Chapter 10: Salvation--Liberation--Enlightenment
Due to humankind's condition of depravity, ignorance, and bondage to desire, the task of reaching the goal and purpose of life is no simple matter. Chains must be broken, sins forgiven, and ignorance dispelled. Causes of spiritual and physical oppression and bondage must be removed. Once that is done, people may come into intimate communion with God, become clear about the truth of reality, have their innate energies liberated, recover their original selves, and find peace. This process, and its goal, is called variously salvation, liberation, and enlightenment. It is the prerequisite for proper fulfillment of the purposes of life described in Part One.
We begin with a discussion of grace, the divine mercy that wills our salvation. We are in desperate need of grace, for--according to religious teachings with a severe view of human fallenness--we are hopelessly lost, corrupted, and afflicted by evil. The second section extends the theme to the question of universal salvation: is God's grace so all-encompassing and irresistable that all humankind will ultimately be saved? In the remainder of this chapter we gather passages which describe salvation, liberation, and enlightenment under twelve heads which cover a broad range of meanings: