings interacting with a physical-spiritual universe. We are spiritual beings who make every decision out of faith, hope, and love which grow or shrink based on the patterns of experience we have. This is undeniably obvious so a true belief system will teach in harmony with how people and the universe works. For example, some teach that our highest goal is mindlessness or total, blind submission.
Second, we chose to pursue the dream of eternal life, which needs to be made and maintained by an infinite good person(s).
Third, to reconcile the seeming contradiction between a good God and a world filled with evil, we concluded there was a perfect universe interrupted with a quarantine, but someday wise justice and closure will return it to total goodness. Quarantine is our particular analogy, but the underlying concept for which we are looking is a complete and consistent worldview.
Fourth, all of this is theoretical and off-limits to us if we cannot be transformed into harmony with Good. Because our faith, hope, and love is inspired from patterns we need a pattern of unselfishness from the infinite good person. This is probably an extension of criteria #2, but we can have no transformation unless we find and follow an example of infinite unselfishness—soul sacrifice.
These four criteria are the minimum we are looking for. Remove any one of them and the bridge from question to Answer will not reach the other side. We will be unable to explain and experience eternity. So these criteria are not optional details or dreamy ideals. They are fundamental and core to the human heart and mind. Trust works only when it is based on a trustworthy answer.
When we say we want an explanation of eternity, we are saying we want an understandable story from beginning to end of the world in which we live. We also want a purpose for our individual lives that is inspiring and worthy. Remove any one of these four basic requirements and we are back to wandering in a confused, conflicted, contradictory world.
In your words:
Do you have your own major or minor criteria to add? Are they consistent with what we have listed so far? What do you think of these four in terms of importance and completeness?